About stained glass

The term “stained glass” is actually misleading. The color of the glass is not an applied stain. It is an artful combination of sands, Feldspar, Minerals and some other proprietary ingredients. This is where glass achieves it’s brilliant, permanent color. The combined materials are “cooked” at a very high temperature (around 2000 degrees) in a glass furnace. The textures are derived from machine rolling the molten glass. Cathedral glass is often a single color. Some glass Artists apply special glass paints to add detail. They must be fired onto the glass at high Temperatures to become permanent.

Hand rolled Art glass  can appear more subtle and is often referred to as Tiffany glass. The color combinations and effects, such as ring mottles or striations, are achieved by mixing and ladeling molten glass combinations by hand. Art glass usually appears different in color when it is reflected light as opposed to transmitted light. All glass will then go thru an annealing process.

After a cooling period the glass sheets are cut for distribution, some are 2 x 4ft. We are fortunate to still have american glass manufacturers that are skilled in the process of producing this beautiful medium.

When I choose a piece of glass to use in a design it is the same process as a painter choosing paints. But I have the additional choice of textures to bring the piece to life. My pallette is glass in all it’s variations. Instead of a paintbrush my tools are glass cutters, grinders and soldering irons. Working with glass never get’s boring, there are endless possibilities of color and texture combinations.


The picture shows examples of Youghiogheny Art glass.


About Luise Christensen-Howell

My fascination with glass began in 1984 when I took a class that explained the basic procedure of working in this medium. It became a full time occupation. I owned and operated a stained glass store, Glasshaus Studio, for a number of years. There I sold stained glass supplies, tools, glass sheets, original glass art and taught classes on the subject. Because I wanted to devote more time to the creative process, I closed the store in 2001 and now work in my studio full time. I work in the original Tiffany method, cutting colorful pieces of glass that follow my design. The pieces are shaped on a glass grinder for a perfect fit. Copper foil is added around the edges of each piece and they are then soldered together to form a finished piece. There have been numerous installations over the years, a series of church windows at St. Johns Lutheran church in Sinking Springs, Pa. A double Entrance door at Our Lady of Peace church in Halifax, Pa. An Entrance door at the Adjutant Generals mansion at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa. Two large, historically inspired windows at the Union Canal House in Hershey, Pa. My largest installation to date is at the welcome Pavilion of the Catherine and Milton Hershey Conservatory at Hershey Garden, Hershey Pa. I was chosen from a field of applicants to create 63 very large glass Butterflies. Because of it's versatility and permanence, glass can be used in a variety of applications. Whether it is a window, door, glass mosaic, lamp or one of my Treasure boxes, the item will last for years to come. I am a founding member of the Gallery at La Cigale where my work is on display and available for purchase, a member of the Hershey Area Art Association and a member of the Lebanon Valley Council on the Arts. I can be contacted at 717-534-9135 or at glashaus29@msn.com
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