Oriel Glass Studio

Teaching & work with schools

Adult Education
Image 1

Helen has taught evening classes at Oaklands college in Hertfordshire and is an occassional tutor at West Dean College near Chichester.  She now runs individual and small group courses from her studio in Harpenden.

For individual or group tuition please contact Helen directly, preferably by telephone (01582 764834).  Classes can be negotiated to suit your particular needs.  Costs will obviously vary depending upon number (max 4) and the techniques you wish to cover - everything from simple glass mosaics, leaded windows or more advanced sandblasting and glass painting.

Stained Glass is a complicated medium requiring you to perfect a number of different processes; design, glass cutting, leading, soldering and cementing. Once you have mastered these and made your first leaded panel you may go on to learn how to sandblast, paint and stain the glass. All this can take time and a considerable amount of practice! It is also quite an expensive hobby as materials and tools are costly. Now for the good news!

Glass Applique - an introduction to stained glass

Glass Appliqué is a simpler technique, similar to mosaic, where you will be introduced to design and glass cutting and be able to complete a small panel in a day. It is a useful introduction to stained glass and will help you to decide whether you want to continue onto a longer course.

A weekend course will cost £100 which will include all tuition, tools, materials and liquid refreshment. All you need to bring is a packed lunch and perhaps some visual material to inspire your design. Tuition groups are small with a maximum of four students.

During the day you will;

Learn how to cut glass
Plan out a design on paper with an indication of colours to be used
Cut coloured glass and lay out your design
Apply translucent glue and allow to dry
Apply black grout and again allow to dry
Polish and frame

NB – you will need to give a final polish at home as the grout is not fully dry for about 24 hours

During the ‘drying times’ there are plenty of books to look at and an opportunity to discuss any ideas you may have for a more complicated piece.

To check on current availability for this and training in other techniques, telephone Helen Robinson on 01582 764834

For courses at West Dean College, visit their website, address on Links page.


Working with children

Helen has considerable experience teaching stained glass and mosaics to people of all ages from primary school, through GCSE and A level.  She has also made a number of windows for schools either as autonomous commissions or working with students helping them to create their own work

>>  Glass painting by GCSE students at Sir John Lawes School, Hertfordshire

Primary Schools
Image 1

Children of all ages are entranced by the magic of coloured glass and suprised by how safe it is to handle when cut into small pieces.  Helen works with adult helpers to cut glass into tesserae which the children can then arrange to form sizeable mosaics.  Examples of these can be seen in a number of Hertfordshire Schools.

  • Garden Fields Primary school, St Albans
  • Manland Primary School, Harpenden
  • Kimpton Primary School, Kimpton
  • Sir John Lawes School, Harpenden
  • Abbey Primary School, St Albans

>>  Kimpton Primary School, Hertfordshire - glass mosaic under construction

Secondary Schools
Image 1

 As a progression from work done with primary schools, older children can be taught to cut glass themselves, again forming glass mosaics.  Helen has also worked with individual GCSE and A level students helping them with some of the more complex proceedures of cutting, and leading glass to make their own small panels.  In 2009 she completed an Arts week project with Sir John Lawes School in Harpenden where GCSE Art students were taught to paint glass prior to it being fired and incorporated in a large window for the school''s Science Department

>>  Completed window at Sir John Lawes School, Hertfordshire commemorating the bicentenary of Charles Darwin

Abbey Primary school, St Albans - mosaic window