Colette Langan heads a family run business restoring and designing stained glass. She trained in the UK conserving medieval stained glass, and is proud of the role she had in the conservation of glass from Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London and many other gems of Britain’s heritage. In her own right she has restored and designed stained glass for places of worship, businesses and private residences all over Ireland with work installed in England, Australia and the United States.
“When I left school I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I did a secretarial course ‘to fall back on,’ and when I moved to London started working in a book makers. I didn’t know many people so decided that attending a night class might be the way to get to meet some others. I attended stained glass classes in the Hampstead Institute and really loved it, my teacher was delighted when I declared this was what I wanted to do, and said I was lucky to have found my calling so early on in life.
The truly transformational day was when I was going to the tube station but saw a bus coming that went by the glass shop. It only came once an hour so I rarely saw it (no timetables back then) and decided to go and buy some glass before my shift started. When I got there a handwritten note was pinned to the front of the counter saying a studio was looking for staff ”experience desirable but not essential.’ From that I got a job in Chapel Studio, a place I’d never heard of but was soon to find out had a fantastic reputation in stained glass conservation. During my time there I worked in many historic buildings including The Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Salisbury Cathedral, Winchester Cathedral and on medieval glass from all over the UK as well as Tiffany windows”