Brother & Sister – Daniel & Deborah Burke (in the garden – early 1980’s)



The Early Years

Daniel (1973) and Deborah (1977) grew up together in a very creative household. Their mother, a keen potter and painter and father, a conservation architect and fine singer, passed on many interests in the arts, design and music. Daniel remembers, “Growing up there was always music in the house from Led Zeppelin to Planxty, reams of A1 paper cluttering the floor and jobs to do on the allotment. As a child this basically involved shelling and eating as many peas as possible.

Both siblings showed early interest in creative pursuits artistically and musically and this continued through-out their formative years and education. The pair were rarely to be found without a pack of Berol felt-tips and a drawing pad. Meanwhile, Daniel worked his way through a variety of instruments considered antisocial in the confines of a mid-terrace house. These included drums and electric guitar. His passion for playing music remains to this day.

Formal & Higher Education

In the early 90’s, having successfully completed an Art & Design Diploma at Blackburn College, Daniel continued on to study a HND in Design (Photography) at Bradford. During this time, Deborah was to make an application that would go on to shape the pairs creative, professional and personal lives for good.

Halfway through studying for A-levels in Art, History & Environmental Science, Deborah decided that Higher Education was not necessarily for her and began casting her eye out for alternatives. One such alternative was an advert in the local paper for a stained glass apprentice. She applied for the position and was offered it on condition that she completed her A-levels.

Deborah took up her role as a Stained Glass Apprentice the day after her last A-level exam in May 1995. It is safe to say she took to the craft of stained glass like a duck to water. Within a few months she had become a highly productive member of the studio team. One of her first projects was the production of new diamond leaded light glazing for the clerestory windows at Bolton Abbey in North Yorkshire.

The Seeds are Sown

Meanwhile, his studies completed; Daniel took some time out, working in several jobs including gardening and labouring. It was while labouring that the offer of formal training with a view to taking on managerial responsibility of the company was made. A serious offer indeed and the type of opportunity that could have forged a very different career path for Daniel. However, he had already begun to consider the direction Deborah was heading in her apprenticeship as a possible career route.

The ancient craft of stained glass very much appealed to Daniel with its core elements of artistry, creativity and physical hand-craft.

Having approached and been offered a position within the same company as his sister, the choice between building/construction and stained glass was made.

By early 1998, Deborah completed her stained glass apprenticeship with formal training in all its processes. Daniel meanwhile had spent over two years working nationwide as part of an on-site fitting team. Throughout this time the seeds were gradually being sown for the pair to set up their own studio. The plunge was taken during the summer of 1998 and with premises secured, Lightworks Stained Glass formally opened for business in November of that year.

Into the 21st Century

Over the course of the next two decades the siblings and their small team of artists and craftspeople strived to build on their respective skills and knowledge. With a total and absolute commitment to the craft and an original yet authentic approach to design and application, Lightworks swiftly gained a reputation for exceptional quality work and service. This commitment remains Lightworks guiding ethos to this day.

Sadly, in 2021 at the age of 44, Deborah passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.

Following this, the decision was quickly made by Lightworks team to continue with their work and, as planned, to move from the firms small town centre workshop into much larger premises on Clitheroes Salthill Industrial Estate.

Today, Daniel and the team at Lightworks continues to thrive, to learn and to grow and to ensure that a little of Deborah’s spirit and memory is invested in all of its work. The history of Lightworks Stained Glass continues . . .




1977 – 2021