The Glass Castle: Stained Glass from Ancient Origins to Modern Homes

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The Glass Castle: Stained Glass Beyond Traditional Spaces

Stained glass is beautiful to look at and can be found in many more places than you think. When you think of stained glass, you might think of a museum, a church, etc. But, if you take a closer look at the homes, buildings, and facilities all around you, you will realize that these beautiful pieces of art can be found in many more places than just churches and museums. They can be found on doors, windows, in restaurants, etc. Decades ago, people tended to put pieces of stained glass in open spaces in their houses.

People did this so that the people outside the houses could not look into the house through the clear glass in different parts of their homes. (It added a beautiful touch to the homes.) In other cases, stained glass is not used for the cause of not being able to look inside but for the purpose of controlling light, telling a story, or just for the cause of art. Sometimes, in stained glass, there are different shapes and symbols that tell a more in-depth story and explain more than just a flower or a bird. Other times, people are just creating art and making something that appeals to the eye.

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The Glass Castle: Stained Glass from Ancient Origins to Modern Homes
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From Ancient Craftsmanship to Modern Techniques

These pieces of beautiful glass came from either the Romans or the ancient Egyptians. The reason people believe that it can be either is that both are very educated in making colored glass objects. There are seven steps to make stained glass. The first step is to sketch out the design the artist has in mind. The second step is to cut the glass with a dividing iron into the shapes that the artist wants it to look like. This is not the exact shape, just the “rough shape.” The third step is to use a grozing iron. This iron will create the shape exactly.

The fourth step is to paint the glass with a pigment. The pigment is usually mixed with vinegar or wine to make the application of the paint easier. The fifth step is to combine the glass parts with pieces of lead to create a panel. The sixth step is glazing. This is when you assemble the different pieces of stained glass so that it can be placed onto a window. The final step is cementing. This is when a cement paste is applied to the glass to secure it and make the glass waterproof. Those are the seven steps to making and constructing stained glass.


  1. Brown, A. (2016). Stained Glass in Modern Architecture. New York: Skylight Publishers.
  2. Davidson, L. (2018). Sacred Spaces and Beyond: The Evolution of Stained Glass Artistry. London: Artisan Press.

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The Glass Castle: Stained Glass from Ancient Origins to Modern Homes. (2023, Aug 25). Retrieved from

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