The Art of Stained Glass Making


Julia Brillowski

Anemone Rishel holds up a piece of glass to the sun.

Portrait Photo of Anemone Rishel (12) by Julia Brillowski

While it’s safe to say many of us have picked up new or interesting hobbies over quarantine, it’s hard to top the beautiful craftsmanship that is Anemone Rishel’s stained glass masterpieces. 

In an interview, Rishel states that they were first enticed by this artform when they went to visit their grandparent’s house last summer. In a small workshop, their grandfather provided all the information needed to pave the way for Rishel’s creativity and motivation for producing stained glass works of their own. 

With how intricate it looks, it’s no surprise to hear that the process can be quite lengthy, as some projects require days of work before they’re complete. Rishel does the honor of breaking down the steps for us. 

Anemone cleaning off glass pieces after shaving them down to size. Photo by Julia Brillowski

• “The first step to making stained glass is to choose your pattern, and once you have that you cut it to size while laying it upon the glass you’ve chosen.” 

• “Once you have it taped down and you’ve traced it, you cut it out using a glass cutter to make sure it’s the right size”

• “After that comes the copper tape that’s used to go around all the edges, and then you add flux to the copper to keep everything together and hold the pattern to the stained glass.”

• “Then you use your soldering iron with led, making sure to do both sides and the edges so none of the copper tape is showing. And once you think everything is soldered enough and structurally sound, you’re done!”

Anemone using a soldering iron to weld the glass together. Photo by Julia Brillowski

Rishel made it evidently clear that the most important thing to keep in mind throughout the process is patience. They advise anyone who wants to get into stained glass making to focus on quality rather than quantity, as the right kind of glass and tools play the most crucial role in the outcome of your work. 

“Do what makes you happy and don’t feel like you need to go with a big project for your first try. You’re going to make mistakes but just take your time. You’re going to do great!”

Video Interview and Footage

Julia Brillowski