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Stained glass implies colored glass and work or drawings created from it. Stained glass can be created in different forms like suncatcher, stained glass panel, stained glass wall art, and window stained glass hanging. Even though it was made as flat panels and were used as traditional windows, modern stained glass creations come as 3-D sculpture and structures. Stained glass includes objects d’art and domestic leadlight that is designed from foil glasswork, often seen in Tiffany lamps.

How are stained glass windows made?

Stained glass, as a material, is a glass that is colored by blending in metallic salts at the time of manufacture. They are decorated in several ways. The colored blend or glass is crafted into stained glass windows. Smaller glass pieces are arranged such that they form pictures or patterns. They are held together by lead strips and rigid frame support. Yellow stain and painted details are generally employed to exemplify the design. Stained glass windows also imply enameled glass windows wherein the colors are painted on the glass. Later it is fused to the stained glass in a kiln. It is done only to sections of windows.

Steps involved in making stained glass windows

Cartoon- A sketch of the total window composition is made in the beginning. A full-sized drawing for different panels or whole window panels was made. These are full-sized drawings are referred to as cartoons. Glass colors, to be painted details and individual glass pieces are recognized on the cartoon.

Cutting-Different glass colors are selected for separate design sections. Each piece of the outline is then painted with white limewash on the surface. Glass pieces are etched to rough shapes making use of a dividing iron. The heated tip is applied to the glass surface resulting in a break.

Grozing- These pieces are minimized to the required size using a grozing iron. This is an iron bar that has a slot at its end which is used to etch off the glass edges to get the precise shape.

Painting- Once the glass pieces were shaped, they are painted with a pigment blend of ground copper and iron oxide with powdered glass. Vinegar, wine, or urine is blended in the pigment. A vitreous paint, a special paint made of glass particles in a liquid blender to paint the side of the glass, ranges from gray to black. After painting, it is placed in a kiln that results in the paint fusing permanently.

Lead- Glass pieces are held together with narrow lead strips to create a panel or called lead came. Lead gives adaptability and flexibility.

Glazing- Glazing implies to panel assembly of stained glass which can be set on the window. Once the glass is fired and painted, they are set in a spot on the cartoon and linked together with lead. This forms a panel.

Cementing- The panel is secured by cementing glass within the leads. It waterproofs the window. A semi-liquid cement is brushed and covered with sawdust or a chalk layer to absorb the extra liquid. The panel is scrubbed down with a brush till only the cement remains below the lead.

Conclusion

Stained glass is often seen and exclusively used for church windows and important religious constructions. They are very attractive and exclusive.