We know it when we see it — but what exactly is good design?

Fused glass artists can see an outstanding piece of glass and know that it's good, because the human brain is adept at recognizing beauty. And often we say to ourselves: "How do they do that? How do they make work that wonderful?"

This course will investigate these questions: What makes a good piece good? Why is it beautiful? Are there lessons to be learned from well-designed work that can be applied in your own studio? Can you take your work to a new height without having to learn another technique? Can you learn to improve your work using the skills and techniques you already have?

The answer to all of the above is yes. Whether you are a beginner just starting to explore, or a seasoned artist with many workshops and lessons under your belt, you can advance your work with knowledge that transcends technique.

Some people are simply born with a great feel for good design. We've seen artists with little or no art education do outstanding work because they simply have an eye and an intuition for it. Kat and I are not in that group of innately gifted artists. We have to work at it. For most of us, it requires effort and practice. That said, there are things you can learn and principles you can apply to push your work forward. You can learn to think your way into good design. And the more you do it, the easier it gets. After awhile, it becomes intuitive.

We've seen it happen. Pretty soon you'll be in the grocery store, analyzing the package design on a carton of ice cream.

What this course is —and what it's not

We're not fond of the word "theory" in this context. It sounds intimidating. This is not a course in design theory. What this course teaches is practical, user-friendly and glass-specific ways to apply some basic design ideas to your fused glass.

Design for Glass Artists is, in part, about giving artists a few terms — a small design lexicon, if you will — to help them articulate, think about, and discuss design. Words like space division, contrast, and dominant element. If you can understand these terms, and talk about them to yourself, you are on your way to using them in your work.

Another thing: this is not a course that teaches a technique. Rather, it's a new way to think about how to use the techniques and skills you already have to give your work some thoughtful design structure and polish.

We just want to help you make better fused glass.

Learn design by doing what you already do.

This course is taught by looking at and talking about good fused glass work. A lot of work. Some of it you may recognize. We'll discuss what makes the pieces sing. It always comes down to our four main principles: Dividing the Space. Contrast, Dominant Element, and Grace Notes. It's kind of like forensic accounting, but with glass. And through the everyday miracle of Photoshop, we alter some images to show how they could look with less design consideration, or how so-so work can be improved by editing the spaces.

Learn to identify, talk about, and use the design concepts that make these pieces work.

Meet Your Instructor, Kim Brill

Decades of Design Experience

My degree is in graphic design, and I am winding down a career as an art director and designer. When I began fusing glass in 2005, I realized that as a glass newbie, I could do nice work with no technique or other skills if I relied on good design. Planning a piece of glass is not that different from designing an advertisement or a book cover. The same guidelines apply.

This comes pretty easily to me now only because I've been at it for so long. It used to be hard. Since that time I've figured out some basic universal design themes that helped me coach young graphic designers into better results. And I found out how to talk about these things without falling into what I call "MFA-speak" — that lofty, philosophical, hard-to-follow language that some artists use.

I needed more practical, easily-digestible ways to speak about design. And that's what this tutorial is about.

Improving your design skills is a worthwhile exercise, but it does require a bit of commitment and a willingness to see things anew. And it takes practice but your brain is flexible and trainable. Like anything else, do this long enough and it becomes second nature. Remember when you were learning how to drive? Same thing here. Practice makes it better and easier.

Exercises and Practice Sheets in a Helpful PDF

We have developed some design exercises and what we call "cheat sheets" to help limber up your brain's design muscles. There are pages you can use to work out your designs — just print the pdf and then you can work on the cheat sheets with pencils, markers, digital drawing tools — or you can jump right into glass. However you wish to to work, use these exercises to start learning how to think like a designer.

An Ongoing Conversation

We maintain a private Facebook group for students in this course. It's a great place to ask questions, post photos of your work, talk about the exercises, get feedback, and see what other students are making.

We've also set up a Pinterest account with a carefully curated collection of images. Each board speaks to one of the design concepts — they are images we love and would use in the tutorial were it not for intellectual property issues. And they extend well beyond the world of glass so you can begin to see that good design is all around us. The key is learning to pay attention.

Unlimited Course Access

Some platforms can limit your access. Maybe you can't see the tutorial as often as you'd like. Or perhaps there's an expiration date on the content. We don't do that. We understand that everyone learns differently and sometimes life gets in the way of art. So review as often as you need to and come back whenever you'd like. Your videos will still be here.

High-Quality, Professionally Produced Videos

No iPhone videos here. And our 1080p videos can be streamed to your big-screen TV through AppleTV and AirPlay, and possibly with Chromecast or other technology built into your smart TV.

Enormous, heartfelt thanks to usability expert and emerging artist Jenny Ehrlich, for repeatedly saving us from ourselves.

We'd like to thank the following talented artists for generously allowing us to show and discuss their work: Sean Alcala, Gloria Badiner, Flo Ulrich, Marguerite Beneke, Angela Byrd-Beucler, Carol Carson, Christopher Gibson, Susan Hutsko, Steve Immerman, Pamela Price Klebaum, Steve Klein, Bob Leatherbarrow, Morgan Madison, Kari Minnick, Richard Parrish, Leslie Speicher, Paul Tarlow, and Bobbie Wilson. Plus, of course, the inimitable Kat Adair. Unless noted, all other glass work by Kim Brill.

Rave Reviews!

I've started the course and can I just say, I LOVE IT. At some point in my education, I have covered some of the information, but with time I have forgotten. I am really enjoying the examples and how rules of design can be applied to glass.

--Tracy Joy

What a great course and what great production! I have used your lessons in my work and coaching my students. Keep making these courses...they are some of the best on the market.


Focused on an audience of artists: Tailored especially to glass fusers, Kim's design course offers foundational concepts in design. The inclusion of work by a number of highly respected, renowned glass artists, including Kim herself, deftly illustrates the design concepts, making the abstract more concrete and accessible.

--C. N.

We are proud to use Bullseye Glass in our tutorials and our personal work.

Check Out Our Other Video Courses!

Watercolor Glass

Our VERY popular course involves transparent sheet glass, clear glass and powders. Lots of powders. It's a totally new way to work. Learn more here:


Watercolor Glass 2

The adventure continues! If you liked the original Watercolor Glass course, you'll love this one. We continue the layering process with new shapes and designs. First course is not required to enroll.

Loving the Line

Add some drama to your glass with black enamel line work. No drawing skills are necessary!


The Sheet Glass Color Mixing Guide

Use this go-to resource book to find over 600 new colors using Bullseye transparents over opals. Find your can't-live-without shades and set your work apart.

The Powder Blend
Recipe Book

Expand your powder palette with 100 pages of color blends and instructions for making them. If you love powders, this is a game-changer.


Free! Hot-Knife Stencils

Take the pain and frustration out of cutting stencils for powder wafers with an inexpensive hot knife and plastic stencil material.


Free! Simple Powder Wafers

This quick course is a great introduction to powder wafers for artists who want to explore wafers and expand their bag of glass tricks.


What Our Students Say About the Enormously Popular Kim+Kat Tutorial, Watercolor Glass

"A flexible, fun, easy, and distinctive powder layering technique. The final pieces are wonderfully vibrant, and powder mixing gives you a chance to play with new, unique colors. Kim gives great insightful art composition tips and thoughts along the way. A great class!"

— Jenny

"The videos were professionally created and some of the best I have seen for teaching glass in an accessible format." 

Oregon Fire and Light Guild Member