Stained Glass Doors- History and Present Day Importance

The use of stained glass is not of recent times. In fact the history of stained glass doors traces back to the 10th century. There was a massive use of stained glass in the cathedrals and churches of Europe. With the advent of the 12th century the Gothic cathedrals brought out the use of stained glass more beautifully which more or less dominated the European cathedrals and churches.

In spiritual terms, it was said that the presence of beautiful pictures made from colored glass would lead men closer to God. The use of stained glass in the doors and windows of churches and cathedrals made them appear lighted from within as they captured lights which gave them an elegant look, glorious along with strong sentimental environment. Moreover, they go well with stylish and antique door knobs.

Gradually, the Renaissance era ceased the use of the sophisticated, beautiful and original stained glass method. The major reason responsible for the extinction of original art of stained glass was its time consuming method. People sought for easier and faster methods to replace the time taking method of making stained glass. Hence, the use of stained glass was replaced with the use of painted glass.

Consequently, painting was given more stress and artists of stained glass were actually a segment of painters. This in turn gave rise to the downfall of the use of stained glass doors and windows and rise of painted white glass doors and windows.

Thereafter three hundred years later in 1800s, the scientists explored glass techniques of the medieval period. There were two American painters namely John LaFarge and Louis Comfort Tiffany who liberally started experimenting in making further improvements in glass which would have diverse range of visual changes without any use of paint. Tiffany showed excellent presence of mind by experimenting   the mixing of sand, lime and soda which are the basic ingredients for making glass in untried mixtures. Though, he was simply not aware about the result of this excellent experiment. But to his surprise, the results were amazing. The glass which was produced was extremely beautiful.

Well, this was all about the use and further advancement of stained glass in history. But the story in the present times of the stained glass is entirely different. Reason is again convenience as mentioned earlier as well. It is easier to utilize painted glass (due to the tedious process of production of stained glass) in comparison to the original stained glass.

Stained Glass in Present Times: The use of stained glass in the present times has changed drastically. Today, designers and decorators love to work with painted glass for making doors and windows attractive and appealing. This is because it is much easier to first install and fit the glass in the door first, then to make out a drawing on the either side and then paint it then to perform the tedious task of producing stained glass. Moreover, being painted artistically they look more attractive and easily catch the eyes of the observer.  But before we get too involved about the use of stained glass doors and their importance, let us take a quick glance as to how they are produced in today’s era.

Refer Antique door knobs

Production Procedure:

Making stained glass the original way can be a tedious task for those who are doing it for the first time. But the fact is, the more one practices it, the more he will get to enjoy it and would find himself driven towards it.

On the contrary, producing stained glass in the present times is not difficult and tedious at all. All one needs is a couple of glass colors, a lead, and some stencils to bring out the design on the glass beautifully. For a good start, it is essential that one gets ensured that it will get framed inside the door because it is highly difficult to alter the size of the frame once the glass has been stained. After this, glass should be laid on a table or a floor in a flat position and application of lead should be started. After the drawing of the design one should start filling in the paint and the stained glass is ready to be used for doors or windows.

Decorating Home with Stained Glass:

No doubt, stained glass gives a spectacular and appealing appearance to the exteriors of the home. And not only the exteriors but the interiors can be given an eye-catching look by using them as lamp shades, doors of cabinets, indoor windows etc. Even the office can be beautifully decorated with stained glass by using them as shades for the ceiling lights. One can add to the beauty of the bedrooms by using stained glass for making jewelry boxes. Stained glass has always set a class apart, no matter how they are made. They have always been admired for their beauty and would continue to do so in future as well.


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2 Responses to “Stained Glass Doors- History and Present Day Importance”

  1. Macgurl Says:

    Remembering from my Art History Classes – the main purpose of many of the church’s stained glass windows was to tell the biblical story since many of their parishoners could not read. But, they could understand the story from the pictures in the windows.

    The “traditional” way to create the stained (or cut) glass actually falls into two categories – leaded and tiffany style glass. The leaded glass uses lead caning with channels and the tiffany style uses a soldering method (my grandpa did a bit and it was fun to watch)

  2. Chandan Kumar Says:

    Hi , I am using your one of the stained glass texture in my educational content. Thanks.

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