Stained or coloured glass, often used in architecture and sculptural was popularised in the 19th century during the Gothic revival and arts and crafts movement, led by William Morris. It is a translucent mosaic design that is also used for lighting.

Stained glass is a form of decorative glass that is made by adding metallic salts to molten glass, which results in a colourful, translucent material that can be used to create beautiful and intricate works of art. The history of stained glass in the UK can be traced back to the medieval period, when it was used to adorn the stained glass windows of cathedrals, churches, and monasteries.

One of the most famous examples of medieval stained glass in the UK is the stained glass windows at Canterbury Cathedral, which date back to the 12th century. These windows were made using a technique known as pot metal glass, which involved the use of metallic oxides such as copper, iron, and lead to produce a range of colours. The stained glass at Canterbury Cathedral is renowned for its intricate designs, which depict scenes from the Bible, as well as portraits of medieval saints and kings.

During the 14th and 15th centuries, the use of stained glass continued to flourish in the UK, with many of the countrys largest cathedrals and churches featuring elaborate stained glass windows. The technique used to make these windows was further refined during this period, with the use of brighter and more vibrant colours becoming increasingly common. Some of the most notable examples of stained glass from this period can be seen at Westminster Abbey and St. Pauls Cathedral in London.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Reformation and the rise of Puritanism led to the destruction of much of the stained glass in the UK, with many windows being smashed or removed during this time. However, the tradition of making stained glass did not die out entirely, and in the 19th century, a revival of interest in the medium led to a resurgence in the production of stained glass windows.

During the Victorian era, stained glass became increasingly popular as a decorative material for homes and public buildings, and many new techniques were developed to create even more intricate designs. The Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries also had a significant impact on the development of stained glass, with many artists and designers working to create new styles and techniques for this medium. Some of the most notable examples of Arts and Crafts stained glass can be seen at the Red House in Bexleyheath, which was designed by William Morris and other members of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Today, the tradition of stained glass continues in the UK, with many artists and studios producing new works in this medium. Stained glass is still used to adorn churches, cathedrals, and public buildings, and is also popular as a decorative material in homes and other private spaces. Whether used to tell stories from the Bible, to commemorate important events, or simply to add a touch of beauty and colour to a space, stained glass remains an important part of the UKs cultural heritage.

For stained glass windows you would have a set of glaziers tools including measures, glazing hammers and paddles, glass pliers and much more.

For small pieces like sun catchers you can buy a set or put together a set for yourself. You will need a soldiering iron and sponge, hobby knife, glass cutters, grossing and other pliers, bowls for washing, paint brushes, cloths, towel for drying washed pieces, wire wool for creating an antique finish, safety glasses, protective clothing and surgical gloves, scissors and copper foil scissors, wood or plastic fid for smoothing out the foil, cutting board with holes and grids, a small bin for waste glass, straight edge and a work area.

If you are fitting your work in a door or window you would also need a hacking knife to remove old putty.

For finishing glass pieces you will need a grinder with some pushing tools like a cookie and different size heads on the grinder.

To create a sun catcher you would need, a pattern, various coloured glass some with textures, glue like a Pritt stick that will allow the pattern to move on the glass, solder, flux, a frame for the finished catcher, black or copper patina to change the colour of the solder, finishing compound, cutting oil to lubricate the glass cutting wheel, and soap and water for cleaning.

You will need a self-adhesive foil like copper foil or lead came to connect the glass pieces.

If you are working on a window then you will also need putty, lead light cement and whiting to dry it out.

Two popular technique for making stained glass are pot-metal and flashed or ruby glass. Pot-metal glass has the colour fused with the glass when fired. Ruby glass is a different technique where the coloured skin is added to the white body.

A stained glass window will go through a number of stages. The first stage is the design where a template of the opening is created and the concept and subject of the design is worked on. The patron will normally receive a Vidimus and or scale model for approval. Next the glass is selected for its colour and cut to size. The glass can be accurately cut using nibbling tools. The glass is assembles in cames with the joints soldiered and then cemented. The windows are then mounted.

Creating small pieces perhaps from of cuts of glass like a sun catcher or lampshade uses very similar techniques. Pick a design or create your own, print two copies with numbered and colour coded sections and thick black lines to allow for spacing. Attach one copy to a table ready for laying out the cut pieces. Cut the other design template up, so that you have the inner parts of the design and stick them (easy to remove glue) to the coloured glass. Put straight edges next to straight sides of the glass so you have less to cut. Make sure if you are using textured glass, that you put the template on the way you want the finished piece to look.

It is a good idea to work on one colour group at a time. After taking the pattern paper off your ground glass place them on template to lay them out. The more complicated the design the longer this will take. You do not want to turn it into a puzzle.

Cutting glass means that you need to wear safety glasses, use a glass cutting wheel to score the glass, you can tap it or use a pair of pliers to hold and snap the waste away. Thick glass will be a little more difficult to cut. Do not worry about making mistakes you can just start over. If you have a difficult piece to cut then you can use a grinder. You will need to grind all your pieces to get them smooth and accurately fitting your design.

Clean any dust or dirt off your finished pieces before adding a foil. You can buy self-adhesive copper foils that you rap around the edges of each piece, making sure it is parallel and well pushed down, ending on a join. Use a wooden or plastic fib to remove air bubble under the foil. Cut any excess foil off with a knife. Wearing gloves, you will solder the pieces together, apply flux and with a hot soldering iron melt the solder onto the joints. Be careful not to touch the glass or to overheat the frame as that can crack the glass. Once one side is complete leave to set then flip it over to solder the back. Fit into your frame and then clean both sides of the with warm soapy water and a soft brush then dry. Add a thin layer of corrosive (wear gloves for this) patina with a blush or apply with a cloth to both sides of the piece. Gentle clean the piece again in soapy water.

To complete the piece apply a finishing compound to protect the patina and the piece. Leave to dry and then buff with a clean cloth until all the compound is removed. Then to complete your piece make sure that you clean off any residue on the glass. You can use a knife, cloth, soapy water cotton wool etc, keep cleaning until it is perfect.

Display: Showcase your stained glass pieces in a manner that highlights their beauty and intricacy. Utilise lighting to emphasise the colours and details of your work and consider hanging them on stands or hooks.

Variety: Offer a selection of products, including smaller sun catchers, larger decorative panels, and even custom orders. This will give customers a range of options to choose from and increase the likelihood that theyll find something they like.

Explanation: Educate customers about your work by providing information about the materials and techniques used. This will help them understand the value and quality of your stained glass pieces. You could have brochures or cards with information to hand out to customers.

Custom Options: Allow customers to place custom orders, allowing them to choose the design, size, and colours of their piece. This will create unique and personalised items that customers will cherish.

Pricing: Set fair prices that take into account the time, materials, and skill involved in each piece. Offer discounts or special deals for customers purchasing multiple items.
Packaging: Protect your stained glass pieces during transport with appropriate packaging. Consider using a protective cloth bag or sturdy cardboard box.

Marketing: Promote your craft fair appearance and your work with a blog post on UKCraftFairs and share it with your followers.

By using these tips, you can effectively sell your handmade stained glass pieces at a craft fair By offering a variety of products, explaining the value of your work, and marketing effectively, you can create a positive and successful experience for yourself and your customers.

The worth of stained glass must mainly depend on the genuineness and spontaneity of the architecture it decorates: if that architecture is less than good, the stained glass windows in it become a mere congeries of design without unity of purpose. William Morris

George Campfield was a glass painter employed by William Morris and who become the foreman of the glass works.

Other notable people in the include Walter Crane, Christopher Whall (who wrote Stained Glass Work and taught Architectural glass), James Sparrow, Alfred Child, William Burges, Phillipe Mairet and Paul Woodroffe.

The Aesthetic Movement that liked the term Art or Arts Sake influenced luxurious rather than religious or industrial designs.