of Stained Glass: The Technique
Stained glass is a monumental art created in France
between the 9th and the 10th Centuries.
Its purely artisan technique has not evolved since that time,
besides the idea of replacing the red-hot iron (used until the 16th
Century) with the diamond for the cutting of glass pieces
and that of replacing the gas or wood kilns with the electric one.
making of a stained glass window goes through many stages that
can be subdivided as follows: taking the measurement, preparation
of the sketch or design, the cartoon, the traced design, the
cutline and the cast-off, the design for colors, the cutting, the
aciding, painting and silver staining, firing in the kiln,
assembling, leading-up and soldering, puttying and finally the
of the preceding stages are hand made. No modern technology can
replace any of the mentioned stages.
speaking, the definition of a stained glass window is therefore
the assembling by lead of colored glass.
speaking, it is a wall of light. This light is exceptional, for
what makes the specificity of this art is the unique character
and wealth of its glass, known as "Antique" glass. It
is classed Antique because it is made using old methods and is
mouth-blown. Various procedures are used; a miscellany of
chemical and physical methods is hence used to modify the
material itself. It is, then, that different miniature, tiny
blobs and bubbles as well as small streaks called veins come to
light. The latter are endowed with the power of diffracting the
sunrays. This is what makes the difference between antique glass
and flat industrial glass.
short, the amount of work put in all these procedures and
qualities is at the service of Art aiming at decorating and
embellishing a building. In fact, it is sufficient to place one
single stained glass window to make it possible for a highly
mysterious alchemy to take place, so mysterious that it
completely modifies in preciousness and subtle harmony the
ambiance of the environment in question.
work of the artist, therefore, consists of taking into
consideration an array of parameters which will influence its
composition and colors. These parameters are the architectural
style, the aim of the space to be decorated, the number of
windows, their dimensions, their geographical position in
comparison with the ground, their geographical disposition, the
exiting decoration, and the furniture. All of this is carried out
for the purpose of achieving the most perfect and natural
with the sun and its most precious help, it will be within the
grasp of the artist to balance the light, to bestow upon it a
dominant character and to create more or less luminous zones.
sum it up, the marriage of glass and sun will yield a sumptuous
work of art, a unique one in the world. A monumental painting
which is not sun beaten but crossed by the Light. Hence, the
mystery is going to be achieved, a feeling of preciosity will
come to life. We can no longer talk of a stained glass window for
it is transformed into a jewel, a jewel for the soul, a jewel
which is different each day, for each day is different.
Back to Thoughts