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Going on a stained glass course – 6 things we wish we’d known

Jane McGuire

Jane McGuire

Adult Learning Editor, IDP Connect

First published on April 25,2018 Amended on April 25,2018

Part of our job over here on the editorial team of Floodlight is giving you the best idea of what’s to come when you sign up to a course.  We go and try before you buy so we can give you the best idea of what to expect when you enter the classroom (we know – we’re just too good to you).

Saying this, when we saw stained glass making on our list, we were a little dumbfounded ourselves. Our minds instantly went to the grand windows in a church, but we dug out our winter boots (we’ll explain why) and went along to find out more. Here are the six things we wish we’d known beforehand.

1. You won’t make a window

stained glass courses

Kind of obvious, kind of not – forget everything you thought about stained glass. As daunting as it may sound you start from the beginning and learn all about the different types of glass. It’s a long process, so you won’t be making a window in your first few lessons.


2. It’s not a competition

We were the only beginners on our course, although this is daunting at first, it really doesn’t matter. Everyone works on their own projects so don’t panic!


3. It’s not as scary as it seems

stained glass courses

Sure we’ll spin pots or try graffiti, but somehow cutting glass seems a little more terrifying. Surprisingly, when you are using the right tools, glass doesn’t shatter when you cut it but splits with a satisfying snap.



4. Don’t wear your best shoes

When you are using technical machines such as a glass grinder, or boiling hot liquids from a soldering iron, wearing your best clothes or shoes just isn’t a good idea. Also, flip flops are a definite no no, but that’s kind of self-explanatory right?


5. The soldering iron is not as awful as it was in school

Remember those design and technology lessons that ended in burnt fingers? It’s not like that anymore – in fact, we soon forgot how hot the tip of the iron was and felt like we were drawing with a really fat marker pen.


6. Patience really is a virtue

stained glass making

And a virtue you need if you want to continue with your stained glass making. None of the process is to be rushed – it’s all about concentration and precision, so if you are more of a ‘bull in a china shop’ kind of person, this might not be for you.


Have we inspired you to have a go? Throw those trepidations to the side, find your perfect course and get going. Who knows, you could be a natural! 

Jane McGuire

Jane McGuire

Adult Learning Editor, IDP Connect

Jane McGuire received her BA (English) from the University of Loughborough. A yoga enthusiast with a sweet tooth, in her spare time you will probably find Jane in the gym or online shopping.

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