Blog Archives

Stained Glass Colors and Textures Dazzle

Rainbow Tree of Life stained glass panel

Rainbow Tree of Life

The many dazzling colors and textures of stained glass never fails to amaze anyone.  There are over 2,000 colors and textures of stained glass made.  Some colors are combined by swirling the molten glass of two or more colors.  Watching the glass being made is truly awe inspiring.  I had the pleasure of touring both the Bullseye and Uroboros glass manufacturing facilities a number of years ago.  Seeing stained glass made on TV isn’t the same as seeing it done in person.  Huge glowing balls of molten glass were pulled out of these giant ovens.  The rooms were stifling hot. These hot molten balls of glass are placed on a special table that contained rollers.  The glass is then passed thru the various rollers to flatten it out into a long sheet.  Some of the rollers contain a pattern to imprint the texture onto the glass.  Another way of obtaining the texture is varying the speed of the rolling table so the glass will appear to have waves.  I could envision coming up with my own color combinations and would give it a try if given the chance despite the heat.

As a glass artist I have purchased samples from most all glass manufacturers.  The glass samples are meant to give the stained glass artist a general idea of the color and texture.  Please keep in mind that every sheet of glass is unique and therefore the images you see should only be used as a guideline.  Also, computer settings such as the gamma setting on your monitor and the amount of display colors on your video card may alter the colors of the images on your screen.

If you are aiming to have a stained glass window made then the artist wants to hear not only colors but what shade of colors.  For instance when a client states she wants “blue” I need to know what shade of blue.  There are hundreds of blues made by every manufacturer.  The better  color description you give will result in a better color selection for your project.  Even color combinations can be requested such as a blue and green textured glass.   There are so many combinations available even the artist can’t possibly know them all.  We have to search for just the right glass for you.   You just need to be specific.

Visit our site to see our colorful stained glass window and mosaic stepping stones at:  A Glass Menagerie.  We are located in Savannah, GA and ship throughout the US.

Stained Glass Windows – Price Quoting

Art Deco Fans stained glass window

Art Deco Fans

Buying a unique piece of stained glass art can be the perfect addition to any part of your home.  A fabulous stained glass  window will add texture, color, and give all of your visitors something to admire.  Basically, stained glass is made of pieces of glass infused with shades of almost any color you can imagine. There are thousands of colors/textures of glass from various manufacturers.  Sometimes finished stained glass panels will come together and represent a scene of something recognizable like a tree, flower, or animal. Other finished works will be an array of colors that do not create anything we recognize such as an abstract.

Consider a spot in your home that could used a little decoration and purchase a stained glass design that will match that area of your home. A custom-made panel isn’t any more expensive than a pre-made panel.   You may find that you prefer a stained glass artwork that is more abstract in design rather than one that has been made into something recognizable. Whatever your taste, you will enjoy having unique stained glass artwork in any part of your home.

Some folks want to know the cost of a panel right off the bat.  There are a lot of things an artist has to consider prior to figuring a price quote.  For one thing a design has to be drawn.  It’s difficult to price out a stained glass window without knowing how many pieces are in the design and how much detail will need to be included.   It’s like asking a contractor to quote building your home without giving him a set of plans.  There are other factors that contribute to the final cost of a panel such as type of glass used and if bevels or jewels will be incorporated.  It is a good idea for a client to have some sort of budget range ahead of time.  This will be considered by the artist during the design process.

Generally, glass is available in two categories:  opalescent (milky white, very opaque glass) and translucent (very transparent).   Opalescent glass typically obscures objects behind the glass.  It is used when depicting designs that need to be more solid such as an article of clothing or when privacy is desired.   Items located behind cathedral (transparent) glass can easily be seen.  The colors in cathedral glass tend to be more vivid with adequate back-lighting.  Without good back-lighting such as in a cabinet, cathedral glass tends to go dark even black.  Lighting has to be considered when selecting glass for a project.  Natural sunlight is always preferable but not an absolute requirement.

stained glass window - Iris's

Stained glass Iris

In a design basically the smaller and more irregular the glass pieces, the more difficult the window is to fabricate.  Each piece of glass is hand cut and individually wrapped with a copper foil.  A quote based on providing a window with a specific number of pieces can be misleading.  For example, consider two windows, each with 100 pieces of glass.  The first design is predominately rectangular pieces with lots of straight lead lines and uniform borders.  The second is a more irregular, figurative window with lots of curves  where no two pieces of glass are the same size or shape.  As you might imagine, the second window is the more costly design.

Each artist has their own formula for figuring the cost of a stained glass window.  I personally prefer a combination of sq ft price plus $2-3 for each piece of cut glass.  There again the pattern itself has to be considered and the degree of difficulty.  Hopefully the piece will fall within your budgeted amount and you end up with a stunning piece of stained glass for your home.

Last thing to consider is this; a stained glass window will more than likely be here long after you are gone. 😉

To have us quote you a price please contact us at  A Glass Menagerie

Tragedy Inspired Art

pink tulips in vase stained glass window

Pink tulips in vase

After watching the terrible events unfold for the last couple of days  beginning at the Boston Marathon and  ending with the eventual capture of the suspect holed-out in the hull of a boat I was struck by how intertwined all our lives are.  Each and every one of us are connected in some form or fashion whether we like it or not.  I will not venture further into that line of thought however since this piece is supposed to be about art glass.

I recently viewed a request from a lady who wanted a custom pink & white urn made to keep the ashes of her 13 yr old daughter who had recently died.  Pink was her daughter’s favorite color and she wanted it in the shape of a heart.  I was so moved and inspired by her story I felt absolutely compelled to design a piece of stained glass with this theme in mind.

The resulting stained glass design is a vase of pink tulips.  To me the vase with the heart symbolizes the unity and foundation of family.  It is the structure that ties families together.  Each flower in the vase represents different branches of the family while  each flower symbolizes one single family.   Each petal in that flower symbolizes each individual in that family.  Some flowers will have 3-4 petals (family members) while others will have 5-6 petals (family members).  In my design you will see a single petal that has fallen.  This represents the lost daughter.

I honestly can’t say for sure where all this came from inside me.  I felt, compelled, if you will, to do something even though I am quite busy and really didn’t have time for it.  Perhaps because of the emotions that were traveling throughout the country I was emotionally inspired to create.  The story moved me and so now this stained glass design exists because of it.

Designing Stained Glass Windows

Stained glass windows ……They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.  Glass is such a beautiful medium and at A Glass Menagerie we are working to push the boundaries of stained glass as far as they will glow.  The designs can be free-flowing, moving and everyday new ideas are being developed.  I often dream of designs, waking with only fleeting images left in my head.  They are sometimes hard to reproduce from such a split second of time in memory.  No matter how hard I try to remember the details of that design I am left high and dry by my own mind’s eye.  If only I could take a screen shot of my mind I could store it for later use.

The design of a stained glass window may be non-figurative (eg: flowers) or figurative (people); may incorporate stories drawn from the Bible, history, or literature.  Some religious traditions use the stained glass window art form to honor people and important events in their traditions. These windows are beautiful, intricate and complex and are most often associated with windows in Churches, Cathedrals and significant buildings.

I often get the question, “What colors do you have?”  That is a loaded question. There are a hundred types, styles and variations of “clear” glass, and made by many manufacturers. And, there are about 2,000 types of stained (colored) glass on the market today, as well.  Most artists and even most wholesalers can’t stock them all.  We typically order the glass from samples that are produced by the manufacturers.  It’s even hard to keep the samples up to date with new colors being made and old ones being removed.  I have a lot of hand rolled glass (expensive) that is no longer being produced.  Some of my favorites are no longer being made but that is the way of the world is it not?  Out with the old, in with the new.

Designs are only limited by your imagination and the colors well… there are thousands so anything is possible.

Stained glass Capuchin Monkey window

Stained glass Capuchin Monkey window

Stained glass colors from an interior decorators perspective.

Incorporating stained glass windows into your home may seem daunting.  It’s all about color and how you use it.  Here is an interior decorator’s perspective on it.

Many people design their homes with little awareness of the “proper order” of doing things especially when deciding upon their color scheme (and consequently, they try to choose paint colors first, rather than last!)  In actuality, this is more an art of applying simple math equations than it is getting every paint color right.  But, this also means knowing what colors you need in a space and in what proportions.  To establish a sense of continuity throughout one space, or even an entire home, it is always best to establish (what people in the design world) call “a leading pattern!”  Prior to selecting paint colors, it helps if you have something you love actually guiding your eye throughout the whole process, such as an area rug, an important piece of art, or perhaps even a wallpaper pattern.  This is very much like the artist’s paint palette that they would select to use prior to their work of art being created.  During this process, the artist “collects” or “visualizes” something that inspires their stained glass design.  When people try to select colors in their houses, they tend to see things in a disjointed manner which causes the spaces not to flow into each other well (much like your grandmother’s patchwork quilt!)

Consider a stained glass window as a perfect leading pattern.  Find a favorite photograph, an upholstery fabric, tile pattern, a beach scene or really anything that has several colors you love!  We can help guide your eye as far as your “base colors” as well as your “warm and cool accent colors.”  Colors in nature are usually the very best when it comes to creating successful interior color schemes.  Nature usually has a deeper earthy “ground floor” color, a “medium” wall color (thinks tans and greens in trees) and then the lightest “sky” color on the ceiling.  After deciding the neutral base wall colors and anchoring your design, you can then put in your accent wall colors along with accent pieces for exciting “pops” of color.  The more you are able to repeat these accent elements, the more your interior space will flow seamlessly from one space to the other.

So now….you now know a true “inside designer’s secret!”  A successful home interior  starts with one, great exciting “leading pattern” but the trick is perhaps finding it.

Browse our  Stained Glass Panels by Style.

stained glass blue bird panel

Blue bird & vines stained glass panel

%d bloggers like this: