Case Study: The Stained Glass Beast from Start to Finish

All in a single firing

Today you’ll see the techniques I use to paint a stained glass beast. Yes, you’ll discover how to do it all in a single firing. This is just like I did it for our students in the Netherlands in July. And it’s just like I did it one morning a month ago when Stephen had his camera on. I’ve got lots of demonstrations for you to watch – eight, in fact – so let’s get going now.


One last point before we start. You’ll need a good hour to read this article and watch the videos I’ve made for you. I’m saying this so you can be prepared. The information here is excellent. It’s also free. I don’t want you to miss out. So the best thing is, you know before you start how long the journey is.

Highlights – It’s Easy to Get Them Wrong But Lovely When You Get Them Right

Let me tell you that the key points are: have a plan (don’t usually invent things as you go along), hold your glass firmly with one hand, work from the bridge with the other, choose your highlighting tool with care (make your own as needed), be confident (not scratchy, unless scratchy is what you really want), consider stencils (especially if you have a repeating pattern), remember how the back of the glass is also good for stained glass highlights, and use your hands as needed (just be sure they’re clean).

Right, now I’ve said my piece, will you also have a look?

Case Study: The Challenge of the Tycoon’s Casket

The tycoon's challenge

It isn’t every day you sit in a tycoon’s boardroom (complete with a terrifying set of Gothic, lion-clawed chairs) and receive a challenge:

The commission is yours (the tycoon growled) if, within seven days, you can forge me a convincing piece of ancient-looking painted glass. It would be nice if it were beautiful, but above all else it must look old.

The boardroom was littered with other makers’ samples – wallpaper, curtains, rugs, table-tops etc.

I could see the tycoon’s problem.

Stained Glass Painting with A Pen

And oil

In Part 2 of Glass Painting Techniques & Secrets from an English Stained Glass Studio, you discover an amazing technique for painting with oil-based stained glass paint on top of unfired – note this: unfired – water-based paint.

This is the exact technique we use each day to achieve a particular sense of depth and contrast in our work.

That’s the point about the information you get from us: it’s all tried and tested to the limit.

Sure, there’s always more to learn.

But what you learn with us is excellent and true.

Now this particular technique involves oil and brush.

Stained glass fighting bird in oil with nib by Williams & Byrne, designers, painters and restorers of stained glass

Stained glass fighting bird in oil with nib

But have a look at this sample piece of painted stained glass.

This is the very piece which caught Penny’s eye when she took time off from the front-line of our National Health Service – leaving the nation at the mercy of Swine Flu – while she spent a weekend with us at Stanton Lacy.

And what a stained glass painting course that was.

A time when people meet each other and immediately know that they will meet again.

Penny wanted to know how the piece was made, so here’s precisely what you all need to know.

It’s not done with oil and brush, but with oil and nib.

Here’s how we painted it.