Many people will know of stained glass and the majestic windows that have been created with it throughout the ages. From the hallowed churches displaying the testaments in full coloured majesty, to the advent of modern stained glass and its application as an art form, it always adds another dimension to what otherwise would be just another window. Perhaps not suitable for every frame in your house, these panes can add an artistic flair to conservatories, doors, bathrooms and more.
What most people don’t know is that this is just one type of decorative glazing available to them, so we thought we’d give you a handy little breakdown of the types of decorative glass that exist.
A glass that has either been sandblasted or had caustic chemicals applied to it in order to create a pattern, you often see etched glass in saloon bars from the 1920s with their frosted caricatures of patrons. Recently this technique has been used with most abstract ‘sensibilities’ in mind, where artists create free flowing designs that ease out of the glass. You’ll often find this type of window in bathrooms and other areas where privacy is a requirement.
Though not as common nowadays due to the fact that we’ve found out lead is toxic, leaded glass has many decorative traits that can work beautifully in a modern home. With the inclusion of the metal in the potassium silicate glass, the refractive index is considerably heightened, meaning that the finished product will noticeably sparkle. Stained glass can also be leaded, with the addition of lead often used to change the colour of the glass. Nowadays this type of glass is often made by adding chemicals such as titanium dioxide and zirconium dioxide, though it is still often regarded as leaded.
Bevelled glass is traditionally made with thick panes which have been had their borders, or decorative elements cut at an angle. Cut like this, the glass produces a prism effect when sunlight streams through it, creating a rainbowed spectrum as well as highlighting the glass work. This type of decorative glazing looks fantastic indoors and cabinets, offering a high end, polished finish to the piece.
Created by incorporating glasses which have been fired at different temperatures, fused glass combines them together in order to add different shapes and textures to the finished glazing. With the three different styles creating really quite varying effects, this type of glass can create a really stunning and artistic finish quite unlike any other decorative glazing. Employed extensively by artists, if you want something truly individual for your home, we’d recommend you use fused!
Image by Amandajm