Bunton, Kenneth

F. W. Cole & Kenneth Bunton, detail from nave windows (1960-61), Christ Church, Southwark, London.
Photo: Jane Brocket

Kenneth Gordon ‘Ken’ Bunton AMGP (1924-2014) was born in Tokyo and came to England with his family in 1932. In 1941 he inflated his age so he could join the Fleet Air Arm. During the war he demonstrated his artistic talents in comical sketches sent home, prompting a family friend to suggest he should try his hand at stained glass. In 1945 he enrolled in a four year part-time course at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, which he combined with an apprenticeship at A K Nicholson Studio and a period at James Powell & Sons.

From 1952 he worked as a freelance designer for J Wippell & Co in Exeter, before setting up his own studio in his house in Sevenoaks, Kent, in 1961. Although based in England, many of his designs were for churches in New Zealand as a result of a successful partnership with Roy Miller, which was particularly productive in the 1960s. However, there are at least 35 designs for windows in the UK, with perhaps his most important being at Christ Church, Southwark, where he worked in collaboration with Frederick Cole.

Source: Capturing Light – Roy Miller New Zealand Stained Glass Artist by Brian Miller, (Lifelogs, 2016)


Kenneth Bunton and the Worshipful Company of Glaziers

The Worshipful Company of Glaziers first appears in written records in 1364-65 during the reign of Edward III, when the emphasis was on the protection of the personal economic welfare of Glaziers. However, in recent times the focus has shifted to the preservation of the heritage of stained glass and to the support of education in architectural glass art, design and conservation.

In 1932 the Company launched an annual competition for young artists, which from 1972 operated under the banner of the Stevens Competition. The competition provided an opportunity for aspiring architectural glass artists, designers, and craftsmen to compete in a format which simulated the process typically undertaken in order to obtain a commercial commission.

Kenneth Bunton won awards in 1947/48 and 1949/50.


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