Welcome to the wonderful world of stained glass. I have been working with stained glass for 40 years. What? How is that possible? Time has flown by.
I would like to share some of my experience and knowledge with you before you embark on your journey. First thing first- DO NOT BUY ANY EQUIPMENT YET! There are steps you should go through to be sure this is for you and your creativity.
Step 1- Look for a class. You can check at your local arts council or stained glass supply store.
Step 2- Check out the instructor- you can ask questions before you sign up- how long have you taught? Do they sell their work? Can you get student references? What does the classroom look like? Do they require you to purchase all the tools up front? Not everyone is meant to be a teacher. I have found out I am a better teacher than sales person- not good when you have a storefront!
Step 3- What are the class policies? Can you make up missed classes? What if an emergency comes up, can you reschedule to a future class?
Step 4- Read the book "How to Work in Stained Glass" by Anita and Seymour Isenberg. This is an amazing book and was required reading when I took my first class. It is ageless and like the Bible of Stained Glass.
Take you class and remember you are just starting, do not beat yourself up if things don't go perfectly. Biggest tip: cut your glass as close to pattern as possible. If you don't you will be on the grinder forever. In my classes those students that leave 1/8" all the way around the piece end up getting the title "Grinder Girl" or "Grinder Boy"- jokingly of course!
If you were not required to purchase tools, while taking your class look online- Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, etc. There are people who take a class and buy everything only to give up the craft. You can find deals out there. But be sure you know what you are looking for and check new prices so you do not over spend. I have bought out five people that had whole studios set up and came away with everything you could ever use.
You can reach out to me if you want more information or need help finding someone in your area. If you are in the Wilson NC surrounding area you can always check the calendar on the website for upcoming classes or schedule a class on your own.
Have a wonderful weekend.