Everyone who has been in a church at least once in their life has seen stained glass. If you are one of these people, you probably thought that these works of art were beautiful. While stained glass is praised worldwide for its beauty, few people know its origins and how it is made. Today, we decided to talk to you about these 2 aspects.
What are the Origins of Stained Glass?
Stained glass’ first uses date back many centuries ago. Their earliest sightings were during the era of the great Roman and Egyptian civilizations. However, back then, only the wealthiest members of society could install such glass in their house. Indeed, rich Romans liked to put this colorfully painted glass on their villas’ windows. Luckily, stained glass is now more affordable than it was during these historical periods so you too can enjoy the beauty of such a glass project in the comfort of your home.
How is Stained Glass Made?
The process behind stained glass creation (and glass in general as well) is mostly unknown to the general public. Today, we figured that it would be interesting for you to learn how it is made.
- Design: Stained glass manufacturing requires a lot of precision in the work made by the manufacturer and improvisation is not an option. It is during the stage that the colors, image, strength, image, amount of light and stained glass durability are decided by the project ‘s creator.
- Model: In order to work effectively, the glass artisan needs a document to refer to during the whole process. This document is called a model and shows the complete project on a 1/10 scale and contains descriptions about project aspects’ such as glass color, metal frames, paint and lead path.
- Coloring: The coloring stage is essential to harmonize the different types of glasses used in the project. The different types of glasses that can be found in a stained glass project are antique, printed or veneered glass. They are chosen according to their nature, their colors and the model.
- Outline: An outline is essentially a technical drawing of the panel of the stained glass project drawn on a 1/1 scale on bubble wrap. Lead locations are outlined on it and the various parts are differentiated by numbers to easily locate them.
- Layer: The outline carried over a layer and its purpose it the ease the creation of future copies or to repair damaged parts. It is also used to position cut parts as well as to avoid confusion and losses.
- Calibration: Once the layering step is done, the outline is methodically cut. This step is important to keep the panel’s dimensions for lead/glass assembly.
- Cutting: Accuracy is crucial when cutting glass because each flaw may be detrimental to the project’s final form by altering its dimensions or its design. The templates designed previously in the process help the artisan by acting as guides to each part and they must overlap perfectly. To cut the glass, a diamond or a glass cutter is used. Cutting is done by creating scratches and detaching parts.
- Setting: Setting is when every action necessary to assemble the glasses and leads is taken.
- Welding: When all the leads are assembled, molten tin is deposited on each of their intersections. The second side panel (except the surrounding lead) is also welded during this step.
- Puttying: Puttying is the final step where filler is applied and small spaces between the glass and seals are filled by using a liquid sealant.
This concludes this article on the origins of stained glass and how it is made.Wehopethatreading has made you aware of the complexity of the creation of such a project. If reading about this topic has given you the idea of installing some in your home, we invite you to contact a stained glass manufacturer near you.