Painting on glass using glass pigment + GumArabic +H2O

Once upon a time in a glass studio…far far away……..

There was sat a very excited but also terrified at the prospect of not being able to do it….. student namely me…..

There has now been two weeks of glass painting and the much and long awaited journey of competence training begins…..

I just had NO inclination whatsoever that painting would be such a challenge.

As a part time student doing a BA Degree in Architectural Glass I have already had a full year doing sketchbooks and life drawing and scaled drawing and was just beginning to see a positive progression in my sketching & painting work.

However, using this unruly, tempremental, atmosphericaly affected medium to capture and secure an image to glass….now that could & would try the patience of some of the saints & angels my brushes want to create.

So first you take a sandblasted piece of glass & place it on an illuminated light box.

You then don the Barrier cream for your hands, unroll and wear your apron and brush roll & don your glasses and dust mask,go get a water bottle some gum arabic & some very expensive Reusche glass pigment from the cupboard…. in it’s tiny highly priced resealable paper envelope.

Standing at the lightbox with your pallette knife in your right hand & pigment in your left you gingerly take a small mound of this provocative powder & place it on your palette, over sprinkle with a pinch the merest smattering of Gum Arabic…

Then the cutting commences…..using the metal pallette.

Intentionally scraping chopping & cutting the dry mix you create a well mixed dry mound of pigment.

The squirt of water into a dip or well in the pigments perfect mound and cutting and scraping the coposites together on the rough frosted glass of your pallette.

This process is not following a specific or quantifyable receipe it is instead a work of instinct & anticipation, a constant vigelence to maintain the precise & teribly exacting consistency required to interpret your design, transfer from paper to glass the image your brain finds pleasing.


This is my design which you need

plus glass.

plus alchemy

hopefully equala…the magic splat paint


In this instance it is my second Brief for the glass painted design for the Reflector Roundelle…


now should it be….this one?

OR the same central design BUT…….

with these border design?




Pigment mixed let the deciding samples commence creation to make up my mind…..




Which paint effect using which brush?





And whilst your doing all of this….

Do NOT forget to keep checking your paint mix to maintain optimum & most desired state of readiness for it’s desired effect to appear…as if by magic from the tip of your brush.



NO pressure then…..

And the crowning glory when and IF you finally achieve the desired state of your translation to glass……

oh yes NO Pressure it has to wait it’s turn and be fired in a kiln at 650 degrees for several hours to fuse the pigment to the glass making it permanent…..

and if by then I havent started taking Class A drugs or vallium to advance beyond this state…..

I also have to keep in mind that this small post kiln cooked jewel is indeed ONLY now a teeny tiny piece JUST one jigsaw piece in the puzzle box of your design



ALSO now needs to be encased in lead soldered secure, cemented to be treble sure…that blacked polished, shined and buffed into the circular 40 cm round apprentice piece that it then becomes in my portfolio of glassy lovliness…..

Suddenly I feel very flat and very humbled by the whole process ahead of me….


Help me obegreatgoddessofglass you’re my only hope….

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