Stained Glass - Historical Facts - Stained Glass Process - 00047

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Historical Origin And Design Inspiration

Medieval stained glass is the coloured and painted glass of medieval Europe from the 10th to the 16th century. For much of this period stained glass windows were the major pictorial art form, particularly in northern France, Germany and England where windows tended to be large than in southern areas and frescos less common than in Italy.

Stained glass windows were used predominantly in churches, but were occasionally found in wealthy domestic settings and in town halls. The purpose of stained glass windows in churches was both to enhance the beauty of their setting and to inform the viewer through narrative or symbolism. The subject matter was generally religious in nature.

Window glass was in use from at least the first century AD, and coloured and painted window glass for use in religious buildings was also manufactured at an early date. The earliest extant example of ecclesiastical stained glass is possibly that from San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. A clear glass roundel with a depiction of Christ in Majesty, thought to be sixth century, was discovered here.

Some of the earliest known examples of coloured window glass, datable to c. 800-820, were recovered in excavations at the Abbey of San Vicenzo in Volturno, Italy. Glass of the same colour ranges and similar date is also found in England, at the monastic sites of Jarrow and Monkwearmouth, and at other sites in the north of England.

These examples are not painted. However it was not until the advent of the monumental cathedral and church building campaigns in the eleventh and twelfth centuries that the demand for coloured glass began to increase significantly, reaching its highest level in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The oldest surviving stained glass windows still in situ are thought to be the Prophet Windows in Augsburg Cathedral, of c.1065.

A useful twelfth-century source on medieval glass manufacture is the De Divers Artibus of Theophilus Presbyter. Theophilus was a Benedictine Monk, believed by some scholars to be Roger of Helmarshausen, a metal worker who practiced in the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries. De Divers Artibus describes a number of craft processes including glassmaking and glassworking.

Slightly later in the twelfth century, Eraclius, in De Coloribus et Artibus, also gives an account of methods for producing coloured glass, although he may have copied much of his text from the Naturalis Historia of Pliny the Elder of c.77AD. Later in the medieval period Anthony of Pisa, Cennino Cennini, and Agricola also contributed texts on aspects of glassmaking and glassworking.

Prior to c.1000, most coloured glass was of a soda-lime-silica composition. In Northern Europe soda glass was eventually almost totally superseded by potash-lime-silica glass (Forest glass). Forest glass continued to be used in stained glass for the duration of the medieval period until soda glass again began to be used in the sixteenth century.

The potash (K2O) found in Forest Glass was derived from wood ash. In De Divers Artibus, Theophilus describes the use of beech wood as the preferred source of ash. Other plant matter, such as bracken, was also used. As well as containing potash, beech ash comprises an assortment of compounds including iron and manganese oxides, which are particularly important for generating colour in glass.

Medieval stained glass panels could be created either by the cylinder blown sheet or crown glass (window) method.

Forest glass was manufactured in Burgundy and Lorraine near the Rhein; in Flanders; and in Normandy, in the Seine and Loire Valleys. It was distributed throughout mainland north-west Europe and Britain in the form of ready-made sheets. The application of painted decoration to and final shaping of the sheets was carried out at glass working centres close by the final destination of the glass.

Inherent colour refers to the colours that may be formed in the molten glass by manipulating the furnace environment. Theophilus describes molten glass changing to a saffron yellow colour which will eventually transform to a reddish yellow on further heating, he also refers to a tawny colour, like flesh which, upon further heating will become light purple and later a reddish purple, and exquisite.

These colour changes are the result of the behaviour, under redox conditions, of the iron and manganese oxides which are naturally present in beech wood ash. In the glass melt the iron and manganese behave as follows:

In an oxidising environment metal (and some non-metal) ions will lose electrons. In iron oxides, Fe2+ (ferrous) ions will become Fe3+ (ferric) ions. In molten glass this will result in a change in glass colour from pale blue to yellow/brown. In a reducing environment the iron will gain electrons and colour will change from yellow/brown to pale blue. Similarly manganese will change in colour depending on its oxidation state. The lower oxidation state of manganese (Mn2+) is yellow in common glass while the higher oxidation states (Mn3+ or higher) is purple. A combination of the two states will give a pink glass.

As the manganese and iron may each be in different states of oxidation, the combination of the two can result in a broad range of attractive colours. Manganese in its fully oxidised state, if not present in too great a mass, will also act as a decolourant of glass if the iron is in its yellow, ferric form. The two colours in effect cancel each other out to produce a clear glass.

Experimental manufacture of potash glass emulating Theophilu recipes has resulted in colours ranging from colourless to yellow, amber, brown, green, blue, pink and purple. Variation in colour hue and depth would also probably be affected by the source of the beech wood ash, depending on the soil chemistry where the beech tree grew, the age of the tree and the climate conditions. Some of the stronger reds, blues and greens that are a feature of medieval stained glass rely on the addition of copper oxides.

Flashing Glass comprising multiple layers of clear and (usually) red glass was known to exist in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The manufacturing process is not known. Flashing was developed in the fifteenth century, and refers to the superimposition of a thin layer of coloured glass onto another coloured or uncoloured glass sheet. The procedure may have involved dipping a small sphere of molten glass into a molten uncoloured glass and blowing this into a cylinder form (the cylinder blown sheet process) which was then cut into sections and flattened in an annealing oven.

Red, or ruby, copper-based glass, is usually flashed as the colour is too dense to be used alone. Other glass colours may also be flashed. These techniques could be remarkably sophisticated as demonstrated by 15thc. glass from the Carthusian Monastery of Pavia, where layered glasses of blue and violet; green and uncoloured; and red and uncoloured have been identified.

Applied paint and silver stain The paint applied to glass was a type of enamel, usually dark brown or black, formed from a mixture of: ground copper or iron oxide; powdered glass; wine, urine or vinegar; and gum arabic. other recipes could include sugar, treacle or vegetable oil. This was applied in a series of washes, with fine details added last. Both the external and internal faces of the glass could be painted, adding depth to the overall composition. The enamel was fixed by firing the glass in an annealing oven.

Silver stain Producing a strong clear yellow could be difficult in early stained glass as it relied upon the careful control of furnace conditions in order to create the appropriate reducing or oxidising environment. The introduction of silver stain in the early fourteenth century not only provided a solution to this difficulty, but also allowed greater flexibility in the way in which colour could be used. The first datable example of the use of silver stain is in the parish church of Le Mesnil-Villeman, Manche, France (1313).

Silver stain was a combination of silver nitrate or silver sulphide blended with pipe clay and applied to (usually) clear glass. This technique enabled a more flexible approach to glass painting, allowing, for example, the hair of a figure to be painted on the same piece of glass as the head. It was also used to highlight details of canopywork or grisaille, and later it was added to the surface of coloured glass, to create a wider variety of glass hues.

You May Order:- Straight Top - Eyebrow Arch Top - Full Arch Top - Single Window - Double Windows - Large Store Front Windows - Large Glass Fronts - Any Size And Style.

Product Information

We Offer All Types Of Authentic Stained, Decorative, And Beveled Glass. In The Same Hand And Methods As Has been Used For Centuries

As Shown: Solid Northern White Cedar - Exotic Natural Core Wood - Light Distress, door blades, hand hewn, doweled, and tenon joined with a steel reinforced core. When ordering windows or doors the price includes all design drawings for your approval and your choice of finish.

All Windows Are Built With Structural Jambs And Sills

When You Order Pre- Hung All Door Jambs Include A Rabbeted Stop: This 1" thick door stop is a permanent part of the structural jamb. It is created by cutting a dado cut into the jamb, to receive and seal the door in a closed position. This method insures a perfect seal every time. Unlike tacked on door stops that usually shift over time from the pounding force of opening and closing, this stop will remain tight and plum to your door.

When You Order Your Door Pre- Hung, The Weather Package Is Included: Every door ordered pre-hung in a jamb is fitted with high density weather seals. These weather seals ensure the best protection from the elements. Also all side light and transom glass is installed and fitted with stops and sealed for long term comfort as well as energy conservation.

All Solid Wood Door Panels Can Be Fitted With Glass

All Structural Jambs Are Also Available With Glass Side Lights And Transoms

Standard Glass Or Artistic Glass Of All Types Are Available

Clear Or Decorative Glass Is Available: 3/4" up to 1" Thick Thermal Insulated And Tempered Clear Glass Panels Or Non Insulated 1/4" Safety Plate. All glass panels are also available argon gas filled, low E, or laminated for hurricane codes. Please note that at altitudes of 4500 feet or higher that breathing tubes are required and to specify your altitude to your representative. We offer all types and thickness of glass and decorative glass samples are available.

Hand Etched Or Stained Glass Is Available: You may have your special art work hand etched in any glass. We also offer all types and thickness of beveled glass as well as many colors of art glass, simply ask for samples.

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Every Order Includes Your Choice Of Hand Rubbed Fine Furniture Finishes

Hand Rubbed Furniture Finish Details As Shown: Color: Chestnut Roan, Outdoor Oil - Light Distress Northern White Exotic Cedar. Our finish process includes five to ten coats of hand rubbed furniture quality clear oils or water based non-toxic lacquers. It is applied, cured, rubbed and re-applied depending upon whether your order is Limited Edition or old growth Original works. Every surface of this product is fine finished including the under sides and hidden areas. These doors are built to investment family heirloom quality and are finished to be virtually maintenance free and will stand the test of time. You may choose the natural color or from over 400 standard stain colors, or computer color match to any stain color from a sample you provide. Most of our finishes are water based and earth friendly. You may order any single color or texture finish at no extra charge. Fine Finish Information: Important details about our finish process: patinas, sealants and wood finishes.

Hand Carving Is Available To Your Design Choice
Hand Carving Information: Important details about the kind of carving you can expect when you order from Scottsdale Art Factory.

Colorized Carving: You can order any carving colorized. In order to achieve a colorized carving, multiple stain colors are used. The stains are hand applied and blended with an artistic eye to achieve an enhanced natural appearance.

Security Grills - Motion Panels - Ornamental Steel Overlays

Motion Or Stationary Ornamental Security Panels Are Available: Handmade steel panels are made with independent locks and hinges to allow them to open to the exterior or interior side. This motion panel will permit easy access to any glass or wood panel behind it for cleaning or maintenance. Choose from the many design options shown or create your own panel design. All security grills are hand forged steel by our master blacksmiths with your choice of colors in hand applied patina finish.

Your Choice Of Artistic Hand Forged Hardware Is Unlimited

All Pulls Are Sized To Fit Your Particular window - Click Here To Choose From Hundreds Of Designs All styles of handles are hand forged and anvil hammered from solid high carbon steel. We never use softer metals or alloys. All welds are blended out of site as though each creation simply naturally grew in to its form and shape We Never Offer Casted Copies Of The Real Artistic Hardware (also known as drop forged)

Your Choices Of Hand Forged Decorative Hardware Are Unlimited

Hand Forged Steel Patina Finished Clavos As Shown: Hand forged steel decorative nail heads can be used on interior and/or exterior side of door units and are made in any size or design of your choice.

All Steel Is Coal Fired, Hammered By Master Blacksmiths - The Old Fashioned Way- And Patina Finished. At Scottsdale Art Factory, we take pride in our traditional, superior quality workmanship and craft our products from only the finest steel. Our master blacksmiths have been classically trained, and utilize old world techniques such as coal firing, anvil hammering and hand forging to create the finest handcrafted hardware available anywhere. All of our steel work is hand patina finished by heat applying iron oxides to achieve a natural patina finish that will stand the test of time.

Nothing is Drop Forged. We create works The Old Fashioned Way using solid hand forged steel, (drop forging is a poor quality, casted copy of a hand forged work of art). Nothing is wrought iron; wrought iron is simply a softer and less sturdy form of metal that cannot compare to stronger hand forged low carbon steel.

Master Blacksmithing: The kind of hand forged metal work you can expect when you order from Scottsdale Art Factory.

All Our Hand Forged Steel Is Hand Patina Finished To Stand The Test Of Time

Patina Finish As Shown: Various Colors Of Hand Applied Iron Oxide Patinas. All steel parts are hand patina finished the old fashioned way by iron oxide hand applied with high temperature heat. We never powder coat or faux paint our steel, it has been our experience that paint and powder coating methods do not hold up over time. You may choose from many natural iron oxide colors, and all our patina finishes are water based and earth friendly. You may order any single color or texture finish at no extra charge. Every surface of this hardware is finely finished including the under sides and hidden areas. Each item is finished to be virtually maintenance free and to age with grace to stand the test of time.

All SAF Windows - Doors & Gate Engineering Exceeds Commercial & Hurricane Requirements.

Important Door Facts: Important details that you should know before you purchase your doors and windows.

More Door Details / Installation Information: Important details about what you can expect when you order from Scottsdale Door Factory and installation instructions.

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Scottsdale Art Factory carries on the American Arts And Crafts Movement of the 21st century, in the same way William Morris and John Ruskin (founders of the Arts and Crafts furniture movement in circa 1800 England) inspired Gustave Stickley (founder of the American Arts and Crafts movement) in America circa 1900. Frank Loyd Wright, Charles and Henry Greene (inspired architects of the ultimate cottages such as the Gamble House in Pasadena California) are credited with raising quality standard to its highest level in their day. All of these great master craftsman also inspired the Marbella Brothers in the early 20th Century (founders of SAF circa 1913).

Every creative enterprise is always built on a foundation that was laid down by its predecessors. Creative people are also dependent on the groundwork laid down by those who came before them. H. J. Nick, artist and direct descendant of the Marbella brothers, and Scottsdale Art Factory have built on these foundations and have raised the bar of quality even higher. Thus setting a new standard and offering the finest one of a kind handmade furnishings found anywhere in the world in the 21st century.

Our Heritage: Marbella brothers come to America.

See Our Blog More about the history of Scottsdale Art Factory and the American furniture movement of the 21st century.