Category Archives: Stained Glass

Stained glass products, technical information and tips from Stained Glass Express.

Types of Glass

Other than basic opalescent and cathedral glass, there are further breakdowns of glass types under these two main headings. Opalescent is mixed with white and cathedral is see-through. Every manufacturer has its own variation of how it has handled these variations, so we end up with an industry filled with amazing options.

OPALESCENT

Opalescent glass was first developed and patented by John La Farge in 1879, but it was Tiffany who created the masterworks in glass using this type of glass. The Tiffany studio would often create a piece of glass just for the particular piece they were currently working on.

So within this category, there are the following variants:

Mixes. You can have a mix of one color and white. You can have a two- or three-color mix, or even a mix with more colors. The more colors that are mixed, however, the more difficult it is to not end up with a muddy glass. Mixing many colors with success is certainly a skill.

Iridized. Many manufacturers were adding an iridized coating to their glass. This is very thin metallic coating that gives the glass a mother-of-pearl effect (or for those who don’t care for it, an oil-slick effect).

Textured. There are many textures that can also be added to glass, such as flemish, granite, hammered, ripple, starburst, vertigo, corella classic and moss. Again, different manufacturers produce slightly different looks and may call them something different.

Solid Opals. Glass that is a solid color.

CATHEDRAL

This glass has been around a long time. References as early as 675 A.D. talk about colored glass in buildings.

Textured: There are many different textures of glass available. Some examples would be waterglass, reeded, English muffle, artique and Celtic.

Streakys. This style of glass is still a bit see-through. Some color is mixed with clear.

Happy Birthday, Marc Chagall!

Marc Chagall, one of the great artists of our time, would have been 132 on July 7 this year. He was born in the Russian Empire and worked with paint and stained glass.

But he was a bit of a late bloomer in the stained glass medium — he did not start working with stained glass until he was in his 70s!

This blue window is in The Collegiate Church of St. Stephan in Mainz, Germany. Chagall completed it just before he died.

The red window shown is in Chichester Cathedral, Chichester, England.

One of Chagall’s most beloved works is America Windows at the Art Institute in Chicago.

America Windows, Art Institute of Chicago

It is believed that Chagall put lots of emotion into his work.

There are many famous Chagall quotes, which I think explain a lot about him:

 

If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.

Marc Chagall

 

Art seems to me to be, above all, a state of soul.

Marc Chagall

 

For me, a stained glass window is a transparent partition between my heart and the heart of the world.

Marc Chagall

 

Wissmach Luminescent Glass

Luminescent glass is different than iridescent glass. It is low-fire—not high-fire like iridescent—and is intended for reverse fusing.

What is reverse fusing?

Reverse fusing means placing your piece facedown on the kiln shelf and building backwards, fire-coated side down.

If you are firing on a textured mold, place a piece of ThinFire between your boron-treated mold and the glass. If you fire your piece with the coated side up or cover it with another piece of glass, you will lose the coating.

If you are slumping and do not go over 1,200 degrees, you can place the luminescent side up and not lose the coating.

Luminescent glass is food-safe and has been tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, please note that once the piece has been fired in your kiln, it is no longer a Wissmach product; it is your product. If you have been firing glass that could leave lead or cadmium traces in your kiln, that could get on the product, which would render it unsafe for serving food or beverages.

 

 

 

 

LEFT: Luminescent glass fired with ThinFire in between, with the coating facedown.

RIGHT:  Luminescent glass fired facedown, directly on the mold.

 

Firing Schedules: Courtesy of Petra Kaiser and Wissmach Glass

Standard Fusing Schedule – 2 Layers Thick

Segment 1: 600°F/hr up to 1,000°F, hold for 10 minutes

Segment 2: Full/9,999 up to 1,410°F, hold for 10 minutes

Segment 3: Full/9,999 down to 950°F, hold for 60 minutes

Segment 4: 100°F down to 700°F, hold for 1 minute

Tack Fuse, Polishing and/or Slumping into a Mold

Segment 1: 300°F/hr up to 1,000°F, hold for 10 minutes

Segment 2: Full/9,999 up to 1,300°F or 1,350°F
(depending on your desired results), hold for 10 minutes

Segment 3: Full/9,999 down to 950°F, hold for 60 minutes

Segment 4: 100°F down to 700°F, hold for 1 minute

Draping over a Mold and/or Polishing

Segment 1: 300°F/hr up to 1,000°F, hold for 10 minutes

Segment 2: Full/9,999 up to 1,200°F or 1,220°F (depending on your desired results),
hold for 10 minutes

Segment 3: Full/9,999 down to 950°F, hold for 60 minutes

Segment 4: 100°F down to 700°F, hold for 1 minute

NOTE: Not all kilns are alike. Your kiln size, controller type and individual project may require some alteration to the schedule for best results.

Mind the Gap!

How close should your glass pieces be?

They should be close enough so that you are comfortable with how heavy a solder line you will end up with.

To help prevent uneven spaces, here are some hints:

  • Use push pins or jigs to hold your glass in place while building and checking the fit. That way, you won’t get one piece fitting perfectly as you are pushing another one out.
  • Make sure you have not flipped any glass over. Label your pieces to avoid this.

Before you say “good enough,” think about any holes or uneven spaces you are filling with solder. When your piece is held up to the light, those places will not let light through. They will become part of the design.

Another problem is overheating the glass due to reworking it with a hot soldering iron. You don’t want to crack your glass with thermal shock because you are adding so much solder to fill the gap. Often when you are doing this, one side looks good and then you turn the piece over and there is a gob of solder. So you fuss with that, going back and forth, heating and heating, and then you hear the dreaded tink—the sound of glass cracking and your heart breaking!

The best fix—sorry to say—is to recut.

Be patient with yourself. This is a skill—so practice and don’t give up.

Photo courtesy of Inland.

 

Tiffany Aventurine – A Celebration!

How beautiful is this VASE!?  (I FEEL LIKE I COULD JUST POST THE PICTURE AND IT WOULD BE ENOUGH!)

This vase was made c. 1910.  It is Aventurine Lava Blown Glass by Tiffany Studios.  This is currently on display in the new exhibition at the Morse Museum called “Iridescence—A Celebration”.

This vase was among Tiffany’s treasured A-Coll (Artist Collection) pieces exhibited at Laurelton Hall.  It is a striking vase and was made by draping lava like aventurine glass over iridescent gold glass.  The name aventurine references the quartz-like glass with sparkling particles developed in Murano, Italy around 1910 when this was made.

You can use aventurine glass for your treasures also.  Available from Bullseye and Oceanside in flat glass and frit.   Usually available in black, blue or green.  It has been a little tough to get lately but we have some.  Click here to order.

 

 

Always Need More

So, so true! And mostly it is glass.  You just can’t stop.  Sometimes it is for a project, sometimes because it is a basic color that you always use, and sometimes it is just because it is too beautiful or unusual to resist.

Thank you for that. You keep the industry going!

We have a great stock of heads and tails in for our annual Invite Night sale April 6th. They will be available to one and all after the sale.

JUST FOR FUN MEANS “JUST FOR FUN”

A rewrite of the 2017 blog “AM I GOOD ENOUGH”

Right after the holiday season we start encouraging all of you to get your entry ready for the Just For Fun Contest.  We often hear, “I am just not good enough.”  I just want to say, “YES, YOU ARE!”

The variety of work and the different skill levels are what make the contest wonderful.  Each piece draws out comments of appreciation for something.  It might be choice of color, or choice or glass.  Some little quirky things someone might have done.  Some little creative touch.  It might be that someone just likes it.

NEVER, NEVER, have we heard— “that doesn’t belong—it is not good enough.”

 

The name “Just for Fun” may sound trite but we put a lot of thought into it.  We did not want the contest to have rules that we have to monitor, and we do not want to limit it in any way.  (we do limit size because we don’t want the ceiling to fall).  We just want it to be Fun.  You can enter to win or you can enter just for fun.

This contest is in celebration of National Stained-Glass Month.  In addition to seeing just an awesome collection of entries, you will get to come to Invite Night celebration.  You get to vote.  You get to enjoy refreshments.  You get a swag bag.  You get to shop the very best sale we have all year on different items that you see in the store all the time.  Thinks we found on sale, things we find on close outs, things suppliers offer us at special pricing.  We usually throw in some introductory products are introductory prices.  All in all it is just a great time.

Get your contest piece ready and help us celebrate National Stained Glass Month!

Color Of The Year!


One thing that I look forward to every year is Pantone announcing their Color of the Year.  The color will then be seen in store displays, on fashion runways, all kinds of product designs, interior decorating, social media and I like to relate it to glass.  I will be searching far and wide to bring you glass in this amazing color.

So far, I have found a Youghiogheny and it will be a stock number in January 2019.

The number is 057 stipple

If you would like to read all about picking the color and about the color, go to www.pantone.com.

 

This is from the site:
“Pantone Living Coral emits the desired, familiar, and energizing aspects of color found in nature.  In its glorious, yet unfortunately more elusive, display beneath the sea, the vivifying effervescent color mesmerizes the eye and mind.  Lying at the center of our naturally vivid and chromatic ecosystem, Pantone Living Coral is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of color.”

Past colors of the year:

WISTERIA!

 


INFO FROM THE MORSE MUSEUM

This lamp is not only incredibly beautiful and an amazing amount of work, it was turning point for the Tiffany Studios.  In 1902, there was an event in Turin, Italy called the Prima Esposizione, Internazionale d’Arte Decorative Moderna.  This event put an emphasis on the aesthetic renewal of everyday objects.  Tiffany Studios received a grand prize at this event.  One of the designs for the award was for the Wisteria Library Lamp.  Electricity was now available.  Before electricity, the lamp bases had to serve as containers for oil and limited the design.  This transformed a previously utilitarian device in an electrified sculpture.

Take a close look at the top of the lamp.  There is an intricate bronze vine working its way down the design of the lamp.  Just beautiful.  This shade was designed by Clara Driscoll, who was the supervisor in the Women’s Glass Cutting Department.  Follow this link to learn more about Clara Driscoll.  http://morsemuseum.org/louis-comfort-tiffany/tiffany-studios-designers.

Wisteria has more than 2,000 pieces which, of course, were hand cut.  The wisteria was a popular spring blooming vine in the 19th-century American gardens and loved by Louis Comfort Tiffany.  He planted them in abundance at his Long Island estate called Laurelton Hall.

WHICH SIDE IS THE COATED SIDE OF DICHROIC

Some Info from The Frog Blog

Dichroic glass is so beautiful and there are so many uses, it is just delightful.  However, there are a few problems that knowledge can help deal with.

One is that it is impossible to tell 96 from 90 COE if you get them mixed up.  The answer to this one is—DON’T mix them up.  Keep them labeled.  If you keep scrap, keep it in a well-marked box.

It is often important to know which side the dichroic coated side is to get the look you are going for.  If it has a dark base, no problem—you can see it.  However, on a transparent base, it can look the same on both sides!  Reasons you may want to know this?

Cutting.  Always cut on the non-coated side of the glass.  It will help prevent chipping, especially on textured glass.  It also saves your cutter.

Coated Side Down.  When using the coated side down or capped with clear glass, the dichroic glass will have a smooth glossy surface and sparkle like glitter.  It will also change colors between the transmitted color and a completely different reflective color, depending of the angle of view.

Coated Side Up.   If you use the dichroic glass with the coated side up or uncapped, the dichroic surface will have a highly metallic sheen.  The piece may additional be rough and textured depending on the type of dichroic glass you are using.

This is what to do.  Place the glass over a dark background.  Look at the glass at an angle so that you are seeing the reflection of the dichroic.  Touch the surface with a paperclip (don’t scratch it).  The paperclip will reflect.

To know your answer.  Does the reflection meet the paper clip, or there a gap between the clip and its reflection?