Jonathan Cooke

Jonathan Cooke is an ICON Accredited Conservator-Restorer (ACR)

Jonathan served a traditional apprenticeship at York Minster, and established his stained glass conservation company, Jonathan and Ruth Cooke, in 1987. He has researched, explored and experimented with traditional painting techniques which now inform his restoration glass painting and original work alike. He also works collaboratively with artists to realise stained glass windows to their designs.

He has been demonstrating and sharing multiple layering techniques with essential oils and other media throughout his working life. His acknowledged generosity as a teacher has enabled many professional and amateur glass artists to adopt and explore these techniques, now widely and commercially exploited by others. His teaching on successful multiple layering was distilled into Time and Temperature, a manual on glass painting published by Swansea Metropolitan University in 2013.

During his forty year career, he has had the privilege and challenge of replicating painted surfaces, sometimes on a large scale, including the decayed medieval stained glass of the Savile Chapel at Thornhill Parish Church, a copy of a Kempe window destroyed by arson, and the recreation of the lost Charity window for the Tivoli recess in the Soane Museum. The preparatory full size cartoon he produced and donated to the Museum was described by the Director as ‘a work of art in its own right.’ Cliffe Castle’s grand staircase window for Bradford Council is a unique project featuring restoration, conservation and design elements.

Jonathan is a member of the Trailblazer Group responsible for setting up the new UK government-funded standard for apprenticeship in leaded glazing, launching later this year, having been a mentor for the Livery Companies’ pilot apprenticeship scheme.

As well as regular teaching sessions at Swansea College of Art, in 2022 he worked with young crafts trainees for the Landmark Trust in Week 4 of the Sector Based Academy Work Programme (SWAP) at Calverley Old Hall.

Jonathan also creates small scale unique and original panels, to commission, for exhibitions and sometimes because an idea won’t go away. He employs a wide repertoire of traditional glass painting techniques, mainly in quirky narrative pieces which address universal and contemporary questions.

above, painting in progress, and, right, full size cartoon for the replica Soane Museum Charity window, donated to the Museum on completion Jonathan can be seen working on this project in the first of a three part series
Opening up the Soane