Stained glass – working with colour and light with Sasha Ward

Ref: S5D32931

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About this course

Learn all the skills and use the beauty of coloured glass to make a stained glass panel of your own unique design.

Course Description

Learn the basic skills of stained glass and how to use colour and light during the process. You will learn how to cut glass safely and be encouraged to experiment with different colours and glass types and how they work together. Glass painting and sandblasting will be integrated into the process from the first evening, so that your composition will be unique and perhaps unexpected. There will be numerous examples of historical windows provided to help you understand how to put your glass pieces together in a composition or a design for the medium of stained glass.

You will make one or a number of stained-glass panels of your design, using some or all of the skills demonstrated, depending on preferences and time available.

Materials and techniques covered:

Designing for the medium of stained glass

Glass cutting

Sandblasting, painting with traditional glass paints and firing glass

Leading, soldering, cementing and cleaning up the finished panel

Each stage in the process of making a stained-glass panel will be explained to the whole group on a sample panel. Throughout the course, there will be demonstrations of techniques as the various stages are underway. The tutor expects everyone to work at their own pace, spending more or less time on either cutting and leading or glass painting and sandblasting, as preferred.

Experimentation with design ideas and innovative techniques will be encouraged. You are welcome to bring ideas for projects with you, although an experimental, playful approach works best if you come without fixed ideas. If your idea is for a panel that exceeds 400mm in either direction, please could you make the tutor aware of this in advance, as it will not fit on the leading boards available.

Outline of proposed schedule:

Day 1:

Morning: Demonstration of glass cutting techniques. Learn how to cut glass, moving from scrap glass to coloured and textured glass types.

Afternoon: Demonstration of painting and sandblasting techniques. Practise these techniques on glass pieces.

Evening: Fire glass pieces in the kiln.

Day 2:

Morning: Demonstration of leading, soldering and cementing techniques. You will have an opportunity to make your practice panel and put all the techniques together. Design discussions to decide on the composition for your panel.

Afternoon: Choose coloured glass, painting and sandblasting.

Evening: Fire glass pieces in the kiln.

Day 3:

Morning: Finalise the design of your stained-glass panel. Finish choosing and cutting glass.

Afternoon: Start leading or continue with painting and firing.

Evening: Fire glass pieces in small kilns.

Day 4:

Morning: Review of painted and sandblasted glass pieces produced. Continue leading panels.

Afternoon: Final opportunity to use painting and sandblasting techniques

Evening: Final firing of glass pieces in the small kilns

Day 5:

Morning: Finish leading panels. Solder panels and fill with cement.

Afternoon: Clean cement off panels and photograph.

By the end of the course, you should have a finished glass panel depending on your design and ability.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Sketchbooks, favourite stained glass pictures (watercolour), paintbrushes, old nail brush, any scrap glass (e.g. old greenhouse glass) useful to practise cutting
  • Apron, rubber gloves, packing materials for completed panel
  • Covered footwear (essential) and a hair tie to tie back your hair if it is long

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good selection of general art and craft materials, including watercolour brushes and sketchbooks
  • Available from tutor:
  • On this course, the tutor will supply all of the materials, including coloured glass, lead, solder, glass paints and stained-glass cement. The cost should not be more than £75 per student.

Additional information

Please note: If you are pregnant, you should consult your GP before enrolling on this course, as working with lead and solder can be harmful to the developing baby. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


Sasha Ward

Sasha Ward has worked in architectural glass for thirty years. She trained in stained glass at The Central School, London, then studied Fine Art at Trent Polytechnic, followed by an MA in glass from the RCA. She has her own studio in Wiltshire but also works with manufacturers to produce large scale work for public buildings using a variety of materials and techniques. Her work can be seen in over seventy public buildings throughout the UK.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.