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How to Choose a Stained Glass Studio
Comparing Religious Stained Glass Window Quality:
There are numerous options to consider when commissioning religious stained glass windows. Generally, they include window design style, glass type, hand painted detail, and design intricacy.
Stained Glass Design Style:
Window styles range from very abstract, contemporary work to very traditional, hand painted work. Not all studios are capable of producing every style. Ask to see a portfolio of recent works matching the desired window style for your project. Most studios gladly provide a color design of the window they propose prior to a contractual commitment. Remember, a studio, which has difficulty conveying the window design on paper, may have equal difficulty producing the design in glass. If they can’t draw it, they can’t build it.
Types of Stained Glass:
Our stock glass is available from many sources and varies greatly in price. Generally, glass is available in two categories: opalescent (milky white, very opaque glass) and translucent (very transparent). In order from the least expensive to the most expensive:
· Opalescent window glass - Usually a two to three color mix in a milky white glass.
· Machine rolled cathedral window glass - Mono-color glass with very uniform color distribution and thickness
· Mouth-blown window glass – Mono-color or multi-color glass with light and dark areas due to slight variations in glass thickness. The handmade nature of this glass gives the glass character and adds depth and interest to the overall design. This grouping includes fine glass from Poland and Germany as well as some domestic sources.
Within these three glass types, there are variations too numerous to recount. Inquire as to the type of glass to be used on your project. Fine mouth blown glass can cost 4 to 5 times more than opalescent and machine rolled cathedral glass.
Hand Painted Window Detail:
Details such as faces and hands of window figures are hand painted. Painting on glass is a labor-intensive effort. When fired at 1200 degrees, the paint becomes permanently fused to the glass piece. Often a piece of glass is painted and fired multiple times to add depth and detail. Not all studios have in-house artist capable of painting on glass. As with any art form, the style and talent of stained glass artists varies greatly. Lynchburg Stained Glass is capable of producing painted window work in fine detail ranging from painted medallions to fully painted figurative scenes.
Window Design Intricacy:
Basically the smaller and more irregular the glass pieces, the more difficult the window is to glaze (assemble). Each piece of glass is hand cut and individually glazed into the window with lead came. A quote based on providing a window with a specific number of pieces can be misleading if not accompanied by artwork. For example, consider two windows, each with 100 pieces of glass. The first design is predominately rectangular pieces with lots of straight lead lines and uniform borders. The second is a more irregular, figurative window where no two pieces of glass are the same size or shape. As you might imagine, the second window is the more costly design. Always insist on seeing a design of the proposed window.
Hand painted detail and piece intricacy are the two factors most affecting the cost of stained glass. The fundamentals of constructing a stained glass window are independent of artistic content. Regardless of the cost of the window, the quality of the window is the same. Every window is; hand assembled using lead came between the glass pieces, hand soldered on both sides, waterproofed on both sides, and reinforced with steel brace bars.
Stained Glass Frames and Protective Storm Window Coverings:
Does the studio offer aluminum frames and clear coverings to protect your stained glass investment? Lynchburg Stained Glass fabricates custom aluminum frames specifically designed for use with stained glass. We are capable of producing intricate frames requiring special bends. Our frames are engineered to comply with building code requirements for wind load. Our recommended clear protective covering is laminated glass. Laminated glass is impact resistant and will not discolor with age. Avoid plastic covering products. They have a reputation of scratching and “yellowing” to the point that they obscure the stained glass.
There are a few logistical issues to consider.
· Is the studio equipped to handle installations of large church projects requiring scaffold and/or lifts? Lynchburg Stained Glass maintains multiple in-house installation crews and provides scaffold and lift access as necessary.
· Is the studio capable of producing the work in a timely manner to meet your construction schedule? Is the studio capable of providing a turnkey project including frames and protective covering? Lynchburg Stained Glass is a large full-service studio offering custom frames, protective covering, installation, and repair. Our large studio (approximately 30 artisans) is capable of producing large church projects in a timely manner. We maintain a large glass inventory to facilitate production.
· Does the stained glass window studio offer a warrantee? Lynchburg Stained Glass studio provides a 10-year warrantee covering material and workmanship.
· Can the stained glass window studio provide a certificate of insurance indicating liability coverage for the church while on site? Lynchburg Stained Glass studio maintains liability insurance coverage for the purpose of protecting the church.
· Can the stained glass window studio provide a performance bond for large projects? Lynchburg Stained Glass can secure a bond when requested.
· Ask for and check the stained glass window studio’s references on projects they have completed recently (within the past two or three years) for churches of the same size or larger than yours.
· If possible, take a trip to tour the studio where the windows will be produced.
· If cost is a factor and you plan to get prices from several different studios, make sure you understand exactly what each studio is providing for the cost quoted (especially concerning the intricacy and amount of hand painted work to be incorporated into the design).
· Above all, make absolutely sure that you get what you want when purchasing stained glass… it will be there for a very long time. Remember that you are purchasing a work of art, not an assembly line, machine-produced product.
Lynchburg Stained Glass Studio will gladly meet with your group:
We will gladly meet with your group to discuss options and present ideas for stained glass. Our artist welcome your input on religious theme, color and style. Translating your ideas to glass, we develop color artwork for your approval. Stained glass is a vibrant art form that speaks to your church and to the community. We welcome the opportunity to help convey your message in glass.
Stained Glass Restoration Repair and Storm Protection:
We repair religious stained glass church windows. Lynchburg Stained Glass studio offers a full range of restoration services ranging from a few minor glass repairs to complete re-lead restoration. Re-leading is the process by which the entire window is disassembled and re-crafted with new lead. We offer protective storm covering to protect your stained glass investment. Our stained glass storm covering system uses impact resistant laminated glass set into a small profile aluminum frame.
Services also include frame replacement. We fabricate and install both aluminum and millwork replacement window frame systems.
Religious stained glass church windows:
Lynchburg stained glass studio is a full service stained glass studio offering custom designed religious stained glass church windows. We provide a "turn-key" window system including aluminum frames and clear protective laminated storm coverings. Our One Studio ... Many Styles... philosophy alludes to our diverse range of artistic style from hand painted traditional to modern contemporary. Our Leaded stained glass windows are handcrafted using time proven techniques passed down through generations of stained glass artisans. We also specialize in Stained Glass Restoration Repair Protection, window frame replacement, millwork or aluminum.
Stained Glass Aluminum Framing System with Insulated Glass:
Our frame systems accommodate both stained glass and clear protective glass in one frame profile. Our 4-inch double glaze frame uses 0.25-inch laminated glass while our 5-inch thermal break frame accommodates 1-inch insulated glass units. We fabricate these frame systems in-house. Our 1-inch insulated glass is unique in that the outer layer is laminated safety glass. We also offer hurricane glazing for high impact wind borne debris regions.
Window Styles (Religious Stained Glass Church Windows):
We offer geometric opalescent window designs with hand painted "Live of Christ" scenes or new/old testament symbol medallions. Our religious stained glass church windows are custom designed to suit each individual project.
Lynchburg Stained Glass Studio is a studio member of the Stained Glass Association of America producing religious stained glass church windows. We will work with your church group and/or architect to plan and produce stained glass that speaks to both the church and community.
We specialize in stained glass restoration repair protection. Projects range from a few broken pieces to major re-lead restoration. Our large studio, located in Virginia, provides stained glass restoration to churches throughout the east coast.
Aluminum window frames and protective glass:
Our new thermal-break double glazed frame system is custom designed and fabricated in-house. The system incorporates insulated glass units utilizing laminated safety glass on the exterior to protect the stained glass investment. Durable and shatter resistant, laminated glass will not discolor with time. Our new thermal break frame is vented to reduce solar heat and moisture buildup between the protective glazing and the stained glass. Single sourcing stained glass, Insulated Glass. units and frames insures a smooth installation and reduces lead-time typically associated with other frame systems.
Lynchburg Stained Glass studio produces stained glass using time proven traditional methods. All of our artwork is created in-house by our staff of artists and designers skilled in all styles of glass design and hand-painting techniques. We offer both leaded and faceted stained glass windows. We maintain a large glass inventory to expedite fabrication.
Window restoration services:
Lynchburg Stained Glass studio specializes in the replication and restoration of antique and historical stained glass windows , especially projects requiring matching of traditional hand painting techniques. We are experienced in the re-leading, preservation and conservation of older stained glass, including the duplication and installation of custom millwork frames.