How to Hold a Blender – Decisively!

When you use a blender, it’s important to act decisively. This is perfectly compatible with acting gently, of course, if this is what’s required.

Gentle decisiveness will get the job done (while indecisive gentleness is just the same as dithering).

That’s why we usually hold our blender as you see right here:

Stained glass painting: a good firm way to hold a blender

A good firm way to hold a blender

Now whether you grip with three fingers (as shown) or four is not important (it will in part depend on the length of your fingers).

What is important is that those fingers (three or four) push the shaft of the brush against the base of your thumb. And that your thumb grips back.

With a really good grip like this, your also adopt a firmer frame of mind. And this will help you move the wet paint decisively and confidently to where it should be.

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20 thoughts on “How to Hold a Blender – Decisively!

  1. Thanks, Stephen, for the blender push. I am finding your messages very useful. Once again: thank you for taking the time to prepare them for us. Just picked up my new kiln, maybe with luck I can get some painting done over the holidays.

    All the best,

    • Hi Scott,

      Thanks for writing. It’s a joy for us to have this contact with you. There’ll be lots more on blending in due course. I hope all goes well with your kiln. Please always write and say when we can help with anything or talk ideas through with you.

      All the best,

  2. Thanks again. You must have known my badger blender brushes (from A.S. Handover) arrived in the mail today.

    Now I can begin to practise!


  3. Hello Williams & Byrne!

    I have been teaching myself to paint glass for the past 15 years, with the aid of Albinus Eskus’s book. It has been nearly impossible to find information on traditional glass painting, so I am overjoyed to have found your website.

    At last, a long cool drink of water in a vast desert wasteland!!

    I have learned mostly from trial and error over the years, and also from just playing around. So, it is absolutely thrilling to get your tips and know that there is an excellent resource now available for glass painting.

    Would you have a list of what it is that is available from you, and the cost? Book? CD? Or is it just e-mail notes?

    I have been so impressed so far just with the “small” bits of information that you have sent. And the introductory video on u-tube was great too.

    Thanks so much for your generosity!

    Best regards from across the ocean,

  4. Hello Heather,

    Thanks for writing. Your perspective is quite right – e.g. your mentioning the 15 years. How we all paint glass is something that evolves with each of us, and not a “now I’ve done it” kind of thing.

    That’s our perspective too. Which is why – not as any kind of effort but simply as a happiness – we ourselves are thrilled that technology allows us to discuss things with one another like this, and to ask and answer questions.

    The e-mail newsletter is a wonderful place to start in that you get a measure of the kind of people we are. And now that you also write to us, we too get a measure of who you are.

    It’s up to you to decide what you need. Yes there’s an e-book plus videos plus St. Martha plus videos. See I am not even going to hyperlink these things because it all depends on what you want to do.

    By all means write again and say what kind of things you want to paint, or whether e.g. the “once-firing” technique is interesting. Or maybe it’s just enough to know we’re all here, working together, answering questions (when we know the answers). That’s absolutely fine of course.

    All the best,

  5. Hi Guys! Thanks for all your wonderful assistance! I fell in love with glass painting and bought all the best stuff from the best people and books and videos from the best artists and I’ve learned ………. not a lot! It still seemed shrouded in mystery. And then I found you! Yes, it’s not easy. Yes, it requires practice. But hey! At least there’s SOMEBODY out there who is willing to point me in the right direction and (I don’t know how you know this) you always seem to send me a letter dealing with EXACTLY the problem I’m having at the time. Thank you so much for your generosity! So THAT’S how you gain control over that darned badger! Well, whaddaya know!

  6. Thanks for the information on holding a badger brush. I’m relatively new to glass painting and I was finding it difficult to badger as the paint was drying too quickly for me. Hopefully I will be able to control the badger brush properly.

    Thanks again for all information received.

  7. Flora!

    That’s a pleasure. It’s definitely the case that points like this – how to hold a badger blender – make a huge difference to your overall technique and thus to your success.

    Another important point now. Here’s the scenario. Say you’re softening traced lines into shadows: this is strategy #7 of the 17 tips you find out right here and also in Part 1 of Glass Painting Techniques and Secrets from an English Stained Glass Studio.

    It’s important that the first few strokes really count. You must wait a moment for the “overcoat” to seep into the paint beneath. Then strike! Once, twice, maybe three times – firmly and decisively, almost as if you were making a back-hand shot in tennis or ping-pong. After that, as the paint dries, and indeed as the badger absorbs the liquid, you must slow down and also become lighter in your touch.

    In our guide to silver staining, there are video clips which show you how to hold and use a round-headed badger blender. It’s no secret to say that most of the work is done by the fingers – yet 9 people out of 10 will imagine that it’s the wrist: wrong! See “Silver Stain – How to Trace, Blend, Shade and Flood from a Reliable Batch that Lasts for Months“.

    Anyway, keep at it, Flora, and thanks for your comment.

    All the best,

  8. Ummm! I’m very heavy-handed methinks. Thank you for the tip though, because I will try this at college on Friday

    • Hi Jane,

      Thanks for writing. That’s good to know – it really helps: we’ll make some extra film about blending. I’m sure it will be useful to see these things in action.

      All the best,

  9. Yes indeed, that’s the correct way which I also learned from an old European artist at the end of the 60s. If you want a good finish, it’s also important that the paint is not too wet.


  10. Hello!
    Boy, do I wish I lived closer to you: I would take any and every class you offered – you guys’ advice and tips are right on, and I can now do what I thought was reserved to very Professional people. My matt has improved tremendously, and I even dare trace on a base matt, and it works – almost every time!!!!

    Thank you so very much!!