I'm passionate about Art . Art governs my life, both as maker and consumer/observer/collector. That's about the whole story really, except that I also love gardening (having taken over my local neighbourhood as a sort-of eco-warrior) and dancing, which is Art, and avant guarde electronic music, which is also Art. And also sex, good food, travel.... All those good things.

Which brings us back to hard work, because none of those things are accessible without it. Leadlighting is hard work; I've done a lot of it, and I'm quite good – also a good team, and that helps. Stained glass painting is even more demanding, at times even tedious. But still, it's what I love doing, and I'm very good at that.

I've compiled these pages for your enjoyment, hopefully your edification, perhaps even to encourage you to commission me to make something for you or your organisation. In that way I can continue to have all those good things in my life. And so might you.

Installing St Peter's Anglican Church East MaitlandInstalling St Peter's Anglican Church East Maitland

Studio shot by Greg Piper 2017Studio shot by Greg Piper 2017

Selfie @ James Turrell ExhibitionSelfie @ James Turrell Exhibition

Portrait by Titus Maclaren 2019Portrait by Titus Maclaren 2019

Please allow me to make an apology right here: whilst there is no overt sexual imagery in these pages, there are some links to my artist friends' websites that do indeed contain adult material and are not recommended for viewing by minors. I don't apologise for that content of course, only for the fact that some young people may miss out on experiencing the wonders of my website. You will read below that I used to run my studio as an art gallery in Lane Cove. One very young friend would refer to it as "Jeffrey's Galaxy".. and so it has remained through every iteration. Welcome to my world.

My Blog

For more news and views, look under BLOG in the menu at the top of the page.


For an in-depth look at my working life you may find Wayne Pearson's interview of interest. This is the transcript of an interview which Wayne conducted as part of his Master of Arts at Sydney College of the Arts. The comments and photographs formed the basis of a series of very fine portraits (on glass) of notable glass artists, including myself.

I'm also on INSTAGRAM : @jeffhamiltonglassartist
and Facebook (my personal page) and Hamilton Design Glass

Tour of the Studio

Video c/o Titus McLaren of Black Iris Films


While I have done a lot of teaching at various institutions over the years, I don't teach basic leadlighting anymore. There are a couple of very good beginners' leadlight courses around Sydney. One is found at Australian Stained Glass Supplies in Camperdown. They provide a number of courses in various aspects of glass work including mosaic and short courses on fusing and slumping.

There is another good course taught by Sarah Thorpe at the Sydney Community College on the corner of Victoria Rd and Gordon St. Rozelle

Clive Hillier Stained Glass in Gardeners Road, Kensington also runs short and long courses and is particularly well versed in kiln-formed glass ( "fusing" and "slumping" )

However, if you are interested in learning the art of painting on glass, I take students on a one-on-one basis in the studio at Surry Hills for a 5x day intensive at $1,496 (incl. GST) plus $220 for all materials and firing. Contact me now to arrange a suitable date. We can vary the times, it doesn't have to be a 5x day session, but this gives you a guide.

Family Coat of ArmsFamily Coat of Arms

Detail of kookaburraDetail of kookaburra

Noisy mynah birdsNoisy mynah birds


Cards, Prints, even Cushions!

This is my Redbubble website. Initially established in Australia as an online artist community, Red Bubble is now an International print-on-demand website where all images are available as greeting cards, prints of various sizes, wall clocks, Tees, coffee mugs and yes, even cushions. There is a catalogue of images there of my works in glass and other media and also a few photographs of things I find interesting.

Voice Recordings

Over the past few years I have been gradually interviewing other stained glass artists, to archive their life stories for posterity. The first of these interviews is with Anne Dybka, a glass engraver and close friend who passed away in 2006. You can listen here on Soundcloud.

And here is a new podcast from Chevonne Ariss in Michigan USA. Chevonne is the owner of Runa Glassworks and posts regular podcasts. In November 2021 she interviewed my protégé Hannah Gregory. Hannah (also Maling) has done so well since moving on from my studio. She had to return to Western Australia for family reasons, but later was successful in gaining two grants, one from the Ian Potter Foundation and one from the West Australian Government to take up a one-year residency at the College of Art in Swansea, Wales. This college was one of the foremost schools for stained glass in the world (they have only very recently cut back on their glass program). Listen to the podcast to find out more!

I have several more recordings on file of interviews with eminent stained glass artists, still waiting to be edited. Frankly my available time is limited so I would be very interested in partnering with someone skilled in this area to create podcasts. There's no money in it of course, but if this is something that tweaks your interest please do get in touch.

Just released! An interview with Martin Van Der Toorn and his wife Norma. Emigrating from Indonesia after the Second World War, Martin became an important figure in the Sydney stained glass industry, producing hundreds of commissions around Australia. He and Norma are still together after 70 years of marriage, and enjoying their twilight years very much.

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Free Stuff

In the making of a stained glass window there is a lot of 'wastage' of glass. I save as much as I possibly can for use in other windows but storage becomes a huge problem and as the pieces get smaller and smaller they are no longer of use to me. Nor can they be 'recycled' in the same way plastic or cardboard can be.

So rather than send all these tiny pieces of coloured glass to landfill, I'm more than happy to pass them on to someone who can use them for mosaic or some other creative endeavour. Just call me on 0421038739 or email me to arrange a pick up time. I also keep boxes of larger offcuts for sale at $5/kg (around $25 per box) It would help if you brought your own box. These offcuts are all mixed- they may NOT be 'fusible' or 'compatible', but you're welcome to sort through and choose what you like.

A Personal History

Randwick T.A.F.E.

In 1974 I graduated from the National Art School, Randwick College of T.A.F.E. with the Interior Design Diploma (Credit). It was a 4x year full time course at that stage and a gruelling one at that. But many of the tutors, including Lesley Penny, Roy Lewis, Nicholas Munster and Ken Reinhardt among others, were truly inspiring, pushing us all beyond what we imagined we were capable of.

People have said to me over the years they can see a "Randwick School" influence in my work and I can now see what they mean; not only in aesthetic terms but in the finish of an artwork- the attention to detail and fine craftsmanship that was drilled into us still comes through and is something I do subscribe to.

The foundation year was common to each of the three strands of Industrial, Interior and Graphic Design and it was the strength of the graphic design training that landed me a job as an artist at Taronga Zoo.

building a hut (Furniture Design!)building a hut (Furniture Design!)

hard at workhard at work

Lunchtime in Centennial ParkLunchtime in Centennial Park

architectural renderingarchitectural renderingarchitectural rendering

graduating class of '73graduating class of '73

Taronga Zoo


My first job out of College was the position of Staff Artist for Taronga Zoo, near Mosman on Sydney Harbour. It was a beautiful location in which to work and I thought that I was very lucky indeed. Most of my time was spent illustrating birds, fish and animals for identification labels, for education or for publicity. Naturally the illustrations were required to be as accurate as possible and the resource material was readily at hand but I also made a point of getting out into the grounds as often as possible, to sketch from life.

At one stage there were three graduates from Randwick College on staff: Louise Pinnock and Barbara Tap had joined the team.

Lettering and signage also formed a large part of the job description: this was graphic art in the days when 'cut and paste' meant exactly that! It was very hands-on and excellent for honing my painting skills. Eventually the Art Dept. did acquire a process camera but not until after I had moved on and not without much lobbying from Marina Bishop and Stanley, my replacement.

After 3yrs there the job was losing its excitement and I felt the need for something more challenging and which offered more of a future. We placed an ad in the Sydney Morning Herald for an artist to join the team and while checking that I noticed an advert looking for "an artist to train in glass": I decided to take along my portfolio and give it a try. I would miss the community of the Zoo but felt it was an opportunity too good to pass up.

identification signageidentification signage

educational displayeducational display

Artwork getting a workout Artwork getting a workout

Dubbo Zoo locality mapDubbo Zoo locality mapDubbo Zoo locality map

souvenir T-towelsouvenir T-towel

The Studio of Stephen Moor


I received my training as a glass painter under Stephen Moor, at his Strathfield studio from 1979-82. His cutter, a semi-retired glazier named Clarie, taught me to cut glass (old school: no tungsten wheels, no grinders!) and Stephen instructed me in all the aspects of designing for a window, preparing a cartoon, translating that to a cutline, selecting glass, painting and firing. He was somewhat impressed with my graphic skills, remarking one day "At last! someone who can letter as good as I can!" (We restored a LOT of painted inscriptions).

Religious windows were our staple. I learnt a great deal about liturgical arts under Stephen and my early years as a junior Sunday School teacher at Georges Hall Baptist Church stood me in good stead. (At 13 or 14 I set myself the task of reading the Bible from cover to cover!) Occasionally the studio received a domestic or a commercial commission and over time I gradually took on more responsibility, eventually taking commissions through to completion from Stephen's scale renderings.

However it wasn't until after I left Stephen Moor's studio mid-1982 that I learnt to lead up a window. All the construction of our work, the puttying and all the site work was carried out by the leadlighters next door, Bolton Glass. So thanks to a few quick lessons from my friend Steve Lancaster at Bolton's, I managed to stay ahead of my students at The Cottage, my first teaching job.

training exercisetraining exercise

Stephen drawing a cartoonStephen drawing a cartoon

press advertpress advert

press articlepress article

the Master's workthe Master's work

training exercisetraining exercise

The Cottage, Mosman


On leaving The Studio of Stephen Moor I took a teaching job at The Cottage, a community adult education centre in Hale Rd Mosman under the direction of Pam Kidney. I had been recommended for the job by Warren Langley, who was teaching there at the time.. (It was through the very new organisation Ausglass that I became friends with Warren) The Cottage was pivotal in my career and I learnt a great deal while teaching: both about the craft and about myself.

It was a place where one could expand one's ideas: they were about developing the tutor as much as developing the student. One particularly memorable weekend was a skills exchange between tutors where we each became students, learning completely new craft techniques and media from colleagues working at the top of their field, such as the late Audrey Simpson (fibre)

I had students from all walks of life, from politicians to plumbers, even a retired Headmistress. The renowned artist Frank Hinder, who had become a friend around that time, joined my leadlight class for a term: a humbling and enriching experience. Frank was a truly great Australian artist and a wonderful human being, completely unaffected by fame.

The Cottage hosted regular exhibitions of teachers' and students' work and I struck up lasting friendships with two other teachers: Tanja Cunninghame (visual arts for young people), who later moved to Glenn Innes, and Owen Thompson (watercolour) who moved to Hazelbrook. I taught Colour and Design there as well as Leadlighting and on the encouragement of Beth Mazengarb and Bunty George, members of Altrusa, I eventually started running classes at my new shop in Lane Cove.


absorbed in the taskabsorbed in the task

Pam Kidney, co-ordinatorPam Kidney, co-ordinator

morning tea on the front lawnmorning tea on the front lawn

satisfied studentsatisfied student

Lane Cove


During these years I was living with my wife and two children at Riverview. It seemed a natural evolution to establish my business there, converting the garage to a studio. I registered the name Hamilton Design and in October 1982 launched my career with a solo exhibition "Pictures at an Exhibition" in Surada Avenue. A mix of drawings, paintings and stained glass, it was a successful show with lots of people attending over the 10 day period and a total of 7x works sold, which I found encouraging.

As the business grew it became clear very quickly that my career was developing and I needed more space and also more exposure: a more commercial working environment. So we took the difficult step of selling that beautiful house on Tambourine Bay and acquiring a shop on Burns Bay Road: a small but established art gallery, the Ross Davis Studio. For the first 5yrs we lived above the shop, expanding the building as we went along. "Hamilton Design" became Hamilton Design Glass.

Running a retail business was a fascinating, at times frustrating and time-consuming but ultimately rewarding experience. My wife Rosie was very hands on, assisting in many aspects of the day to day running of the business. It soon morphed from strictly my studio to a gallery: the Hamilton Design Glass Gallery.

The careers of quite a few glass artists were launched through the Gallery and we became a fixture on the cultural circuit: "a little bit of Paddington in Lane Cove" people would say, and a local landmark. The Gallery was the first in Sydney to sell the work of Peter Goss (QLD), Sallie Portnoy (USA/Sydney), Jill McGuiness (USA/Sydney), Patrick de Sumo(France/USA) and Gene Polt (W.A.). The watercolourist Owen Thompson had his first solo exhibition at our Gallery, as did glass artist Shirley Gibson, who filled the shop windows with draped fabric and woven lead, leaving the locals scratching their heads and wondering "what goes on in there??". We took on The Australian Craft Show from its inception, exhibiting a stable of artists and growing in reputation over the years. Regulars could be certain they would find something unique and very special, often stopping by on the way to a wedding to select a gift! (The Gallery giftwrapping was instantly recognisable).

Ben on smokoBen on smoko

end of an eraend of an era

farewell partyfarewell party

willing workerswilling workers

everything must go!everything must go!

Everything has its time of course and with my divorce the Lane Cove property was sold and I moved into a warehouse directly beneath the Anzac Bridge.

Blackwattle Bay

There was a small coterie of artists working in a privately held warehouse space down the road from the Fish Markets, and I found it a very stimulating environment. The property boasted the oldest wharf on Sydney Harbour with Hank and Annie's yacht a constant work in progress. The studio space, formerly leased by Cherry Philips and Maureen Cahill, I shared with Chilean-born glass artist Monica Valenzuala, a mature-aged graduate of Sydney College of the Arts. When Monica built her own studio at her home in Summer Hill I took on the whole of the space at Blackwattle Bay. It was a beautiful spot: we were right on the water's edge and could watch pelicans and other seabirds anytime of the day.

Beneath Anzac BridgeBeneath Anzac Bridge

Lance Feeney assisting on a jobLance Feeney assisting on a jobLance Feeney assisting on a job

Blackwattle Bay from the studio door Blackwattle Bay from the studio door

The warehouse complex viewed from Anzac BridgeThe warehouse complex viewed from Anzac Bridge

Inside the workshopInside the workshop

But as the 2000 Sydney Olympics approached my landlords decided they needed my studio space as accommodation for visiting relatives and built a barbecue by the water. So once more I was on the move. And that brought me to Elizabeth Street, Central.

Hibernian House


I was reluctant to take studio space on the first floor of a warehouse but good alternatives were just not offering at the time. The available space was well-lit, had high ceilings and was positioned adjacent to a goods lift which opened onto a loading dock in Kippax Street. It was a great location and seemed to be a pretty funky space. The reality proved somewhat different, with the goods lift working only about half the time! And over the past twenty years vehicle access/parking has become more and more difficult. While theLight Rail was under construction it was almost impossible! Elizabeth St outside our front door is now permenantly tagged as No Stopping 24/7.

Knot Gallery, in studio 107, was a hub of creativity and took the lead in Sydney's underground art scene from 2001-2005. Knot was established by a small group of visionary artists in the building including Keh Ng, Michelle McCosker, Chris Hancock AKA MonkFly, Matt Venables AKA Mercedes Malone and Alasdair Nichol, who acted as director. The core of Knot Gallery artists is now operating in Redfern as 107 Projects. G &A Gallery was located on the 2nd floor during 2005-06 and quickly established an enormous reputation for leading the conceptual art movement before closing rather abruptly. For several years suite 505 was famous for its Monday night jazz, with such luminaries as Inga Liljestrom, Chris Abrahams and many internationals passing thru Sydney performing to a full house. The club relocated to Cleveland St for several years, retaining the name 505.

Suite 104, next door to me, was for a time a rehearsal studio where the likes of Ghoul, Seekea and more recently The Preatures have worked out. On the other side one of the more interesting neighbours for the past few years has been contemporary art mega-star Ben Frost . Ben eventually moved on and Studio 103B was then occupied by the remarkable performance artist Yiorgos Zafiriou. Dance 101 on the first floor was run by the gorgeous Rosano Martinez and Maya Sheridan for several years and hugely popular. People and businesses come and go... I'm now in my 22nd year at these premises! Despite the various problems it is still a great studio, with terrific natural light.

The scaffold comes down on Hibernian HouseThe scaffold comes down on Hibernian House

Elizabeth St contractors at workElizabeth St contractors at work

Elizabeth St looking toward the CityElizabeth St looking toward the City

The door to 104BThe door to 104B

And in Hibernian House the main attraction these days is Little Tokyo tattoo studio on the fifth floor. After COVID they're as busy as ever, with some of Sydney's top-notch artists on hand.


Kippax St facade prior to refurbKippax St facade prior to refurb

roof graf, looking up Kippax Stroof graf, looking up Kippax St

a favourite from the rooftop gallerya favourite from the rooftop gallery

Roof art by Lister, reworked againRoof art by Lister, reworked again

ears in the liftears in the lift

Steps to studio 403Steps to studio 403

rooftop graph rooftop graph

December 2013December 2013

John DoeJohn Doe