Examining Frank Lloyd Wright’s Contribution to Stained Glass Creation


The Beautiful Design Legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright

The name Frank Lloyd Wright may not immediately bring to mind visions of stunning stained glass windows. But, do not be fooled–Frank Lloyd Wright was a prolific stained glass artist and furthermore, one of the most influential designers in American history. Although primarily known for his architectural work and as the father of the “Mid-century Modern” his stunning designs spanned mediums from furniture design to graphics arts and yes–even stained glass.

Frank Lloyd Wright The Stained Glass Artist

As a designer, Frank Lloyd Wright’s career lasted an admirable 70 years. A lengthy time which allowed him to not only make his mark on American design forever but also create myriad of amazing stained glass that is as relevant today, as it was back in the early to the mid 20th century. In fact, he designed well over 4,000 leaded glass windows and doors–primarily for the buildings he designed.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Stained Glass Style

Wright created stained glass for nearly every feature in a building that you can imagine–doors, skylights, backlit ceiling panels, table lamps, and wall sconces as well as for windows. Probably what drove the uniqueness and beauty of Frank Lloyd Wright’s stained glass windows was that he didn’t think of these windows as traditional stained or leaded glass. Rather Wright thought about them and often referred to them as “light screens” — more akin to Japanese shoji screens than a leaded glass window. As such, he almost always arranged his windows in bands. Unlike other stained glass before Wright’s time, his designs relied heavily on the zinc-or copper-plated came configuration, while all others used lead. This type of caming allowed him to use geometric abstractions of natural elements such as plants, trees, flowers and more. He also heavily used a playful but elegant mix of solid-colored, iridescent and clear glass and sometimes a hallmark style of gold leaf sandwiched between two thin pieces of clear glass. By setting some pieces of his stained glass at an angle he greatly enhanced the reflective qualities of the glass pieces in his windows–when light strikes them, different colors can appear depending on the time of day. It was this creativity and attention to light that truly set his windows apart and made him a master of his time and through this day.

At Scottish, we make lovely stained glass in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright, paying attention to the clean lines and refraction of light. If you want to learn more about Frank Lloyd Wright style stained glass windows for your Fort Collins home, contact us today for a free design consultation!

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