Glossary

At Associated Crafts® & Willet Hauser® we understand that not everyone is well versed in the terminology used for stained glass windows in religious institutions. Below we have given you a list of more than 190 words commonly used in creating and restoring stained glass windows.  (we have 120 years of experience)

A design whose forms have been reduced or modified from representational forms. A design using non-representational forms.

1/4 inch thick poly acrylic glazing sheet. Acrylic is 60 times more break-resistant than glass of the same thickness.

The existing, diffused light. Light coming from many directions.

Mouth-blown sheet glass with the irregularity of “medieval” glass. Glass blown into a large cylinder that is cut, opened, and flattened into a sheet. Variations of antique glass may include seedy, crackle, flashed, opal, opak, reamy and streaky. “Antique” refers to the technique-not the age.

The semi-circular termination of the east end of the chancel or chapel.

Stained glass designed, made and installed to harmonize with the structure and function of a building.

A metal divisional bar or bars making a framework for supporting stained glass, usually fixed into a wall. Also used within concrete for strengthening.

The style of work produced in the early twentieth century that reached its apex at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels modernes held in Paris in 1925. Characterized by bold geometric shapes, streamlined and rectilinear forms.

French for “The New Art”, an art movement popular in the 1890s and early 1900s in Europe and America. A busy, decorative style characterized by flowing vines and flat shapes (as seen in Tiffany glass) and undulating lines.

A radiant light around a head or body of the representation of a sacred person.

A non-architectural stained glass composition.

A window whose sash is hinged at the top and projects out when open.

A separate room or building of a church containing the font.

A solid metal bar, often steel, held by copper wire ties or solder directly to the interior of stained glass windows for support and reinforcement.

Machine made to imitate reamy glass. A style of art of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries characterized by overblown realism and curved figures.

An artistic style derived from the principles of a German school of architecture and design founded in 1919, and terminated prior to World War 11.

The space between columns. One complete transverse unit of the architecture, interior or exterior.

Three or more window units attached to a building so as to project outward.

The new aluminum divider bars used to set the protective covering will be bent to closely match the existing millwork. Associated Crafts craftsmen will custom fit and bend each divider bar on the site.

Cut and polished edge usually on plate glass at an angle other than 90 degrees, done in stages with roughing, smoothing, cork and felt wheel polishing.

A reinforcing bar (usually flat or round in shape) that is used to support the stained glass panel thus preventing bulging. Most often these braces are installed in the interior of stained glass.

Maintaining the originality is a high priority but in some cases, replacing the glass is the only choice. Generally a piece of glass needs to be replaced if it has a hole in it, is completely broken out or has multiple cracks.

A bulge is a section of the window that has become so weak that the lead and the glass bow in or out. If this condition is allowed to remain unchecked, it will break the glass and the lead joints. Eventually the whole section is in danger of falling out. 

Applying a thin layer of putty or sealant to the flat surface before installing a window. 

Metal strips, “U’ or “H” shaped, used to hold glass pieces together to form a stained glass window. Originally lead, but zinc, brass copper and lead ores are also used.

An architectural framing device to enclose a figure or scene. 

The full-scale drawing for a window or panel, from which the individual pieces of a stained-glass window are sized to cut. The cartoon is also used as a guide when the window is leaded up. Full-size working drawing showing detail of leading and painting.

A window sash hung by hinges and fastened to the window frame.

Machine rolled transparent colored glass.

Opalescent glass with a mottled appearance that suggest cat paw prints.

A special liquid compound used to weatherproof new windows. It is also used to maintain old windows (re-cementing). Also see description of Re-cementing.

The east portion of the church set aside for the clergy and choir.

“U” shaped groove in the came in which the glass sits. 

A technique where glue pulls the surface of the glass, causing it to chip.

An epoxy sealer that is used on rotting wood. CPES impregnates the wood rather than coating it, arresting fungi and bacteria growth. CPES creates a stronger yet flexible piece of wood that fungi will not penetrate.

The upper part of the nave above the side aisles of a church.

The very careful choice of colored glass, under natural light, so that an exact choice or replacement is possible. In restoration work a large inventory or “library” is essential so that when pieces are replaced, the selection is not constrained or limited.

Clear heavy glass with a pattern pressed on one side.

The overall design of a finished piece containing balance of color and linear flow.

The mil-thickness copper material, often adhesive backed, used to join separate pieces of glass. The technique of joining pieces of glass where foil is centered on the edge of each glass piece, then bent over the edge to cover a very small portion of the back and front faces of the glass.

Maintaining the originality is an important part of a proper restoration. Associated Crafts will repair all possible cracks to maintain the originality of your stained glass.

Antique glass with cracked texture which has been intentionally introduced during the cooling process. 

Cross shaped.

The projecting points formed by the intersection of two segmental arcs of foils.

Machine-drawn antique glass.

A thick slab of cast stained glass that is cut or broken and cemented into a panel with an epoxy adhesive matrix.

Visible opening size.

Space-age application of super thin, clear layers of metal oxides which allows for either transmitted or reflected color, depending on the viewers viewing position. 

The tee bars used to join the panels of stained glass that make up an entire window.

The use of two pieces of glass, one in front of the other, with an air space between for insulation. A frame that is designed to house both the stained glass as well as the protective covering.

A window consisting of two-sashes of glass operating in a rectangular frame. Both upper and lower halves slide up and down to open.

One-eighth thick glass. Strength refers to thickness.

The painting on glass that defines the drapery robes of figures, usually Biblical.

Heavily manipulated, folded or rippled glass that forms “drapes” that may be one inch or more thick.

A method of securing glass in a frame with just resilient gaskets.

To cover a crack during repair, a flange of lead is applied over the crack, tucked under adjoining leads and soldered in place. This procedure has generally been replaced with either edge gluing or a thin copper foiled line.

Mouth-blown antique glass from Europe and England.

Glass set from the exterior of the building. 

Glass set from the exterior of the building.

The molding that holds the light on the exterior of the frame.

French new antique glass, a machine-drawn antique glass. 

French semi-antique, a machine-drawn antique glass.

The front of a building.

Faceted glass windows are constructed from 1 inch thick slabs of stained glass called dallies. Dallies are cut to fit the artist’s cartoon using a glass cutter, a chipping hammer and an anvil. In some cases, a special saw is used on intricate cuts.

Iridescent glass patented by Louis Comfort Tiffany in the 1880s, produced by the exposure of hot glass to metallic fumes and oxides.

The arrangement of windows in a structure.

A thin strip, or border of glass.

A window permanently fastened to the frame.

Sheet glass, usually clear, with a thin layer of colored glass on one side.

Clear cathedral glass with a large wavelike pattern on both sides.

Flat glass manufactured by floating the ribbon of drawn, molten glass on a long bath of molten tin, and fire-polishing the upper surface, yielding a smooth, polished surface on both sides. 

Glass with a white translucent surface resulting from sandblasting or etching.

Mouth-blown antique sheet glass.

German new antique, a machine-drawn antique glass.

Any of several compounds that permit the frosting of glass.

Thick, round pieces of clear or colored glass that have been faceted, molded or domed.

Small pieces of clear or colored glass that have been faceted, molded or domed

Vitreous paints composed of metallic oxides and ground glass in a liquid vehicle and then fired on glass.

The process of assembling pieces of glass and lead to make a window.

The application of heated animal glue to sandblasted glass that , when dry, chips off, leaving a crystalline or icy look.

A clear blown glass without seeds or striation, just a slight surface distortion from the blowing process, similar to old window glass.

A style, generally referring to architecture, found in western Europe from 12th through 16th centuries.

Cathedral glass with a rolled bumpy, rough texture on one surface of the glass.

A panel or window of clear of light-colored glass painted with geometric or foliate designs. Sometimes used to refer to glass paints.

An “H” shaped metal bar used as a support between two sections of a panel.

A phenomenon where light-colored glass, when surrounded by darker glass, seems to spread beyond actual boundaries, creating a halo effect.

Cathedral glass with a tiny, tight, uniform pattern of round, smooth knobs.

A window whose sash is hinged at the bottom.

A comprehensive plan for the subjects of works of art, not necessarily Christian.

In position.

The part of a window that is non-movable.

Two sheets of glass joined together by a spacer. Insulated glass acts as a barrier against internal and external noise as well as the elements.

A surface treatment on glass that has a shiny, mother-of-pearl look.

System of protective outer glazing that inhabits conductivity of heat from the exterior to the interior surface of the complete window unit.

The upright surface forming the side of a window.

A clear plastic sheet laminated between two sheets of glass (i.e., a car windshield).

A long, narrow window with a pointed arch.

The grooved metal that surrounds each piece of glass in the window to hold the glass in place and to complement the design of the window.

Refers to any combination of glass design etc., which is fabricated using a web of lead came.

An opening through which sunlight is admitted; also a section of a large window, usually found in series divided by mullions.

Opaque material used as a cement to hold the glass in place in a faceted panel.

A small, bordered picture area of a window, primarily of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

A time period that included the Romanesque and Gothic periods, also called “The Middle Ages,” from about A.D. 500 to 1500. 

Glass produced by forcing air, by mouth, through a blowpipe into molten glass.

The vertical strip dividing panes of a window.

The vertical strip dividing panes of a window.

The vestibule, or entrance of a church.

The long, central portion of a church auditorium.

A reverse glass-painting technique done on the back side of glass, in which the detail is painted before the background. Usually done with unfired paints.

Any part of a glass window through which no light is transmitted, usually the dark lead line, matrix area of a window and/or an opaque painted area.

Nineteenth Century revival of Gothic style.

Not representing any object. Not realistic.

Glass blown into a rectangular mold and cut apart on the corners, resulting in square or rectangular pieces that are thin at the edges and thick in the middle.

The north or left side of a church is traditionally the side of darkness and the Old Testament, Which is often reflected in the subject matter and colors of these windows. It is not necessarily compass north.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration, charged with ascertaining that employers provide their employees a place of employment free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious harm to their employees.

Non-transparent glass resulting form painting, sandblasting or acid etching.

A circular window without stone tracery. Also called Occhio, Occhi, Oculu.

White opal flash on a colored antique.

A glass with a milky or resinous appearance.

Non-transparent or semi-opaque machine-rolled glass often with two or more colors streaked together.

Non transparent.

A mixture of finely ground glass, metallic oxides and a liquid mixing agent, such as water and gum arabic, used for painting on glass. It has to be fired for permanent adhesion. 

Painted glass is stained glass painted and fired in a kiln to a temperature of 1,200 degrees so the paint can fuse into the glass.

A window with three panels, the center panel being wider, with an arched top.

Unit of stained glass leaded together and made to fit an opening in the framework of a window. May be of any shape.

Is the process of wrapping exposed wood with flat aluminum coil stock to make a maintenance-free surface.

An F-shaped metal bar usually composed of aluminum that serves as the perimeter frame for protective glazing.

Framing that will fit the entire perimeter of the stained glass window.

A window that swings open on pivots at the top and bottom.

Machine-made glass that has been ground and polished so that it is free of flaws and distortions. It is usually at least 1/4 inch thick and is used primarily for bevels, mirrors and large store windows.

Putting a second piece of glass over a portion of a panel to alter the color, or for reinforcing old glass.

Small flat triangles of zinc used to hold glass in a wooden window sash.

The east end of the church housing the altar.

Diamonds or rectangles of glass leaded together in a lattice design.

Small opening in Gothic tracery having four arched sites. Also called arabesque.

An “L” cut all around the perimeter of the window frames, against which the stained glass panels are installed.

The process of applying a specially formulated compound to the exterior surface of the stained glass window. This specially formulated cement compound is brushed underneath the lead flanges, to replace the original cement compound which has loosened or fallen out over the years.

Refers to the process of complete historic restoration, where each stained glass panel is documented, disassembled and reassembled using all new lead came and solder. Each panel will be cemented on both sides and a proper bracing system installed before reinstallation.

Full antique glass with cords of wavy, irregular surface and large bubbles.

Clear commercial glass with half circle ribs (refrigerator shelf glass).

Light being reflected off the surface of glass as opposed to transmitted light.

A “U” shaped groove in wood or stone used for setting a window.

Galvanized steel rods of bars used to prevent a stained glass window from sagging of bowing.

The reintroduction of classical styles in the 15th and 16th centuries.

A thumbnail sketch, which is usually a color sketch of the proposed window(s).

The screen at the back of the altar.

Opaque glass with spots of a translucent color.

Machine-rolled glass, the rippled texture of which is imprinted from the roller.

Sheet glass formed by a roller flattening the glass into sheets.

A style founded on Roman principles, most prevalent in architecture in western Europe from the ninth through the twelfth centuries.

Round spun disk of stained glass with a punty mark in the center.

A circular window divided by tracery usually on the large west wall of a cathedral.

Semi-antique glass.

A metal bar attached to the inside of a stained glass panel and secured to the window jambs to prevent bulging or sagging, or secondary structural elements set into the window frame and attached to the window panels by solder and copper wires to provide additional bracing and support.

The area of the church where the altar is located.

Abrasive etching done deeper and in layers, creating a sculpture effect.

The technique of blowing abrasive materials under pressure onto the glass surface to etch away part of the glass.

The window frame.

Glass that has tiny bubbles through out.

Manchin-drawn transparent glass made to imitate the look of antique glass. Also called D.A., S.A., G.N.A., F.N.A. and New antique.

All blocks used as spacers in installing a window.

A printing method of applying paint to glass.

A mixture containing silver salts, which, when fired on glass, sinks into the glass, causing a permanent color ranging from pale yellow to amber.

The use of a single thickness of glass in a window. This frame holds only one glazing material.

Window that has a stationary top and a moveable bottom half.

Window glass 1/16″ thick.

Transparent stained glass cast one inch thick.

A mixture of tin and lead, which for glass workers is manufactured to melt around 400 degrees Fahrenheit. After leading up, all the cames of a mosaic window are joined with a thin layer of solder (referred to as sweating the lead joints).

The south of right side of a church is traditionally the side of Light and the New Testament, which is often reflected in the subject matter and colors of these windows. It is not necessarily compass south.

The horizontal line below which the upright sides end and the curve of the arch begins.

The permanent stop or lip of the window sash that holds the panel in place.

Wood or metal flange used to hold a window in place.

Having a color of colors unevenly distributed in sheet glass to form steaks or swirls.

Refers to the thickness of glass, i.e., single or double strength.

Iron bars tied to the leaded panel by copper wire for reinforcing. 

Mental “T” shaped mullions put into a frame opening to support glass panels that will be set one above the other. The T bars receive the weight of each panel and transfer it to the frame.

A T-shaped steel or aluminum bar that divides the stained glass or exterior glazing panels and transfers the weight of the panels to the jambs.

Copper wires soldered to the panel and twisted around a saddle bar.

Cracking caused by uneven rapid heating or cooling of glass.

These frames will hold both the stained glass as well as the protective covering. This framing has a built-in plastic barrier, which slows down the transfer of heat or cold to the inside of the frame, virtually eliminating condensation on the interior of the frame.

The stone framework in a gothic window.

Motifs and styles handed down from one generation to another .

The transverse section of a church crossing the main nave.

Light that passes through transparent or translucent glass.

A window above a door.

Admitting the passage of light with a clear view beyond.

A small opening in Gothic tracery having three arcs. A garland design with three loops.

A picture, carving, etc. with three parts.

The triangular space above a door, sometimes containing a window. 

Special custom fit ventilation unit to replace damaged vents or new construction, these provide weatherproof seal and fluid operation. Steel ventilators are also available.

The venting system is necessary to reduce heat build-up and reduce the potential for condensation, which preserves the stained glass windows.

A mixture of ground glass and metallic oxides used to paint on glass.

The west or entrance end of the church is the people’s area. Usually the large west wall has the rose window. It is not necessarily compass west.

Term often misused for clear glass.

Clear glass.

Cathedral glass containing white cloud-like steaks.

A Z-shaped metal extrusion found at the perimeter of the sash.

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