No pane, no gain for Oban couple

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Contemporary glass specialists and recycling crusaders Gail and Colin Goodall have come up with a smashing idea to put something back into the community.

The couple have reclaimed the broken windows from the former Rockfield Primary School and will make them into bespoke items to be given back to the new Rockfield Centre to sell.

Owners of Highland Glass, the artistic duo will celebrate 10 years of their business this December. But although the Lower Dunollie-based business enjoys steady custom, Gail admits that it will never make them millionaires.

‘It’s very much of a labour of love for us and seeing the pleasure that our work gives others brings its own rewards,’ she said.

‘When the opportunity arose to buy Rockfield community shares a few years back we would have loved to have bought some as it is a fantastic project which will benefit a great many people.

‘Everything we make gets invested back into the business. However, and we just couldn’t afford it.

‘Having travelled to various places to look at different techniques we became quite passionate about recycling so when we got the glass from the Rockfield Centre we knew exactly what we wanted to do with it.’

Gail and Colin plan to make the Rockfield glass into commemorative items before handing them back so that they can be sold on as an original Rockfield pieces.

The couple have also made decorations from glass reclaimed from Mull and Lochgilphead Church Hall as well as making jewellery incorporating the ashes of someone’s much loved pet.

Almost 90 per cent of items that the pair produce are made from reclaimed glass.

‘People are actually getting decorations that are well over 100 years old, which makes it a bit special,’ added Gail.

‘It takes a bit more time because reclaimed glass has to be tested and then cleaned up but we think it’s worth it and the difference is that it is not going to landfill.’

The pair have developed a real passion for their work with both forming a love of glass from an early age .

Colin spent 30 years in the glass industry making stained glass and double-glazed windows and doors before joining Gail, who founded Highland Glass as a hobby which quickly turned into being a full-time role.

‘I believe our work is more than just providing art or windows,’ said Gail.

The couple also offer workshops in fused and stained glass as well as ceramics. ‘Art is therapeutic and can offer so much in terms of confidence, enjoyment and stress relief,’ she added.