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.