Sunday, November 13, 2011

Are Stained Glass Windows Relevant For Churches Today?

Does the use of stained glass in churches hold the same relevance it did in the middle ages? Does it change or enhance the worship atmosphere of the church?

In the Middle Ages stained glass was used to teach the congregation Bible stories, incorporate narratives, depict Saints, or episodes from the life of Christ.

In the twenty-first century we are relatively well read and truly don’t require pictures to understand religion. But do we think of stained glass pictures as an essential part of our church building? Are they the catalyst that actually makes a building a place of worship?

Many churches have used stained glass to achieve both a spiritual atmosphere and retain privacy. Some people feel a stronger sanctuary in their church when the light streams in through beautiful coloured glass and the rest of the world--traffic, tall buildings and all-are away from view, even for a short time.

Others will say that the church is in their hearts and minds and not in the building trappings at all.

Churches today face economic hardships which may influence whether its architecture is stark and modern, has many stained glass windows or just enough pane windows to provide light. An option for easing the cost of stained glass is the use of donated panels in memory of loved ones. This gesture helps to ease the financial burden and assists to further bond the congregation.

It not only provides tranquil, beautiful windows, but also serves as a reminder of cherished loved ones who have gone before us.

There are also more options for the creation and production of these beautiful works of art. In some cases, new or displaced churches rely on rented halls or small office units. Stained glass windows can be made not only to custom fit windows, but are removable at the same time. When the congregation moves to a permanent building, the windows go with them making them feel right at home again.

It is truly an individual preference if churches have stained glass windows. It would be fair to say that most people associate stained glass with churches. A great deal of artwork and photography depict stunning images of the buildings with either the light streaming in or out of the stained glass windows.

Some worshipers feel that when they are seated inside, the rich colors enrich the quiet, contemplative nature of the church, bringing the spiritual atmosphere alive. Stained glass windows go hand in hand with hymn books, organs and the pulpit to make the difference between an office building and a church.

Although it is true that stained glass doesn’t hold the same teaching relevance it was meant for 100 years ago, it strongly maintains a recognized value and sentimentality in modern society.

It’s still just as important that the light shines in!

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Saturday, July 2, 2011

How Much Will A Custom Stained Glass Window Cost?

When you go to a stained glass artisan, don't expect to walk in and tell him/her you want a window put in your front door and then ask, "How much will it cost?" The artist will not give you a quote off the top of his/her head. There is a process to arriving at a price for a stained glass window.

When you know that you want a custom stained glass window, you should arrive at the stained glass studio with some facts and ideas before you ask a stained glass artisan for a price quote. The first thing you need to know is the exact measurement of the opening. The base price of a custom built stained glass piece begins with pricing based on square footage, and then per piece. Therefore, the more detailed the piece is, the more costly.

Each stained glass artisan has his/her own pricing scale. An example of just the basis of the quote would be a set rate per square foot plus an additional cost per piece in the pattern for a stained glass window constructed with lead came. A lower charge of the per square foot rate plus the per piece rate might be given for a stained glass window constructed with copper foil. But that's just the beginning.

If you don't know what design to settle on and you request full-size cartoons (patterns) to look at on your opening, the stained glass artisan might charge per cartoon to cover his/her extra time - especially if you decide not to have the stained glass window made.

The type of glass used in a stained glass window has bearing on the cost. For instance, red glass is more expensive than some other colors because gold is a metal used in making red glass. The brand Kokomo glass is generally more expensive than Spectrum glass. There is a variety of pricing among art glass.

Bevelled glass and bevel clusters (especially if they have to be custom made) are often far more expensive than stained glass. For an individual stained glass artisan to custom make bevel clusters, it requires a lengthy process. This would increase the quoted price for your custom stained glass window.

If you decide to have gems, glass globs or faceted jewels or rondels added to the design, these will increase the price of your custom stained glass window. Some gems are more expensive than others, and these add to the intricacy of the work to be done.

Other considerations in the overall cost of your stained glass window are installation and how it will be framed and whether or not the artisan will be responsible for framing and installation. The stained glass artisan may refer you to a framer or a carpenter if the artisan does not do the installation. Other costs include things like whether or not a storm window is included or if the stained glass piece will be sandwiched and weather-sealed between two pieces of glass.

It will help the stained glass artisan to know what type of glass to choose if you know whether or not you need glass that will provide total privacy. Is there anything that you would like to bring into the stained glass design like nature or flowers? Do you want colors or just clear textures? Do you like Prairie style or Art Nouvea?

When you have a design and the glass chosen and the finished size, your stained glass artisan will be able to give you a price on your beautiful custom stained glass window.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Beautify Your Garden With Stained Glass Art

Stained glass has many applications. The beauty of your garden can be enhanced by capturing the beauty of the sun's natural light through stained glass art. Stained glass ornaments in your garden will capture the sun's natural light and the stained glass will sparkle as the light dances off its surface.

A stained glass stepping stone or garden stone path provides a wonderful mixture of color and design leading to the entry to your flower garden. Stained glass mosaic garden stone designs are fun to do and can be placed throughout your garden. You can make them yourself with regular concrete mix or special colored stone concrete. You can make your own molds or purchase molds from your retailers or wholesalers.

With Tiffany Garden Borders patterns you can build a 4-foot concrete and stained glass circular garden border around your flowerbed, tree, birdbath, backyard pond, sundial or herb garden.

If you aren't experienced at scoring, breaking and grinding stained glass, just break random scraps of stained glass and arrange them in a design, or in no particular design, in your concrete form.

You can buy easy-to-make stepping stone kits in craft stores or online. Stained glass shops and suppliers have hundreds of patterns and instructional books on stained glass garden stones and other stained glass garden ornaments.

Whimsical frogs, fish and turtle stained glass designs on concrete rain spout deflectors are more attractive than the ordinary plastic ones you see under everyone's gutter drains.

Picture beautiful stained glass and beveled or prism glass wind chimes flashing brilliant colors. The sound of the stained glass shapes bouncing off each other is pleasing when they are moved by a gentle breeze.

Iron garden stakes frame colorful stained glass designs which are interchangeable. You can change the design to fit any season or special occasion. The stained glass garden stakes can be placed by your front door or in the garden. Guests will enjoy the warm, welcoming feeling they get when they see the warm colorful stained glass garden stakes and stepping stones.

Another gardeners' favorite is stained glass wire stake designs for flowerpots and smaller garden beds. 3D creatures such as stained glass hummingbirds, butterflies, ladybugs, and dragonflies are favorite colorful additions to any patio flowerpot.

A popular stained glass garden project is a resting bench. This is a larger and heavier stained glass project but is worth the effort. The beautiful designs in the many available patterns for stained glass benches fit so well in a beautiful, colorful garden, or under a shade tree. Many have been used in cemeteries and church yards as a lovely, restful place to pause and reflect.

There are iron frames for patio tables to be done in stained glass mosaics. They can be purchased though stained glass suppliers, shops and online. There are many stained glass patterns and books available for the patio tables; or, as always, you can use your imagination and come up with your own stained glass mosaic table design.

What about a cozy looking stained glass fireplace screen in front of your patio fireplace, or stained glass patio lanterns or porch light fixtures?

You can make any stained glass garden decoration yourself or have a stained glass artisan design and make it for you. You can decorate garden walls or patio floors with stained glass mosaic designs. When it comes to decorating your garden, deck, or patio with stained glass, you are limited only by your own imagination.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Glass Art for Young Artists

Stained glass is a beautiful art form that combines the use of various colors, shapes, textures and transparencies with light to illuminate, decorate and inspire the mind, spirit and eye of the beholder. Children have always been, and will always be, fascinated with shapes and colors which make the art form of stained glass perfect for them.

Unlike a coloring book page which is coloured once and then maybe taped to the refrigerator for a few days before finding its way to the garbage can, a stained glass creation can bring enjoyment and help boost a child's self-esteem for many years to come. There is nothing better than a beautiful constant reminder of the child's great "achievement".

In its early days, long before Christ was born; stained glass was made by mixing different metals with sand and soda and heating them at high temperatures so that the colors were actually a part of the glass. This type was thicker and the colors were rich and dark. Throughout the decades styles and tastes changed and new ways of using stained glass were needed. As people wanted to get more detail in their stained glass windows and also allow more light in, they began to use the technique of painting on the glass, rather than mixing the colors into while making it. This is one easy way to introduce a child to the art of stained glass. Kids can learn to paint on glass with Reusch paints, the same ones used for many years in traditional glass painting. Today you can purchase lead free paints. Once the glass is painted, it is fired permanently in a kiln.

Another easy and fun project for children is drawing designs on glass using ground glass, known as frit. Kids can be really creative with the many colour choices available in frit and the various grades of coarseness. Using a pattern below clear glass, they arrange the frit and adhere it with fusible glue. After adding another layer of clear glass on top, the whole design is melted together in the kiln to complete the project.

Children love to learn and using a fused glass or stained glass project provides the opportunity to teach them on a variety of topics such as art appreciation, the history of decorative glass, architecture, colours and design. Any project that allows a child to be creative, interact with others and develop their self-esteem is worthy of taking into consideration and glass crafting certainly meets those requirements. So why not encourage your budding young artist to pursue the wonderful techniques of making glass art? You might even want to join them. But be careful, glass work can be addictive.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Trickett Glass Wins International Award in Las Vegas

By Mickey Reid

Carol Trickett, former London stained glass artist and owner of Trickett Glass in Thorndale, has won a prestigious award at the Glass Craft and Bead Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The international competition was held from March 31-April 3, 2011. Carol's stained glass piece, "Memories" won 2nd place in the Professional Stained Glass category.

"Memories" is a stunning creation depicting a black and white photograph of clasping hands amidst a beautiful background of falling leaves. The panel was made in honour of all those travelling the Alzheimer's journey and their caregivers.


Trickett Glass was launched in Thorndale on May 2005 when Carol’s long time job at Bell Canada suddenly dissolved. She decided to open her own stained glass business based on her success over many years in London when her art was just a “hobby.” Her business has since grown to include Heritage pieces and restoration and creation of church windows.

As an artist, Carol has continually evolved, learning new techniques and enthusiastically sharing her knowledge with others through classes offered at her studio. It was this desire to expand her expertise that lead to the creation of “Memories.”

This award winning stained glass piece was a project Carol created for an advanced traditional painting class. This class was offered through the London Stained Glass Guild, and taught by instructor Lynette Richards. Carol wanted to experience Glass Expo for many years, and having decided to attend, entered Memories in the Gallery Of Excellence contest.

“I didn’t think I would win,” she smiled, “So this award is a wonderful surprise!”

With her strong belief in continuous education, Carol took advantage of the opportunity to learn new techniques while at the Glass Expo. She took a series of classes offered by Peter McGrain in traditional stained glass painting and learned more about his own Vitri-Fusaille technique.

“Vitri-Fusaille” is a term created by Peter to describe the technique of stained glass with has been fused and painted. The artist creates a sketch of the design, fuses various color fields of glass together to make the background and then paints and fires the "lead lines" and the design using a series of tracings, shadings, paint application and removal techniques.

The result is a beautifully visual combination of paint and art.

The kind that wins International awards for aspiring stained glass artists like Carol Trickett.

Monday, February 28, 2011

William Morris

March 24, 1834 – October 3, 1896

William Morris was an English artist of many passions. These passions included textile design, writing, socialism, and stained glass, among many others. He was part of the English Arts and Crafts Movement. Morris began attending Exeter College, Oxford, in 1852 where he met another undergraduate and eventually his life-long friend and collaborator Edward Burne-Jones.

Morris founded a design firm in 1861. One of his two partners in this firm was Edward Burne-Jones (the second partner was a poet and artist named Dante Gabriel Rossetti.) This firm influenced the designs in churches and homes into the early 20th century.

Although Morris was mainly a textile artist, his designs showed in churches and homes such as the “Red house” in Bexleyheath. This house was architecturally designed for him and included some of his designs such as ceiling paintings, walls hangings, and furniture paintings. This house also included wall paintings and stained – and painted glass by Burne-Jones.

In 1861, Morris was also a partner in founding the Morris, Marshall, Faulkner, & Co. firm. Other artists involved in the partnership were Rossetti, Burne-Jones, Ford Madox Brown and Philip Webb, also Charles Faulkner and Peter Paul Marshall. The main arts that the firm would undertake were metal work, carving, paper hangings, chintzes, carpets, and stained glass. The decoration of churches had always been a must by the firm.

Some of Morris’ stained glass included works done by Morris & Co. For example, “David’s Charge to Solomon” (1882), a stained glass window designed by Morris and Burne-Jones, in Trinity Church Boston, Massachusetts. They were also involved in the “Nativity” windows (1882), designed by Burne-Jones and executed by Morris & Co. in the Trinity Church Boston. And finally, there was also the “Worship of the Shepherds” window (1882) in Trinity Church Boston, also designed by Burne-Jones and executed by Morris & Co.

William Morris was a man of many great artistic talents. His firm Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. began the new era in Western art. He has become an artist who has set the stage for many different art forms.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Edward Burne-Jones

(August 28, 1833 – June 17, 1898)

Edward Burne-Jones was a British designer. He also had talents in painting, designing ceramic tiles, jewelry, tapestries, mosaics, book illustration, and stained glass.

He was involved in the rejuvenation of the tradition of stained glass art in England. Some of his stained glass works include the windows of St. Philip's Cathedral, Birmingham; St Martin's Church in Brampton, Cumbria; the church designed by Philip Webb, All Saints, Jesus Lane, Cambridge; and in Christ Church, Oxford.

Some of his stained and painted glass works included a cartoon for the “Daniel” window in St. Martin’s-on-the-Hill, Scarborough (1873); the “Nativity” windows in Trinity Church, Boston (1882); “The Worship of the Magi” window in the Trinity Church, Boston (1882); “The Worship of the Shepherds” window in the Trinity Church, Boston (1882); the “Nativity Scene” in St. Mary’s Church, Huish Episcopi, Somerset; “David” in St Michael and All Angels, Waterford, Hertfordshire (1872); “Mariam” in St Michael and All Angels, Waterford, Hertfordshire (1872); and finally “Christ as Salvator Mundi” in St Michael and All Angels, Waterford, Hertfordshire (1896).

Burne-Jones was one of the founding members of the firm Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. Two major designs helped the firm gain its reputation in the late 1860’s: a royal project at St. James’s Palace, and the “green dining room” at the South Kensington Museum of 1867. These projects featured stained glass windows and panel figures by Edward Burne-Jones.

In 1871 Morris & Co. designed the windows at All Saints, these were designed by Burne-Jones. In 1875 Morris & Co. was reorganized and Burne-Jones continued to design with them. Burne-Jones designed stained glass windows in the Christ Church Cathedral and other buildings in Oxford.

Burne-Jones was so highly recognized and appreciated as an artist that upon his death in 1898, the Prince of Wales insisted a memorial service be held at Westminster Abbey. His talents and devotion must have been so recognized and honored.

Burne-Jones was involved in such movements as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, the Aesthetic Movement, and the Arts and Crafts Movement.