How to hold the tools you use

There are some things it’s best you see. Yes indeed, there are some things it’s best we show you so you see them quickly with your own eyes (because it would take hours and hours for you to read about them).

Stained glass painting - how to grip a badger

And of course we’re thrilled to meet you when we travel or when you come here (like we’ve a student who’s just flown in from Atlanta in the States to be with us all this week: the things she’ll see and learn with us).

But that can’t always happen.

Which leaves video as the way to go.

Take the topic Stephen’s just filmed a talk about: your grip – how you hold your palette knife, how you hold your hake and blender, your tracing brush, your bridge.

Just think how long it would take to describe all this.

Which is why – instead – we chose to shoot a demonstration for the new online course we’re making for glass painters who’ve now worked quite far beyond the basics.

If you’d like to watch the section where Stephen shows you all about the hake and palette knife, be my guest: scroll on.


I fear to think how long it would take us to write down everything we know about how we hold the tools we use each day here at Williams & Byrne.

Yet all of it is so important.

So here’s where Stephen demonstrates how he holds his hake and palette knife – let him show you what he does.

I won’t short-change you with a trailer here: this is a substantial 10-minute session with Stephen at our studio, face-to-face over the light-box.

How you hold your hake and palette knife

The full 30-minute video is packed with tips and insight. It’ll change the way you see and use your tools.

You might think I’m biased but I’m not: it’s amazing: it’s the kind of detail you’ll never get from books.

The full episode is just one of the 8 detailed demonstrations which accompany the new set of 33 stained glass designs we launched this summer. These episodes are coming out between now and the end of the year: if you’re looking for your next step, they’re a great way for you to learn more.

Great for improving / intermediate glass painters

Now all these new designs and videos are especially for improving/intermediate glass painters: you need good familiarity with the brushes, tools and glass paints because we don’t explain the basics in this new series. (For the basics, the foundations: see here.)

That’s the whole point: it’s how you go beyond the basics.