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What and Why in Stained Glass
What goes into the pricing
of a piece of Stained Glass???

DESIGN: The hardest thing to put a price on is the design and creativity of the artist. Generally the more complex and original the design, the more expensive the finished product. A straight lined geometric design will probably cost less than a design with lots of curves and circles.

GLASS: Glass ranges in price from approximately $4.00 a square foot, for basic glass, up to and beyond $40.00 a square foot, for some antique and specialty glass. So, as you can gather the type of glass used in a stained glass piece will be a major factor on the final price.

TIME: Time is something that varies immensely from one artist to another.

There are several stages in making a piece of stained glass. The cutting, grinding, copper foiling, assembly, sauldering, cleaning and finishing. The more pieces involved in a design the more labour intensive it becomes.

For example: Using a size of 12" x 12" or a square foot. A very simple design could have a diamond in the center with four straight lines going out to the edges having a total of 5 pattern pieces. Using basic glass the cost of this piece would probably be around $30.00.

Where as, using the same size of 12" x 12" and a design of, lets say, a bird on some roses. This piece would probably have about a hundred pieces. Using the higher price range of glass and some specialty glass the price of this piece would probably be in the range of $250.00. So even though they are both the same size there can be a vast difference in the price.

For more detail on the stages in making a piece of stained glass, go to my link at the bottom of the page for "Copper Foil Technique"

What is One of a Kind
when they all
SEEM to look the same???

Repeat Design The creating of a design and the making of a pattern is very time consuming and therefore costly. One of the ways to bring down the cost of a piece of stained glass is to use the pattern over and over again. In keeping with my one of a kind concept and still trying to keep the price at a competitive level, I do use my patterns over again but each time one of the factors, such as type of glass, color and or finish will change. Thereby making each one different.

One Time Only Design A majority of my work falls in this category. An example of this can be found in the Sample Lamp Gallery. My Blossom Lamp and In Full Bloom Lamp are two truly one of a kind. The mold for making the lamps were sculpted by me and destroyed after the lamps were finished. There was no pattern involved in making the lamp, and each piece was cut and ground to size to fit the area.

I also have several pieces that have a pattern but will only be made once (they have special meaning to me). Then there are the pieces that were flukes... and can't be repeated. Some of my work incorporates both aspects - pattern and no pattern. Examples of this can be found in my Mini Lamp Gallery and Lamp Gallery. These lamps have a relatively plain upper section with a "no pattern" floral design skirting the bottom.


ANTIQUE: Antique (full antique), Sem-Antique (French semi-antique) and GNA (German New Antique). This type of glass is not called antique because it's old but rather in the way it's made, which for full antique is hand-blown. There are several methods, both hand blown and machine made. In hand-blown glass one of which is for a glass blower to pick up a certain amount of molten glass on his pontil (tool) and then blow it into a long cylindrical mold. The cylinder of glass is cut off at its ends as well as along its length with a hot knife. This cut cylinder is then placed in an oven, cut side up, and with the heat the glass unfurls and lays flat.

Antique glass is monochromatic and transparent with slight striations in its surface and will vary in color and thickness. There are many qualities and price ranges for the different antique glasses.

BAROQUE: This glass is created by Spectrum Glass. It has the elegance and grace of mouth-blown antique glass, captured in a uniquely creative process. Swirls of color that create pleasing and artistic effects.

BEVELS: These glass accents are usually made from 3/16" clear plate glass and have a 1/2" bevel (an angle connecting the top and bottom faces of the glass rather than a perpendicular edge). They come in a multitude of shapes and sizes.

CONFETTI: Exactly what it sounds like, confetti glass has confetti "chips" thrown in the batch of glass.

CRACKLE: (Blown Cylinder Method) The hot cylinder is immersed in water causing extreme fissures in the glass. The cylinder is then reheated annealed to heal the surface fissures. The resulting surface is like aligator skin. <

FRACTURED: Fractured glass or Confetti glass are basically the same. The fractured glass I use also has colored streamers running through it (usually black).

GLUE CHIP: This type of glass can have a very light feathery texture to very heavy texture. The chipping occurs when a certain type of glue (usually made from animal bones, hooves and skin), is allowed to dry on a piece of glass. When the glue dries it shrinks with such force that it chips pieces of the glass. Depending on the thickness of glue, proportions of water to glue and drying temperatures, all will have some bearing on the final texture.

GRANITE: This glass has a raised and lowered bumpy surface, somewhat like a toad's skin.

IRIDESCENT: This type of glass can be transparent or opaque. A chemical is sprayed on the hot glass surface as it is rolled resulting in a shimmering film similar to oil on the surface of water.

JEWELS: These are faceted colored glass. Flat on the other side and have a high degree of refraction.

MOTTLED: Mottled or Ring Mottled glass has beautifull characteristics. It is a type of opalescent glass with patches of color surrounded by another color. The patches have diffuesed edges making them blend into the outer color. When lit from behind they are striking and I love using it in lamps.

MUFFLE: English muffle glass was brought back because of the restoration of some old windows where the need has created a demand. The stained glass enthusiast has also found this glass exceptional as well.

NEW ANTIQUE: This type of glass is machine made and has the same characteristics as traditional antique, except that it tends to be more uniform in color and thickness.

NUGGETS: Globs of glass are dropped and cooled. They are flat on one side. They can be transparent or opaque, plain or iridescent and vary in sizes and shapes.

OPALESCENT: Opalescent (white) and Mixed Opalescent (several colors combined). It is generaly an opaque glass (can't see through it) although it will transmit some light. The actual degree of light transmission (translucency) is variable depending upon composition and temperatures used in manufacture. It rarely comes in solid colors but rather several colors combined, except for white.

PATINA: Is the term used to describe the antiquing of a metal over time. It can also be achieved artificially using chemicals. A copper sulfate will turn turn the solder a nice coppery color.

RIPPLE: Heavily textured, three dimensional wavy ripple on one side of the glass and smooth on the other. This glass is produced by hand rolling one sheet at a time on steel plates.

SEEDY: This glass is smooth on both sides but have what look like small bubbles or seeds trapped within the glass. Air or gas is injected prior to forming, while the molten glass is still very liquid. In mouth blown antique glass a potato or wet wood is thrown into the molten glass to create bubbles.

STREAKY: It can be quite dramatic. There are several colors swirled around in one sheet.

STREAMERS: These are thin glass rods that are fused into a piece of glass to give a striped or abstrat stripe effect.

TEXTURED: There are several methods in achieving textural effects in glass.

a) Made by double roll forming - this produces a glass smooth on one side and textured on the other. There are an endless number of possibilities, but most common today are "hammered" and "granite".

b) Made by other hot glass methods - this category includes "antiques", both hand and machine made, where the still soft sheet is impressed by various means to produce subtle lines in the finished sheet.

c) Made by cold glass methods - this category includes glue chipping, etching, sand blasting, silvering and any other surface treatment performed on the glass sheet at low temperature.

WATERGLASS: This type of glass has such clarity and vibrancy of color that it has become one of my favorite types of glass to use. It has a slight undulation, or wavy pattern, in it. This glass is an exclusive from Spectrum Glass. The non mechanical rippled surface of high lustre is achieved by stretching the glass.

If you have any comments, ideas or questions, please send me an e-mail

Last modified January 9, 2006

copyright Yogi Grunwald 2000 - 2006

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