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HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU DRIVEN PAST AND WONDERED WHAT’S INSIDE HERE?

whats in here

The Art of Glass stained-glass shop in Kenilworth Station is set to move premises. But while the owners are off to a new location, they’ve lost nothing of the passion and drive that made them start the business 27 years ago in the old Post Office building, finds Lyn Staples, of Norgarb Properties.

There’s something magical, even mysterious about the Art of Glass shop, which wouldn’t look out of place in a Harry Potter movie set. It’s got history – and it shows. It’s old and unkempt – yet the paint peeling from the walls, the cracks in the ceiling and the chipped floors do not detract from the beautifully crafted stained-glass pieces that have been painstakingly put together by two sisters who have mastered a centuries old skill.

 

While there are many happy memories here, Priscilla Ormond and Colleen Peacock are keen to expand their business, hence the need to move. They are sad to leave their Kenilworth base as it has a lifetime of memories. I am keen to find our more about why they have reached this decision…


HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE STAINED-GLASS BUSINESS?

 
After school, I did fashion design and also helped out stained-glass master Peter Koehorst. When Colleen, my sister, left school she joined me and we moved into the old Post Office premises 27 years ago. We often get commissioned work and business from passers-by but a lot of it comes from word of mouth. As a stained-glass master, people think you would only work on church windows, but we create super modern stuff too. We do a lot of things from terrariums, to little gifts, corporate gifts, mirrors, 21st keys. We try to accommodate all budgets.

WHY ARE YOU MOVING? 

 
We need more space as a lot of people want lessons. We presently teach patients from the addiction clinic across the road how to do mosaic.
 
WHERE ARE YOU MOVING TO? 
 
We are moving to River Park Business Centre in Diep River, because it’s time for a change. We would like to have a coffee shop alongside our business, something like the Clay Cafe in Hout Bay. Unfortunately, our new premises do not have the space for that.

WHAT IS SOME OF YOUR MOST MEMORABLE WORK?

We have many special memories at this venue. We did the stained-glass windows of the Hout Bay Castle and work for Eden Island in the Seychelles – they even flew us out. We also did some work for movies such as Tomb Raider and The Warrior. We have worked through the night sometimes to meet deadlines.

YOU ARE SISTERS – HOW DID YOU GET ON WITH EACH OTHER ALL THESE YEARS?

The main thing is we enjoy our work. We generally get on well and if we have an argument, we move on.

WHAT OTHER CHALLENGES HAVE YOU HAD?

Eight years in we had a fire at the workshop. It was ultimately a good boost for our business though as people wanted to know what was going on and how they could help us.

WHAT PERSONAL MEMORIES DO YOU HAVE OF THIS VENUE?


When we started, I was pregnant and when my little boy arrived I used to take him with me to the shop and put him to sleep in the drawer. There were many happy times where we would just stop working for a bit and play with him. To this day, customers still ask after the little boy who could fit into the drawer, but he’s an adult now and 7ft tall! Children just love this place as well.

We have had people bring us food. Some people come in asking us to fix their jewellery and glasses. We did not always know how, but always managed to figure it out.

The homeless people are going to miss us too. Some have already asked us whether there will be a station near where we are moving to so they can come and visit us.

We are going to miss the locals but will stay active in the community. We will still have a stall at the Harfield Community Carnival. We are sad to leave, but see it as starting a new adventure.
 
 
The Art of Glass is moving on the 30 October to: Unit 33, River Park, Diep River. For more information, Coleen can be contacted on 082 615 0625 and Priscilla on 082 644 5612. You can also follow the sisters on The Art of Glass’ Facebook page

Cell: +27 (0)82 846 0739 | Office: +27 (0)21 674 1120 | Fax: +27 (0)21 774 4927
Email: lyn@norgarbproperties.co.za
Focus Areas: Kenilworth & Claremont Village

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