Leaded stained glass windows are mosaics made of colored glass, cut to the shape desired and placed together by strips of grooved lead – cast or milled to make an ‘H’ in cross-section then soldered together, creating a lead matrix. The lead is not merely functional but forms a critical part of the overall design of a window. This is all then reinforced and anchored into the window frame. When looking at these windows you can imagine all of the great gothic cathedrals around the world with the same style of stained glass.
The Leaded glass technique can incorporate painted glass to enhance the desired imagery. The color was inherent in the pieces of glass for most of the middle ages. Glass paint/pigment comes in shades of brown or black and controls the passage of light and details such as faces, ornament, and lettering. Silver Stain was developed and used extensively for glass painting from the early fourteenth century; it was a way of adding yellow and amber directly to the base glass. Sanguine and a range of enamel pigments/colors were introduced in the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries giving the glass painters a wider range of color options beyond the base glass palette. The art of stained glass is one of few handcrafts that is still practiced today the same as it was in the Middle Ages.