Training | 27-09-2023

New apprenticeship in stained glass launches

A new stained glass apprenticeship has been developed, with the specialist training to be provided at University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD).

The programme is the result of a collaboration between Swansea College of Art at UWTSD, the British Society of Master Glass Painters, the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and industry professionals. It came about after research showed a worrying decline in the traditional craft of stained glass and the Heritage Craft Association put making and restoring traditional, large-scale stained glass windows on its Red List of Endangered Craft in 2023.

A diminishing market of new commissions, an aging demographic of practitioners, combined with increasing costs and decreasing opportunities for formal training mean there are real concerns among practitioners about the craft’s future.

The result of the collaboration is a new, government-funded Stained Glass Craftsperson Apprenticeship, with training provided by UWTSD and final assessment by the Institute of Conservation (ICON).

Apprentices will study at UWTSD in blocks over three years, undertaking tuition in a comprehensive range of stained glass craft techniques. Apprentices must be employed in the sector to join the programme.

Essential Health & Safety and COSHH will be built into the programme, alongside a range of decorative processes, including glass painting, staining, enamelling, acid etching, sandblasting and French embossing. Apprentices will be introduced to design, heraldry, lettering and the history of stained glass to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the craft.

Preparations are underway to welcome the first cohort of apprentices in November 2023.

Swansea College of Art at UWTSD is recognised as one of the UK’s centres of excellence in stained glass. The department has a rich heritage in stained glass education and has an impressive archive of panels, cartoons and designs spanning 80 years, providing an invaluable teaching resource.

Apprentices will be based in UWTSD’s ALEX Building, the original home of the stained glass department, where they will have access to high quality glass workshops and facilities.

Christian Ryan, Stained Glass Apprenticeship Liaison Officer at UWTSD said: “This programme is a significant development in the continuation of stained glass training and is a wonderful opportunity to instruct the next generation of craftspeople.

“With the hard work and perseverance of all involved, and the support of the stained glass community, we hope that soon, stained glass can be removed from the Endangered Craft Red List and that the specialist knowledge and skills continue to be passed on in future.”

Find out more and register your interest in the Stained Glass Craftsperson Apprenticeship via this link.

For more information email Christian at:

Image: The extensive facilities at UWTSD will support the apprentices to develop skills in a range of stained glass techniques. Photo courtesy UWTSD.

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