Stained glass – inspired by West Dean with Carole Gray

Ref: S4D08987

Suitable for all

Contact us

Places available

About this course

Immerse yourself in stained glass as you develop your skills and creativity on a personal project. As well as learning all the techniques needed to make a stained glass panel or window, you will be able to explore the use of decorative sandblasting in your work, using the grounds and buildings of West Dean as inspiration.

Course Description

The aim of the course is to provide a comprehensive introduction to the craft of stained glass for beginners; for those with more experience it is an opportunity to consolidate skills, learn new techniques and work on your own projects in a supported environment.

The objective of this course is that you will have completed at least one piece of stained glass by the end of the course; this could be a panel or a site-specific window. Beginners will be taught all the techniques required to design and make a non-representational stained glass panel.

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. We will investigate the use of different resists on clear glass to explore the effects available as we produce a series of test pieces. You will learn how to sandblast to a frosted finish, create a 3D 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 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.

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.

Please note: if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should consult your GP before enrolling on this course, as working with lead and solder can be harmful to the developing baby.


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, 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


  • The cost of basic materials used by all the group; clear practice glass, cement, whiting, resists, sandblast resist, grate polish, etc.

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 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 in to a specific area please remember to measure carefully and allow for any fitting rebates if it is going to fit into a frame. If you want to use very specific colours in your panel, the tutor will advise you where you can go to choose and buy the glass.
  • It would be helpful if you could respond to the questions below (please see additional information) at least six weeks before your course.
  • An apron or other overall/old clothes and sturdy footwear
  • A pair of rubber gloves (washing-up type are ideal)
  • Two soft shoe polishing brushes
  • 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

Available to buy

  • A scapel 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
  • The tutor will supply the glass you will need for your individual project which will be priced according to the size and nature of your project. The cost of your glass should be paid to the tutor before the end of the course, by cash or cheque.

Please note: You must not wear open shoes or have bare legs (even if the weather is warm) in the workshop. Long hair must be tied back. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should consult your GP before enrolling on this course, as working with lead and solder can be harmful to the developing baby.

Please reply to the questions below and return to: at least six weeks before the start of the course. Having some background information will help the tutor to plan the course so that you get the most from it.

1. Do you have any previous experience of glass making? For example, previous stained glass, copperfoiling or fused glass courses.

2. What other crafts/art do you practise/enjoy?

3. Is there is anything you particularly want to learn or make on this course? If you have an idea in mind, please can you send a quick sketch with rough dimensions.

4. If you have any particular concerns or worries about the course, please let me know.

5. If you have any health issues which you think may have an impact, this is useful to know and will, of course, be kept in confidence.


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