Two years ago, when Mikel Delika was restoring the stained glass windows in the Jaén cathedral, they called him to see if he wanted to work with him. Stained glass windows of the basilica of Nuestra Señora del Pino in the town of Teror in Gran Canaria. “In principle there would be two, but in the end it was decided to have 17 surrounding the temple in its side windows, main façade, transept and main altar,” explains the glassmaker from Gasteiz. The work is internationally recognized. Among the prominent works of Delika, the Study and Master Plan of the stained glass windows of the temple in Santa María de Gasteiz Cathedral; He intervened in the Casa de Juntas de Gernika and numerous churches. He is currently working on the Good Shepherd’s Cathedral in Donostia.
Stained glass windows of the Canarian Basilica of Nuestra Señora del Pino, declared a Cultural Interest, dating from 1920 and Made by Maumejean house, the same that built those of the new Gasteiz cathedral. This One of the largest companies ever to exist, with around 100 glass painters and offices in Madrid and Donostia, among other cities. “They hired the best of the Fine Arts Schools and they had near-perfect technique,” explains Mikel Delika.
This artisan from Gasteiz moved to Gran Canaria in March and was working with Manuel Bernabé in a temporarily activated workshop in the Episcopal Palace. “had The three-month cleaning and restoration work on these works, which have a history of more than 100 years, is not so bad., but the damaged parts had to be rebuilt and its structure strengthened. Recognized by the prestigious British Society of Master Glass Painter as an international benchmark in the industry, the artist from Gasteiz is of high artistic value and an important legacy of the Basilica and the Canary Islands,” explains.
But when did the big surprise come for Mikel Delika? in one of the panels they found an unusual Basque phrase in a basilica in Gran Canaria: Gora Euskal Erriya. “No one expected it, people didn’t notice because the windows were placed so high. These small details go undetected. Usually the first thing we do is photographic documentation, and when we put the panel on a lighted table to photograph it, we noticed that there was a Basque sentence. Sometimes artists often add a personal wink to their work.an invisible element in that composition at first glance”.
The 17 stained glass windows are decorated with Marian and Christological elements from different eras. In the dedication to the Fifth Joyful Mystery, a character appears reading a Latin text, that of Jesus, the lost and found Child in the Temple, but the Basque phrase is added in the middle. You can also read Donosti and another sentence in missing Basque.. According to Mikel Delika, “The text was the personal seal of the master stained glass painter from Gran Canaria, who was Basque and therefore wanted to capture his nationalist feelings on it”.
Stained glass windows were displayed in Gran Canaria for several weeks so that the public could consider them before being hung on the walls of the basilica again. “Many people who visited the exhibition were surprised to see the detail of the phrase in Basque, but they all thought it was a surprising and pleasant detail”.
mikel hole Studied Industrial Master’s Degree in Electrical; however, he would never pursue this profession as he was always interested in the world of drawing and stained glass. He’s devoted his life to unraveling its secrets, and he’s taking this opportunity to lay claim to a trade that could disappear, as he warned.. “In 2018 we founded the Spanish Association for the Restoration and Conservation of Stained Glass (ARCOVE) and its main purpose is tapestries, easel painting, mural painting… of Europe. In addition, there is a great legacy here, there are no medieval stained glass windows, but we have many windows from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. All the extensions of Basque capitals are full of stained glass windows and they need to be restored.” “They will have to come from other countries while we are gone”.
Mikel Delika wants an apprentice to pass on everything he’s learned throughout his long career. Gasteiz has a workshop called Vitrales Mikel Delika on Txikita street in Casco Viejo. “Most of the time you see a stained glass window and you think it’s beautiful, but you don’t know the work behind it, how the glass is cut… That’s why I keep my workshop open to the public, I want people to appreciate how much it costs to restore it. A way to spread my trade; “It seems like it doesn’t exist and the unknown isn’t valued because it doesn’t get much coverage on the internet,” he said.
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