Stained Glass Title
Frequently Asked Questions

St Pauls
  • How do you make stained glass?
In the same way that it has been made since medieval times. There have been some developments of course - electricity has helped for operating the kiln, and having gas available for heating the copper tip of my soldering iron saves having to spark up a brazier every day.. but the principles are exactly the same.
One misconception that people sometimes have is that a stained glass artisan usually makes his/her own glass. This isn't usually the case, as the equipment, the space and the investment needed would be impractical. There are glass companies in the UK and in various countries around the World who make beautiful glasses of innumerable different colours and textures. Many of them hand make glass, mixing different shades and colours of molten glass. This results in glass where every single sheet is totally unique.
The stained glass practitioner will design, cut and lead-up the glass, and will paint, stain and etch the glass according to the design, but generally they don't actually make the raw material themselves.

  • Do you use self adhesive lead?
I have done. And I probably would do again given the right incentive, but I really don't like it. It annoys me to a totally unreasonable extent seeing 'fake' stained glass in UPVC front doors and conservatories - especially because in many, many cases the design stuck on in self-adhesive lead and coloured plastic film would be impossible to make in real glass. It would be nice to think that this is a expression of the person who stuck the lead onto the glass having used the modern medium to take the design possibilities further - but in almost every case it is clear that it is simply that they have no idea of how real stained glass works.

  • How do you paint glass and use silver stain?
A complex question. I can do no better than to direct you to the absolutely excellent

  • How do I commission a window?
Have a look at the 'commissioning' section of this site.

  • How much does it cost?
This is difficult to generalise about. What a piece of stained glass costs depends on (amongst other things):
  • the size of the panel
  • the complexity of the design
  • the types of glass used in the design
  • whether or not there is any glass painting, staining, etching etc..
  • how the window is to be fitted (ie into woodwork, stonework, metalwork etc...)
  • if the panel is to be fitted inside a sealed unit 

As a rule of thumb, a stained glass panel of average complexity, without any painting etc.. will cost around £130 per square foot. So if your window is 2.5 feet tall, by 2 feet wide, that makes 5 square feet, or about £650 (excluding fitting, sealed unit costs etc..).
Please see 'commissioning' for more details.

  • How long does it take?
That depends on complexity, size and how many commissions I have on at the time.

  • What about fitting my window?
I regularly fit windows, and I also have tradesmen of various types (joiners, stonemasons etc..) who can fit windows which require more specialist skills, or when I am too busy in the workshop.

  • Do you run classes?
I am regularly asked this question. The answer is that, no, I don't currently run stained glass courses. I would love to, but my studio / workshop space is not generous enough to leave room for students, and students work, alongside my own.
If I thought there was enough demand to justify the time and expense necessary to find and equip somewhere to teach then I would do it.
If you'd be interested, why not mail me so I can get a better idea of potential demand. (Put 'teaching enquiry' in the subject line).

If you have any other questions, please do email them to me, and I will answer as best I can.
It would be good to add to this FAQ page!