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Around Our Town...If These Walls Could Talk

Splendor in the Glass - Decorative Glass Turns Any Room into a Work of Art

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11/01/2005 - Think stained glass is only for windows in a traditional church building? The stained glass phenomenon of home décor has exploded in the last three years. Stained glass isn't just for cathedrals anymore. It can find a place in your home and create interest, add value, and express your uniqueness in a new and different way by personalizing glass designs to match the colors of wallpaper, tile patterns and other elements in a room's décor.

People are showcasing stained glass in a lot of different applications today. Designs are more fluid—a new spin on an old art form. Pieces don't have to be constrained to traditional forms such as rectangular windows or tiffany lamps. They can hang from the ceiling in the middle of a room, be used on upper kitchen cabinets, interior shutters, within interior doors and to maintain personal privacy, such as in bathrooms. Décor ideas include fireplace screens and mantle accents, tiles for kitchen and bath, lampshades, skylight filters, light box window panels and chandeliers. There are also hundreds of crystal bevel designs for the classic, eloquent home décor. Additionally, with commercially available stained glass computer software, virtually any photo can be converted into a stained glass keepsake for generations to follow. The possibilities are as endless as the imagination.

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Two of the most popular design techniques at present include hot, kiln formed glass and wall hung mosaics. Kiln forming expands the art form into another dimension—the three dimensional bouquet of flowers (as pictured above) is uniquely designed for each of my clients. Hot glass designs include an array of exquisite table dishes, bowls, and trays, expanding to wall hangings and beyond. Wall-hung mosaics have also gathered tremendous attention recently, incorporating classic techniques and utilizing color and light through the image (as pictured right).

With the immense diversity of glasses available, literally thousands of colors, textures, densities and firing (kiln) capabilities, the possibilities of creating and displaying stained glass are seemingly endless.

The price. Everyone loves stained glass but may not have considered purchasing a piece for their home because of the misconception of cost. The cost of a stained glass piece is essentially based on two factors: materials and labor. Glass varies widely in price for many reasons however; more expensive doesn't necessarily mean more appealing. It also stands to reason that since smaller pieces require less glass, they will cost less than a larger piece of equivalent design. Labor also consists of multiple factors. For example, pieces involving intricate patterns will typically drive the price up since they're more difficult and time consuming to create. The takeaway message is stained glass can be affordable. By working with your artisan, you will likely be able to select design and glass options to craft a piece that will lie within your budget. The end result will surely be worth your while, complimenting your style, potentially adding value to your home, and certainly expressing your uniqueness.

I have been a stained glass designer and artist since 1983, progressing through different media of stained glass from flat panel, kiln formed glass and mosaic. My focus within the stained glass art form is to transform light and color into feelings.

Please feel free to email me at kirklandb@highstream.net or call me at 436-5677 with any questions you may have.

Article written by: Brenda Kirkland

Splendor in the Glass

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