Stained Glass History
Working with lead came started in the 9th century. During the
middle ages, all the cathedrals of Europe commissioned magnificent
stained glass windows. Between the 11th and 14th centuries, stained
glass was reserved for religious art. Unfortunately, between the
17th and 18th century, many of these masterpieces were destroyed
either due to weather conditions or war.
At the beginning of the 19th century in Europe, we see a
renaissance in this art form. Glassmakers start reproducing antique
glass. Around the middle of the century, Americans start
experimenting with the production of new types of colored glass.
L.C. Tiffany, among others, develops and produces a particular glass
called opalescent, which is different from traditional European
antique glass. The light goes through, but the glass is opaque. He
also develops the copper foil technique used to assemble the pieces
The art nouveau movement provided a breath of new life for the
stained glass trade. The movement spread throughout Europe and North
America in the early part of the 20th century. The lamps and windows
produced by L.C. Tiffany Company and other firms increased the
popularity of stained glass, bringing its beauty into homes, offices
and public buildings. Unfortunately, during the 1930’s and 1950’s,
the craze for this art lost ground.
Today, stained glass is once again becoming popular, as people
learn to appreciate its warmth, variety and applications to many
different forms of artistic and decorating expression.
Les Verriers du Québec, Éditions Le Broquet Inc.
Introduction to Stained Glass, Wardell Publications
Here is a very brief description of the different techniques used
in the art of stained glass.
There are two mounting techniques: copper foil and lead came. The
choice of technique depends on how large the piece is and especially
where it will be installed.
Usually used for smaller pieces. It also allows for very fine
solder seams. Not recommended for pieces that are subject to
Used on very large pieces or pieces like: doors, windows, room
dividers, skylights, etc.. This type of mounting allows flexibility
to absorb vibrations. Strengthening rods are often used to increase
the life of the piece by evenly distributing the weight on the
In order to avoid structural problems and prolong the life of
your piece, there are certain rules to be followed. If you have any
questions concerning mounting or about the different qualities of
glass, do not hesitate to call me and I will be happy to arrange an
appointment with you at my workshop.