Stevens Competition Commission Winner 1999
Rachel Thomas trained and worked as an illustrator before working in glass, graduating with a BA in Art and Design from Brighton University in 1994. After achieving her postgraduate teaching certificate in art and design, Rachel taught at Secondary level for a number of years in London whilst undertaking a course in stained glass under Paul San Casciani FMGP. She worked with Steve Clare ACR as a trainee conservator and glass painter at Holy Well Glass in Wells, Somerset, for seven years, before joining the York Glaziers Trust in 2005. In addition to her work as a conservator, Rachel is an acclaimed designer of new stained glass.
Rachel won the prestigious Stevens Competition Commission in 1999. Her winning design for a window to mark the Millennium for St Paul’s Church, Birmingham was commissioned by Birmingham’s Assay Office. She has gone on to design the first of four windows for New College, Oxford, for which she won the York Guild of Building’s craftsmanship award. Further windows have been designed and made by her for St Mary’s Church, Uggeshall, Suffolk; Queen Margaret’s School, Escrick, nr York; and Radley College near Oxford in 2021.
Rachel is an ICON accredited conservator with the Chemistry for Conservators qualification. She has previously served for eight years on the ICON Accreditation Committee.
The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and the Stevens Competition
The Worshipful Company of Glaziers was founded in 1328 and remains dedicated to the art and craft of stained glass. In recent times the emphasis has moved from the protection of the personal economic welfare of Glaziers to the preservation of the heritage of stained glass and the support of continuing high standards.
A key part of this work has been the annual competition for young artists, which began in 1932 and which, since 1982, has operated under the banner of the Stevens Competition, the premier competition for stained glass artists in the UK.