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The Beauty of Stained Glass Artwork

Updated on December 1, 2013

Welcome to the wonderful world of stained glass artwork!

Welcome to the Beauty of Stained Glass Artwork! Throughout this lens I will try to introduce you to one of my favorite types of artwork - my own home-made, handcrafted stained glass. With the aid of some of the pictures from my collection, I hope to show you why stained glass suncatchers and windows can truly brighten any room (in so many more ways than one).

Quick update Oct 1/13. I have kind of neglected this lens in the past but I am going to start doing stained glass again in the next month or so so hope to have lots of new images of beautiful stained glass artwork to share with everyone!

Glass - tough, yet incredibly versatile

You'd be amazed at some of the things that can be made out of stained glass.

When most people see a piece of glass, they probably view it as the chunk of hard, clear, solid that it is. However, when any glass artist looks at a sheet of untouched colored sheet glass, they see the inherent potential it has to be transformed into a variety of beautiful pieces of art.

Stained glass can be worked into so many different forms, it sometimes astonishes me. One can make cute little suncatchers that dangle in any window. Or, immense panels can be made to dazzle viewers at a church or museum. If the artist really goes wild with their work, they can make fully three-dimensional pieces out of hundreds or thousands of pieces of stained glass - models that you would never believe were made from pieces of such a tough, solid material.

Hopefully, you will be learn the truly versatile nature of glass if you follow my journey here.

Stained Glass Suncatchers For Sale

Here are some prime examples of why I think stained glass is one of the best types of artwork ever!  These are all nice little suncatchers.  As you can see they are full of color and are fun to look at!  Best of all, these suncatchers are usually less than $20 which means they are a highly affordable gift for anyone, or even yourself!  

Amia 8293 Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly Suncatcher, Hand-Painted Glass, 8-Inch W by 6-Inch L

Ruby Throated Hummingbird and Flower Stained Glass Suncatcher

Irish Angel Suncatcher Stained Glass Ornament with Shamrock

Ladybug Suncatcher in Real Stained Glass

Horse Head Suncatcher Ornament in Real Stained Glass

Stained Glass Red Cardinal on Heart Ring

Making Stained Glass - stained glass books - Learn how to make stained glass

No one ever believes me when I tell them how easy it can be to learned stained glass. I like to say that if you have amount of coordination with your hands, you can make stained glass if you put in a little effort. Before you spend the money on taking a stained glass course only to find out that it might not be everything you thought it would be, I suggest buying a low-cost book that outlines the basic techniques and what is involved in making stained glass. I have a few books on stained glass and they are definitely worth the read (even to someone more advanced). I find myself often looking up a specific fact in one of my basic stained glass books (such as a technique I might not use very often).

Some of the best introductory stained glass books (my favorites) are below:

Great Stained Glass Artwork on Amazon

Amazon always has great deals on stained glass artwork!

Some of my recently made stained glass artwork

Sept 18:I have decided to dedicate part of this weekend to making some stained glass. My life has been a little crazy lately and I really can't wait to take this opportunity to relax. Check back here over the course of the weekend and you'll get to see any new work as I post it.

Desktop Stained Glass Betta

Made Sept 15, 2008

Desktop Stained Glass #2 Betta Splendens - "Black Dragon Plakat"

Made Sept 27, 2008

January: I've made a bunch more stained glass bettas since they've been popular around here. All variations on the same theme so I won't post them here. My next projects will be a few stained glass fish (but wild fish this time). I will likely try making either a trout or a bass next. Pictures will come as soon as they're done! Then I want to make a stained glass nursing symbol for my sister!

How I learned to make stained glass artwork

Every journey starts with one step

I learned how to make stained glass artwork rather randomly to be honest. When I was 15 or 16 years old I was watching a home-restoration show on television. The house they were renovating had a stained glass panel that was to be included in the remodel. The hosts of the show decided to do a 2 minute segment on how the glass panel was originally constructed. My mother was watching the show with me and I turned to her and mentioned I wished I could make stained glass panels myself.

Little did I know that that innocent remark would end up creating hundreds of hours of enjoyment down the line. We did a bit of research and found out a local high school offered weekly stained glass courses for adults. I signed up for the next set of classes and enjoyed every minute of it. I'll never forget what it was like the first time I 'scored' a piece of clear 3mm glass and was able to break it with my hands in the shape I desired. I was instantly hooked! Over the next 8 to 10 weeks, the whole class learned to score, cut, grind pieces to final shape, wrap with copper foil, solder, and clean a small, free-form stained glass suncatcher.

The first piece of stained glass art I ever made was a suncatcher - a bright red, yellow, and blue parrot! Unfortunately, I lost that piece of artwork in a subsequent move to a new home, but I can still picture it in my head - with all it's imperfections.

One of the best aspects of stained glass is that it requires constant diligence. There are always various techniques that can be improved upon. After the first 10 weeks of the beginners stained glass course I took, I have not stopped trying to improve upon my talent. Stained glass is certainly an (art)work in progress ;)

Great Stained Glass Artwork Currently on Ebay

eBay is a great place to find some low cost, but high quality stained glass items. I think the eBay sellers excel at cute suncatchers that are within any budget! Watch out for my artwork coming soon :)

My "Tranquility Bonsai" Stained Glass Suncatcher

My "Tranquility Bonsai" Stained Glass Suncatcher
My "Tranquility Bonsai" Stained Glass Suncatcher

My Inspiration for Stained Glass Artwork

~inspiration can come from anywhere~

A stained glass artist can find inspiration anywhere they look. My favorite place to gather ideas for stained glass is nature. As you might have noticed, most of my art glass pieces are of animals, fish, and such. Some of my favorite pieces to do are Betta fish because they have flowing fins and an unlimited variety of color options to work with.

In the past, I have had periods where I preferred to make 'art deco' panels. I would literally just have a go at a pattern from scratch. If I didn't like what some quick doodling would turn up, I would start over. Once I had a basic pattern down, I would still use my imagination to come up with ways to make a pattern better (in terms of creativity, and integrity of the overall piece). Inspiration does not always have to come from outside your own mind!

Update: I think some recent inspiration is coming from my neice and nephews. My latest project is a small one, but almost done. As soon as I have some spare time from my education, I will be soldering together a stained glass picture frame as a much belated present for my nephew's first birthday. It's a simple design, but I like it. It's the basic frame, done in glass matching his bedroom colours. Then there will be his initials coming out of the top frame (sitting on the frame's glass). I'm looking forward to the final project, and I'll post it here :)

Here's an original site with lots of stained glass info :)

Your turn - now you tell me! - I'm always ready for some feedback :)

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    • CleftyToo profile image
      Author

      CleftyToo 4 years ago

      @attitudeforlife1: Thanks! I am quite passionate about stained glass. It has been a bit too long since I made anything - I keep telling myself that "next week I'll get back into it" but I'm procrastinating. Going to change that this week ;)

    • attitudeforlife1 profile image

      attitudeforlife1 4 years ago

      You have some nice pieces here and it's obvious from your writing here that this is something you're passionate about. I'm always checking out the stained glass displays on our travels because they're just mesmerizing Of course part of it too is I'm always on the hunt for a penguin and white tiger piece because my son collects them. I'm thinking it's a futile search...the whole point is colors and both of his faves are black and white! LOL

      Thanks for sharing your art!

    • attitudeforlife1 profile image

      attitudeforlife1 4 years ago

      You have some nice pieces here and it's obvious from your writing here that this is something you're passionate about. I'm always checking out the stained glass displays on our travels because they're just mesmerizing Of course part of it too is I'm always on the hunt for a penguin and white tiger piece because my son collects them. I'm thinking it's a futile search...the whole point is colors and both of his faves are black and white! LOL

      Thanks for sharing your art!

    • CleftyToo profile image
      Author

      CleftyToo 4 years ago

      @anonymous: ouch. I have definitely cut myself more than a few times but it's never stopped me! haha

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Glass artwork is so beautiful, and you've made a great lens.

      I don't like handling glass. I got a small piece of glass in my finger, when I was a child, and I could still feel it there several months later. The doctor couldn't find anything, so maybe it was my vivid imagination. But ever since, I've stayed far away from glass.

    • admiralglass lm profile image

      admiralglass lm 6 years ago

      Great lens, I love working with glass

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Well done and very interesting. Thanks.

    • Steve Dizmon profile image

      Steve Dizmon 8 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Good lens. All ages enjoy stained glass. My 1 year old granddaughter loves the stained glass panels in our front door, so market to everyone. Excellent work. 5 Stars.

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 9 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      I hereby bless this lens.

      This is one way you'll know if an angel has blessed your lens. :-) I really did.

      But to answer your question, if the angel doesn't

      tell, you have no way to know. You may suspect it if you see a comment from a lensmaster you know is an angel and the next day your lens jumps in lensrank. But that's a guess.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Thanks OhMe.

      It definitely feels tedious at first. But, once you have some experience, it's much more relaxing. I don't make items too often anymore but when I do, it certainly has a calming effect.

      The foiling is perhaps the worst part of the process, but now I do the foiling while watching TV/movie so it goes by faster :)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 9 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Beautiful work and a beautiful lens. I tried to learn Stain Glass making and took one class and found out how tedious it is. You are very talented. Thanks for sharing. 5*

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 9 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      Beautiful lens with so much interesting information. Welcome to the Art & Design group.

    • profile image

      KEW 9 years ago

      Cool lens!

    • Springbok LM profile image

      Springbok LM 9 years ago

      You have an Impressive 5 ***** lens - well done. You are very talented keep up the len s as you are good.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 9 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Pretty impressive! What a great and useful hobby to pursue. Definitely a 5***** effort.

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 9 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      Wow! These are amazing! A college roommate gave me some stained glass that she made in an art class. I would love to learn how to do that!

    • CleftyToo profile image
      Author

      CleftyToo 9 years ago

      thanks for the friendly comments everyone :) I'll continue to post new pictures of my artwork!

    • bernd49 lm profile image

      bernd49 lm 9 years ago

      Great Lens!5 stars

      Greetings from Vienna

      Bernd

    • whiteline profile image

      whiteline 9 years ago

      Always wished I could do that! Great work - loved the Bonsai. 5*'s

    • profile image

      smallfry 9 years ago

      Hey this is really beautiful work and a great lens.

    • ShannonC LM profile image

      Shannon Chiarenza 9 years ago from Vancouver bc

      Pretty stained glass pieces, especially the bonsai tree and the leaves...I could see a whole window with different coloured stained glass leaves hanging, or different fish, look like an aquarium :)

    • profile image

      gods_grace_notes 9 years ago

      Ooooo... love the bonsai and the beta fish! Beautiful!

      Connie

      : )

      Welcome to Connie's Craft-a-Holics Club at Squidoo!

    • CleftyToo profile image
      Author

      CleftyToo 9 years ago

      Corgi coming soon. I have decided on a pattern and will start work on the glass cutting tomorrow :)

    • Amanda Blue profile image

      Amanda Blue 9 years ago

      More examples of your lovely work please, sooner rather than later, Clefty! Very distressing about the destruction of the stained glass windows in Scotland.

    • CleftyToo profile image
      Author

      CleftyToo 9 years ago

      Thanks hearthealth. A corgi was actually one of dog breeds I was planning on trying soon :)

    • hearthealth lm profile image

      hearthealth lm 9 years ago

      HI clefty, looking forward to a full stained glass rendering of a cardigan corgi~ 5 flaming gobs of ultraheated stellar gases!! Pls check out another glass lens on carnival glass. Thanks also for stopping by!

    • CleftyToo profile image
      Author

      CleftyToo 9 years ago

      Thanks aamilou. Yours too :)

    • profile image

      aamilou 9 years ago

      Your work is beautiful!

    • CleftyToo profile image
      Author

      CleftyToo 9 years ago

      Thanks Catherine.

      Those are actually not my work. That seller does have great work though! I have seen some in person :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Very nice work Ian. I will have to get some from you. I like the lady bugs. I would like to orger a set.

      Thanks Catherine

    • CleftyToo profile image
      Author

      CleftyToo 10 years ago

      If you liked this lens or have any suggestions please share your thoughts :)