He is dedicated to the rehabilitation and new construction of all types of stained glass windows, both following traditional patterns and more innovative ones. He has carried out many works for religious centres, institutional centres and also private ones both at a national and international scale.
He carries out stained glass windows following different techniques such as leaded stained glass, the Tiffany technique, and canutillo de hojadelata (a technique which is classified as rare due to its lack of usage and difficulty). Furthermore, the glass he works with may be coloured or painted using grisailles, enamels (at high or low temperatures) and silver stain. The blown glass works should also be highlighted.
He uses traditional tools, and the lead they use in the workshop is manufactured by themselves, taking into consideration the design and the needs of each particular piece.
He always works using traditional techniques. The improvements to these are just merely based on protection and security, using materials whose impact is smaller. This way, the security rods are substituted for others that don’t undergo the process of oxidation, which can decolour the glass. It is also worth mentioning that none of the works are finished using cement because of its highly destructive power when it comes to glass oxides. Therefore, instead, they use synthetic materials with more neutral components. They also install security screens whose ventilation has to be individually studied in depth to ensure that humidity does not damage the stained glass windows.
The stained glass master J. Raúl Santana Herranz started working for the oldest existing workshop in Segovia, the workshop of the master Rafael Davía (1979-86), where he learnt the craft over the seven years he was there for. After that, he attended several courses in order to improve his technique. He did so in the Spanish National Scientific Research Centre (CSIC) where courses were imparted by Prof. Fernández Navarro and Dr. Villegas. Apart from that, he has attended over 20 other courses at the Fundación Centro Nacional del Vidrio of La Granja on different subjects: quality assurance, drawing with grisaille (course given by Peter Van Treeck), enamels and serigraphy (course given by Katya Izabel Filmus), painting on flat glass (course given by Maribel Navarro Nieto) or cutting and polishing techniques in stained glass windows with resins (course given by Marta de Paz Urueña). At an international level, he has attended workshops in Murano, Paris, Sardinia and Czechoslovakia (today, the Czech Republic).
Teaching apprentices at the workshop belonging to Rafael Davía (1983-86).
Stained glass windows teacher at the School Workshop of the Town Council of Segovia (1987-89).
Stained glass windows teacher at the School Workshop of the Provincial Council of Segovia (1990-93).
Teacher of the subject “Introduction to Stained Glass Windows” for the ADAGIO project in FCNV (2000).
Tenured teacher of stained glass windows at the Escuela Superior del Centro Nacional del Vidrio (2014 – today).
Head of projects and internships for last year students in his own workshop.
Restoration of the artistic stained glass windows of the San Juan Evangelista Church in La Losa, Segovia.
Restoration of the Stained Glass Window of the Parish Church of San Martín de Tours of Prádena, in Segovia.