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Jonathan Cooke ACR 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,  published by Swansea Metropolitan University in 2013.

During a 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 Museums in 2018-9 is a unique project featuring restoration, conservation and design elements.

Jonathan is a specialist assessor for ICON’s accreditation scheme.

He was  a member of the Trailblazer Group responsible for setting up the new UK government-funded standard for apprenticeship in leaded glazing, having previously been a mentor for the Livery Companies’ pilot apprenticeship scheme.

As well as regular teaching sessions at Swansea College of Art and elsewhere, he has worked for the Landmark Trust with young crafts trainees.

Jonathan also creates small scale unique and original panels, to commission, for exhibitions and sometimes “because an idea won’t go away.” He is also a watercolourist, currently working towards a new exhibition of landscape in 2024.

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