Craftsman gives traditional stained glass classes
A BURSCOUGH-BASED craftsman is offering workshops in traditional stained glass making.
Mike Allen, a retired chemical engineer, opened his studio at the Old Stables on Mill Lane five years ago after moving to a houseboat in Rufford with his wife Cath.
At his workshop, Mr Allen takes students through the traditional processes of making stained glass step-by-step with traditional tools.
He said: “The first thing I show people is how to cut glass. You don’t actually cut the glass, you break it. I show people how to score the glass, creating a fault-line and break the glass as close to the line as possible. I try to get them as comfortable as possible breaking the glass before moving on to cutting out shapes.
“Once we have mastered cutting out the glass, we then assemble all the pieces together like a jigsaw with the pieces of lead in between and then we solder it together.
“People who have never cut glass or soldered in their life leave the studio with their own piece of stained glass happy and smiling.”
Mr Allen, 62, decided to teach classes in the historic trade after he took early retirement and had extra time after his restoration work.
Mr Allen said: “I started creating stain glass about 17 years ago after going along to a workshop myself. At first I was just making glass for myself, family and neighbours.”
“I just love doing the workshops. If I’d have known how much fun it was to do, I would have become a teacher from the very start.
“When two or three people come into the workshop not ever having cut glass before and leave with their own handmade piece of stained glass, it is very satisfying.
“I think that part of its popularity is because it is a traditional craft and partly because people are looking to acquire knowledge.”
Keen to stress how anyone can pick up the craft, Mr Allen added: “There is nothing complicated about it – this is what really surprises people. It just takes practice, experience and confidence.”
For more information, call Mike Allen on 0750 212 0453 or visit www.mikeallenglass.co.uk