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About Stained Glass

The glass and its colours

Our glass stock consists of glass coloured in the body by the addition of metal oxides.


The chemistry of colour glass

Image: Compound Interest

It may be mouth blown, with fine reliefs or air bubbles in its finished form - or it may be machine-marked, with fine or deeper relief patterns.


Most UK based glass artists source their glass from companies, makers and suppliers in Poland, America, France and Germany. Sadly, in the UK, Hartley Wood and Co Ltd of Sunderland closed in 1997, and while the company English Antique Glass sells some mouth blown glass it is not their main trade and their stock is limited.



Anchor 1
Anchor 5
Stained Glass 

A Memorial window.

1. Words provided by the client as a reference.

2. Flower pattern given by the client and first sketch.

3. Colour scheme.

4. Advanced sketch.

5. The template.

2. Colours: Presented as glass samples with the design proposal, to establish a colour scheme and way of painting.

A sketch of a stained glass window for St James Ryhill

St James Church, Ryhill, West Yorkshire

Different glass samples

Glass samples.

floural painting

Proposal for  Youth centre, Wrexham

3. Cartoon:

Full-scale artwork is made to exactly the same dimensions as the final work. Executed as a reference for later painting on glass.

detailed painting of window for St James church

St James Church, Ryhill, West Yorkshire

4. Cutline:

The lines of the heart of the lead canes that will hold the cut glass. It is used to cut the glass.

Lines for cutting out the windows accurately

Private commission

6. Painting:

We have a special set of brushes for painting on glass and we use 'a black or brown material called vitreous paint. This paint is a powder of iron or copper oxide. Each artist has their own methods of applying paint' creating different effects. (2)

5. Glass cutting:

Following the cutlines, each

piece of glass is cut.

A display of the cut glass for aligning the design correctly

St James Church, Ryhill, West Yorkshire

7. Firing:

The paint above, is then fired in a kiln and will be ready for the next stage. The oldest stained glass windows were made from the very same technique - and it is a very long-lasting material which is applied to the glass.

Ciln firing for stained glass

Glass in the kiln.

8. Leading/glazing:

This is the stage of putting the glass and the lead together, soldering the lead.

leading diagram

Image: Page 184 of 'A Thousand Years of Stained Glass' by Catherine Brisac.

9. Waterproofing:

Applying a cement 'which is forced under the leaves of the lead canes with a large brush. The window is cleaned/polished to remove any excess - and to ensure the glass is extremely clean. The glass should not be handled for some days, to allow the cement to dry.' (3)



10. Fixing:

To fix and install the window within the building where it will stay. It may be carried out by a contractor.


2004 - St Luke

2019 - Marga & Collection installation - Shrewsbury Museum

1. 2. 3. Quotations from 'A Thousand Years of Stained Glass' by author Catherine Brisac.






For a traditional leaded stained glass window; the making of stained glass windows consists of 10 stages.

  1. Design proposal

  2. Colours

  3. Cartoon

  4. Cutline

  5. Glass cutting

  6. Painting

  7. Firing

  8. Leading/glazing

  9. Waterproofing

  10. Fixing on site

1. Design: Keeping with the situation and function of the windows, the design is generally executed to scale, presenting lead lines and an advanced sketch of the artwork, 'It is a sort of declaration of intent' for the approval of the client or architect. (1)


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