20 February 2009

Stained Glass

One of the things I love most about #970:

The living room has two of these. They're roughly 18x24", positioned high on the wall, book-ending what was certainly a fireplace in ages gone by. A few posts ago when I said that we replaced almost all our windows, this was why. These had to stay. Though I love my stained glass, my interest in it didn't start here.

Stained glass knocked my socks off the first time I went to Germany in 1997. Most of what I saw there was painted stained glass illustrating bible stories in churches. Even the most unremarkable churches were adorned in this way, beautifying the church but also teaching the illiterate masses through pictures.

When I got back to the US 11 years ago, I enrolled in a class and learned how to cut glass and assemble the pieces. I never made anything that was any good, but I learned enough to recognized construction methods and materials.

Looking around my neighborhood you'll see a lot of windows like mine, but you'll also see a lot of homes that don't have them anymore. You can tell from the architecture and the position of the windows that there was probably art glass in there when the house was built. Over the years a lot of homeowners have replaced the old stained glass with regular windows or filled in the openings with glass blocks.

I'm fascinated by the ones that are still here and I can't wait to learn more.


joe said...

i am jealous of your stained glass.

Kate said...

MIL's solution was to upgrade the window, salvage the stained glass, have the frame altered slightly so it would fit snugly in the window opening after the new window as installed. That way it looks like the same old window but is more energy efficient.

Mary Ann said...

I think you'd have to buy custom-made windows for that to work. The width of the wood/vinyl/aluminum that holds the glass in place varies quite a lot, influencing how much glass needs to fill it.

I have thought about replacing the storm windows behind my stained glass, but I've never noticed a draft nearby. I'm guessing that replacing the other 16 did the trick . . .

joe said...

your stained glass + the storm windows is very close to the efficiency of new windows. probably not worth messing with.