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Stained glass is a beautiful and unique art form that has existed for centuries. Although many different techniques, such as painting on the glass, have been created over the years, the process of making colored glass, true stained glass remains nearly unchanged after all this time. The stained glass making process begins with some basic natural raw materials like sand (silica), soda or potash, lead oxide or lime and one of the various metal oxides to provide the different colors used in stained glass designs. These raw materials, in their proper proportions are then mixed in a large vat and heated to 2500? F turning the mixture into molten glass which can then be processed in a variety of ways depending on the effect desired for a particular piece of stained glass.

For instance, to make the glass used in stained glass windows, a lump of the molten glass is caught up at one end of a blow pipe, blown into a cylinder-like shape, cut, then compressed into sheets and cooled. This process may be varied in order to produce different effects. “Flashed glass” is made by putting a ball of molten white glass inside of a layer of molten colored glass which, when blown and flattened, results in a less concentrated color because it will be white on one side and colored on the other.

This allows a much greater variety of colors to be created for use in stained glass art. Another process that is used for making Cathedral glass is done by rolling the molten glass into flat sheets. Then there are the “Norman slabs” which are created by blowing the molten glass into a rectangular box shaped mold. The sides are then sliced apart and formed into slabs which are slightly thinner at the edges and thicker in the center. Larger manufacturers use much the same techniques, but the mixing and shaping processes are done with large machines instead of by hand.

It seems like new information is discovered about something every day. And the topic of Stained Glass is no exception. Keep reading to get more fresh news about Stained Glass.

As mentioned above various metal oxides are added to produce different colors of stained glass. Golden, yellow and vermillion glass is sometimes created by using uranium, cadmium sulfide or titanium. Adding gold produces a beautiful ruby color Cobalt creates most shades of blue. Chromium and iron oxides can also create green shades. Copper oxide is very versatile and depending on the conditions it is used under it can create ruby red, bluish or green colors.

The beautiful pieces of stained glass are turned into beautiful stained glass windows and other beautiful artwork in a variety of ways. The oldest way is by (in simple terms) cutting out a design and then assembling the pieces together using “lead cames” which are basically made from strips of grooved lead which is then soldered to the glass. Different metal bars and loops are soldered to the lead in order to allow the stained glass window to be installed in a church, home or other building.

Other techniques use a special type of cement or other metals “foiled” to hold the stained glass pieces together. The methods for creating stained glass have survived and proven effective for thousands of years and will almost certainly continue to do so for many thousands more to come.

There’s a lot to understand about Stained Glass. We were able to provide you with some of the facts above, but there is still plenty more to write about in subsequent articles.

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