This is the road which leads you to where we work: the studio is just to the right of that 3-storey farm-house.
There are two of us here. David Williams and Stephen Byrne.
Here’s our maker’s mark – because glass painters don’t usually sign their work with their own names: instead they make a distinctive mark.
So that’s what we put somewhere on every window we make. (More on makers’ marks and where we hide ours right here.)
As for the studio itself, it’s gorgeous.
It used to be a barn, but now it’s a spacious light-filled studio, surrounded by pastures and farmland, and overlooked by the hazy Shropshire hills.
If you imagine rural England at its most perfect and peaceful, then you’ll see Shropshire.
We’ve been here for 10 years now, and we don’t compete for the design and painting work we do. For example, a tycoon once asked us to design and paint 16 stained glass skylights for his dining room ceiling. He didn’t ask anyone else. End of story.
Or rather, start of story, because it was a lot of work. Also, it gives us more to share with you. Like the story of how we won this tycoon’s trust (which you can read here).
And now let’s give you some information about us.
What we believe
The client’s interests are paramount; in that sense, our own need for self-expression must find other outlets than design and glass painting.
We believe that every building is different. So we absolutely will not design stained glass in the same “house style” for every building.
We’ve worked together since 1999. We set things up here in 2004. You’re welcome to see examples of our work – these are some of the stained glass windows we’ve designed and made, using the same techniques we write about and video.
Under Mr. Reyntiens, David worked on the Britten memorial windows in Aldeburgh (for which he did a lot of acid-etching), and on Reyntiens’ new windows for Robinson College, Cambridge.
David also helped make various other windows designed by John Piper (such as the Evangelist windows at Saint John Without The Bars in the City of Lichfield) and Cecil Collins (for All Saints’ in Basingstoke).
In 1986 David took up the position of Studio Manager and Chief Designer at the John Hardman Studio of Birmingham.
At Hardman’s he designed, made and restored stained glass for fifteen years, working on a huge variety of projects. For example, a complete restoration of Saint Chad’s in Birmingham; two windows for Saint Mary’s, Uttoxeter; the restoration of glass in Inverness Cathedral; also in Winchester Great Hall ; and the Town Hall at Leamington Spa.
David left Hardman’s in 2004.
By way of early education, he studied Fine Art at the Laird School of Fine Art, and he has a degree in Fine Art from the Sunderland College of Art.
In 2011 and 2012, David worked with The Reytiens Glass Studio in London to help paint the Diamond Jubilee stained glass window for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Stephen did his apprenticeship (under David) at the John Hardman Studio between 1999 and 2003.
At Hardman’s Stephen worked with David on eight windows for Saint Stephen’s Hall in the Palace of Westminster and on two enormous facsimiles of Victorian windows: one being the magnificent east window from the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Farm Street, Mayfair, and the other being the equally glorious east window from Saint John the Divine, New York.
Stephen also worked on the restoration of a set of 14 French enamel stained glass doors which became a walk-in wardrobe in a pop star’s mansion.
Before stained glass, Stephen worked in the City of London for 13 years where he was a business analyst.
He has an Honours degree from the University of Saint Andrews and a doctorate from University College, Oxford.
7 ways we can help you improve your glass painting
There are 6 ways we can help you with your painting:
You can get the tips and techniques – this is an excellent way to improve your glass painting skills. First step is to get this free e-book on the 6 essential tools and how to hold them: you can download your copy here.
Browsing this site. It’s packed with technique and insight into kiln-fired stained glass painting. The video blog is here.
Come and learn with us at the studio, starting with a two-day intensive foundation course where you’ll learn how to do all your water-based glass painting in just one firing.
Learn with us online – everything from a foundation course to silver staining: see here.
If you have your own studio and need our help with a large project, we can come and work with you.
We also give seminars and demonstrations. (At a recent event in the Netherlands, a professional glass painter commented she’d been looking 20 years to learn what we had shown her in just five hours).
Write to us here when you want to know more about any of these things.
And that’s enough about us. Except to say that David is an artist and Stephen is a copyist. (The craft of stained glass has separate niches for different kinds of skill provided they are done well and with respect.)
Now please busy yourself with all the techniques and ideas you’ll find here.
They are what this site is all about.
And how you use them – that is the really exciting thing.
Remember: for glass painting tips and demonstrations, be sure to download this excellent free e-book: