Coloured & Stained glass
As a material stained glass is glass that has been coloured by adding metallic salts during its manufacture. The coloured glass is crafted into stained glass windows in which small pieces of glass are arranged to form patterns or pictures, held together (traditionally) by strips of lead and supported by a rigid frame. Painted details and yellow stain are often used to enhance the design. The term stained glass is also applies when colours have been painted onto the glass, and then fused to the glass in a kiln.
THE ART & CRAFT OF STAINED GLASS PANELS
Stained glass, as an art and a craft, requires the artistic skill to conceive an appropriate and workable design, and the engineering skills to assemble the piece. A window must fit snugly into the space for which it is made, must resist wind and rain, and also, especially in the larger windows, must support its own weight. Many large windows have withstood the test of time and remained substantially intact since the late Middle Ages. In Western Europe they constitute the major form of pictorial art to have survived. In this context, the purpose of a stained glass window is not to allow those within a building to see the world outside or even primarily to admit light but rather to control it. For this reason stained glass windows have been described as 'illuminated wall decorations'.
Came glasswork is the process of joining cut pieces of art glass through the use of came strips or foil into picturesque designs in a framework of soldered metal. Finished products can include a wide range of glasswork, including stained glass and lead light pieces. Came is made of different metals, such as lead, zinc, brass and copper. The metal came selected generally depends upon the size, complexity and weight of the project. As an alternative to came, copper foil may be used, for small, intricate pieces. Came glasswork includes assembling pieces of cut and possibly painted glass using came sections. The joints where the came meet are soldered to bind the sections. When all of the glass pieces have been put within came and a border put around the entire work, pieces are cemented and supported as needed. The work may be made waterproof by forcing a soft oily cement or mastic between the glass and the cames. A form of embellishment and gilding, such as Angel gilding and Eglomise, may be added to finish the piece.
Each piece of glass is selected for the desired colour and cut to match a section of the template. Details of faces, hair and hands can be painted onto the inner surface of the glass using a special glass paint which contains finely ground lead or copper filings, ground glass, gum arabic and a medium such as wine, vinegar or (traditionally) urine. Historically, the art of painting details became increasingly elaborate and reached its height in the early 20th century.
Beveled glass is usually made by taking thick glass and creating an angled surface cut (bevel) around the entire periphery. Bevels act as prisms in the sunlight creating an interesting color diffraction which both highlights the glass work and provides a spectrum of colors which would ordinarily be absent in clear float glass.
Beveled Glass can be obtained as clusters which are arranged to create a specific design. These can vary from simple three or four piece designs, often used in top lights (transoms) of windows and conservatories, to more complex combinations of many pieces, suitable for larger panels such as doors and side screens (known in the door industry as sidelites).
light diffusion & privacy
Frosted glass is produced by the sandblasting, acid etching, or adhesive vinyl application to clear sheet glass. It has the effect of rendering the glass translucent by scattering of light during transmission, thus blurring images while still transmitting light.
Glass etching comprises the techniques of creating art on the surface of glass by applying acidic, caustic, or abrasive substances. Traditionally this is done after the glass is blown or cast, although mold-etching has replaced some forms of surface etching. The removal of minute amounts of glass causes the characteristic rough surface and translucent quality of frosted glass.
Glass can be decorated by sandblasting the surface of a piece in order to remove a layer of glass, thereby making a design stand out. Items that are sandblasted are usually thick slabs of glass into which a design has been carved by means of high pressure sandblasting.
Vinyl adhesive applications allow for a temporary or interim solution and offers the flexibility of onsite installation.
Tempered (or toughened) glass is a type of safety glass that has increased strength and will usually shatter in small, square pieces when broken. It is used when strength, thermal resistance and safety are important considerations. Using toughened glass on automobile windshields would be a problem when a small stone hits the windshield at speed, as it would shatter into small squares endangering the driver and passengers. In commercial structures it is used in unframed assemblies such as frameless doors, structurally loaded applications and door lites and vision lites adjacent to doors. Toughened glass is typically four to six times the strength of annealed glass, which shatters into dangerous shards when broken.
Architectural Pattern Glass
Pattern glass is the name given commercially to monochromatic sheet glass, which is thin by comparison with slab glass, may be coloured, and is textured on one or both sides. Textured glass adds visual interest and varying levels of opacity to just about any application by creating subtle shifting of light. Perfect for furniture, kitchen pantries and cabinets, privacy windows and more, standard textured glass is a very economical option. Produced by pressing semi-molten glass under one or between two metal rollers to imprint a distinct pattern, textured glass diffuses light creating new opportunities for conceptual freedom and design. A range of visual textures provides hundreds of options and a solution for every style from traditional to modern.
Restoration & repair
The traditional method of creating "leaded glass" uses lead came. In comparison to other came metal strips, like brass, copper and zinc, lead is softer and more flexible, making it easier to cut and bend. It's also inexpensive and durable. A downside is that the finished projects may be prone to sagging due to lead's softness. This can be mitigated somewhat by stretching the lead to make it more rigid before it is used. Ironically, the lead came windows of the medieval churches are sturdier than those of the 19th century and much of the 20th century. The composition of lead came changed over time, at first by removing other metals to make a "pure lead" and then again during war years when lead was needed for ammunition. Since the 1970s a new form of lead, restoration lead, was developed based upon medieval lead's metal composition. Restoration lead is stronger than lead came of the prior 100 years or so. In addition, incorporating steel rods and a method of tying the lead to the rods increases structural support and corrects sagging. Water tightness is achieved by brushing cement under the flanges of the leads to both faces prior to installation or by applying putty afterwards.
Accidents happen, and normal wear and tear is expected! Wanda is Western Canada's exclusive crystal cutter. Bring us your cracked and chipped stemware, Swarovski, or family heirlooms, and pick them up looking brand-new. Bring us your item for a quote on-site.