Le Clerc, Richard
From the 1990s till his death in 2017, Richard Leclerc (1946-2017) worked at his Cladach workshop as an artist in stained glass. He had not always worked in this field.
Having attended secondary school in Glasgow, he spent much of his working life in the merchant navy but with shorter periods of time in other occupations, from fisherman to postman, crewing sailing ships to carpentry, and acquiring a degree in Art and Philosophy while his children were young.
When he felt it was time to retire from seagoing, he moved his base to Arran where he had spent many holidays over the years. Then pursuing an interest and enthusiasm for glass which had been sparked by the huge amount and variety of stained glass in Glasgow, he embarked on a BA course in Architectural Stained Glass at Swansea Institute of Higher Education, where he learned to work in all different types of decorative glass.
During and after the three years in Swansea, Richard was involved in many projects. He worked on restorations at York Minster with The York Glaziers Trust (the oldest and largest specialist stained glass conservation studios in Europe) and on the windows at Pluscarden Abbey. He spent time at Glantawe Studio in Swansea and John Hardmans studio in Birmingham as well as being involved in collaborations with established workshops and artists on projects in London and Edinburgh.
On Arran he worked from his studio at Cladach, selling individual pieces from the studio, working on commissions and restorations for private houses on the island as well as the rest of the UK. His skill was employed in sensitive repairs to ancient, damaged stained glass and in the creation of modern work both in churches and private homes.
His work fell into two categories:
Traditional stained glass
This involved cutting, painting, staining, enamelling, leading and cementing, of either antique , hand blown or modern machine made or textured glass.
Float or flat glass work
Using Sandblasting to produce light surface designs or to dig deeply into thick clear glass to give a 3D effect. He used acid in combination with sandblast or as an etching agent on its own.
Richard left a rich legacy of commemorative stained glass in churches, decorative glass in private houses and etched glass in collaborative work with the sculptor-carver Marvin Elliott of Corrie. Lochranza, Brodick and Corrie churches have all been enriched with his memorial stained glass, while many local homes are enhanced with pieces of his work.
'Richard who lived in High Corrie was a sensitive, unassuming man, highly educated and widely experienced who saw Arran as his permanent home and regarded it as a place with a huge cultural and historical heritage. The island has a memorable legacy in the work he has left, much of which can be easily accessed.' - John Inglis, Corrie