Workshops at Bryn Athyn


The Workshops at Bryn Athyn present blacksmithing, stained glass, manuscript illumination, mosaic, stone carving, and glassblowing courses taught by nationally recognized master craftsmen. In addition to the hands-on workshops, participants will watch demonstrations, examine original medieval pieces, and explore National Historic Landmarks.

Classes are held in the heart of the Bryn Athyn Historic District. The idyllic setting and magnificent resources offer an unparalleled learning experience. Participants not only have access to Bryn Athyn’s landmarks—including Glencairn Museum, Cairnwood Estate, and Bryn Athyn Cathedral—but they can also study the preliminary drawings and models made by the original craftsmen, as well as the medieval works that inspired them. Register today!

Summer 2015 Workshops

Choose from the following intensive four-day courses. Each course meets for six hours a day, with a lunch break.

Course Datesglasspainting

Learn techniques from Glencairn Museum’s collection of over one-hundred stained glass panels from the Middle Ages. After studying the fluid brush strokes of actual twelfth-century windows, you will be inspired to create your own masterpiece. – [Register Today]

Coursework and Craftsmen

Williams & Byrne - [Class is full]williams and byrne Don’t miss this unique opportunity to study with a dynamic glass-painting duo from England in their first US appearance! These instructors command an international following. You will concentrate on glass painting and nothing else. No lead-work or glass cutting is involved. They supply lovely designs for you to copy – such as medieval heads, ornamental quarries, animals, and decorative borders. You’ll improve your glass painting at an astonishing pace. Beginners are welcome.   Williams and Byrne have worked together since 1999. They set up the Williams & Byrne studio in 2004. David Williams did his apprenticeship with Patrick Reyntiens at his studios in Buckinghamshire and Somerset, England. In 1986 David took up the position of Studio Manager and Chief Designer at the John Hardman Studio of Birmingham. He is accredited to the ICON, the Institute of Conservation. He studied Fine Art at the Laird School of Fine Art and has a degree in Fine Art from the Sunderland College of Art. Stephen Byrne did his apprenticeship under David Williams at the John Hardman Studio. Before stained glass, Stephen worked in the City of London for 13 years where he was a business analyst. He has an Honours degree from the University of Saint Andrews and a D.Phil. from University College, Oxford.

J. Kenneth Leapjkl1 This workshop will explore the art of mixing, applying and firing, glass-based paints, enamels and stains. While the primary focus of the class will be painting on the two-dimensional surface as it relates to stained glass, students will also learn fusing techniques which can be adapted to glass tile making, jewelry and mosaic projects. A wide variety of traditional and experimental techniques will be covered. Prior glass experience is not required. Students will complete a stained glass panel which they will assemble using lead came. Returning students can use the studio time to create a more advanced project of their choice.  |  J. Kenneth Leap is primarily recognized for his achievements in the field of architectural stained glass. Working in a tradition that dates back to medieval Europe, Leap creates his pieces by hand-painting glass with vitreous pigments, fusing the color to the glass by firing it in a kiln, and assembling the glass into panels. His painterly work in stained glass has earned him numerous awards including a fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a juror’s award of honor in the Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibition “Contemporary Philadelphia Artists,” and inclusion in the Corning New Glass Review. He is currently the stained glass artist in residence at Glencairn Museum, adjunct professor at Bryn Athyn College and President of the American Glass Guild.

Peter McGrainpmcgrain11 The purpose of this workshop is to introduce students to the techniques involved in Traditional Glass Painting and the Vitri-Fusáille® process. This process involves the creation of specially prepared fused glass tiles, which are subsequently enhanced using traditional glass painting techniques. Students will create several personal pieces during this class. They will also participate in the creation of a large group project using the techniques they are learning. This is a rare opportunity to take part in a hands-on workshop with one of the stained glass industry’s leading teachers.  |  Award winning artist/designer Peter McGrain has been working with stained glass for over 30 years. During this time he has handled every type of stained glass project imaginable; ranging in scope from intimate experimental panels to large-scale architectural installations. In all, it is his attention to composition and technique that make his imagery so successful. As a veteran lecturer and instructor Peter has encouraged countless students to become better glass artists.

Course Datesglasspainting

  • July 31-August 3 – Taught by Jens Langlotz – $525

Before picking up your hammer and chisel, you will be able to examine the intricate stonework on the interior and exterior of Bryn Athyn Cathedral and Glencairn Museum. You will learn how to texture stone using different types of chisels. Then you may choose to copy an architectural detail from Bryn Athyn Cathedral or make an original piece. – [Register Today]

About the Craftsmen

Jens Langlotz is a master sculptor and carver with over twenty years of experience in his craft. He has worked with and mastered the major design building styles from Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance to American Colonial and American Victorian stone carving. He has apprenticed under master sculptor Hans Kupe, one of Germany’s leading stone restorers, and under Al Walters, master craftsman in stone, metal, and wood. He serves as head carver for both Bryn Athyn Cathedral and Glencairn Museum, and he has also done work for many other buildings including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Villanova University, Princeton University, Reading Terminal, and Philadelphia City Hall.

Course DatesIllumination

  • July 31-August 3 – Taught by Sarah Chase Dressler – $525

We will examine the stunning examples of medieval illumination from the Glencairn collection as well as many other references. From the grotesque and humorous decorative borders to the delicate intricacies of miniature paintings we will find many sources of inspiration.  Working with pencil, brush and paint we will develop a brush stroke and color vocabulary appropriate for the painted page and by the end of the workshop each student will create their own illuminated page.  No prior drawing or painting experience is necessary.  Many designs will be available to work from, for inspiration or to copy directly. More experienced students will have the opportunity to try their hand at calligraphy or gilding. – [Register Today]

About the Craftsmen

Sarah Chase Dressler earned a B.F.A. in metals/Crafts 1989 from The University of the Arts.  She has worked in a variety of materials and techniques but always on a jewelers scale.  With an eye trained as a jeweler she turned her artistic attentions back to painting and drawing. Her love of medieval art, which was born in her more than 30 years ago, has inspired her to pursue a mastery of the medieval illuminator’s skills. She is a sought after illuminator and calligrapher who has taught a variety of illumination styles privately and in workshops throughout the mid-Atlantic area since 2001.

Course Datesvase

  • June 20-23 – Taught by Jason Klein – $725

Bryn Athyn has a long tradition of glassblowing, so we’re excited to be offering a glassblowing class with Jason Klein. Students will learn to work with this exciting medium to make paperweights and vessels, as well as work collaboratively on more complex project. Students will view examples of Roman glass and other historic artwork from the collections at Glencairn Museum. – [Register Today]

About the Craftsmen

stonecarvingJason Klein has been blowing glass for over 20 years. He achieved a degree in business before studying glass blowing at Tulane University in Louisiana.  His interest in the Middle Ages lead him to focus on techniques of ancient glass blowers. Since 2001 he has been a glass blower/demonstrator at renaissance festivals throughout the eastern United States, performing in Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. In his historically based shows he demonstrates glass blowing techniques from classical Rome, Medieval Europe and the Renaissance. His period recreations were commissioned as props in the Pirates of the Caribbean films and in the Hobbit. In 2006 he began to work with the Bryn Athyn community to demonstrate the muff method used in the Bryn Athyn Glassworks and to produce samples of medieval copper-red glass. For move information visit:

Course Datesmetalforging

  • June 20-23 – Taught by Warren Holzman – $525
  • July 10-13 – Taught by Warren Holzman – $525
  • July 17-20 – Taught by John J. Rais – $525
  • July 31-August 3 – Taught by Mike Rossi – $525

Gain inspiration from the metalwork found throughout the Bryn Athyn Historic District, from intricate keys, to monel metal screens, to handcrafted doors. Then try your hand at the ancient craft of blacksmithing. In this project-based course, you will learn the basics of forging from master craftsman Warren Holzman and then make one or two projects, ranging from simple furniture to ornamental work. – [Register Today]

Courses and Craftsmen

Warren Holzman studied sculpture under Phoebe Adams at Kutztown University where he received his BFA in 1994. He was awarded blacksmithing assistantships at Peters Valley Craft Center and the Pennland School of Crafts, and he has worked as an industrial fabricator, refining his metalworking skills and dedicating himself to his craft. In 2000, Holzman opened the Iron Studio Ltd., a custom blacksmithing shop in Philadelphia known for its high-level craft. Warren was recently commissioned by the City of Philadelphia to build a piece of site-specific public art for Hawthorne Park in South Philadelphia. He is an adjunct sculpture and large metals teacher at Moore College of Art and Design, and he teaches forging at Bryn Athyn College.

John J. Rais In this fun, exploratory workshop we will deal primarily with hand forged implements of beauty and function. Hand held objects such as, but not limited to serving spoons and forks, spatulas, and even basic door handles. We will work primarily from the forge, covering a wide range of hammering techniques to move steel into a desired form. Tapering, splitting, punching, riveting and fire-welding will be taught. Students should expect to finish at least one incredibly hand forged, hand-held piece of functional art to be proud of. Bring your ideas and an open mind to possibilities. Experimentation is encouraged.  |  John Rais has been engaged in the field of metalsmithing and object design all his adult life. He has a BFA in Sculpture from Massachusetts College of Art, and an MFA in Metalsmithing from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI in 1998. From there, he was the Department Head of Blacksmithing at Peters Valley Craft Education Center in Layton, NJ. John has maintained his own studio business since 1998, where he creates one of-a-kind furniture, sculpture and, architectural metal work. John’s work is shown, commissioned, and collected internationally, including solo shows at the National  Metals Museum, Purchase College and Massimo Bizzocchi NYC. He has designed and created works for a Frank Lloyd Wright home, Louis Kahn home, and many others.  His work has been featured on the pages of Departures magazine, Ritz-Carlton magazine, Metalsmith, American Craft magazine, Artscope and many others. He has been featured in several books as well.  John has also taught at many universities and schools including Penland School of Crafts, SUNY Purchase, and SUNY New Paltz. He has been a visiting artist at Virginia Commonwealth University, Millersville University, University of Michigan, The College for Creative Studies, and Kutztown University. John was a Senior Lecturer of Crafts at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia (2004-2006). In  2006 he was awarded an Arts/ Industry Residency at the prestigious John Michael Kohler Art Center in Wisconsin, and in the fall of 2007 he was artist in residence in applied design at Purchase College in NY, where he also taught a master’s class in applied design. He worked on a large series of decorative forged panels for permanent installation for the main staircase of the Yale University Art Galleries in 2012. Currently, He is deigning and forging decorative Ironwork for a historic landmark Addison Mizner home , Villa des Cygnes, in Palm Beach, Florida. John currently has his home and studio in Philadelphia, PA.

Mike Rossi Rossi - Mass Effect copy By combining simple forging techniques, each student will build a versatile base of knowledge. Students will complete one or two projects, while pushing themselves to develop a forged vocabulary.  |  Mike Rossi studied blacksmithing at Northern Michigan University, and Cranbrook Academy of Art; additionally, he apprenticed to several metalworkers around the country. He has exhibited nationally and abroad, at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, the National Ornamental Metals Museum, in Memphis, and the Target Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia, in addition to several private galleries.  He has taught at Penland School of Craft, Kalamazoo College, and Ox-Bow School of Art; and has been a resident artist at Haystack Mountain School of Craft and Penland.  Mike is the principal of Rossi Metal Design, an architectural metalwork and sculpture studio based in West Philadelphia.

Course Datesmosaics

  • July 31 – Aug 3 – Taught by Carol Stirton-Broad – $525

Mosaic Art is having a resurgence in the United States and glass in many forms is playing a major role in this new wave of artistic creativity. In this workshop we will look at several of these types of glass, focusing on the traditional Italian smalti and comparing it to the products from Mexico, China, and the United States. In addition we will have a sampling of other materials available including some marble and stone. Each participant will produce a small sampler using traditional techniques. Next you will design a larger piece, using these materials in your own style. We will cover design transfer and realize the final work of art using the direct method. There are a limited number of hammer and hardies available for you to try as well as a collection of glass nippers for you to experiment with. I hope that you will love this process and the beautiful materials as much as I do. – [Register Today]

About the Craftsmen

B.F.A., Tyler School of Art, Temple University; additional studies at Glasgow School of Art (Scotland), Orsoni (Venice, Italy), Scuola Arte del Mosaico (Ravenna, Italy), and the Chicago Mosaic School. Carol Stirton-Broad has taught ceramic and mosaic workshops at the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia, PA), Fleisher Art Memorial (Philadelphia, PA), Main Line Art Center (Haverford, PA) and Abington Art Center (Jenkintown PA). Stirton-Broad’s work has been exhibited in many locations, including: The Magic Garden, The Clay Studio, Ariana Gallery (Royal Oak MI), the Bath House Cultural Center (Dallas Texas), Abington Art Center, Fleisher Art Memorial, Main Line Art Center, Philadelphia Art Alliance, and Tyler School of Art.


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HOUSING – Housing is available on the Bryn Athyn College campus. The apartment-style living spaces are air-conditioned with shared baths and basically equipped kitchens. Linens, towels, and cookware are not provided.

  • Single: $85/night
  • Double w/ roommate: $50/night

Credit – Each course qualifies for Act 48 Professional Development Credit. For an additional $191, Bryn Athyn College will offer one academic credit per course.

Mailing List

Join the mailing list by filling out the form below, or contact J. Kenneth Leap: (609) 682-0456 | [email protected]

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