When sunlight falls on colored glass, its rays are refracted and colored in different colors. This spectacle is especially mesmerizing if there is not one colored glass in front of you, but a picture assembled by the skillful hands of a master from dozens of such glasses. This is a union of color and light. This is a kind of magic. This is a stained glass window.
Stained glass art is not new. The history of its development goes back several centuries. However, to this day, stained glass windows continue to enchant the eyes of people with their beauty. But if earlier stained-glass windows were decorated only with churches and houses of aristocrats, now almost any person can afford this luxury. Today stained-glass windows can also be found in small apartments. They are inserted into interior doors, ceilings, lamps, and even used as partitions in bathrooms. In metropolitan cities, people are increasingly using stained-glass windows in double-glazed windows, and not transparent glass. They do this not only for the purpose of decorating the windows, but also in order to protect themselves from the prying eyes of neighbors living opposite..
The demand for stained glass gave rise to supply. In addition to classic stained-glass windows, contemporary artists offer buyers pseudo-stained-glass windows using stained glass paints or films. For the price they are much cheaper than classic stained-glass windows. In beauty, they are not at all inferior to them. An ordinary buyer who does not have knowledge of stained glass art may be confused among the variety of stained glass windows, their quality and prices. To prevent this from happening, it is enough to familiarize yourself with the types of stained glass windows and their main characteristics..
So, in order to make the right choice, the stained glass buyer needs to know that there are three main types of stained glass.
Classic stained glass
Such a stained glass window is a drawing assembled from many colored glass pieces. The glasses are soldered to each other with a lead, copper or brass profile. Such stained glass windows can often be found in old churches or churches. The production of such a stained-glass window is very laborious and takes a lot of time. Accordingly, its price is high.
The main advantage of such stained-glass windows is their durability. They are practically timeless.
They have only one drawback: the metal profile into which the pieces of glass are soldered is difficult to bend. Accordingly, the master cannot create very delicate and graceful compositions in this technique..
Pseudo-stained glass using stained glass paints
This stained glass window appeared as a result of the development of the chemical industry, which gave artists special washable stained glass paints. The production of such a stained-glass window is 2 times cheaper than the production of a classic stained-glass window, which makes it more affordable for average buyers. The main difference between pseudo-stained glass and classic stained glass is that it is produced by drawing a pattern on a single sheet of glass, while a classic stained glass consists of dozens of individual pieces of glass. In fact, it is a painting on glass, which is very similar to the classic stained glass window..
This painting is carried out as follows: the artist applies the contours of the drawing to the glass previously cleaned of dust and grease. To do this, he uses the so-called “contours on glass and ceramics” – viscous paints in tubes.
In the future, the applied contours will serve as a kind of border between different colors and stained glass elements. After the contours have dried, the master proceeds to the process of coloring the picture using liquid stained glass paints. Paints and outlines can be clear or opaque, water-based or solvent-based, oven-baked or non-fired. Stained-glass windows, made with paints that do not require firing, look brighter and more impressive, since the colors retain their saturation. But these stained glass windows have one drawback: if used improperly, they can be scratched..
Such stained-glass windows are used indoors, where bad weather cannot affect them. The stained glass painting on glass is washed with non-abrasive detergents. Stained-glass windows, which are subject to firing in the oven, look more faded, since the colors lose their saturation at high temperatures. But on the other hand, such stained-glass windows are difficult to scratch, they are stronger. Besides the above mentioned paints and outlines, the artist can also use various glitters or colored sand to decorate the stained glass window. Stained glass painting is usually done on one side of the glass. Therefore, the finished stained glass window will look different on both sides. Differently beautiful! At the request of the client, painting can be done on both sides. This needs to be specified when ordering a stained glass window.
Unlike classic stained glass, pseudo stained glass with paints is less wear-resistant. If the first can stand for centuries, delighting dozens of generations of people with its beauty, then the second can last for several decades, depending on how well it is looked after. But pseudo-stained glass has a significant advantage over its classic counterpart, namely: with the help of paints and brushes, the master can create the most delicate and delicate stained glass drawings, which the artist will not forge in the production of classic stained glass.
Film stained glass
This type of stained-glass windows is also performed on a solid sheet of glass by gluing special colored films and a profile of lead or other metal on it. Initially, the master develops a sketch of the drawing of the future stained glass window. After approval of the drawing with the buyer and clarification of the nuances, the artist divides the drawing into details. Parts are cut from films of different colors, which, when glued to the glass, form an approved pattern. A metal profile is glued to the joints of the parts. It not only hides the joints of the films, but also gives the stained glass a finished look.
Film stained glass has a number of advantages:
- it, like painting on glass, is 2 times cheaper than classic stained glass;
- glued with films, it will not scatter into fragments if accidentally broken;
- the service life of such a stained-glass window is about 100 years.
Stained-glass windows using paints and films look no worse than classic stained-glass windows. But their price is much less. Therefore, for use in apartments, ordinary buyers prefer just such stained glass windows. If the stained-glass window is constantly exposed to weather influences, then it is better not to save money and give preference to the classic stained-glass window. Direct sunlight, rain, snow, paint hail or film may deteriorate. The soldered glass of the classic stained-glass window is capable of enduring any bad weather. In any case, it is better to buy stained-glass windows from firms that are professionally engaged in their production. Also worth asking:
- how high quality materials they use;
- do they give a guarantee for the finished product;
- what is included in the price of a stained-glass window;
- how to care for the finished stained glass.
If you are serious about choosing a stained-glass window and, after purchasing it, take proper care of it, it will serve you for many years, regardless of whether it is a classic stained-glass window or pseudo-stained glass.