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The Various Techniques and Styles of Stained Glass Windows

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Welcome back to another entry here on the Associated Crafts / Willet Hauser blog! Last time we took a look at the basic process of creating stained glass windows from sketch to installation. This time we wanted to focus on the various styles of stained glass that we have crafted during the more than a century of work!

Leaded Glass

When you imagine a medieval cathedral full of beautiful colored glass, you are imagining a leaded stained glass window. These windows are mosaics made up of hundreds or thousands of intricately colored pieces, cut to specific shapes and sizes and then held together with lead cames. The glass is then hand painted to control the way light moves through the shapes and colors to enhance its brilliance. The method of leaded glass fabrication that we use today was mastered over eight hundred years ago!

Faceted Glass

Faceted glass is a technique that came out of France in the 1920s and Willet Hauser was there to help bring that style to the United States. This style features colored glass that has been cut and chipped in such a manner to suggest almost gems or jewels. They are then arranged and rather than using lead, an epoxy or concrete mixture is poured in. While not as popular as it once was in the 20th century, it is becoming a more and more popular choice for affordable glass work.

Laminated Glass

Another wonderful style developed in Europe, glass laminations were being developed in Holland in the mid 20th century. The basics of the process involves creating layers of glass using primer and tempered glass.

In the 1960s Willet Studios brought the technique over. Nowadays the laminated glass process is quite different from that original Farbigem technique, using silicone adhesives. Laminated glass is durable, weather and UV resistant, it doesn’t yellow, and has been proven to be structurally permanent for at least 20 years.

Etched Glass

While not necessarily a process of making stained glass windows, etched glass is another amazing way to imbue a window with beautiful scenery. Using abrasive substances the glass is worked to create a design. This can be an effective technique to use when the source of light is limited and traditional stained glass wonst glow right. Some of the more popular ways to etch glass is to use hydrofluoric acid or sandblasting.

Sculptured Gold

While it might not seem like stained glass at first, sculptured gold takes normal stained glass to another level. Imagine if you will, you’re inside a church for late night services, what would those stained glass windows look like? Not the best right? That’s because for their true brilliance to show, they need light shining through. That means they only look their best during the day. Sculptured gold was developed by Henry Lee Willet in 1950 to address that light problem. These windows would show off their beauty regardless of time of day.

The process involves a traditionally made stained glass window, with the lead that usually frames the glass also being sculpted into forms and images themselves. The lead cames and lead sculptures are then covered in 23 karat gold leaf. This twists the dark metal of traditional stained glass into opulent gold.

Whether a church needs a sculptured gold window or looking for faceted glass piece, Associated Crafts and Willet Hauser Architectural Glass are the finest craftsmen out there. We produce beautiful window restorations across the country year after year. There’s a reason Willet Hauser has been in business since the 19th century, and we have no plans of slowing down. Need your stained glass windows inspected or looking for an appraisal? We do it all. Give us a call and together we can bring back the beauty to your windows.