10 Years On

Late night revellers at the Williams & Byrne stained glass studio

“Let’s party!”

Yes, a “year” simply measures the time it takes for a planet to orbit the Sun.

So, if the period of three hundred and sixty-five and a quarter days isn’t emotionally significant in itself, then nothing significant can be created just by multiplying this period by 10.

And yet …

Anniversaries are important.

My own life has become immeasurably happier since I left my old career 10 years ago today.

I was and am lucky I had the freedom to do this. I reflect on this each day while I cycle to and from the studio, but especially today.

In my present career (which is not the same as the whole of my life), there are two things which Make All The Difference.

First, working with David, designing and making stained glass windows in dialogue with our clients and their buildings.

Second, teaching, and all the conversations that we have each day with stained glass painters and makers across the world.

The first item is hubristic, like the pride of Ozymandius; the second item, less so – the wonderful thing is that skills are acquired and enhanced and subtly changed and passed on to other people.

More than that, and at the heart of things, it’s all good fun.

“That’s no way to run a studio!”

“Oh Yes It IS!”


“Please, Sir! Why do some glass painters want to make their painted glass look like canvas?”

And each day is different.

Anyway, there’s a new Questions & Answers section we’ve just added.

We’ll use it for for all sorts of things, including video demonstrations.

When you have Questions, please go there and Ask for an Answer.

We’ll reply with the Best Information that we have.

But we won’t be posting too many replies this particular weekend.

It’s my birthday.

Not 10 years … but 97 50.


Williams & Byrne announces the arrival later this month of a competition in which You can win Prizes!

Knowing that all you stained glass painters are such other-worldly souls, we don’t propose to offer you anything as earth-bound as an all-expenses paid holiday in the country of your choice.

No …

We’re talking brushes, here.

Specifically – badgers, haiks, larks, crows and small ducks.

How’s that for an inducement?

Does it speak directly to your Dark Side?

Remember … coming soon … the first competition

“It’s the One with Brushes”

14 thoughts on “10 Years On

  1. Hearty Felicitations, Stephen, on your decade of living the dream, and on achieving your half century.

    Remember, when you turned 40 and gradually realised that it wasn’t so bad after all? How it was in fact better than being in your 30s, because you had all your marbles and knew how to play the game?

    Well, turning 50 has some nice surprises too.

    It sounds humphy, but is actually, in practice, all rather lush and mellow.

    The world expects an awful lot from people in their 40s, but people in their 50s can drift around smelling the roses and nobody raises eyebrows. Yet you can still deliver if the fancy takes you, raise a dust whipping along on your bike, bag Munroes and dance the night away, and enjoy them all the more because nobody expects you to make the 8am breakfast meeting the next day.

    A warm welcome to the Fulsome Fifties club!

  2. Hi Jackie,

    On the grounds that you are offering me a warm welcome, I can deduce that you are inside the club already.

    And, remembering the weekend we enjoyed with you during our last glass painting course, I can infer that there is indeed a lot to be said for joining.

    Thank you, Jackie, on both accounts!

  3. Gosh! In the club for only a day, and already earned your Diplomacy Badge!

    The brushes are whispering to me in their wicked whiskery way – especially the badger, as His Nibs (my husband) is a righteous vegan and will make sad dead badger faces at me if I buy one.

  4. Very happy birthday, Stephen, from someone who is nearer the other end of the decade and also looking forward to ‘retirement’ and spending more time in my studio.

    I can’t wait to get away from the incessant bureaucratic nonsense dreamed up by a non-descript and anonymous administrator over the photocopier or by the water dispenser.

    I bet the last ten years have flown by for you: much better than working in the City!

    Enjoy the weekend … and the cake … and the wine … etc. etc. (not necessarily in that order).

    (Jo sends her best wishes as well.)

  5. Hi Stephen,

    I hope you have a fab birthday. Looking at what you’ve achieved in the last 10 years, who knows what wonders you will achieve in the next 10 years. I’m the big 40 at the end of the month and I guess it’s time to reassess the plan for the future. Your change in direction has inspired me to work harder to achieve more as a glass artist and as a person. I’m so glad that your plans worked out for you and that you are happy. Best wishes – Caroline.

  6. Dear Stephen,

    Felicitations with your birthday and welcome to the club!

    I admire your decision to take a turn of 180 degrees in your life. Not everybody has the courage to do this but, as you have experienced, it was the right thing for you to do. Most of us are running after our shadows for a big car or many other material things. You found the right way to enjoy your little daughter and wife and do a job which makes you happy.

    I am a little bit more advanced in this decade and can tell you that, with growing age, your enjoyment also grows.

    The only pre-condition is good health, which I wish you with all my heart.

    Once again, a very happy birthday and a nice weekend with all your friends and family around you.

    Ivo dC (Belgium)

  7. Sorry I did not visit the site this weekend, so I am now wishing you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I decided in my 40’s that birthdays should last all year, so celebrate every day and be happy.

    All the best
    Winnipeg, Mb Canada

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