Stunning Stained Glass made at Quinta do Cobral

What a course and what a window! Simply stunning.

As you know, I teach stained glass as well as soap making in my wonderful art studio here at the Quinta both traditional lead came work and using the tiffany copper tape method. These courses all last a day and, although they are intense, everyone leaves with a beautiful glass piece that is cut, soldered and finished. However, for people wanting to make a specific piece, I also offer private tuition.

When Jasmine came to me to ask if I would help her to make a window for her newly build round house here in Portugal I was really excited. Its a beautiful project, a huge cob built structure with the most incredible cob alcove section of such detail and artistry, I just didn’t know it was possible to create something so delicate and beautiful using cob. The centre piece of this alcove is 3 circles, one of which was made to take a stained glass window.


We first had to create the accurate scale drawing of Jasmines design which took some time, this was then traced to create a layout pattern using natures light box (my glass studio door!), the original card drawing was kept to create templates for cutting the glass pieces. Once the layout pattern was attached to our working board and a right angle created to pin the work too we set to work creating the window.

As you can see it was a fairly complicated design of circles within circles, in thirds with a very distinct border. I decided that we could use a combination of both traditional lead and copper tape methods to create the window, making it strong and detailed and giving Jasmine a real grounding in both techniques. This was not just a class to create a window but a chance to use this design to teach Jasmine skills so she can continue making glass herself.


So Day 1 was about the design process and setting up the working board, we did cut the first couple of glass pieces but Day 2 was all about cutting the glass and actually making up the window itself. It went at quite a pace. Jasmine was very sure of the colours she wanted, reflecting the sky and the sun and I had some fabulous colours and textures for her to choose from.

Last piece going in…………. then it was time to secure the whole piece, soldering techniques for both lead and copper tape are very different so it was a huge amount to take in.


Once the window is soldered its then time for finishing, putty is applied to the lead came which is a messy business but surprisingly fun - we both decided that we love the smell of linseed oil! This makes the window water tight although it will be double glazed before fitting into its final frame. The window is then ready for cleaning. Initially this is done with whiting (very finely ground chalk) which absorbs the excess oil and begins the process of cleaning the glass, very messy too! Lastly a black patina is applied which brings all the solder and lead back to a lovely black colour and makes the final piece uniform, really showing off the glowing colours.

Then the most exciting bit of the whole day, THE REVEAL. Stained glass is never shown off to its true potential until it is lifted to the light to allow the true colours to shine through and bounce off each other. Sadly it was a wet and miserable day so we were unable to see the sun through the design, never the less, I think it works very well. The colours are stunning and really compliment each other. The use of traditional lead for the border gives structure and strength to the design really showcasing the more intricate curves of the centre and the yellow centre - WOW! Its going to look so good with the sun streaming through it.


If you are interested in a private stained glass class at Quinta do Cobral just get in touch. I am very happy to help you achieve any design ideas you may have. I also teach private soap courses too - Beginners Natural soap making, liquid soap and advanced soap making techniques. We can also offer you accommodation in our gorgeous rental cottage Casa da Bezerra (can sleep up to 4 people). My private classes are great for birthdays, anniversaries, a creative, fun hen weekend or simply a getaway and a chance to renew your creative juices!!. Give me a ring or send me an email to find out more.