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Stained Glass Definitions with Photos

[A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z]


A


Abrade (Abrasion)

Creating a decorative effect by removing some of the surface of the glass; often used with flashed glass to reveal the color below.

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Abstract Design

A design whose forms either use nonrepresentational (i.e., abstract) forms or have been reduced or modified from representational forms. (NB: A representational form is one that contains a subject that is easily recognized by the majority of viewers.)

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Antique Glass

Any stained glass that is made by the same methods as those employed by medieval glassmakers; the name refers to the technique, not the age. The glass is blown or spun into a large cylinder, which is then is cut, opened, and flattened into a sheet. This leaves it with imperfections such as bubbles, striations, and varying thicknesses, which break up the light and cause highlights in each piece. Varieties of antique glass include but are not limited to Drawn, European, Full, Mouthblown, and Scribed.

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Antique, Drawn

A simulated full antique produced by pulling the glass up through a slit in the machinery. Quality is excellent and cost is less than full antique. Also called Semi-Antique, Machine Antique, New Antique, or simply Drawn Glass.

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Antique, European

Mouth-blown antique glass from Europe.

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Antique, Full

Art glass produced by the historical mouth-blown cylinder method. The craftsman blows or spins the glass into a cylinder which is annealed (heated, then cooled). The cylinder is then scored lengthwise, separated, reheated, and folded out into a flat sheet. Common characteristics include attractive linear striations (grooves) and a very pristine (pure) surface.

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Antique, Mouthblown

A glass made by the muffing process, whereby a glob (or gather) of molten glass is blown by mouth through a blowpipe first into a large balloon, then into a cylinder. The ends are removed, and the open-ended cylinder is cut lengthwise and heated until it opens out flat. This is the most costly of glasses and is often regarded as the most beautiful.

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Antique, Scribed

A simulated full antique produced by rolling the glass between a pair of rolling metal rolls. Quality is excellent and cost is considerably less than full antique. Introduced by Spectrum Glass in 1996 under the trade name Artique.

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Armiture

The supporting framework of a stained glass window made of iron, bronze, or wood.

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Art Deco

Early twentieth-century style, as seen especially at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts) in Paris. It is characterized by bold geometric shapes, streamlined and rectilinear forms (i.e., influenced more by straight lines than by curved edges).

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Art Glass

Decorative and figural glass mass-produced and often sold through catalogs. Typically the least expensive product/style to purchase. Not associated with hand painted artist work. Also referred to as arts and crafts projects.

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Arts and Craft Movement

Late nineteenth-century movement that valued hand craftsmanship and simplicity over mass production, in contrast to growing industrialization. It drew some inspiration from Medieval church architecture.

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B


Badgering

The working of matt with a firm brush to remove areas of paint in order to create highlights.

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Bay Window

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

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Bent Glass

Glass that has been heated in a kiln from room temperature to a temperature high enough to cause it to soften and slump (sag) into or over a mold. The finished item takes the shape of the mold. Also known as Slumped Glass. See related Glass Bending.

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Bevel

Cut and polished edge, usually on plate glass, at an angle other than 90 degrees. A bevel is made in stages via roughing, smoothing, cork and felt wheel polishing.

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Beveled Glass

A decorative glass, usually clear, in which the edges of the glass have been angle cut (beveled). As light passes through the beveled part of the glass, it acts as a prism and will create brilliant highlights and small rainbow color effects.

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Border

The outer frame of glass, usually colored and decorated, in a stained glass window; see fillet.

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Bottle Glass

See BULL’S EYE.

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Brace

A flat or rounded steel or iron bar that is anchored in the framing on the inside of a window panel and attached by soldering or by Tie Wires to the lead joint across the panel. Its purpose is to support the stained glass panel and prevent bulging. Also known as a Brace Bar, Rebar, Reinforcing Bar, Reinforcing Rod, Saddlebar, or Support Bar. See related T Bar.

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Bull's Eye

Made by spinning molten glass attached to an iron, so that it is spread by centrifugal force into a large flat disk of approximately circular shape, which is thickest in the center (where the iron was attached). Machine made facsimiles, called Pressed Roundels, are common. Variously known as Bottle Glass, Crown Glass, Roundel, Bullion and Oeil-de-boeuf.

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C


Calms

See CAME.

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Came

A grooved strip of metal, generally with an H- or U-shaped cross section, used in Leaded Glass to join the individual glasses in stained glass windows. The heart (or central bar) rests between the segments of glass, and the flanges (side bars) are pressed down to hold the glass in place. Originally made of lead, but zinc, brass, and copper are more common in modern times. Also known as a Calme or Calms.

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Cartoon

The full-scale drawing for a window or panel, from which the individual pieces of a stained glass window are sized to cut. It can also contain paint lines, color, grain directions, piece numbering, leading detail, and other information. It is essentially the blueprint for the work.

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Casement Window

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

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Cathedral Glass

A rolled glass that can be clear or patterned. It is usually monochromatic (i.e., one color per sheet) or clear, and transparent like antique glass. It can have regular or irregular surface patterns impressed into it by the surface textures of the rollers. Price and quality both lower than antique glass.

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Centers

Art glass windows (manufactured glass) with hand painted center artwork. Designed to cut cost by reducing the painting time with manufactured glass.


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Choir Loft Windows


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Clearstory (Clerestory)

The upper level of the nave (where people sit), above the roofline of the lower aisles of a church.

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Cold Paint

Unfired paint (i.e., paint that does not need to be heated in the kiln) used to decorate stained glass.

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Combing

Process in which a rake-like tool is drawn across molten glass to create artistic patterns.

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Confetti Glass by Tiffany Studios Workshops

Paper-thin elements of glass that can be incorporated into a fused or blown glass design. Also called Shards.

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Crown Glass

See BULL’S EYE.

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Crucifixion Window

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D


Dalle de Verre

Thick slabs of colored glass (usually 1”) that are roughly cut into pieces using special saws or carbon hammers, which are used to make Faceted Glass. French for “slab of glass.” Also called a Glass Dalle.

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Damascene

Dense floral patterns, often with an oriental character, painted or scratched into the matt in a stained glass design as an ornamental background.

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Diaper Pattern

A repeated background design pattern, often made of square or lozenge shapes.

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Double Hung

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

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Drapery

The painting on glass that defines the drapery robes of figures, usually biblical or historical.

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Drapery Glass

A sheet of heavily folded glass that suggests fabric folds. A small diameter hand-held roller is manipulated forcefully over a sheet of molten glass to produce heavy ripples, while folding and creasing the entire sheet. The ripples become rigid and permanent as the glass cools. Each sheet produced from this process is unique.

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Drapery Sheet

See DRAPERY GLASS.

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E


Enamel

Glassy paint that often becomes translucent after being fired on glass. Early enamel work is limited to dark colors, but later painting makes use of more colors.

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Etched Glass

Usually clear glass in which the design is incised into the glass by acid, sandblasting, or an engraving wheel. See related Glass Etch, Etching.

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Etching

Removal of the layer of color from flashed glass with hydrofluoric acid. Areas to be etched are exposed with a cut-resistant stencil. Etching creams (known as Glass Etch) can be used on cathedral glass but will not work on flashed glass. See related Etched Glass, Glass Etch.

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F


Faceted Glass

A more contemporary approach to decorative glass, Faceted Glass consists of Dalles de Verre that are bound into panels with concrete, or more often, an epoxy resin. Rarely is any painting used on Faceted Glass windows. Instead, the design of the window panel is formed in the manner of a mosaic by the combination of the different sizes and colors of the glass and the negative space of the epoxy matrix. Dependent on large scale for best appearance, they are primarily used in architectural applications such as church walls. See related Dalle de Verre.

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Feathered Glass

Opalescent glass combed and pulled while hot into a "feather" pattern.

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Fillet

A thin strip or border of glass.

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Fired Stained Glass

Hand painted and fired stained glass. Requires an artist with the finest of skills and training, which is rarely achieved in today's windows. Unquestionably the most desirable product for traditional churches.

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Firing

Heating glass that has been painted in order to unite the paints and stains to the glass.

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Fixed Window

A window permanently fastened to its frame.

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Flashed Glass

Glass of one color with a very thin layer of another color on one side. Flashed glass is often used with etched or sandblasted glass art; when sections of the thin color are removed, the base color shines through. This style does not require the bracing needed by most stained glass, and consequently lacks lead lines. Most common color is red, see Ruby.

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Frosted Glass

Clear glass with a white translucent surface resulting from sandblasting or etching.

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G


Glass Bending

The practice of heating a sheet of glass to become Bent Glass.

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Glass Etch

Any of several compounds that permit the frosting of glass. See related Etched Glass, Etching.

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Glass Jewel

See JEWEL.

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Glazier

Someone who makes glass windows.

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Glazing

The process of assembling pieces of glass and lead to make a window. Each lead joint is soldered on both sides after assembly.

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Goethe Glass

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

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Gothic

A style, generally referring to architecture, found in Western Europe from the twelfth through the sixteenth centuries, characterized by pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses.

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Gothic Revival

A revival of the Medieval Gothic style, dating from approximately 1840 to WWI, largely used for ecclesiastical and university structures. Also known as Neo-Gothic and Victorian Gothic.

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Grisaille

A panel window of clear glass decorated with designs painted in monochrome or near-monochrome colored window paint. Grisaille, French for “gray,” sometimes refers to the paint itself.

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H


Hand Rolled Glass

Rolled Glass, with process similar to machine rolled but requiring much more human effort and forming smaller sheets. Can produce effects like Rippled Glass, Drapery Glass, etc. See related Rolled Glass.

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Herringbone

Distinctive V-shaped pattern that usually resemble a broken zigzag. Named after a fanciful resemblance to the bones of a fish, herringbone patterns can often be seen on tweed clothing. Often found in Rippled Glass.

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I


In Situ

In position.

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J


Jamb

The upright surface forming the side of a window.

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Jewel

A piece of glass that has been cut and faceted or press-molded into a geometric shape like a jewel (e.g., circle, tear drop). Often incorporated into Leaded Glass artwork. Also known as Glass Jewel.

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Jewel, Hand Cut

A hand made piece of glass that has been designed to look like a jewel (i.e., a stone). Also known as Glass Jewel.


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Jewel, Hand Painted

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Jewel, Machine Made

A machine made piece of glass that has been designed to look like a jewel (i.e., a stone). A mass-produced factory piece. Also known as Glass Jewel.

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K


Kiln

A firebrick oven used for bending, shaping and fusing glass.

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L


Lancet

Narrow vertical divisions of a window with either a pointed Gothic arch or a rounded arch at the top. Can be used singly or in multiples to form a larger window.

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Lead

See CAME.

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Leading

See CAME.

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Lead Lines

Solid lines formed by the leading in a window.

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Leaded Glass

Sheet glass pieces joined with Came (usually Lead Came) to form a decorative design.

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Leaded Light Cement

A linseed oil based compound that is brushed into the lead on both sides of a new or rebuilt panel, in order to fill the gap between the glass and the flanges of the lead (Came). This seals and weatherproofs the panel and, when hardened, gives the panel its strength and rigidity.

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Light

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

Light-1

Light-2

Light-3

Light-4

Light-5

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Light Box

A wood table or box with lighting inside to aid in the construction of stained glass panels.


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Lunette

A half-moon shaped window or section.

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M


Matt

See MATTING.

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Matting

A light layer of paint that can be manipulated with brushes and other tools to create details on faces and garments, etc.

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Machine Rolled Glass

Glass passed through rollers rather like an old-fashioned mangle (ironing machine). The resulting large sheets of glass have definite texture.

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Medallion

A small, bordered picture area of a window, often circular. This style was especially popular in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

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Medallion Window

A medieval style window made up of repeated geometric shapes showing different biblical scenes or symbols.

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Medieval

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

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Memorial Panel


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Metal Window Frame

The frame surrounding the stained glass panels.


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Modern Stained Glass

Contemporary stained glass. Often inexpensive compared to hand painted artist work. Was popular in the 1950s-1970s. Not suitable for traditional churches.

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Mosaic Stained Glass and Tiles

A picture or decorative design made by setting small colored pieces of glass or ceramic material into a surface using cement or grout as a bonding agent.

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Mouthblown Antique Glass

See ANTIQUE, MOUTHBLOWN.

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Mullion

Any of the vertical strips dividing the panes or lancets of a window. See related Muntin.

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Muntin

Any of the horizontal strips dividing the panes of a window. See related Mullion.

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Murrey

A red-purple color.

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N


Nave Windows

The windows on each side of the pews or the nave of the church.

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O


Opal

See OPALESCENT GLASS. Sometimes refers specifically to opalescent glass of white color.

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Opalescent Glass

Milky, opaque machine rolled glass. Degree of transparency can vary within a single sheet and from glass to glass. Developed in late nineteenth century America, popularized by Tiffany’s, favored by lampshade makers. Varieties include Solid Color and Mixed.

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Opalescent Glass, Mixed

White glass (opal) mixed with one or more other colors to create a variegated, multicolored sheet. Light transmission varies with composition. Also known as Variegated Opalescent or Streaky.

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Opalescent Glass, Solid Color

Glass which is both colored and crystallized, creating an opaque single color sheet. Also known as Opaque Glass.

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Opaque

Not transparent. Sometimes refers to Solid Color Opalescent Glass.

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Oval

A unipartite panel of oval shape. Such a panel is sometimes described as a Roundel.

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Oxides

Metallic oxide pigments of colored glass.

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P


Paint

Enamel used to decorate stained glass.

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Painted Glass

Stained glass on which special paints have been applied in an illustrative or decorative pattern, which is then heated in a kiln to a temperature high enough to fuse the pigments permanently to the glass surface.

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Panel

A division of a window created for support purposes instead of design purposes.

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Pate de Verre

An art glass medium in which irregular-sized pieces of powdered glass are spread in a decorative design, then fired in a kiln. French for “glass paste.”

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Patina

A film created by weather, etc., on the surface of stained glass that is exposed to the elements.

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Pattern

The line drawing of the stained glass design. Individual pieces may be numbered and color shadings indicated.

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Plating

The act of joining two or more layers of glass in a leaded window to create a special effect of color change. Commonly used with Opalescent Glass.

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Pot Metal

Glass that has been pigmented with metallic oxide.

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Protective Covering

A covering on the exterior of leaded stained glass windows that protects the windows from weather, accidents, and vandalism. It also can help insulate the building. Protective coverings are usually made of float glass or plastic.

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Q


Quarry

A pane of glass shaped like a diamond or square.

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Quill Work

A design made by scratching enamel paint with a fine-pointed tool.

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Quilling

See QUILL WORK.

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Quatrefoil

Small opening in Gothic tracery with four arched sides. Also known as Arabesque.

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R


Rebar

See BRACE.

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Reinforcing Bar

See BRACE.

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Reinforcing Rod

See BRACE.

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Ripple

A surface texture, often dramatic, consisting of waves in a straight or herringbone pattern. Can be created manually by certain sheet-forming processes, or imitated mechanically with an embossing roll.

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Ripple Glass

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

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Rods

Cylindrical, pencil-thick sticks of glass used primarily in flameworking and glass bead making, available in a wide range of colors.

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Rolled Glass

Sheet glass formed by a roller flattening the glass into sheets. Can be hand rolled or machine rolled. Varieties of rolled glass include Cathedral Glass, Drapery Glass, and Rippled Glass.

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Romanesque

A style founded on Roman principles, most prevalent in the architecture of Western Europe from the ninth through the twelfth centuries, characterized by semi-circular arches, thick walls, large towers and decorative arcading.

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Rondel

See BULL’S EYE.

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Rose Window

A circular window divided by tracery (radial mullions), usually in a floral or wheel pattern. Often found on the large west wall of a cathedral. Also known as a Wheel Window.

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Round Glass and Roundel Panels


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Roundel

A round panel of painted glass with minimal leading.

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Ruby

The most common kind of Flashed Glass, red in color.

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S


Saddlebar

See BRACE.

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Sanctuary Window

Stained glass windows located in the sanctuary of a church.

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Sandblasting

The technique of blowing abrasive materials (usually sand) under very high pressure onto the glass surface to etch away part of the glass. Often a stencil is used; those areas not covered by the stencil are etched or frosted.

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Sash

The operable or removable part of a window frame.

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Seedy Glass

Glass with numerous air bubbles throughout, of varying sizes. Can be found in varieties of Antique Mouthblown Glass or Cathedral Glass (though made by very different processes).

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Silkscreening

See SILVER STAIN. Also refers to the process of applying Silver Stain to a glass.

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Silver Stain

A type of glass paint composed of silver nitrate, silver chloride, or silver salts, which is applied to the exterior face of a glass. When fired, the stain turns yellow, which can range in hue from pale lemon to orange. Also known as Silkscreening, Yellow Stain.

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Single Glazed

The use of a single thickness of glass in a window.

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Slumped Glass

See BENT GLASS.

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Smear-shading

The use of a wash of paint to give a shadow effect.

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Stacked Scene Window

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Stained Glass

Generic term for any type of decorative colored glass used in window openings, whether the glass itself is colored or clear, translucent or opaque, painted or etched. Includes Antique Glass, Bent Glass, Leaded Glass, Opalescent Glass, Rolled Glass, Flashed Glass, Drapery Glass, Bull’s Eye, Grisaille, Dalle de Verre, Pate de Verre, and more. Refers to the window itself, the craft of designing it, and the industry.

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Stained Glass Workers

Craftsmen and artists with a variety of skills who are involved in designing, manufacturing, painting, and/or installing stained glass windows.

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Standing Saint Window

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Stenciling

Creation of repeated designs by painting or etching, using a cutout pattern.

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Stipple-shading

A method of shading achieved by dabbing paint with the tip of a wide, flat brush. Also known as Stippling.

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Stippling

See STIPPLE-SHADING.

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Striations

Grooves in window glass. Formed by Antique Glass and other blown glasses, including Goethe Glass.

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Support Bars

See BRACE.

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T


T Bar

Iron, steel, or aluminum T-shaped Brace 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.

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Tie Wires

Copper wires or lead strips soldered to the stained glass panels, which are wrapped around the Braces and twisted closed.

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Tracery

Ornamental framework at the top of a window opening, usually one of the Gothic style.

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Tracing Stain

A dense pigment used as a light block to create the line and definition of a painted piece of glass. Hand painted or silkscreened on the glass and fired in a kiln, it fuses with the glass surface.

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Transept

The transverse section of a church crossing the main nave. In a cruciform church, the transepts are the short ends.

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Transom Window

A window above a door.

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Trefoil

A small opening in Gothic tracery with three arcs. Alternately, a garland design with three loops.

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Triptych

A picture, carving, window, etc., with three parts or panels.

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U


V


Vandalism

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Ventilator

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

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W


Wheel Window

See ROSE WINDOW.

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Wood Frame Window

A stained glass window held together by a wood frame.

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X


Y


Yellow Stain

See SILVER STAIN.

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Z