About Stained Glass

About Stained Glass

Throughout its thousand plus-year history, the term “stained glass” has applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches.

Regular glass becomes stained glass by adding metallic minerals during the manufacturing process. A stained-glass artisan designs patterns or pictures utilizing these colors, and then another craftsperson cuts glass sheets into the smaller pieces needed to create an image. Traditionally,  strips of lead called “came” hold these pieces together, all supported by a rigid frame. Painted details are often used to enhance the design. Please visit our Virtual Studio Tour page to see the full process!

The term “painted stained glass” refers to windows which have additional shading (and sometimes colors) painted onto the glass using vitreous paint; this paint is then permanently fused to the glass in a kiln (furnace). The primary purpose of adding paint to glass is to create visual detail on the glass as is found in narrative type scenes and/or intricately adorned borders. Stained glass requires artistic skill to design and produce.

A window must fit snugly into its intended architectural space while resisting wind and rain, as well as supporting its own weight (especially in the larger windows). Many windows have withstood the test of time and remain substantially intact, even since the late Middle Ages. In Western Europe, they constitute the major form of pictorial art to have survived the centuries.

The purpose of a stained-glass window is not to allow those within a building to see the world outside or even primarily to admit light but rather to control it. The design of a window may be abstract or figurative; may incorporate narratives drawn from the Bible, history, or literature; and may represent saints, patrons, religious symbols or a combination thereof.

Lynchburg Stained Glass crafts religious stained glass windows using time-proven, traditional methods. Machines do not make our stained-glass windows, skilled artisans craft them by hand: creating these windows represents a labor of love by those of us who make it our life’s work.

Each window is a genuine work of art.