A Primer on Stained Glass Windows

Stained Glass Window

The term “stained glass” can refer to the colored glass itself or the finished products that are produced when talented craftsmen combine pieces of this colored glass together in beautiful, intricate patterns, all held together with strips of metal which is soldered at the joins. Stained glass can be installed in windows, doors, or uses as a free hanging panel. Because glass is transparent or translucent, stained glass can be best appreciated in a place where either artificial or natural light can stream through it, such as the beautiful church windows of ancient European cathedrals or the well-known and still popular Tiffany lamps.

Or installed in a modern entryway, bay window, or door panel.

Although we usually think of stained glass as vividly colored, here at Scottish Stained Glass around 90% of our installations actually consist of clear glass. We still refer to these panels as stained glass windows, although perhaps the more specific term would be “leaded glass.” Calcium is one of the ingredients of glass, but in traditional leaded glass, it is replaced with a type of lead, hence the name! These type of stained glass windows can use textured glass, patterned glass, opaque glass, etched glass or beveling to add interest without clashing with any décor or color scheme.

To further confuse you, there is also a type of stained glass wherein color is painted onto clear glass, then made permanent by firing it in a kiln! What ties all these different forms of stained glass together is their history, their beauty and their artistry. Whether colored or clear, it takes a skilled craftsman with great training, patience, precision and attention to detail, along with an artist’s eye, to make a stained glass masterpiece.

The Versatility & Endurance of Stained Glass Windows

Although glass is considered a fragile, easily destroyed substance, the art form of stained glass is enduring throughout the ages. As are many ancient yet well preserved specimens of this beautiful art form. Many European stained glass masterpieces have survived in situ, remaining more or less intact for all the world to admire since their construction in the Middle Ages. Pretty amazing, when you think about it!

Stained glass in all its forms remains a popular addition to modern homes, churches and commercial spaces, adding value, uniqueness and loveliness. In our twenty years in business, we’ve installed approximately 40,000 custom made stained glass windows for over 15,000 delighted clients across the country.

Once upon a time, a stained glass pattern started out as a sketch or a painting. Today, our custom stained glass windows might still come from a sketch, or a photo. But we use modern computer technology to perfect the pattern, ensuring that it is the exact right size and shape, that all the lines of the pattern match up, and so that the client can see exactly what they’ll be getting.

All stained glass window used to be pieced together by hand with the utmost artistry. Today, all of Scottish Stained Glass’s windows and doors are still custom designed and hand built. Our artists are specially trained and revere the history of this art… so you can be guaranteed that your modern stained glass windows will have the same care and attention to every detail as afforded by the masters of old.

Contact us today for a modern stained glass masterpiece, perfect for home, retail, offices or anywhere you want a touch of modern elegance with a touch of history attached.

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