Stained Glass Windows

One of the most beautiful types of art that have ever existed is the stained glass windows. This type of artistry has been seen throughout many times, and in many places, since it's thousand years in existence. From Europe in the Middle Ages, to twenty first century America. Included in this hub are information on how stained glass windows are formed, their history, and some of the more amazing places that you can visit to see beautiful art, engraved in stained glass!

Rose window stained glass made for the "Madonna of the Health"

Origin

Though the exact details of stained glass' origins are unknown, we do know that both Egyptians and Romans were capable producers of colored glass. As an art form, this unique type of glass reached its popularity during the middle ages. People were largely illeterate, but could understand the decorative colored sillica, and they enjoyed it being used to illustrate the major Biblical narratives.

Between 800-1200 AD, the windows that were being made began to shift noticeably in size. The early gothic period saw a huge increase in size, and the glass was supported by cumbersome iron frames out of fear they would fall. When gothic art became more developed, the windows continued to grow, and in England they reached more elaborate decorating styles.

How Its Made

Stained glass is simply glass with metallic oxides mixed into the sillica during its creation. This type of procedure can be mixed up with a variety of different oxides to create different shades and colors. The glass itself, however, is only a fraction of what makes this unique art so amazing. Most people note the amazing detail that stained glass is structured with, and, indeed, you can clearly see every bend and fold within the solid form of sillica, but to create such a masterpiece is difficult indeed.

An accurate measurement of the window space must be made before the production of the ornament. The designer comes up with the design, and soon after begins work, dividing the design into the pieces for each sliver of glass. The exact placement of the material (usually lead) that will hold the picture together is also predetermined and precisely calculated, and measured by using a technique called "grozing". Then, finally, the shape is strung together. After much hard work, one will be able to marvel at their stained glass!

Famous Windows

Some of the more famous windows you may have heard of are:

  • St. Andrew Cathedral- Located in Sydney, this stain glass represents the life and parable of Jesus Christ.
  • Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church- Windows depicting the Baptism of Christ, Christ in Gethsemane, and Christ Blessing the Children, among others, reside in this US based Gothic cathedral.
  • Chatrtres Cathedral- You can find glass here that depicts The Last Judgement.
  • Florence Cathedral- In this well known Italian cathedral you'll find 44 beautiful decorations made from stained glass dating from the late 14 to the early 15th centuries!
  • Coventry Cathedral- The Great West Window named "The Screen of Saints and Angels" is one of the famous glasses in this cathedral in Canterbury England.

Stain Glass in Modern Times

There are many people that still enjoy creating stain glass designs today, even if they aren't being used for religous reasons as in the past. There's even a trade organization, the SGAA (Stained Glass Association of America) in existence in the US! They make it their job to ensure the survival of the unique art by offering instructions on how to create, manage, and sell the art. Stain glass has been one of our world's most amazing arts for over a thousand years. It's sure to be with us for a very long time, even without the 20th century associations and other media. I sure hope so, at least!

You Can Make Your Own Stained Glass Too!

Comments 1 comment

mike1242 profile image

mike1242 6 years ago from London

I enjoyed the video and the information. Thanks

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