Gwillim’s Stained Glass

I’ve been interested in stained glass for years, but it wasn’t till I took a class with an artist in our local SCA group in 2004 that I actually tried my hand at it. Lord Kellemetlen Árpád, a Companion of the East Kingdom’s Order of the Maunche had an enthusiasm and passion for stained glass that was infectious. He taught me the basics of stained glass using modern tools and equipment, but all the while, he wove history into his teaching. He knew his audience!

Like most good “SCAdians”, Árpád’s library is impressive. It’s filled with books on stained glass technique and history. Once I completed his “basic workshop”, he invited me to join him weekly in his studio to continue my studies. Each week, I’d always take the opportunity to peruse his library and glean whatever information I could from the volumes at my disposal.

Once I got the basics down (admittedly, it didn’t take me long), Árpád started teaching me about painting on glass and working with the kiln. This opened up a whole other world of possibilities for me! I tried my hand at a large project that involved painting outlines and shading on pieces of colored glass to create an image more rich and detailed that anything I’d done up to that point. I was delighted.

Since then, I’ve spent a great deal of time researching glass painting in the medieval days, including their techniques and styles, and the paints themselves. I’ve done a couple of simple single piece projects and, when time permits, I plan to try some more complicated techniques.

To date, I’ve run a couple of stained glass workshops for members of my local SCA group, the Shire of Endewearde, as well as a very abbreviated glass painting class at a Novice Schola that we did last year. If there’s interest, I intend to host more stained glass workshops in the near future.

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