The University of Wales Trinity St David has announced they will offer an apprenticeship to help revive a craft that is facing a shortage of practitioners. Stained glass making was placed on the Endangered Crafts Red List by the Heritage Craft Association earlier in 2023. Factors such as a reduction in the market, current practitioners getting older, lack of training opportunities and increasing costs has led some to worry about the future of stained glass making.
To try and rectify the situation and to ensure the future of the craft, Swansea Art College which is a part of Trinity St David, along with the British Society of Master Glass Painters, the Worshipful Company of Glaziers, and various other stakeholders from the industry have come together to offer a new apprenticeship. The Stained Glass Craftperson Apprenticeship will be funded by the government, with training provided by Trinity St David and the assessment undertaken by the Institute of Conservation. The course will be undertaken in blocks over three years and will provide an education in a broad range of techniques and styles of stained glass making.
Nurturing practical skills as well as learning the latest work practices in the field such as health and safety measures and COSHH are key to the course. Those that take part in the apprenticeship will learn a broad range of craft skills such as painting glass, enamelling and acid etching. There will also be an opportunity for those on the course to learn about the history of stained glass in order for them to better their understanding of the context tradition in which their newly learnt skills exist.
Swansea Art College is recognised as a centre of excellence when it comes to teaching the craft of stained glass making. The department has a rich history of teaching, and possesses a remarkable archive of panels, cartoons and designs from over and 80 year period that is available for students as a learning resource and a source of inspiration.
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.’
If you have an interest in the course and wish to receive more information about the provision available, contact Christian Ryan directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org