Stained glass joins 'red list' of endangered crafts
(18 May 2023)

Recently it was announced that historic stained glass window making is now classified as a critically endangered craft within the UK
Recently it was announced that historic stained glass window making is now classified as a critically endangered craft within the UK. Whilst this news will not come as a surprise to many, this announcement made by Heritage Crafts on the 11 May 2023 highlights the importance of The Stained Glass Museum’s work in raising public awareness of this beautiful art form and creating opportunities for people to appreciate, learn about, and make stained glass.

Over the last few decades, there has been a significant decline in dedicated courses for traditional stained glass making at universities and art colleges, alongside the closure of many established studios. Although the traditional skills needed to make traditional and historic windows are still very much alive, there are fewer training and employment opportunities for stained glass artists in the sector. As the stained glass industry as declined so has the production of raw materials needed for making stained glass windows, and flat mouthblown sheet glass is no longer being made in the UK.

Whilst The Stained Glass Museum is saddened to hear this news, we recognise the many and diverse challenges faced by practising artists and glassblowers. The museum originally became a place of rescue for stained glass from ruined or redundant churches across the country, and continues to collect stained glass to this day from all periods which showcase numerous traditional and modern techniques. Our museum gallery is a vital source of inspiration to existing and future generations of stained glass artists.

So what can you do to support this endangered art form?

You can and support the museum and its work to champion stained glass as an art form.

You can join our Friends organisation and become an ongoing supporter, helping us to preserve, display and interpret examples of our stained glass heritage to share with diverse audiences, inspire visitors, and promote the enjoyment and understanding of the art of stained glass

You can come along to our next practical glass making workshop, online talk or event to learn both the skills needed to preserve this endangered craft, learn something new, and of course, enjoy yourself! Find out more on our What's on page.

For more information about the inclusion of stained glass as an endangered craft at Heritage Crafts Red List. The listing was informed by data was taken from a 2023 survey of Fellows & Associates of the British Society of Master Glass Painters. 39 people responded to the survey. All respondents are working at the highest professional level in the craft.

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