David Spiegelhalter's Stained Glass Site

I started doing stained glass a few years ago when I went on a weekend course given by Lynette Wrigley in Camden Town. There I learnt the 'copper foil' technique, where each piece of glass is first wrapped in sticky copper foil, then placed together and soldered along the whole of the edges. I later used a video to learn the more traditional leading method, where the pieces of glass are slotted into strips of lead, which then only need to be soldered at the joins.

I prefer geometric designs, sometimes with a mathematical or statistical background, in bold colours. I make things for myself and friends, although I did once sell a Christmas decoration for £1.50 at a car-boot sale.

Here are a few examples of bigger pieces - click on the images to see a larger version. Some further background is sometimes provided.



This is the first piece I did - the rather corny design is copied. Probably my first and last representational work.

Chromatic Scale

This has got a musical connection.



Sri Yantra

This traditional Hindu meditation aid has a complex geometric structure.


This is my bathroom door. I replaced the glass from a door that used to be in a pub.

Isaac Newton bought his first prism from Stourbridge Fair in Cambridge, close to where I got the door stripped.


Latin Square

This is the pattern of the first 8 x 8 latin square in Fisher and Yates statistical tables, 1938. The idea is stolen from the memorial window to RA Fisher in Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.


St Marks

This is copied from a tile pattern on the floor of St Marks in Venice, and currently sits above my front door. The purple does not show up properly in this photo - I also wish I had left the design as a simple rectangle instead of meddling with the shape.

Wheel of Life

This is based on the the Wheel of Life - a traditional Tibetan Buddhist 'teaching aid'. The colours are those of the archetypal Buddhas who form the antidote for each of the six realms. (The purple frame does not show up in this photo which was taken in the evening.)



Chris's Door

Above the front door of a friend in Cambridge (I will get a better photo later.)


A 32 x 33 rectangle can be divided into unique squares of side 1, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15 and 18. Try it. Any resemblance to Mondrian's style in the 1920's is purely deliberate.


Beta distributions

Prior (blue) and posterior (green) beta distributions from a Bayesian analysis, including a normalised Binomial likelihood (yellow) for 15 successes out of 20 Bernoulli trials. The red area indicates the posterior probability of a success rate greater than 70%. I apologise to those for whom this is completely incomprehensible.

Brain map

This is a commission for the Brain Mapping Unit, constructed in four panels. It shows a cross-section of the brain obtained from functional MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). I shall put in a better picture when it is properly mounted.



This shows a heart with transposition of the great arteries, a congenital condition in which the 'blue' blood from the right ventricle goes to the aorta and 'red' blood from the left ventricle goes to the pulmonary artery and back to the lungs. The 'purple' parts represent the minimal connections between the systems that enable the baby to stay alive until a corrective 'switch' operation can be performed.


If you have any comments on any of these designs, please mail me on david.spiegelhalter@mrc-bsu.cam.ac.uk

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