Hello, I’m Milly Frances, a stained glass artist and trained instructor for over 20 years.
My life took a turn for the better when I started making stained glass. I run my own stained glass company, Striking Glass, edit a contemporary glass magazine and teach stained glass.
My biggest love is working alongside people in their stained glass journey and giving them the confidence to find their own artistic direction. I love the excitement when students learn something new and start to improve rapidly. I feel as if I’ve given them wings to fly.
Glass is my life. Along with earning a living by teaching and commissions, stained glass gives me self-confidence. It keeps my vital creative spark alive, provides me with a much-needed escape from the digital world and makes me proud of myself and my ‘makers hands’.
Milly Frances with student
Stained Glass Work by
Stained Glass Credentials
- MA Masters in Glass (Distinction), Wolverhampton University, 2002
- Qualified Teacher, PGCE Post Graduate Certificate in Education, University of Plymouth 2006
- Editor, Contemporary Glass Society, Quarterly Publication, Glass Network, 2008 – present
- Trustee, Contemporary Glass Society, 2008 – present
- Company Owner, Striking Glass, Stained Glass Commissions, 1997- present
- Visiting Lecturer, Wolverhampton University
- Member of Devon Guild of Craftsmen
- Striking Glass LinkedIn
Selected Stained Glass Achievements
- Mivart Artists Award for Stained Glass
- Selected International Exhibitions, Glass Art Society
- Stained Glass Public Commissions: Abbeywood Community School, Patchway Health Centre Hub, Bradley Stoke Primary School, St. John’s School Clevedon, Torre Abbey
- Cycled 1200 miles from one end of the UK to the other
- Hunting down Harry Clarke stained glass world wide
- Road trips following Women’s World Cup football – crazy but true!
My Stained Glass Teaching Philosophy
Ten years ago I set up Everything Stained Glass to share my skills to help people improve. I offer a wide range free tutorials and a selection of online courses. I divide my time between Bristol, UK and Wexford, Ireland but teach people from all over the world.
I’m not interested in ‘I know best‘ or ‘This is the ONLY way to do it‘. I’m interested in filling in the missing gaps in your knowledge so that your belief in your ability grows. I want you to be confident walking along your own artistic path. And (there’s more!) I want you to experience those moments of quiet joy when it’s just you, your hands and your precious creativity coming together to make beautiful stained glass. That’s my dream.
A big welcome to Everything Stained Glass.
Go here for a look at my most popular free tutorials
Begin Your Everything Stained Glass Journey
I offer proven online stained glass courses, videos and tutorials giving beginners and improvers the skills and creative confidence to make beautiful stained glass.
“You’ll never know how much your teaching gave me back my self confidence !!”Manon Pilon
“Milly brings out our creativity. She is patient and kind and interested in everything you do.“Pauline Sandell
“I am so proud of what I’ve achieved. I loved every moment of Milly’s videos, pictures & advice.”Rosmé Pienaar
Witbeeck, South Africa
52 thoughts on “About Milly Frances”
What do people use in those lovely suncatcher ornaments where a bird or butterfly. Is sitting on a hoop or a swirl of “metal”. Lovely leaves are attached too. Is it zinc.? I have some steel to try I fluxed but solder would not stick, could that be my temp?
Tinned copper wire or just copper wire Nikki. Gauge 16-14 depending on the weight of the piece and what the wire’s supporting.
I wasn’t sure how to post photo here so I have to link at the bottom. I want to thank you for your credible site. There’s so much information and though I have had experience and stained glass I really need it the refresher and really helpful information you have shared.
This is a lead came piece that is 55″ x 24″. A bit ambitious for someone who only does a pieces every 20 years or so…. But I’m thrilled with it and improved and learned so much. Plus it helped the isolation of COVID to have a project.
Meant to say INCREDIBLE but yes very credible too.
Thank you Michael, that’s kind of you to write. I like your piece, especially the contrast between straight and wavy. Very nice.
My name is Susan and I live on a river in Virginia. I am a Registered Nurse with a Master’s Degree in nursing an just turned 60 years old. The stress of the medical field has really guided me from such analytical thinking (like medication administration and patient trauma), to working from home on a Nurse Advice LIne and taking up the art of stained glass. I have taken 1 in person course that lasted 2 days. Subsequently, I have made 3 panels and a few suncatchers. I find your website to have a wealth of information and when I ask on-line beginner groups I have joined for guidance, more likely than not, I am referred to your website. I have found there are numerous short in person classes here in Virginia for stained glass lead and copper foiling but, it seems all have their own spin on how to go through each step, tools to use or not use. As an example, the 2 day class I took, I was told ALWAYS paste the pattern to the glass. Now I find that is not necessary. The instructor of the 2 day class told us to ONLY cut on straight lines but, now I am finding there are ways to cut sharp curves. Lastly, we were told to make sure when pasting our patterns on the glass there is room to cut each one out of the glass in either a square or rectangle and then cut off the excess glass using straight line. Now, I am finding I can place pattern pieces close together on glass and can then cut them out. My question is….how can I find an in-person class to take that is going to give me to most accurate, stardardized instruction? Should I be looking at an educational institution rather than individual’s offering classes through their studio? I would love to find a class that goes through each step with full explanations of why things should be done a certain way, alternatives on how to do steps, and tips on things like drawing patterns, keeping panels squared, correcting common issues with foiling, soldering, framing. Thanks so much Milly. I feel like I have written a short book here but, I know I am writing to the industry expert. I look forward to your guidance.
What an interesting comment about learning Susan, thank you. When we learn something new we always want a definitive explanation about how to do it. We need to get the basics under our belt so that we can experiment from there. Stained glass, along with every other creative endeavour in the universe, has many variations that people swear are the only way.
It can be a minefield but there are certain basics that must be learnt. The trouble is there ARE different ways of doing these basics. I have a very detailed beginner/refresher course called Stained Glass Made Perfect, that takes you though all the processes in a structured way. It DOES include different ways of cutting and soldering and the other processes, so that you can choose which works best for you. Neither are ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.
It’s online so you can refer to it again and again into the future. It has no cut off date.
If you’d like to have a look to see if it might answer your questions, the link is here:
I offer a 100% refund policy so if it’s not right for you, you can have your money back.
Let me know if you have any more questions.
P.S Maybe the ‘straight line’ comment was meant for beginners only? My shorter course Conquering Curves concentrates on cutting curves only, once the straight lines are in the bag!
I’m making one sided egrets to go in my garden. There are lots of 3ft. metal rods (1/4 in. is sturdy enough not to bend in the wind I think) available in the hardware stores but aside from brass, which I can only find in 1/8in widths (bends easily), which will solder successfully to the back of my birds so they can be inserted in flower pots or in the ground?
You can solder tin, copper, brass, zinc, steel and bronze Judy. Basically all ferrous metals and all copper based alloys. Cast iron will give problems but you can sometimes solder to it. Any white metals containing magnesium can’t be soldered.
I hope that helps.
Hi Milly! I have to say God Bless You for this Video Library. I’m pretty new to this craft. I’ve taken 2 beginners classes because I start a project and get pulled away and then forget too much so take the class again. OH, I’m 73 years old. Mind not what it once was. Having this library will be so helpful for me. It will take away my fear of starting a new piece because I will be able to refresh my memory before I start it and have the confidence I need to begin. It is so kind of you to share this information. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Donna D. Wisconsin
Aw, you’re so welcome Donna. I love to hear that I’m giving people such as yourself the confidence to get started – and to keep on track 🙂 It’s very kind of you to take the time to comment, thank you.
I am very new to this craft and although I’ve watched all of your free videos as well as a few dozen others on YouTube I am wanting a step by step , beginning to end follow along project. Is your online class “Stained Glass Made Perfect” formatted like that…does it include a pattern and follow along project or is it just “how to” for any project I choose? Hope that make sense. Looking forward to hearing back so I can decide if this is what I’m wanting! Your free videos here and on Youtube are by far the BEST I’ve come across so far.
Hi Kim, yes! It’s exactly that- a step by step guide taking you through a project.
You’ll learn all the processes in order which you can then apply to future projects.
There’s no time limit and you can watch the videos as many times as you wish/need.
Here’s the link to the class:
Any more questions, fire away!
Lovely to get your weekly post, I wished I could afford your courses
Milly, I am repairing a Terrarium which was built using 3mm copper came
and clear glass I found it a few years ago being thrown away, so I took
it and decided one day I would fix it up, I started it now and learning
that to unsolder came is difficult work but I have managed to remove most
of the joints and broken glass, gosh what a job it has been, I have
collected everything I need to repair the terrarium, but lack of experience
is making it hard work. but very interesting, I have a Hakko 601-01 iron and
using max temperature8+ to remove all the solder joints from the came frame
There is Hexangle Base, Triangle top joints and I don’t know what shape is the
other frames, like a square with the sides, cut at a slight tapering angle
I have messed up a few pieces of glass getting the sizes and cuts right
While cutting and unsoldering my mind was working hard and concentrating
when I thought Gosh How can I solder the joints up when rebuilding the damaged
areas of the terrarium It is going to be very difficult to get the temperature
of the came matching for the solder to flow properly and complete a good joint.
Is there a trick to doing this operation successfully Milly, I have learned so much
from this my first ever attempt at a project. I may have taken on more than I can chew
NO./ Patients and a positive approach will get me through, and, HELP from other Glass artists.
I am looking forward to your views and helpful comments Milly, I would love to eventually complete this project Thanks to you and your weekly notes,they keep me going
Sounds like a labour of love Les! You can use masking tape to hold the pieces together before tack soldering. I hope that helps and good luck 🙂
Hi Milly Thank you for your help with the foiler how ever i am going to do my suncatchers in lead i am useing 3m glass and 3m lead very hard to putty what size lead should i use . Regards Denis
It depends what size the suncatchers are Denis. If they’re small – as is usual – you can get Hobby Came for the edges that finish it off nicely without needing putty. The 3mm lead will be fine for that too – don’t putty.
The putty makes something weatherproof, which you don’t need for suncatchers.
I hope that helps.
Hi.. I have finished my 3rd panel with foil and came and cemented it. I put it on thw window sill and now find 2 small cracks. I planned to hide them with foil line on both sides. I just had a thought first…I wonder if I can fill them with a crack filler liquid product. Have you ever tried this? I trust your knowledge and experience. Karen
Good thinking Karen, I’d go for the foil or lead as it visually becomes part of the design and not noticed. If you try and fill them you’ll bring attention to the crack. I have an example of someone doing this with lead here: https://everythingstainedglass.com/broken-stained-glass
I hope that helps.
Hi Milly I purchased at auction a misson table lamp without a shade i wish to make a timber shade to suit with my colours, however i cannot find a book or someone who can give me the timber size to use for the shade example 19/19 or what ever angle of cuts for joints how do i attach glass to wood any help i can get will help i am happy to pay for any help i can get, thank you Denis
I can see why you would want to do this Denis, they’re gorgeous. I don’t have the answer about the frames I’m afraid. If it were me I’d approach cabinet makers and ask them to do a bespoke one.
With regard to the glass fittings; you need a rebate and can putty and pin the glass in no problem.
Hi Milly ….I’m using up scrap glass making stained glass treble clefs …the ones I’ve seen on line use a very shallow lead came to edge their projects ….how is this came fixed to the glass ? Is it just bent around ,crimped’ and soldered on the joint ?…it’s the first time I’ve tried to use it and it does make a better finish to the edges…any advice would be very greatly appreciated .
Kind regards Merv
It’s called ‘hobby came’ Merv. It’s held on by being soldered to the the joints at the edges. If you have a long run without joints you can dab a bit of glue into the channel to help it stay in place. It’s for edging sun catchers, not for stained glass windows.
Merv, that was me, Milly, commenting above, I accidentally used the incorrect login. Sorry!
Odd conundrum. I have been doing glass for a year and a half and my pieces are original designts and I must say I am in love with glass.. But, I keep having similar issue.
I use copper foil and once my pieces are finished and I wash them after they are patina’d they tend to have one piece always crack. It may be a day or week later it doesnt matter if its a 1 inch square or sizeable piece . What on earth am I doing wrong?
You’re right Brenda, this is very odd. I can only think that your designs put stress on a particular piece and it cracks once it’s vertical? Any torsion will stress glass, so you need to have robust frames so that the panels don’t twist.
Could it be the case that the pieces have cracked at some point during the process and you didn’t notice until it was hanging up with the light behind? Just a possible thought.
I’m sorry I can’t be of more help, it’s certainly a frustrating problem to have. Keep going, don’t give up!
When I bought my house it had two stained glass windows in the bathroom. I love them but I hate the green color. Can I paint over that with another color?
mmm, I can see this ending badly! It’s hard to do any changes in situ, and the ‘cold’ paints (that you don’t have to fire) are not that strong of a colour when put on top of coloured glass. What’s likely to happen is that the green will influence the colour of the cold paint and dominate still. It’s also hard to apply these paints smoothly without streaks on a workbench, let alone vertically in situ.
It sounds like you need to remove them if you really hate the colour 🙁 I absolutely know what you mean though; you can’t make yourself like a colour and they’re all pervasive if it jars on you.
I would just love them green and all especially if they are historic
Sounds interesting Terri. I’m just not sure what you’re referring to, so can’t comment in a relevant fashion! 🙂
I am looking for a reusable template to paint on round wood. My surfaces are smooth and I have been sandblasting. Looking for a simpler template. Any advice? Thank you.
Hi Bruce, it’s hard for me to choose a template for someone else as everyone’s choices are different. I’d search for ‘free circular stained glass patterns’ and see what catches your eye.
Hello Milly – you have a delightful website and educational offerings. I started doing stained glass in my 20s, dropped it for many decades and got back to it in my 60s. It is fantastic to be back at it. I am wondering if you know of any online chat groups for stained glass artists. Although I’ve made at least 100 pieces in my life I am forever a learner. Any resources you know of are appreciated!
Hello Margaret, welcome back. If you’re in Facebook there are many Stained Glass Groups. I can’t choose for you as they each have a different flavour… search for ‘stained glass’ and start by picking a couple you fancy.
I love your philosophy behind teaching stained glass. There are SO many techniques to choose from to accomplish the goal at hand. I’ve been doing stained glass for over 25 years. Taking commissions on Tiffany Reproduction lamps, custom panel work(both copper foil & lead) and restoration work fell within my comfort zone. Teaching, however is an entire different animal! I needed to learn every technique-not just the one’s that worked for me. I was born with ‘maker’s hands’(lucky me!). In sports, my hands and feet usually obeyed my wishes and commands. My teaching experience came through sports coaching and has supported me through teaching stained glass. Your tips are so valuable to me and my students. Your note about the sound of glass cracking will produce a lower sounding pitch is brilliant! Using terms that help students visualize is so beneficial. My goal is to show students that stained glass shouldn’t be scary. And, YES- the confidence that stained glass brings students is the highest of rewards. I’m a glass person for life- happily!
Oh what a lovely comment to read Tracey, thanks so much for taking the time to write. I too was lucky to be born with ‘makers hands’ and came to teaching via teaching badminton. What a coincidence. My stained glass teaching is much better than my badminton classes ever were!
Just found your site tonight while researching something I wanted to try on a sidelight that I am doing for my daughter.
She wanted bevels in the window, no problem. But she didn’t want people to be able to see thru them. I tried etching compound on the back of 2″x6″ diamond bevels, but that was a dismal failure. I then had the idea of layering an obscured glass to the beveled diamond. I have cut pieces that match the size and shape of the bevels and my thought is to thoroughly clean both then use a 1/4″ foil to bind the two pieces together. The added thickness of the layered glass should make the 1/4″ foil match the foil of the adjoining pieces. This will also elevate the diamond bevels which I think will be a nice affect.
My questions are:
1. Is my reasoning sound?
2. Have you done anything like this, if so, any suggestions?
Thanks so much,
You can plate glass together like this Sam, yes. I haven’t done it with bevels but can’t foresee any problems. You must make sure they are totally dry as you don’t want any condensation trapped in between the layers. Soldering around them may be a little trickier as – depending on the thickness of your obscuring glass – there might an angle to negotiate. If so, solder from the top. Good luck.
I have been doing stained glass, have my own home workshop, for over 30 years. A couple of yrs ago, I learned, have no idea where, to use “Mother’s Carnuba Was”, Walmart. After washing your item, dry; apply light coat on item with a sponge; let dry about 5 min. Use paper towel to wipe off; very shiny. At this point, apply patina, black or copper if wanted; re-apply another lighter coat of the was; shine; done. You can see the “black” come off on the paper towel; when you don’t see any more black after rubbing, you are done. I am partial to copper patina, however, this year I made 21 Christmas trees and they were so pretty in silver, I left them; decorated with them with Dollar Tree jewels; turned out very nice.
Thank you Sandra for sharing how you achieve a nice black patina. I’m interested in the use of wax first, before patina. I polish mine first, then patina, then wax as a final process. I’ll have a go at your method.
21 Christmas trees!!! That was a sterling effort, well done you 🙂
Google Translate says:
I have been a fan of stained glass for about fifteen years. I did a lot of projects, especially in Tiffany and some lead. I love the work in 3D boxes terrariums birds. Pinterest is an inexhaustible source. We even find our dream projects !!! And that’s where I got to know you. I hope we will exchange to continue to improve our results.
Original from Raymond:
Je suis un adepte du vitrail depuis une quinzaine d’années. J’ai réalisé pas mal de projets, surtout en Tiffany et quelques uns au plomb. J’aime beaucoup le travail en 3D boîtes terrariums oiseaux. Pinterest est une source inépuisable. On y trouve même nos projets en rêve !!! Et c’est la que j’ai fait votre connaissance. J’espère que nous échangerons afin de continuer à améliorer nos résultats.
Absolutely Raymond! I’m always open to other people’s ideas and ways of making stained glass. There’s always something new to learn. Good luck with your future projects.
Google Translate says:
Absolument Raymond! Je suis toujours ouvert aux idées des autres et aux façons de faire du vitrail. Il y a toujours quelque chose de nouveau à apprendre. Bonne chance dans vos projets futurs.
Hi Millie, I tried to make stain glass many eons ago. I liked it but with a toddler running around it just wasn’t the right time for making stained glass. I have been making beaded jewelry for 4 years and am fascinated by sun catchers. I have bought sun catchers that had beads only and then some with stained glass. I’ve decided it is time to break out my stained glass tools and try again. I see so many lovely items on Pinterest and that is where I found you. I am looking forward to your tips, tutorials, and your lovely work. Thanks for the inspiration. -Donna H.
It’s so good to hear that you’re back in the Stained Glass fold Donna. I’m happy to hear that the tools are coming out and you are gearing up for some new projects. Let us know how you get on with your new-found inspiration.
Hi Milly- I’m NEW, NEW, NEW to stained glass but have always always thought loved and admired it! Haven’t tried it before because it looks like only an artistic person does, which I am not. Everything I’ve read says anyone can do so I am going to try so I am going to really going to be reading your post, websites, and watching your utube videos. Thank you for putting your passion online and helping everyone that needs as much help as I don’t!!!!
What a lovely enthusiastic comment Tanya, thanks so much 🙂 You can find stained glass patterns to make until you feel more confident so stained glass is DEFINITELY something you can do without making your own designs.
I’m happy that you’re enjoying my site and finding it useful.
You sound like a glass artist “kindred spirit”. The UK is a LONG journey from Dallas, Texas in the U.S. BUMMER! I’d love meet you and learn from you. I have taken a couple basic stained glass sessions learning from a local stained glass artist, Nan Phillips, but she is always away displaying her art out-of-town. I believe I will learn a lot more about various stained glass techniques from your well done website. Thanks for being around from us fledgling beginners.
This made me laugh Stan 🙂 Luckily for us we have the Internet to connect us and we can all learn from one another through that. Of course I have my classes online too if you prefer to learn in a structured way – Stained Glass Made Perfect for copper foil and Leaded Stained Glass Artistry for… lead 😉
Good luck with your next project.
Thanks for all your advice and tips. I’d like to subscribe to your new class. Can’t find the link though. Am I being extra thick or just short-sighted?
Have looked at some of the pics on your site. I think I met one of your students at an event I did last November, Sarah?
Small world isn’t it?
Hi Sharan, thanks for your interest in the Stained Glass Made Perfect course. You’re not thick (extra or otherwise!) or short-sighted – the course will be available on Wednesday 24 May. You’ll hear about it via my newsletter and it will be on the website.
Yes, you met Sarah Davies I think? Stained glass IS a very small world indeed – and a very nice one in my experience!
Love reading your tips, instructions, videos. Best for new or returning students.
Thank you Jackie! You’re spot on with the level – those are the students I love the most 🙂