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13 January 2021

Stained Glass – Traditional Glass Art

Stained glass and leaded light panels accounted for a large proportion of the commissions received during the early years of Daedalian Glass Studios. This traditional style of glass decoration was very much en-vogue with the brewery-owned pub chains and as the early 1980’s saw a peak in the number of pubs in the UK (numbers have declined year-on-year since 1982), this was a ripe market to fuel the early growth ambitions of the studio.


One project that deserves to be highlighted individually is a pub called Lawdy Miss Clawdy in our local market town, Poulton-le-Fylde.

This torus-shaped, leaded light skylight was technically challenging to create – not only due to its size but also because the design features a taper around both the Toroidal and poloidal coordinates. In Lehmann’s terms, the panel has to be created so that the glass panels are simultaneously curved along the height and width – with little tolerance as they must all fit together perfectly and maintain structural stability.

N.B. This pub has since closed down, gone through a few name changes, and is now the local Wetherspoons – with this leaded light roof ripped out.

The History Of Stained Glass And Leaded Light Panels

This technique goes back hundreds of years and has been a feature of British architecture since the 7th century. Although it’s somewhat of a lost art in today’s modern design aesthetic, Daedalian still finds it is called for in many sectors as the epitome of traditional art and craftsmanship.

There are no standard designs as such for stained glass, however they often tell a narrative as well as simply looking beautiful. If you love the idea of a more traditional look, we also offer a design service at Daedalian where we work in collaboration with the client to create bespoke pieces to fit perfectly within your brief.

Tiffany Style Stained Glass

No discussion of stained glass can be complete without mentioning the influence of Louis Comfort Tiffany, and his Art Nouveau interpretation of stained glass design.

Daedalian created two 3.2 metre high stained glass windows for this project, as well as two smaller kitchen windows. The style was inspired by Louis Tiffany’s original work where the panels were manufactured using Youghiogheny glass which was imported from America. Over 50 sheets of glass were selected to create this design where only the best pieces with appropriate colours and depths were utilised. To construct the panels, a combination of lead cane and copper foiling was used. Albert Hall Mansions, Kensington, London. Click here to view more.

Daedalian Glass Studios Founder, Davia Walmsley Manufacturing A Stained Glass Panel


In this video Daedalian’s Founder and Creative Director Davia Walmsley works on a stained glass panel in our studio.

Stained glass/lead lights are created using a came, which is a divider bar used to connect multiple, small pieces of glass to form a larger panel. If the cames are made from lead, this is then referred to as leaded lights – lead lights – or leaded glass. This look preserves a more traditional design which is popular in period buildings. Traditionally, stained glass is an ornate form of leaded lights such as a church window style design, whereas leaded lights tend to have a plain aesthetic more prone for use in commercial or domestic environments. The largest bespoke glass design using this technique that Daedalian Glass Studios has created to date, was a 18 x 10 metre domed skylight.

Contemporary Stained Glass & Leaded Lights

Modern Leaded Lights stained glass

This sleek design features bevelled, reeded, and several craft glass textures which are set within the lead cames offering a modern twist on the traditional technique.

Magpie Cafe, Yorkshire

Davia Walmsley of Daedalian Glass Studios spent the day in Whitby sketching scenes of the harbour to create this design. Davia used a traditional style which echoed the long history of the local fishing industry and the building itself. The Magpie Cafe, Yorkshire. Click here to view more.

Our ‘Jungle’ sample features a contemporary twist on a traditional design.

Contemporary Alternatives to Stained Glass & Leaded Lights

For this decorative glass window which is situated in The Gujurat Hindu Society, Daedalian Glass Studios were inspired by the colour connotations and design of the Hindu faith. An imperative requirement was that the colour black was not included in the design as it has evil and negative connotations. Instead red, blue, yellow, green colours were used to symbolise the expression of faith and belief. This technique was achieved by using powdered glass to form hand drawn elements, and fused glass techniques which created depth in the design.

Another alternative to a stained glass look is to laminate digital prints between glass. The image above is from a project at the ‘Bloom’ restaurant at Barton Grange in Lancashire where floral imagery is digitally printed and laminated to create an eye-catching ceiling panel.

If you are interested in knowing more about stained glass, or if you wish to discuss a glass design project, please contact our team via email ( or phone (01253 702 531).