A few months ago I found a really neat old stained glass window that a farmer was selling up the street from us. I thought it would make an excellent addition to our old brick house.
We had installed a fireplace and had to tile over the dated window, so from the outside of the window it looked terrible! (And useless.) This stained glass window would be a picture perfect solution!
This window was hand-made and is one of a kind. The opening was not quite the same dimensions so my father had to frame in the new window over the old opening. He installed lighting behind the window; originally using solar power to light it. As it turned out, the product was defective and he ended up installing energy-saving LED’s on a timer. The result is stunning! It lights up at dusk every night and is no longer the eye sore it used to be! Being a masterful carpenter, he was able to make it look like it belonged there all along. It got me thinking about stained glass. Here are some things I discovered:
As a material stained glass is glass that has been colored by adding metallic salts during its manufacture. The colored glass is crafted into stained glass windows in which small pieces of glass are arranged to form patterns or pictures, held together (traditionally) by strips of lead and supported by a rigid frame. Painted details and yellow stain are often used to enhance the design. The term stained glass is also applied to windows in which the colors have been painted onto the glass and then fused to the glass in a kiln.
Colored glass has been produced since ancient times. Both the Egyptians and the Romans excelled at the manufacture of small colored glass objects.
In Early Christian churches of the 4th and 5th centuries, there are many remaining windows which are filled with ornate patterns of thinly sliced alabaster set into wooden frames, giving a stained-glass like effect.
To make a mock stained glass window you can purchase self-adhesive vinyl, glass stain or paint pens and liquid lead. Just draw a pattern, decorate, and stick on an existing window.
My kids have made cute window hangings with colored tissue paper stuck on clear sheets.
You can also paint directly on plexiglass. Use a hot glue gun with black glue sticks to draw your design. Be sure to use glass paint (translucent) so that light will shine through!
Here are some gorgeous displays of stained glass: (The first is actually just made to look like stained glass, it’s actually sliced agate!)
After this brief study on stained glass, I am itching to learn how to make one myself…or at least a faux version!