Hand-painting on Glass

Julie Fletcher-Saunders Recycles old bottles and transforms them into dazzling displays of light

When and how did your interest with working with glass come about?

I was furloughed during the pandemic. I first started diamond painting and completed several of those. I had an empty wine bottle with a decorative sleeve on it, I added rope around it and added lights. My husband suggested I had a go at painting my own. I started with 3mm acrylic pens, but they were too thick for small details, so I moved to 0.7mm pens.

Why did you decide to combine your talents of hand painting and painting on glass?

My main decision was to use recycled glass. Turn something destined for the bin into something pretty. I also go to charity shops and buy glass from there. I have also been given glass by friends and family that were on their way to the recycling centre.

I do still buy glass if I have an idea that needs a specific type of glass.

Have you always been interested in art?

I’ve always been artistic, in the sense of planning colours and plants in the garden and I also do photography. I have never drawn like this before, I did technical drawing and metalwork at school, so I’ve always liked making things and working with my hands.


I would suggest starting on a flat piece of glass (it can be very challenging painting on curved glass!) Or try drawing your design out first on paper.

Look everywhere for ideas. I recently did some solar light bottles painting flowers I found in a plant catalogue.

If you make a mistake, don’t panic, it can just be washed off.

Did you start this off as a hobby and then decide to do it as a business? What made you decide to open this as a business?

This was just a hobby; I posted some photos of my work on Facebook and people started asking if they could buy them. I decided to make a separate Facebook page and called it “Let There Be Light”. I have a love of bees and after a while I noticed the connection in the name and changed it to Let There Bee Light. I still wouldn’t really call it a business as the prices I charge never include my time. I also sell at craft fairs, which is a real labour of love and has given me an amazing craft family.

What makes your business/artform different to others?

My artform is all hand painted, where as some crafter’s use machines like Cricut.

I’ve also done a little bit of watercolor painting to make backgrounds for some deep picture frames. Using recycled glass means some of my pieces are a one off as I might never get the same piece of glass again.

What are your future plans for your art/business?

To keep learning and growing my ability. To do more craft fairs or rent a shelf in a shop, until I retire in 7 years’ time, and I can craft a lot more.

Where can people find your products?

All my pieces are on my Let There Bee Light pages on Facebook and Instagram.

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