About

Rod Friend

Rod Friend is a well established British stained glass artist working both in Alozaina, Andalucia (Southern Spain) and England, with over 40 years’ experience of designing and making stained glass windows.

Commissioning Rod

Commissioning Rod to design and produce stained glass
After working in this art form for over 40 years I am confident of being able to solve design problems and to produce work that serves architectural spaces and the people who live or work in them..

Please feel free to contact me and share your thoughts and questions, even if vague and as yet unformed, about how you visualise light and colour entering your space. I really listen to clients and enjoy collaborating with them in an impulse of co-creation. People’s ideas deserve to be represented in the spaces in which they live or work.
Architectural glass is a very sustainable material. It can and has lasted for hundreds of years, so it really pays to ‘get it right’ at the design stage and, as in the case of churches, to consider the responses of generations as yet unborn.

At a client’s initial approach for a commission I will always produce a very rough ‘ballpark’ estimate , based on surface area,for some labour-intensive techniques cost more than other simpler ones, so a final design comes with an accurate quotation.
The final colour design, to a stated scale, is included in the overall fee and is only charged separately if the project does not finally go ahead. For larger commissions I make a full-sized colour ‘cartoon’. Both these and all finished designs remain my property, as is normal practice.

Rod’s Story

Born in 1939, six months before the outbreak of the Second World War, Rod studied the violin from the age of seven to seventeen and started playing the piano by ear during this time.

After graduating in 1970 with an M(Art)RCA from the Royal College of Art in London where he exclusively produced kinetic experiments  in reflection and refraction using light and lenses, shadow and liquids, he started working in architectural stained glass which he considers the original kinetic artform, surviving from the 12th century. Rod believes moreover that it is a vestige of medieval alchemy because it enables humans to receive the chemical elements present in vibratory form in sunlight projected through transparent glasses whose various colours are determined by their chemical compounds.

Moving to Andalucia, Spain, in 2003 opened Rod’s eyes and mind to a deep desire to celebrate and record the astounding beauty of the Sierra de las Nieves area, west of Malaga, where he and Alice have made their home in the little town of Alozaina.

Inspired by his friend Carolyn White, the Cotswold landscape painter, Rod started producing work in soft pastels in 2014 at the age of 75. For Rod this new work represented a huge occupational shift from craftsman to artist while still maintaining a focus on the relationship of light to darkness.