The visit:

The other week, I visited the mansion where our 16 stained glass skylights went. If you’ll imagine an English version of Neuschwanstein Castle, you won’t go wrong. The skylights shine down brightly as you walk across the dark, main gallery.

But I didn’t stop my work today to tell you about us and the work we do.

The point is always you and your mastery of techniques.

So I looked through our archive, and I found you two good videos from a while back, showing you the techniques we used to make these 16 skylights.

The ceiling

On the right, you’ll catch a glimpse of 6 of the 16. In all there are 8 beasts, 4 seasons and 4 inscription panels, all of them looking ancient and as if they’ve been there for at least a hundred years.

Here’s a shot from sideways – as you can see, the surrounding ceiling is dark, brooding, heraldic and magnificent:

Stained glass skylights

The stained glass skylights (3 of 16)

You’ll need to know the size: each skylight is about 3 feet square / 910 mm by 910 mm.


In case you wondering, each skylight is supported by a sheet of thick steel which we had laser-cut to match the lead-lines.


And another thing: to make the skylights look ancient, we had to assemble them up and smash them with a hammer, then hide the cracks with straps of lead as if they’d been repaired.

Techniques and video demonstrations

OK, so the techniques we used: undercoat, copy-trace, strengthen, highlight, oil wash, oil lines, oil shadows, then (after the first firing) silver stain with oil.

When you want to know more, all these techniques are documented in this instruction manual here.

The videos I found for you show you how to paint stained glass with oil, and using silver stain and oil. Each video opens in a separate window.


Stephen Byrne

P.S. If you’re wondering what happened when we silver stained the beasts themselves (including the beast you see us paint with oil), look here and watch us take them from the kiln.