Katrien, when did you develop a passion for stained glass?
As a child I was very fascinated by my father’s job, and I spent hours and hours in the workshop, learning with my eyes. But my father always refused to teach me because he didn’t want to push me into it, so I ended up getting a master’s in musicology.
So the decision to take on this craft came later?
Precisely. I went back to my father and told him that I wanted to be involved in the workshop. I had to insist, but I did not want all this knowledge and history to be lost. So in the end he agreed to train me, and he taught me every aspect of the craft.
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What is special about Atelier Mestdagh?
We are not just a conservation workshop, but we produce our own pieces and this to me is very important. In Belgium, most of the stained glass workshops choose either to do conservation or art, but I strongly believe that the two aspects really reinforce each other.
How important is it to be innovative?
Very. Sometimes we have to think out of the box, because many people consider stained glass as either religious or old-fashioned. In fact, because of the way it can transform the atmosphere of a home, I truly believe that stained glass can make people happy!