Woman taps into home improvement craze with stained glass window business

Danielle Croft with one of the windows she has created for her stained-glass business, Luna Glasswor

Danielle Croft with one of the windows she has created for her stained-glass business, Luna Glassworks - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

A woman who began her own stained glass window business in the first national lockdown is reaping the rewards thanks to the nation's home improvement bug.

Danielle Croft, a 31-year-old artist and joiner living in Norwich, set up Luna Glassworks in June after losing her income when the pandemic struck and she was unable to be furloughed.

Danielle Croft checks some of her glass samples for her new stained-glass business, Luna Glassworks.

Danielle Croft checks some of her glass samples for her new stained-glass business, Luna Glassworks. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Having always had a interest in the craft, but never enough reason to abandon the security of waged employment, it wasn't until lockdown that Ms Croft had "the time and motivation" to finally become her own boss.

Before "taking the plunge" she worked in interior design and joinery - but stained glass window making had always been her real calling. 

"I just knew I loved it, and had even done a day course in Sheringham the year before," she said. 

Danielle Croft checks some of her glass samples for her new stained-glass business, Luna Glassworks.

Danielle Croft checks some of her glass samples for her new stained-glass business, Luna Glassworks - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

"But I only took the plunge because of lockdown. I faced two choices: Either get a new job or make your own."

With a degree in fine art from Norwich University of the Arts, Ms Croft was able to get into the swing of things quickly with the help of her "incredibly supportive" partner of six years, Lara Emerson.

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She said: "At first, things were a bit slow to pick up, but now I'm getting commissions from total strangers which is incredibly exciting.

"I think Norwich is really undergoing a bit of a home improvement phase. Everybody wants to upgrade their houses.

Danielle Croft solders the lead in a panel for her stained-glass business, Luna Glassworks. Picture:

Danielle Croft solders the lead in a panel for her stained-glass business, Luna Glassworks. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

"There are so many historic buildings and Victorian terraces in the city. People love the traditional architecture, but now they're looking for ways to give their place some modern characteristics.

"My favourite commission so far involved a pet rabbit on a round door window. It was a present for the customer's partner, so I installed it in secret. They had no idea it was coming."

She said the process is often a lengthy one: Cutting the glass, framing it with lead and making it waterproof can take a matter of days - but agreeing on a design with the client can take weeks.

"Some of them are extremely intricate - and big," she said.

Danielle Croft with one of the windows she has created for her stained-glass business, Luna Glasswor

Danielle Croft with one of the windows she has created for her stained-glass business, Luna Glassworks. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Part of a window made by Danielle Croft in her new stained-glass business, Luna Glassworks. Picture:

Part of a window made by Danielle Croft in her new stained-glass business, Luna Glassworks. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

According to Ms Croft, who was "sucked in by Norwich" when she moved here from Hastings for university, plans for the future include using her creations to fundraise for Norwich Pride.

Visit lunaglassworks.co.uk/ or @luna.glassworks on Instagram to find out more.