Watch videos of me making stained glass and explaining my design process.
Stained glass painting tools
I use a variety of faux painting tools that you can buy from your local art and craft supply store or an online company like Dick Blick. My favourite rubber-tipped painting tools are made by Royal Sovereign. I also use these by Kemper and various other combs , rubber kidneys , sponges and stamps. I have custom stamps made to my own design by Simon’s Stamps in Massachusetts. Here’s where to buy lino cutting tools , and battleship grey linoleum for carving stamps and printing onto glass.
For tracing, I prefer soft (squirrel) long-haired liners set into real quills but I don’t know where to buy them anymore. A good substitute would be the Mack swordstripers obtainable from this company and elsewhere. You may want to fix longer handles on them somehow.
Any badger blender will work as long as the bristles are not too long or floppy. If they are, make a paper collar to shorten them.
A good badger softener is made by Leonard. Label on handle reads: “2,5 LEONARD 382 France”, nice stipplers are made by same the company “2 leonard 333 RD France Brosse å l’assiette” but no-one seems to know how to get hold of these in the USA (suggested by Daniel White).
There is a brush maker in NJ called Mr.J who makes Xcaliber sword stripers by hand.
Arrising stones for removing the sharp edges of your glass
I always remove the arris (or sharp edges) of glass pieces as soon as they are cut. Arris stones (also called carborundum or silicon carbide sharpening stones) can be found at hardware stores and flea markets. My favourites are oval shaped like these. I also have one with a wood handle like this that I use for larger pieces of glass.
Glasspaints & stains
For glasspainting I generally use a mixture of Tracing Black and Bistre Brown which I buy from Reushe. Occasionally I use other colours, also from Reusche. For silver stain, I use Ancient Winchester, which was first made according to my specifications back in 1996 by Clifford Oster (thanks Clifford, I’ll always appreciate this). It’s called Ancient Winchester and you can still purchase it directly from him. Controlling silver stain is a complex business. The ultimate reference manual is Ken Leap’s Book Silver Stain.
My Speedburn 2 glassfiring kiln was made by Hoaf in Holland. It cost around 4,500 Euros in 1998. It fires beautifully, the glass is well annealed and I can reload in just over an hour. It costs just pennies per firing, so despite the huge expense, has easily paid for itself. I owned a similar kiln for 15 years in England which I sold to Tim Cunliffe when we emigrated in 1996 (he’s still using it). Hoaf kilns are pretty common in the USA now, and most of the bigger studios have them, but as far as I know, mine was the first infrared stained glass kiln imported into the USA. If anyone had one earlier do tell me.
For geometry and layout, buy rulers with parallel lines