Stained glass – inspired by West Dean with Carole Gray

Ref: SSS29631

About this course

Develop your skills and creativity making stained glass. Gaining inspiration from West Dean, you will learn all the techniques needed to make a stained glass panel or window and explore the use of decorative sandblasting.

Course Description

Beginners gain a comprehensive introduction to the craft of stained glass, while those with more experience will consolidate skills and learn new techniques to make beautiful stained glass.

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 glass and investigate the use of resists on clear glass to explore the effects available to produce a series of test pieces. You will learn how to sandblast to a frosted finish, create a three-dimensional effect, carve with the sandblaster and use flashed glass to create a two-colour finish.

You will be encouraged to use the grounds and buildings of West Dean College as inspiration for your work; particularly for the decorative sandblasting.

A structured start is followed with guided independent practice. Group demonstrations will be given when appropriate on specific processes. Individual tuition and advice is given throughout the course.

By the end of the course, you should be confident in your ability to design and make a stained glass panel. You will have completed at least one piece of stained glass; this could be a panel or a site-specific window. You will also have the opportunity to make a small hanging (10 x 40cm) for your garden if you wish.

Handouts will be provided on all aspects of the processes involved, health and safety requirements and suppliers of the materials used should you wish to continue making stained glass after the course.

Summer School highlights:

The Summer School week is an immersive learning experience with more time to develop your creativity and embrace opportunities for creative development beyond your chosen course. A detailed timetable for your Summer School week will be given to you on arrival. This will include:

• Short inspirational talks by tutors and displays of their work

• A short creative experience session in another discipline/media or course

• An optional evening at the Chichester Festival Theatre (if pre-booked)

• An optional lunchtime tour of West Dean Gardens, the historic rooms at West Dean College, or West Dean Tapestry Studio.

• A celebration dinner on the last evening themed on Impressionism, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first Impressionist exhibition held in Paris in 1874. Feel free to respond to the theme if you wish.

• Informal end-of-course group reviews and displays of students' work in studios

As evening events are planned as part of the Summer School week, dinner is included in the course fee to enable all students, including non-residents, to participate fully


Timetable for Summer Schools

Several evening events are planned throughout the week, a detailed timetable for the summer schools will be given to you on arrival.

Arrival Day

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).

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 should vacate their rooms by 10am please.

Course Materials


  • Some materials will be provided, including clear glass for practising on, cement, whiting, resists, grate polish, sandblast resist, flux and tallow.

What students need to bring

  • Please bring a sketchbook or notepad with any ideas you may have or images which you may wish to use as inspiration. However, don’t feel that you have to come with any ideas as you can develop ideas whilst here, and the College has a good library which you can also use for design ideas.
  • If you intend to make a piece to fit into a specific area, please remember to measure carefully and allow for any fitting rebates, especially if it is going to fit into a frame.
  • An apron or other overall/old clothes and sturdy covered footwear
  • A pair of rubber gloves (washing-up type are ideal)
  • A pair of scissors, scalpel handle and no. 11 blades – you may require several packets of blades
  • A thin steel rule (6” or 12”)
  • Black felt pens in fine and medium thickness (ideally Staedtler Permanent Lumocolour)
  • Spray mount, sketchbook, pencils, rubber.
  • Board and packing materials to transport your completed work safely
  • Paper doilies and lace are useful for sandblasting experiments
  • Extra pens, paints, colouring pencils, tracing paper and masking tape are optional, but useful
  • A face mask to wear when cementing and cleaning your panel
  • Please email the booking office ([email protected]) by 25 June (to ensure that specific materials for particular projects can be ordered in time for the course) with your responses to the tutor’s following questions:
  • Name:
  • Course Ref:
  • Do you have any previous experience of glass making? For example, previous stained glass, copperfoiling or fused glass courses.
  • What other crafts/art do you practise/enjoy?
  • Aims for this course (if any)
  • Is there anything you particularly want to learn or make on this course? If you have an idea in mind, please can you send me a quick sketch with rough dimensions.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A scalpel handle and no. 11 blades – you may require several packets of blades
  • A thin steel rule (6” or 12”)
  • Black felt pens in fine and medium thickness (ideally Staedtler Permanent Lumocolour)
  • Spray mount, sketchbook, pencils, rubber, ruler, colouring pencils, tracing paper, masking tape
  • Available from tutor:
  • Additional materials, such as coloured and flashed glass, lead, steel-cored lead, solder and garden hooks, will be priced separately as the amount used will vary according to the size and nature of your individual project, but you should allow at least £75 for these additional materials.
  • PLEASE NOTE: These charges should be paid to the tutor before the end of the course, by cash or cheque.

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. This course is quite physically demanding as many of the techniques require standing for long periods of time. You must not wear open shoes or have bare legs (even if the weather is warm) in the workshop. Do not wear loose clothing or dangly jewellery as it may get caught in machinery. Long hair must be tied back.


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.

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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.