The Creation of Our Stained Glass Windows


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Creating glass-cutting Templates:

6.  The pattern copy, having already been produced on heavy Kraft paper, will be cut apart with a unique triple-bladed shears. This procedure will result in a set of patterns used to cut individual glass pieces to their proper shape. The shears automatically remove a bb boo paper along design lines, thus creating a space that will allow for the later insertion of lead binding between glass pieces.


Color becomes Paramount:

7. At Jim’s direction, the artisans at Burnham LaRoche will gather a stock of hand blown antique and cathedral glass sheets of stained glass suitable for the color scheme from the existing stock at their Medford, Massachusetts •studio. Additional colors considered necessary to this commission will already have been ordered from suppliers in the u.s. and Europe. Consulting both the small scale colored design of the window and the black and white full sized drawing, pieces of glass of the desired color and shade will be chosen by Jim and cut to proper size by the studio staff. They will use the paper patterns and a steel or diamond glasscutter.


The Design begins to appear on the Glass:

8. Once the colors have been cut to size, each piece of glass will be placed on the cartoon and the linear design will be painted using a black vitrifiable pigment. The features on a head, the lettering on a scroll, decorative motifs-all are now carefully delineated.

9. The painted pieces are next placed in the Burnham’ & LaRoche gas-fired kiln where Kevin will direct the heating to a temperature of 1140° Fahrenheit to fuse paint and glass permanently together in a process similar to the firing of a ceramic glaze. Pre-warming and a period of controlled cooling to assure that the glass will remain strong after exposure to the flames.


A Second painting brings the window to Life:

10. The fired pieces are next attached to plate glass easels by means of bits of beeswax to allow them to be seen in their proper arrangement against light. Any changes thought necessary to the color scheme will be made at this point, followed by a second painting, this time with a half tone of the glass-painting pigment. It is during this stage that Jim will add modeling details to the already fired linear painting.Further decorative details will be added and he will begin to adjust the quality of light allowed to pass through each piece of glass.

11. After removal from the easel, the glass will be returned to the kiln for a second time.