In Lens, Lise Flippo and Thomas Masson make stained glass for the Saint-Theodore church.

Northern artist Lise Flipo designed the stained glass windows of the Lens church, Thomas Masson’s workshop was chosen to put his paintings on the stained glass windows. (©AS Hourdeaux/Northern Cross)

November 26 and 27, 2022there will be a party Church of Saint-Theodore de Lens, with lopening of the first 14 stained glass windows by artist Lise Flipo. We caught up with him in Mouscron, Belgium, with stained glass artist Thomas Masson, whom he collaborates with. They were in creative work.

14 out of 28 stained glass windows created, well worth the party! To inaugurate these first works, two sounds and lights are offered in the church of Saint-Theodore de Lens on November 26 at 20:00 and November 27 at 17:30. They are the brainchild of artist Lise Flipo and stained glass artist Thomas Masson.

A dream

Liz Flipo met Christian Lazewski, president of the ACV cultural association promoting the church of St. Theodore, 3 years ago in a Christian bar in Lille: “In front of one of the paintings, he said to me: ‘It would be nice stained glass…’ Or rather, it was my dream. , never talked about it! ” the artist recalls.

A former communications officer, he dropped everything to create the “Joie et lumière” workshop. “It was during the spiritual retreat that I heard the call to spread peace, joy and hope with my art…”

A church that has been waiting for 100 years

His first stained glass windows would be for Lens. The church of Saint-Theodore, very close to the Louvre-Lens, never had real stained glass windows. The first church dates back to 1910, it was destroyed in 1914 and rebuilt in 1926. There was not enough money to complete the building, which had to make do with simple windows instead of stained glass. Almost 100 years later, this deficiency was overcome thanks to the mobilization of ACV!

Lise Flipo was advised by Belgian master glassmaker Bernard Tirtiaux, who worked with Marc Chagall. “He explained to me different techniques, I wanted as much light as possible! »

Seminar selection

The decisive encounter of the young woman was at another exhibition at the Catholic University of Lille. “I’m talking to Thomas Masson’s wife Emma, ​​and she tells me that my style might suit her studio. We meet and he offers me a free stained glass test. I felt such great joy in front of this work that the choice was confirmed! »

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It is the Genesis theme that was chosen to display on the left side of the church, 14 stained glass windows, two for each day of Genesis (one for day, one for night). Each window is 1.46 x 0.70 cm. And it’s an explosion of colors written on glass!

Lead free

The specialty of these stained glass windows is that they do not contain lead, which gives great freedom in focusing primarily on light and colors.

Thomas Masson’s workshop in Cysoing develops this technique. “With this method, a ‘watercolor’ effect that is very faithful to the original design and colors is possible,” says the master glassmaker.

Stencil, glass powders, melting…

Thomas Masson has two workplaces: his workshop in Cysoing and LR Vitraux in Mouscron, Belgium, which supplies him with ovens. We caught up with him at work to finish Lance’s stained glass windows in time. On November 17, 2022, 10 days after the opening, it was the 10th stained glass window made out of 14.

Thomas Masson puts a steel stencil on white glass.
Thomas Masson puts a steel stencil on white glass. (©AS Hourdeaux/Northern Cross)

Thomas Masson works from a reproduction of the artist’s drawing on a life-size sheet. Above, bare stained glass window, all rounded. In order to have a more accentuated color rendering in certain parts, he first lays down details of colored glass powder. Then he creates a large steel stencil, in the empty spaces of which he will combine other colors.

“Then everything will go straight into the oven for about twenty hours at a maximum temperature of 830 degrees. “Fusing” elements will then be added to the fused glass to give relief effects to certain details,” explains the master glassmaker.

Thomas Masson and Lise Flipo are working hard.
Thomas Masson and Lise Flipo are working hard. (©AS Hourdeaux/Northern Cross)

Thomas Masson has already designed stained glass windows for the Tournai seminary and the old Saint-Amand swimming pool. He also restores stained glass windows such as Ruesnes church, Ste-Anne de Tourcoing church…

The first stained glass window was installed on Friday, November 11.

Touch people’s hearts

Lise Flippo hopes these new glass works will “touch people’s hearts”.

He tells an anecdote: “At one of my exhibitions of watercolors of future stained glass windows in Malo-les-Bains, an old gentleman with a bent and twisted back came to look at the paintings every day. Every time I saw him turn: he always straightened a little more. I understand that God can really work miracles through art. My joy is beyond measure to think that stained glass windows can touch other people and other hearts through the work of God. I can’t wait for God to work miracles through stained glass! »

Funding for the last 14 windows remains. They will describe the theme of Mercy. Lise has already done all the drawings.

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