Good Stained-Glass Design vs. Bad Stained-Glass Design

This is one thing you particularly need

And it’s going to get full

Since your window lasts for centuries, you mustn’t fail on glass.

And that’s the point of paper.

But paper has its limitations

In particular, paper reflects light (whereas glass transmits it).

So for me it’s a bad sign when a client falls in love with a design:

  • I don’t want a design that’s beautiful-in-itself …
  • I do want a design that’s adequate for the journey.

This often means a lot of waste.

A lot of wasted paper

So, again for me, this is one sight which helps me understand whether someone is likely – in the end, after a lot of hard work and heartache – to prepare a good design.

This is it:

A full paper-bin

A full paper-bin

Strengthening Your Stained-Glass Windows

Why I prefer shaped bars to straight ones, even though they're not as strong

Stained glass shaped reinforcement bars

Shaped reinforcement bars

I don’t see the point in spending weeks on a design only for the reinforcement bars to spoil the finished window.

Granted: shaped bars are not as strong as straight ones.

Our answer is to add a few more by way of compensation. After all, you barely see them.

So we use straight bars where sections sit on top of one another, shaped bars within a section: the best of both worlds.

A Time-Saving Method Which Can Give You Time For More Important Things

Studio Pass

Today’s video is about saving time.


Saving time is an unusual topic because normally our outlook is: time is here for each of us to do our best, however long it takes.

All the same, time is important. We must use it wisely.

And that’s precisely why we sometimes use short-cut methods to get us further than we’d otherwise be: so that we have more time for things which matter more.

Here’s one example in this video. We used it in the window which you see above. The time we saved meant we had more time for etching, painting, plating and for the complicated leading.

Anxious About Highlights?

Here's a simple 9-step plan

I understand why highlights worry many people. The lines and shadows demand a lot of patience, yet they’re only half the story. Till you’ve put the highlights in, your painted glass – however finely traced – is dull. It’s one-dimensional.

Softening the highlights on a stained glass owl

Highlights are the cure – as you can see above.

The problem is, highlights also have a risk. A big risk: if you do them badly, they will wreck your work.

Old palette knives make great leading knives

With the heavy use you give your palette knives, they wear out in a year or so. Indeed, ours sometimes snap. What then? The waste bin perhaps? No – like a come-back film star, they have a second life: they make great leading knives.