How to become a stained glass windows designer

stained glass

What are the joys and pitfalls of designing and making stained glass windows? Is it dangerous to work with glass? Do you meet people as fascinating as the unusual art you’re creating? Tell us, beloved Stained Glass Designer Queen!

What made you want to go into this profession?

I wanted a skilled job which interested me. Becoming a stained glass windows designer and craftsman fit the bill.

How long have you been doing this?

Eleven years now…

How much does it pay?

£15k a year before tax.

What sort of qualifications/training did you need?

I completed a 5 year apprenticeship at my place of work…

What are the pros and cons of your job?

The pros? I love my job. I love working with stained glass. I love the variety – I get to have different clients with different ideas every time.

The cons? I tend to get cuts and glass in my eyes… and I get backache. So the downsides to working with stained glass are all physical, really!

Sexism factor?

Yeah. There can be sexism involved. The older generation expect an older man to be doing my job. I like to feel they change their assumptions when they see what I can do.

How physically demanding is the job?

Working with stained glass is quite demanding, as I carry sheets of glass up and down flights of stairs. The lead used for to join all the components together weighs quite a bit too… and I’m on my feet all day…

What sort of hours do you work?

8-5 mon-fri.

Do you meet interesting people?

Yes, all the time! Every kind of person you can think of. Stained glass windows are unusual in the modern age, so the people you meet through this profession tend to be really eclectic.

Most amazing career moment to date?

When a football player came in my room and I didnt know who he was. Mind you, I’m always nice and polite to everyone, so everyone gets treated the same. I’ve done quite a lot of work for famous people – but we are all human, so no special treatment for any of my clients! Or rather, they ALL get special treatment as I put 100% into all of my work.

Most hideous career moment to date?

When I first started, I had a massive order of stained glass windows and attached all the tag bars to each one on the wrong side! Oopsies! I did, of course, rectify this mistake 🙂

Is there a danger factor?

My job is very dangerous and yes, I’ve cut myself a few times, but going to A and E is part of our job 🙂

Is there a sexy uniform?

Nope… Just a jumper and jeans and work boots.

Can you still see yourself doing this in twenty years?

Yes I can…

What advice would you give to young women who are interested in this career?

Take an apprenticeship in an environment where you feel comfy. As long as you’re prepared to work hard and show your true skills no man can put you down – and if they do it’s just jealousy 🙂