Why Stained Glass Products Make For An Ideal Gift

To choose a special gift for your loved ones can become a difficult task at times. With millions of gifts available online and in stores, one would have imagined that selecting the right gift is a trivial task, but what if you wanted to gift something rare or unique? Something which is not too common and by gifting which you could truly convey your love and regards for the recipient. Well, if that is the case let me suggest to you to look for stained glass gifts, which are not only beautiful and affordable but also unique. But before we talk more about gifts made from stained glass, it would be good idea to know a little bit about stained glass itself.

The first traces of stained glass usage have been found in the archeological diggings of the Egyptian civilization, dating back to as early as 2nd century B.C. But mass use of stained glass in construction started happening only around the 5th and 6th century in Europe and Mid East Asia. Initially though, this glass was used primarily in churches and in other religious structures. It was only around the 10th century that artisans from Europe and Central Asia started to experiment with stained glass as an artwork. New techniques like glass blowing, fusing glass, lamp working and sand crafting were developed to take the craftsmanship to an even higher level. No longer was glass art limited to colored church windows but, sculptures, miniatures, designs and patterns were now being developed. Over the last centuries glass art has become a creative medium in itself and has become extremely popular.

But glass art products are expensive!

Not really. Thanks to advances made towards the start of the last century, the cost of making stained glass has come down considerably. Raw materials are easily accessible to the artist, as is, the knowledge of the craft. With a lot more artist now working in this medium, the price of stained glass products has become much more elastic. Yes, these products do come with a premium attached but, that is because of the high amount of artistry involved. One has to keep in mind that a stained glass art work is not a bulk factory produced product but rather the final outcome of an artist’s creative process, which involves, the conception of a design, carefully hand crafting that concept into the art work and finally refining it.

Reasons why glass artwork gifts are effective.

As described above stained glass gifts are not only artistic but also unique. When someone receives a glass art gift they immediately realize that you have chosen for them a unique piece of artistic expression rather than a mundane factory produced item. They will understand that even though you could have easily chosen from the millions of gifts out there in the marketplace, instead you have selected a unique hand crafted gift for them. Also, it’s a usual standard practice for glass artists to attach a certificate of authenticity when they sell their products. This certificate is essentially a document of declaration by the artist that the artwork is original, unique and with no replicas. This adds further value to the gift because when the recipient of the gift sees the certificate, he or she will know that not only is this gift rare but also the only one of its kind ever made.

Choosing a gift made of stained glass has also become easier today. A lot of gifted and skilled glass artist now sell online and with a few clicks you can order your gift. And, there are a lot of product categories to choose from. Today, you can easily find a glass art table lamp, dinnerware, jewelry, household product, figurines, amulets, candle stands, decorations, boxes, sculptures and much more. They are affordable and can be delivered easily.

Final thoughts on stained glass gifts.

Gifting is both an art and an inexact science in itself involving aesthetics, emotions, affordability and an opportunity to show how much you care for the other person. With this article I have suggested that the next time you are looking for gifting something special and unique, include gifts made from stained glass in your search. The very first step to that would be, to just go online and explore the wonderful world of glass artwork gifts.

Notes on the Development of Stained Glass

Stained glass has a long history. It started out in the homes of wealthy Roman people, its popularity soared with Gothic churches, it fell into disrepute during the Reformation, and now it has resurfaced in our homes and businesses, in addition to our churches. Now it is a rewarding and affordable hobby for people everywhere.

Before recorded history, people discovered that they could add metallic salts and oxides to glass and that would make colors; gold made a cranberry color, cobalt made blue, silver made yellow and golds, and copper made greens. It seems that wealthy Romans in their villas and palaces in Pompeii and Herculaneum were using stained glass in the first century AD. It was when Christians were beginning to build churches, based on Byzantine ones, in 313 AD that stained glass began to be considered as an art form. The earliest surviving piece of a stained glass picture was a “Head of Christ” from the 10th century. The popularity and growth of stained glass were very much tied in with the popularity and growth of churches.

In the Romanesque period, stained glass was influenced by the Byzantine style developed by Arabs. The windows on these churches were relatively small and used mainly red and blue images surrounded by white glass in order to allow as much light as possible. About 1100 AD, Theophilus, a monk, described how to make stained glass windows and his methods have hardly changed since.

It was in the Gothic period, starting in the 13th century, that stained glass windows in churches really began to blossom. Suger, the abbot of the Abbey of St Denis, was the first to build his church in the Gothic design. Gothic churches allowed for larger windows and these were made out of stained glass; Abbot Suger believed that beautiful objects would lift men’s souls closer to God. In the 15th century, stained glass began to be viewed more as a picture (with paler colors and larger figures) and less of an experience of (God’s greatness)

During the Renaissance, there was a new emphasis on three-dimensional perspective. People considered medieval stained glass barbaric. Stained glass windows became made of white glass which was heavily painted, and lead lines were camouflaged. Artists were patronized by the wealthy, and stained glass began to be seen in more private homes and public buildings.

During the Reformation of the 16th century, there was widespread destruction of stained glass windows, because religious imagery was not tolerated. For about 200 years, stained glass was not popular.

In England, in the 19th century, there was a revival of interest in Gothic church design, and stained glass windows with it. Gothic Revival churches of the Anglican and Episcopalian churches in America required stained glass windows, and this led to their development in America.

John LaFarge was an American painter who, in 1879, developed and copyrighted
opalescent glass; and another American painter, Louis Comfort Tiffany made it popular. Opalescent glass was semi opaque with a milky opalescent effect and was usually a mixture of colors with streaks and swirls. Tiffany worked with the Art Nouveau style and created magnificent pieces. Tiffany used the new technology of thin strips of copper as a substitute for lead and adapted this in order to construct lampshades. The opalescent glass stayed popular into the beginning of the 20th century, but today few glassmakers make it because of the toxic chemicals required.

After W.W. 1, people were more interested in windows for neo-Gothic churches, and stained glass fell in popularity until painting became more abstract and expressionist after W.W. 2 which influenced many artists to explore stained glass.

During the last 30 years there has been an explosion of interest of interest in stained glass. It’s gone far beyond its religious beginnings. You often see beautiful stained glass windows in homes, even less expensive ones, and businesses; in addition to church windows. Most craft shows have stained glass nightlights, lamps, and/or other stained glass art objects. Although the materials needed to make stained glass are expensive, it is a very rewarding hobby. There’s one thing about stained glass that hasn’t changed. Creating beautiful stained glass still brings us closer to God.

6 Artful Home Decorating Ideas Using Stained Glass Panels

Stained Glass Ceilings, fireplace screens, and Light Fixtures

A simple idea that adds much to a home space is the incorporation of stained glass panels as ceiling tiles or overlapping with light fixtures. This creates a colorful ambiance and acts like art pieces do, except the added charm of coming from above. Ceilings done this way make for excellent conversation pieces, and will match almost any style décor. Fireplace screens add a wonderful, warm ambiance to your surroundings

Stained Glass Table Tops and Furniture Designs

Many unique and stylish furniture designs use glass paneling to create Art Nuevo feels for the home. Tables topped in stained type glass give off wonderful reflected light that shines throughout the room. With the right lighting, furniture designed with stained type glass makes a dazzling ensemble that sets the mood in the wider angles of any living room or dining area.

Stained Glass Lamps and Chandeliers Art

Lamp shades made with stained type glass are the perfect synthesis of art and home furnishings. They can be set so their light casts in all directions and make a charming addition to the home entertainment space. In a more elaborate sense, it is possible to design stained glass chandeliers that hang from above, dangling light colorful displays cascading across the ceilings and dancing along the flooring of your household.

Stained Glass Flooring and Discothèque Décor

For those who want to take their décor to the next level, why not a party space for your indoor gatherings. Stained type glass flooring can be created, it is a little more expensive than traditional floor tiles, but can be done economically and will last for a longer amount of time. Some homes have taken this idea and created pseudo dance floor feels to entertain guests and visitors. Just as some stained type glass flooring or textures throughout a room, then compliment it with a lighted glitter ball hanging above and a booming stereo system, then you have the premium discothèque in your home.

Stained Glass Swimming Pool Designs

A more elaborate application of stained type glass paneling and tiles can be used in outdoor scenarios. A sweet look can be given to your pool areas, where stained glass can be inserted into the edging, walkways or in spaces for seating around swimming pools or your Jacuzzi. This is a colorful way to make a plain pool area artsy and fun in the daylight hours, although the accents of stained type glass under moonlight make it a romantic texture for the evening swim party. This is an idea that might cost a little more, but the results are amazing for an outdoor project to modernize your home in a stylish way.

Stained Glass windows and panels

A very simple way to add color and texture to your space is using Stained type Glass windows but if that is not an option, a more easy choice is a Stained Glass Panel to hang over your windows. Easily hung by a chain with a bit of hardware, and it transforms your surroundings!