That’s it, thanks!

Stephen Marcus Byrne - glass painter, designer, writer

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That’s all done now.

Below, you’ll find the video I promised you.

There’ll soon be a quick welcome message in your inbox.

I’ll make sure you also get a PDF with a link to the video and the notes you see below – that way you can always watch it again whenever you want to.

Thanks for joining.

Stephen Byrne

The Tycoon’s Square

This is a short film about the painting techniques we often use with stained-glass restoration – i.e. making as close a copy of an ancient, broken (or missing) piece as we possibly can.

The film is 20-minutes long. No commentary: the point is for you to see what you would see if you were by my light-box in our studio, watching me paint glass. I’d be focussing on my work, not talking. So this is true-to-life.

But I have added a few notes below the film. (I’ve also included them in the PDF you’ll get.)

Here’s the film:

If you want to download the film, go here.

If you want to download the notes, they’re here, and also in the email I will send you.

Preparation : here I take a quick tracing of the broken glass I want to copy. Nothing exact or overly-careful about this: the original doesn’t need it.

Undercoat : 01:00 : the undercoat is the ground on which I paint. It primes the surface of my glass, preparing it so it will receive your tracing lines far better than I were painting on bare glass. (Of course, I sometimes do trace on bare glass. It all depends.) The undercoat also allows me to highlight (step 3) before I fire. You’ll see the glass I use is uneven: it is hand-made, and thicker at one end, and so it rocks a little when I use my blender.

Tracing : 02:00 : this is the longest section of the film. Here, I do my tracing in one go. This is different from other times when, with the design beneath the glass, I copy-trace the main lines, and then I set the design on one side where I can see it, and go over my lines a second time and strengthen them. But here, as I say: just all in one go. I’ve taken special care to make sure you don’t just see me tracing but also see me load my brush and keep my paint in good shape: really important. The result: my paint flows slowly and just where I want it to – I’m in complete control. Also notice how I mostly trace with the tip of my brush.

The Highlights : 10:00 : This is a piece of restoration – I must copy the smashed original. That’s why, to do my highlights, I just use my hands, because it seems to me that’s how the original was done: no highlights with a pointed stick, just with my hands. The technique: I gently rub. Now the paint must have quite a lot of gum Arabic in it (or it would come off too easily), which is another reason why, when I trace, my paint flows beautifully: the gum Arabic actually holds the line together. I love highlighting, when the light suddenly breaks through … Also, because I’m using hand-made glass with texture / bubbles in it, the effect is stunning.

Texture On The Back : 12:40 : So now I clean the back of the glass – I really should have done this before I started – and I lay down a wash of paint (another undercoat) at the same time, and blend it. When the paint is absolutely dry, I load a soft-haired toothbrush with paint, and spray paint on. When the spots are dry, I rub them gently with my finger: this lifts off part of the undercoat, and leaves some of the spots: a delicate effect which helps my glass look older.

First Firing : 14:40 : This is a “paint” firing: about 660 Celsius (1220 Fahrenheit).

Silver Stain : 14:50 : Oil, yes oil, not water. Various oils in fact. Sandalwood Amyris and Lavender – I describe the whole process in a separate e-book and also in our film, The Heraldic Arms of Hampton Hall. Oil is far more economical than water: it dries out really slowly than water, and so you loose less. You can also apply it exactly where you want it: no tidying up or waste or mess. Just you see how much control I have with oil. It’s amazing, truly wonderful. And the colour is gorgeous. (You always have to test it though.)

Second Firing : 20:10 : This is a “stain” firing. The exact schedule depends on many things, but especially on the particular glass you’re using. (That’s why I say you always always have to test it.) The top temperature is normally around 560 Celcius (1040 Fahrenheit). After firing, you clean off the dried residue. And, if your tests were reliable, you now reveal a gorgeous golden piece of painted glass.

Thanks for reading and watching: enjoy the blog and newsletters!

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194 thoughts on “That’s it, thanks!

  1. Hi.
    So interested to discover your website. Having recently retired, I am finding the time to revisit one of my
    old interests: glass painting. I had a small studio back in the early 80’s and completed a couple of small commercial projects.
    I recently found my notes from a painting class I took at the Brookfield Craft Center in Connecticut, USA
    in 1983 with Albinas Elksus. It was an awesome experience and what a wonderful man. His compassion
    for the art and his willingness to share was awe inspiring! I am transcribing the notes for personal posterity.
    I wanted to extend my thanks to people such as you who are dedicated to the craft and helping perpetuate this wonderful art form. Keep up the great work.
    Best regards.
    Peter Ormondroyd

    • Hello,
      Scientists are mostly open, work in teams, publish results for peers to scrutinise, formulate well-formed questions then seek to answer them. To us, this sounds excellent for artists also. We’re glad you found this site. I hope we provide useful techniques for you to test, incorporate, develop and give to others.

  2. Thankyou! This is the best £20 I’ve spent in a long time. You are so generous with your knowledge for those of us glass artists wanting to expand our horizons and incorporate painted elements into our work. I’m truly inspired!

  3. Thank you so much for this wonderful gift of a video. I never knew about the undercoat! Your brush certainly does glide smoothly over that glass! I would like to know what paint and medium you used to mix up the undercoat, if I may.

    So very much appreciated…

    Warm regards from cold NJ, USA,


  4. Doing a family crest, lines and most shading done, I forgot… And it’s not in Albinas’s book… The shading done to the effect making clean spots from from your matte…
    Is ? Painting with oil then water spots ? Or what, not done this technique in 10 years and with bad memory, So, I ask how, and would appreciate an idea.
    thanks for your site info, and may it help more people to do this “lovely painting on glass”.

  5. Thank You. Sorry my English is no good. I’m french. I have a question. Were you by a fourniture for paint?

  6. Still looking to do, the spots… Removed.
    Paint on with? Then flick spots off ? To remove just the spotted areas.

    Sounds like more gum Arabic, with oil base, then flick spots of water from a brush, let dry and remove with finger rub…hope that sounds right, I guess to get what you want… You test !
    Thanks for the reply, GlazmonEarl”E”

  7. I am so glad to have found this site, I don’t know yet what additional instruction will cost, but it looks to me well worth it. I learned stained glass making many years ago, but now after 20 years in the US Air Force, and 10 years working as a Contractor, I’m ready to again indulge in my love for stained glass, wood carving and marquetry work and hope to incorporate all in pieces I create (Being a disabled Veteran, I can’t stand for long periods anymore, but I can paint/design over a light table for hours, I’m sure). Your Site was exactly what I was looking for in wanting to recreate the most beautiful aspects of antique stained glass, the beautifully painted parts that give church and art glass windows their character. Thank you so much for not only keeping this art form alive, but in your willingness to share your techniques and expertise with all your visitors. Thank You!!!!

  8. I have found your blog incredibly helpful, thank you! I have attended a taster day at creative glass in Bristol and so have a bit of an idea but as this was a few months ago the clarity of your steps has been invaluable. I’ve just had a programmer fitted to my hobby craft kiln and can’t wait to start. Thanks again.