Choosing a Stained Glass Project

Stained glass is a versatile form of artwork that adds beauty and elegance to any room in your home.

Decorating with stained glass not only allows you to enhance the value of your home, but gives it that personal one of a kind touch which can be added in many different areas.

Stained Glass Panels

Stained glass panels can be used to enhance your windows and walls. Stained glass panels are one of the most frequently chosen types of stained glass projects. The versatility in design, size and shape are key factors in popularity. Glass panels can be inserted into window frames, transoms, cabinets, doors, sidelights, as well as used to adorn windows and walls. The design of a panel is unlimited. Any subject or design comes alive by using different colors of glass, textures and dimensions. Although glass panels are basically one dimensional, using overlays, wire and 3-dimensional objects (IE. shells, plates, layers, etc) your panel can have a 3-dimensional appearance. There is no issue with size and shape, because you design your panel to fit the exact shape and size you need. Basically, if you can dream it, you can build it.

Stained Glass Mirrors

Looking for that perfect gift for that someone special in your life? Stained glass mirrors may provide the answer for a truly unique gift idea. Combining a normal piece of mirror with the addition of colorful stained glass as an accent provides for a special piece of artwork. I have built mirrored pieces by using strips of stained glass as an access. Creating different shapes and sizes of stained glass along with varied sizes of mirror also works well. Some of my creations have included pieces that I have hung centered over the sofa which reflects the light already coming into the room. Smaller pieces of combined mirror and stained glass may be more desirable for the bedroom or bath.

3d

Stained glass projects that include a 3d effect in their design are interesting conversational pieces too. These are oftentimes anchored to a decorative wood base and may be best displayed when set on top of a table. Other 3d projects include boxes, terrariums, business card holders, desk organizers, clocks and lamps.

Custom Sized Panels

It has been my experience that suggests a stained glass creation may be better displayed if it is custom designed to fit into an existing opening. When properly built according to that spec, the end result will appear better with little or no light coming from around the outer frame of the glass. A custom feel is quite desirable and will be worth the extra effort involved.

Cabinet Door Inserts

One common place that will surely create interest is the addition of a unique piece of stained glass anchored in a highly visible cabinet door. This can be a little tricky when sizing it to the door based on how you might have to attach it, however, with the addition of glass shelves and an electrical light in the top of the cabinet, the outcome will be something you will cherish every time you look at it in the future. Be prepared that if you don’t have a light inside the cabinet, it may not come off as you expected.

Sidelights

When walking through a big box home improvement store, you may increasingly notice the abundance of “stained glass” used in the fixed glass portion of entry doors. Although these are excellent invitations for someone to enter your home, you may not find the design you specifically need for your house. Create your own. There is special metal frames that can be used to safely insert and hold your own creation on a typical sidelight. This way you can select the right colors for the best look.

Cased Opening Accents

Many homes these days have an abundance of wood trim and this usually includes a pass through a wall into another room which may not include any doors, but most likely includes the jamb and casing. Designs can be incorporated into these openings near the intersection of the top horizontal jamb and each side jamb. It’s almost like envisioning an upside down bookend type of accent.

Keeping in mind when building any stained glass panel that natural or artificial light behind the artwork will always make the glass look better. Colors are more defined and the entire piece will “pop” with absolute brilliance. Textured glass may be necessary at this point to best illustrate the subject at hand.

Frequently, I mount my stained glass pieces in wooden frames which also tend to give substance to their appearance. Wooden frames can be made from any specie of lumber available and of course to any size. Sizing includes the thickness and width of the frame as well. Be careful not to get too big and accidentally remove the focus from the stained glass itself. Experiment with colors of stain too, to pull out the important colors within your stained glass.

Fact of the matter is, you really can’t go wrong when producing your own stained glass. There are infinite mixes to be explored by using different colors, textures, sizes, shapes of glass not to mention framing materials. Nothing is right or wrong, YOU are the artist. Have fun!

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.