Stained glass for beginners – painting with light with Carole Gray

Ref: SLW32224

Location: West Dean
Book now

Places available

About this course

Design and create your own stained glass panel. Each process is covered – glass cutting, developing a design, glass selection, leading, soldering, cementing and finishing.

Course Description

Learn the art of stained glass as you design and create your own stained glass panel. Come and explore the potential of the dynamic and jewel like qualities of stained glass and light, the most alluring features of this ancient art form.

This course is designed as an introductory course to the art of stained glass. In order to ensure you receive sufficient experience and technical information, everyone on the course will follow the same programme. You will learn all the techniques required to make a non-representational stained glass panel: either 30cm square or 25 x 40cm.

There will be an introductory session on the first evening covering an overview of the medium and you will then be supported by the tutor in the design of your panel. You will learn how to choose the appropriate glass for your project, how to cut the pieces and then learn the techniques of leading and soldering. To finish your project, you will carry out cementing and finishing techniques.

At each stage of the course there will be a demonstration, followed by individual tutorial support.

The tutor will talk to you and show you examples of more advanced stained glass techniques, which you may wish to explore in future courses at West Dean. There will be a selection of books on the subject for you to look at during the course.

You will be shown which tools to use and how to use them effectively and safely, including alternative methods of use where appropriate. Health and Safety guidance will be given throughout the course.

As well as learning the traditional techniques used to make stained glass, you will be taught how to use sandblasting as a means of decorating some of the glass you use. You will investigate the use of different resists on clear glass to explore the effects available as you produce a series of test pieces. You will learn how to sandblast to a frosted finish, create a three-dimensional effect and ‘carve’ with the sandblaster.

Course Materials


  • The course fee includes the cost of glass and other materials for this course.

What students need to bring

  • Do not worry about bringing a design, as the tutor will talk to you about designing for stained glass and help you to prepare a non-representational design for your panel. However, if you wish to bring ideas and source materials to develop your design, please do so. If you have a specific design in mind, the tutor will discuss with you whether it is suitable for this programme.
  • HB pencils, rubber, black felt pens in fine and medium thicknesses (Staedtler Permanent Lumocolour pens are ideal.)
  • Washing up gloves
  • An apron or other overall/old clothes and sturdy footwear
  • Strong card or board, and packing materials to take your finished panel home (approx. 35 x 45cm)
  • A face mask to wear when cementing and cleaning your panel
  • Optional: thin steel ruler (6” or 12”), extra pens or paints and masking tape, scissors, scalpel handle and no 11 blades

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of art and craft materials, including pencils, rubbers, black felt pens in fine and medium thicknesses (Staedtler Permanent Lumocolour pens), rulers, pens, paints, masking tape, scissors
  • If you wish to decoratively sandblast some of your glass you will need a scapel handle and no. 11 blades - you may require several packets of blades - and a thin steel rule (6” or 12”).

Additional information

Please note: If you are pregnant or breast feeding, 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, and safety boots, if specified. You must not wear open shoes or have bare legs (even if the weather is warm) in the workshop. Please do not wear loose clothing or dangly jewellery, as it may get caught in machinery. Long hair must be tied back.


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)

General Information


Carole Gray Stained Glass Tutor at West Dean College

Carole Gray

Carole Gray trained in three-dimensional design at Middlesex University. She is a member of the Contemporary Glass Society and the British Society of Master Glass Painters.


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

Courses of interest

Stained glass – inspired by West Dean

9 to 15 Aug 2024 | West Dean
Places available
Tutor: Carole Gray |
Suitable for all

Flame and fused glass – torch and kiln crossover

27 to 30 Sep 2024 | West Dean
Places available
Tutor: Katrina Beattie |
Suitable for all

Exploring glass beadmaking – developing skills

16 to 19 Sep 2024 | West Dean
Places available
Tutor: Sarah Downton |

Stained glass – introduction

5 to 6 Oct 2024 | West Dean
Places available
Tutor: Sasha Ward |
Suitable for all

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.