Artist/Studio: Brooks, Robinson & Co, Melbourne, c.1936.
Location: Middle Park, Victoria.
Building: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church.
Memorial: Mrs. Delia Agnes Waldron.
Donor: Mr. John Patrick Waldron and family.
Photos dated: 8th March 2015.
Delia Agnes Waldron (nee McLaughlin) was born in Ireland c.1870, the daughter of Edward McLaughlin and Margaret Eaton. She married John Patrick Waldron in 1899 at Middle Park in Victoria and they raised a family of nine. Delia died at the family home ‘Mayo,’ 20 Harold Street Middle Park on the 10th March 1934, aged 64 and was buried at the Melbourne General Cemetery. Two years after Delia’s death her husband John commissioned the Brooks, Robinson & Co., stained glass company of North Melbourne to create her memorial window for Our Lady of Mount Carmel church at Middle Park.
John Patrick Waldron, was the son of Patrick Waldron and Bridget Robinson, he was born in Ireland c. 1862 and died at Middle Park on the 8th January 1940, aged 78 and was interred with Delia at the Melbourne General Cemetery.
“A BEAUTIFUL MEMORIAL
Striking Stained Glass Window at Middle Park.
A BEAUTIFUL stained glass window has been erectde in the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Middle Park. The gift of Mr.J. P. Waldron in memory of his wife, who passed to her eternal reward two years ago this month, it depicts St. Patrick in the traditional act of banishing the snakes from Ireland. It bears this inscription: “Presented in memory of Mrs. Waldron, who died on March 10, 1934. R.I.P. The gift of J. P. Waldron and family”.
The background of the window is a piece of beautiful Irish scenery, with Celtic cross, and with ancient buildings here and there amongst the rugged mountains. The figure of St. Patrick, treated as an Archbishop, mitred and vested in rich tones of green, ruby, etc., stands in a commanding position, with a very forceful expression.
It is the work of Brooks, Robinson. To-day, the stained glass studios are presided over by trained experts from the old world, but in Australia a school typical of this branch of art is coming into being. Sincerity of feeling and purity of taste are the keynotes of this development.
In making a stained glass window, the first step is a small, coloured sketch of the picture subject required – from this the order is placed. A large charcoal drawing is then prepared and all the composition and details are decided upon. This is done from the artist’s work in the same way as when preparing to paint a picture, but thenceforth the art of the stained glass worker predominates.
A tracing is made of the chief outline of this large drawing on a very tough paper; no attempt at shading, just a network of lines. These lines represent the lead which will afterwards hold the glass together. Nothing has been found to take place of lead for this purpose, after all these hundreds of years, and it is an arrangement where the artist, if trained in the stained glass world, shows his great skill, as, if these lines are carefully thought out, it will be found to greatly assist the effect of the finished window.
To this line drawing or “cut line,” as it is called in the business, the colours are then carefully selected by the artist to correspond with the small sketch. On these being completed, the glass is then handed to the glass-cutter, who carefully shapes each piece to the lines shown. Next comes the glass painter, a man of genius and experience, who proceeds to copy the picture on the glass, faithfully producing lines and shading, which are, of course, all in different colours, for here it must be remembered that the glass is already coloured in rubies, blues, purples, etc., before commencing work. The glass painter only adds the shading pigments. These pigments consist of highly fusable glass, which has been incorporated with a considerable portion of metallic oxide. The pigments are mixed with either sugar or oil of turpentine, which has been allowed to stand in the open and thicken, so that it will flow nicely and be quite easy to work. The glass is then fired to completely melt the pigments, but only sufficient to soften the glass and open the pores, as it were. This firing is done in a kiln fired to the correct heat, and then allowed to cool slowly. When this work is completed, then comes the mechanical work, which requires a great amount of skill and experience. The paper pattern is laid on a table, which is the cut-line before mentioned, and the whole window, bit by bit, is placed in position by the artist-artisan and the soft bars of lead carefully worked around each piece, and so the window is built. This part of he work is known as glazing. It is soldered only on one side to allow of its being held up to the light for careful inspection of the work for harmony of colour, etc. The master artist then gives the final seal of his approval. The window is then shipped to Tasmania, or railed to other places, and is a delight and inspiration from generation to generation.
Brooks, Robinson’s studios do not confine their activities to stained glass, but undertake opus sectile mosaic and other ecclesiastical decorations.”
“WALDRON.- On the 10th March, at her residence, Mayo, Harold street, Middle Park, Delia Agnes, dearly beloved wife of John Patrick, loving mother of Nora, Edward, John, Joseph, Molly, Anthony (deceased), Leo, Rita, and Delia, aged 64 years. – R.I.P. (Interred privately, Meelbourne General Cemetery, 12th March.)