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 Article and Glossary supplied by Aurora Glass.

Stained Glass Glossary

The entryway is the most important part of the home when it comes to creating a first impression. Custom glass work can be used to transform a dull door into an important and dynamic part of a home's total environment. It is impossible to say what type of glass or technique is best for residential use. Each home has its own character and each homeowner their own tastes.

 The law even takes a hand in shaping decisions for glass for entryways. According to building codes, all --glass used in entryways must be either laminated safety glass or tempered glass unless the door light or sidelight is made from leaded glass which is less prone to shatter in large pieces than a single sheet of glass.

Glass may be used to let light in or to insure privacy or even a bit of both. Opalescent glass can exclude light. Beveled glass can light a foyer withprismatic refractions. Etched glass can accent a scene without obscuring it.

The most important thing to consider in selecting glass for an entryway is the manner in which the glass work harmonizes with the home and its surroundings.










Above: Textured glass door and transom provides both privacy and light in this bathroom. With a privacy palette of varying opacities, colors and textures, stained glass is a perfect choice for combining a sense of security with a feeling of openness.

Right: This bevelled shell glass is a detail in a door in an entryway. Shell designs using clear bevelled glass are bright, striking and continue to be quite popular.


Left: Entryway with solid door and bevelled

leaded sidelights and transom brightens

the foyer while retaining the feeling of

solidity envoked by the massive

hardwood door.



Glass Art Glossary: A Variety of Techniques

Leaded Glass. This refers to the production of panels or windows made up of pieces of glass held together by strips of lead called "cames" which are grooved on each side to hold the glass together. Lead is used because it is soft and easy to bend around oddly shaped pieces of glass. The cames are joined at intersections with solder. Because of the leads elasticity a leaded window must be reinforced with rigid steel bars soldered across the back of the window. Brass cames may also be used but Aurora discourages the use of brass in a coastal environment due to the prevalence of corrosion. Additionally glass may be joined by using a combination of copper foil on the edges of the pieces and solder but this technique lacks the soundness and durability of traditional leading. Almost all work produced by Aurora uses traditional lead cames. A leaded glass panel may incorporate simple clear flat glass or a variety of types of glass may be used to create patterns and images. Beveled glass may be incorporated in leaded designs as well. A single window may incorporate several glass working techniques and up to several thousand individual pieces of glass.

Stained Glass. This term is usually used to apply to anything made of leaded glass that incorporates colors and patterns. This is not precisely correct. Colors and patterns may be created using glass in a variety of ways, beginning with the pigmentation of the glass during its manufacture. A wide variety of transparent red and blue glasses are produced in this manner. The addition of white glass to a colored glass during manufacturing produces a semitransparent or opalescent glass. Texture may also be imparted to a sheet of glass during the manufacturing process. The many types of glass available provide one part of the glass artisan's palette. Some masterworks in glass have, in fact, been created by simply using a different piece of glass for each different color or shade for each segment of the image depicted. However, glass may also be enhanced by painting on its surface with pigments mixed with powdered glass which are then melted to the surface in a kiln for a permanent image. Additionally, silver stain may be used to give glass a yellowish tint (this process gave birth to the term "stained glass").

Etched Glass. Glass may be etched or carved with abrasives or chemicals or even mechanically engraved to create interesting, often quite complex designs. In addition to window and door panels, etching techniques may be used to create striking gift items. Etching can be confined to the surface or may be continued deep into the glass for three dimensional effects. Deep carved plate glass door panels for entryways are becoming quite popular.

Dalle de Verre. Also called faceted glass, this technique involves fixing thick pieces of glass in a medium such as resign or concrete to form a panel. Each piece of glass is chipped at the edges to give it a faceted effect, hence the name. Impressive, quite large panels for ecclesiastical and commercial settings can be created using this technique.

Fused or Slumped Glass. Glass may be fused together to form three-dimensional creations. By using pieces of glass of different colors, excellent effects may be created

These various techniques may be combined to create an almost limitless palette of effects.

Article and Glossary supplied by Aurora Glass. Visit their site at for some beautiful stain glass options.

Decorating Studio, LLC or is not affiliated with the authors nor responsible for the actions or content of the articles, or any 3rd party information within or linked to or from Decorating Studio or Decorating Studio's website.
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