Five Days in June

Unlike the Jesuits, we don’t need someone “before the age of seven in order to make them ours for life”.

No, as seasoned instructors of glass painting, five days at pretty much any point in someone’s adult life – provided they are fit and mentally well-balanced – will give us enough time not just to eliminate bad habits but also to convey the foundations of tracing, shading, highlighting, working with oil, and silver staining.

But make no mistake – it will be a tiring week. Not right for everyone by any means, because we focus ruthlessly on techniques, not self-expression.

Also, because the studio is so busy, this is indeed a rare event: a five-day intensive course like the one that’s happening all this week.

On the other hand just think what these people who have travelled 1000s of miles to spend five days working with us in the studio – just think what they will be confident to do when next Friday comes …

Watch this. You’ll need your volume on as well …


Watch things closely here this coming week because David and I will be sure to post some useful new tips and techniques for you to use, even if you aren’t right here with us in Stanton Lacy.

Live from the studio.

Tips and techniques for you all week

Remember, you’ll get exclusive tips and techniques right here this coming week. Including …

  • The ordinary kitchen object which can really improve how you load your tracing brush and how you manage your palette …
  • The very simple step you must take to guarantee you mix perfect tracing paint …
  • The best brand of paint for copy-tracing
  • And how to blend oil shadows or silver stain with a round-headed blender – hint: it’s not a wrist action …


Stephen ByrneUpdate – two incidents already and the course hasn’t even started …

"A Jesuit? Mmmmmm!" says the first of the tycoon's beast ...

“Sexy pin-ups? Where … ?”

Saturday mid-afternoon I met Anne and Mary at the local train station and made sure they got to their hotel. Then, because I had an hour to pass, I went for tea in Ludlow’s only 1950s tea-room (everything else is 19th century or even earlier … including some of the cakes). I sat down at my table and dug out my book and started reading. In was only when – by some strange coincidence – Anne and Mary also found their way to this selfsame tea-room and sat down next to me with a cheery greeting … it was only then saw on my table a well-thumbed copy of – wait for it – “1000 Sexy Pin-Ups”. Not mine, honest – just part of the decor. Great!

Later on, Charlotte (my wife) arrived in the family car, when Hassan rang to say he too had just got off the train: could we show him how to get to the studio so he would know how to cycle there on Monday? Of course! So we took him there along the back road with lovely green meadows and rolling hills on either side. Then a quick tour around the studio. Time to say goodbye, so I locked up and Hassan and I wandered down to the river.

I wondered aloud where Charlotte was and … Hassan politely told me I’d locked her in.

Great (again)!

So not only do I have a liking for 1950s pin-ups, I also incarcerate my 1960s wife … It’s nice to know how, whatever else, I have already made a lasting impression on three out of five of this week’s visitors!

What next?

What next, I wonder?

If you’ve any ideas – or any topics you yourself would be interested to hear about – please let me know below.

16 thoughts on “Five Days in June

  1. For a start, make sure you grip your badger tightly – you wouldn’t want it flying off around the studio as you demonstrate how to soften lines …

    Wish I was there!

    P.S. Speaking of which – anything to do with blending will be very useful, thanks.

  2. Hi Stephen and David!

    A belated “Thank You” for the Heraldic Arms video: it was a pleasure indeed to watch, and I needed ‘that time’ to relax and watch it, and follow everything you had to say – a joyous, indulgent, quiet time for myself!

    Like Bill, I wish I was there!

    Any tips on colour enamelling would be great! It took me perhaps over 20 firings to get the required depth of colour for a particular project – it can surely be done quicker? Just asking, no pressure!

    Keep up your fantastic work! (And badger under control!)


    • Hi Peta,

      Gosh I’m sorry but we just didn’t have the time to do anything with enamels. I will see what we can do to prepare some notes and observations.

      Always all the best,

  3. Stephen,
    I sure hope the rest of the week has a better tone to it!! Best of luck for the class, wish I could be a fly on the wall and learn from a Master! Almost anything you share will be greeted with much anticipation!! You and David are just the best! Please keep on with your generous work! Thank you so much for all you have already done!

    • My dear friend Jack,
      Thank you! We too wish you were here!
      Everything is going well. I started by “confessing” my twofold “sins” (sitting at a table without checking who’d left what books there; plus – locking up my wife), and – it seems – all is forgiven.
      David and I will be posting live tips all week.
      (So we shall see how long my luck lasts …)
      Just added a new tip right here.
      Always our best wishes,

  4. Stephen,

    Could you let me know a couple of days in advance of the next 5-day session. (2 days wouldn’t do it!).

    Thanks again,

    • Of course, John. And so you and other people understand: a big thing about this website is we all have a way of getting to know one another before meeting in the studio. Anyone who wants to learn from us in person needs to have a good measure of what they can expect … and we too on our side need time to understand the different interests and different skills which different people have before we meet them face-to-face. That’s another reason we welcome comments, e-mails and letters: they all help. Believe me we’ve corresponded extensively and “beyond the call of duty” with everyone who’s with us this week – that’s why it’s working so well. (And I’ll wait til the weekend to catch up on my sleep!)

      All the best,

  5. How I would love to be locked in your studio! Assuming I would be the only person in there, I could spend hours looking at your samples and copying them and trying to get a little closer to the skill level they show.

    And I am completely jealous of your five lucky students!

    Am about to start a project on two panels where I will do more painting than I ever have so far since my course with you, and so, before beginning work, I’m diligently going through all your terrific hints and tips. What a swot I am – but actually it is a great way to start.

    Must go and make my lump now, so I can begin tomorrow.

    Many thanks, as ever, and very best wishes to you both,

    • Hi Shelagh,

      Well, our students’ week went very well; and so I also hope your next week goes well as well. You know where to find us if and when you have questions.

      Best wishes,

  6. Dear Stephen,
    What you wrote was funny and witty – but I am also jealous because I been waiting for the past 2 years hoping to attend your stained glass painting class. I live more than a 1,000 miles from your studio and would certainly be willing to fly to the moon if I could attend your class within 2012. You are a genius and I don’t want to miss the class!


    • Hello Sandy,

      Everything that’s started this year with us will give you the best possible time next year with us. Even last week when we worked with four students from the US and one from Kuwait – even last week, when the students needed a rest from painting, they could stop and look at “real” work being done. It worked really well.

      See you next year!

  7. Are you planning another week-long intensive next summer? I am in need of a trip to the English countryside, and what better way to spend it than in a glass studio! (which I wouldn’t mind being locked in to)

    I’m getting ready to paint with enamels and try to get them “sandwiched” between layers of translucent glass and then slump them. As I read through some comments I noticed by Peta regarding enamels. I would be happy to share what I learn with you!

    Happy tracing 🙂
    Bonnie Faulkner

    • Hi Bonnie,

      Yes, I’m sure we’ll do one … what kinds of things will interest you?

      All the best,

      P.S. And thanks so much for offering to be in touch with Peta … that’s wonderful of you: your respective email addresses have been exchanged!

  8. Hi Bonnie,

    David and Stephen are the best and have brought us glass painters together like no one else can! I would love to share enamelling processes, firings and the like with you or any other like-minded persons. It certainly can be a ‘lonely’ process, just as being an artist is.

    I would value any input from you – or anyone else.


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