traditional painted glass

The tradition of painting on glass in Britain goes back some 1000 years. The principle of painting on glass essentially remains the same.

Hand blown glass is flattened into sheets and the right colour is chosen for the design.

A scale pattern is drawn up and each coloured glass is cut to the right shape.

It is at this stage that the glass is painted using vitreous paints which are a mix of fine ground glass and metal oxide.

Usually a trace line is painted first and fired in a gas kiln to a temperature of around 650’C, then shading is added using badger hair brush and fired again.

If a yellow-orange colour (silver stain) needs to be added then it is applied to the reverse side and fired again. When cool the residual powder is washed off.

When all the painting is complete and permanently fired into the glass it’s ready to be leaded. This involves placing ‘H’ shaped lead around each side of every piece of glass and then the mitred joins on each side are soldered together.

The panel can then be moved to be ‘cemented’, this means the glass is sealed against the elements inside the lead matrix using a mixture of putty, chaulk and black pigment. This also makes the panel more rigid. It is then polished and finally fitted into a stone, wood or aluminum frame.

If you are interested in learning more about this process, courses are run throughout the year in the studio.

For more information on courses click here.

for more examples of our work : click on Painted Glass in the portfolio