Though postsecondary education in not required, stained glass artists may choose to complete certificate programs or associate, bachelor's or master's degree programs in fine arts. More advanced degrees can offer more opportunities for employment, since advanced degrees allow specialized study. All programs can help artists develop their portfolios, which can be essential to impressing those interested in hiring them or buying their work.
Here are a few common concepts taught in stained glass classes:
- Glass painting
- Tools of the trade
- History of architecture
- Mosaic design
List of Courses
Introduction to Stained Glass Art
Students in this course receive an introduction to the art of stained glass making. This topic is often broken up into three courses - beginners, intermediate and advanced. Throughout this course, students study both leaded and copper foil methods. Students gain practice in drafting patterns, cutting glass, painting and staining, etching, grinding and soldering the glass together. Safety tips are discussed, as well as the common tools (smoothing stones and cutters) used. Depending on the program, students may look at the history of stained glass.
As an introductory course to glassblowing, this course often has as much to do with stained glass as any other course. Students examine the basics of glassblowing in the studio, as well as safety precautions. Through the formation of molten glass, they learn various techniques, including the application of color, involved in forming glass.
Stained Glass Windows
Through examination and working on architectural stained glass windows, students learn essential skills for treating stained glass as an architectural resource and not just art. The history of stained glass windows in architecture may be studied. Students may also look at stained glass windows as religious depictions. There is a focus on the mechanics of stained glass window making, from cartooning and layout to color selection and installation. This course may be taken after completing introductory courses.
Students who take the glass mosaics course study stained glass as it translates into an art form. Artists-in-training learn how to sketch a design and prepare the surface they will be using. After selecting colors and glass, students cut, grind and place the glass pieces. Artists learn how to grout the glass like tile to finish the mosaic pieces.
This advance course provides training in an additional glass art. Practice in slumping, kiln-forming and fusing techniques provide a basic introduction into fusing glass for intermediate and advanced students. Students learn how to use powders, stringers and frits to create smaller pieces of glass that need not be blown. The practices of cold forming, sandblasting, grinding and finishes are analyzed. With hands-on practice, students make jewelry, bowls, glass tiles, vases and nightlights.