Houston Stained Glass Blog | Custom Stained Glass Houston
By Martin Faith
At Custom Stained Glass Houston, we’ve had the opportunity over the years to complete work for many different types of buildings. Some of our most rewarding projects have been restorations for churches. Churches do so much for the community and its always an honor to be able to give back to these wonderful institutions and the kind-hearted members of their congregation.
Just recently, we were given the opportunity to be part of a particularly unique restoration project for a historic church located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Vernon A.M.E. Church is a historic site in a predominantly African American neighborhood that once housed several members of the community in its basement during a violent riot in the year 1921, also known as the Tulsa 1921 Race Massacre. Their stained glass windows were in need of repair and our team of experts were called in to assist. Read more…
Here at Custom Stained Glass Houston, we are a part of the Scottish Stained Glass family of companies. This means as an organization we are part of some amazing historical stained glass restorations. Sam Houston State University is one of the company’s latest examples of how we breathe new life into structures like churches, synagogues, historic homes, and universities around the country.
Replicating Sam Houston State’s Historic Stained Glass Window
Founded in 1879, Sam Houston State University has been in Texas for some time and is one of the oldest schools here. Their original campus buildings were lovely brick structures, the crowning feature of which was stained glass. In fact, the window was a school icon and something they were very proud of. Sadly, these lovely old buildings and the cherished stained glass that adorned them were destroyed in a fire in 1982. Recently SHSU made the wonderful decision to commemorate this window and their school motto “The measure of a Life is its Service” by having the original stained glass window replicated. Happily, they came to Scottish and entrusted us with the honor of preserving the legacy of their amazing organization.
The First Challenge of Restoring Sam Houston State University’s Lost Stained Glass
The fact that the window was completely destroyed–nothing left of them at all–brought with it some inherent challenges. That left us nothing physical to replicate–which meant we had to turn to historical documentation–of which there was also, almost none. We always want to give respect to the original stained glass features by making them as historically accurate as possible. This meant we would have to be smart and work with what we had which was a single picture from a 1962 yearbook to guide our way.
Modern Technology for Restoring Stained Glass
We began first by recreating the design using modern technology. The next step was to scan this picture into the computer. We then printed a full-sized version and traced the lines. This allowed us utter accuracy. Once again we rescanned the drawing into our CAD program and made it double the size of the original. Although a painstaking process, it was well worth the time and paid off in an incredible, historically accurate masterpiece.
Restoring Sam Houston State University’s Lost Stained Glass
Next, we ran into an issue of sourcing materials that were used over a century ago and likely had not been made in ages since. This is particularly problematic with colors. Finding a proper match would be a challenge. We tapped our conservation specialist to help us find colors that were very close to the originals. But close was not enough so we next entrusted our incredibly talented painted stained glass artists to paint over the “close” hues to make them dead-on accurate–a brilliant solution!
The Results of the Recreated Commemorative Stained Glass Window
At the end of almost a full year of work, the stained glass had about ten layers implemented to create accurate shadowing and depth. A feat of art and science this lovely commemorative window also has a whopping 3,000- 4,000 pieces. The entire university–from staff to students and board members too– were stunned and delighted by a replication that was so beautiful and exactly true to their lost original. Do you know who else was happy? The entire Scottish Stained Glass family! We take such great pride in our stained glass restoration, repair, and recreation projects because we know it is giving respect to the artwork of old and preserving it for generations to come.
If you have a stained glass restoration or rebuild project we would love to speak to you about it too! Contact us Custom Stained Glass Houston today for a free consultation.
Here at Custom Stained Glass Houston, we are a proud part of one of the most proficient stained glass studios in the country–Scottish Stained Glass. What this means for us is–we get to be part of some pretty amazing stained glass installations. While each comes with its set of challenges-they are all so very fulfilling. This is because we transform more than just windows but the lives of the congregants too. An example of this is our most recent large installation at St. Andrew The Apostle Catholic Church located in Wray, CO.
The Scope of Our Custom Stained Glass Project
Wray is a small town but this stained glass installation was a big one. Our hand-painted stained glass windows were installed in this newer church this summer using all the safety protocols for safety during a pandemic. Unlike many of the churches we work on St. Andrew’s did not have stained glass windows in the sanctuary. For a long time, the congregation had felt like this type of artwork would really make their place of worship feel more like a house of God. So they reached out to us to install five new, custom stained glass windows on the east side of their sanctuary. We were happy to help and excited about the project because custom work of this nature is right up our alley.
Customizing Stained Glass to Be Historically Accurate and Beautiful
The church congregation decided on a depiction of the five Luminous Mysteries (baptism, wedding, proclamation, transfiguration, and last supper). These were significant to them and their beliefs. For a job, this special and sentimental custom artwork was the option we helped them decided on. We have such an amazing painted glass specialist–Maria–and this was the perfect job to put her skills to use on. We used actual models to get the exact poses. We also dug deep into our research for historical accuracy like:
- The Appropriate background and foliage for the region
- Authentic tile design for floors in that time-period
- A historically accurate depiction of the town of Cana
The Beauty of Custom Painted Stained Glass
The outcome of our custom, five-panel stained glass project in St. Andrew The Apostle Catholic Church was in a word–Gorgeous. We used primarily black and brown paint while pulling color from the glass background. We also specifically harnessed natural sunlight. This created depth in things like the faces, hands, fauna, and flora. The result was a highly three-dimensional look that was not only authentic but stunning as well. All in all, the members of the congregation (who watched socially distanced) were amazed and one member even said “Now we have a church”. It is this affirmation and the pride in a job well done that makes us love our work in custom stained glass creation.
For more information on custom stained glass or breathing life into an old piece of stained glass with restoration–contact us at Custom Stained Glass Houston today!
With many of us spending a lot more time at home, it can be easy to discover certain issues that we weren’t previously aware of. When it comes to home privacy, it’s important to prioritize finding effective solutions for both the safety and comfort of your home. Making sure nosy neighbors and onlookers from the street can’t view into your home can provide peace of mind for any Houston homeowner. The majority of privacy solutions out there, unfortunately, aren’t very aesthetically pleasing and can actually block natural sunlight into your home. Privacy stained glass offers an incredible way to keep your property secluded and private.
Stained glass has always played an important role in churches. Stained glass was often used to help showcase the teachings of the Bible to those that were illiterate in the past. As churches continue to evolve through the centuries, stained glass remained as a significant part of worship offering inspiration and tradition. Houston churches have some of the most incredible original stained glass features that lend both historical and sentimental value. In order to maintain these prevalent pieces of art, stained glass restoration is required.
Entryways can be so important for any home since they make the first impression for you and your guests. Having a stunning, grand entryway is always ideal for both resale purposes and simple bragging rights. A great way to achieve that custom entryway look is by installing custom stained glass. Custom stained glass can offer significant benefits for your Houston home’s entryway, helping improve both function and beauty.
Churches, schools, and homeowners alike come to us here at Custom Stained Glass Houston wondering what their stained glass is worth. This is a fair question because many stained glass windows are worth money due to age, artist or historical value. While these windows may have increased in monetary value over the years, the fact of the matter is–most require restoration. And, whatever the window may be worth now–fully restored it will be worth more.
Restoring Stained Glass in Churches Preserves It For Future Generations
One of the primary reasons Houston church stained glass is worth restoring is because it is part of your church’s history. This history is rich with stories about people’s lives. Things like weddings, funerals and baptisms all happened beneath your church’s aged stained glass. This means that it is something parishioners want to keep intact for future generations to enjoy. However, there is an element of monetary value too.
How Does Restoring Stained Glass Increase Its Value?
The idea behind restoring a stained glass window is that stained glass, unlike many antiques, is definitely worth more after it has been restored. With a typical antique restoration is not always a good idea. The state it is in untouched is often more desirable than a renewed one. The issue with stained glass windows is–the risk of losing them completely due to deterioration is much higher than the risk of having them restored. Windows built over 80 years ago were only built to last about 80-100 years–therefore the longer the restoration the neglected–the more the windows could lose value. The issue then becomes not if they should be restored but by who. Because ultimately it is a skilled restoration company that will increase their value through a job well done.
Why Hire A Skilled Restoration Expert For Your Stained Glass?
Just like any older item–time takes a toll on stained glass. To restore these beauties–it takes a skilled hand. In fact, it is critical to find the very best and experienced when it comes to stained glass restoration. This is because an improper restoration could damage or destroy your church’s stained glass and decrease the value. Here at Custom Stained Glass Houston we are the repair expert you need to properly restore your church’s stained glass. We are happy to travel to you to appraise your church’s stained glass and give you clear pricing on the job. Contact us today to find out more and to schedule an appointment!
Creating a beautiful bathroom isn’t as easy as it seems. You have to pick out all the right colors, patterns, and materials, and somehow make them come together. But we have a secret solution that we’re about to let you in on. Meet privacy stained glass. Your Houston home is about to be beautified.
Just like it sounds, privacy stained glass is stained glass that’s used to block views and create privacy. Unlike other options like blinds and curtains, it doesn’t block the sunlight, which is important when you’re working with a small space like a bathroom. And it’s perfect for tying the room together. Trust us, once you see how different it can make your bathroom look, you’ll totally fall in love.
Medieval stained glass is, first of ancient, and identified by its unique use color. It is sometimes painted glass and gets its name from the medieval period in Europe which went from about the 10th century to the 16th century. Much of the stained glass during this period was made up of picture representation: saints, biblical scenes and iconography were are richly displayed. While the reason for this shift to depictions is not exactly clear, it is often thought it was due to the emerging color technology, which gave artists the ability to better use fine detail. One of the first examples of colored window glass is from 800–820 from excavations at the Abbey of San Vincenzo in Volturno, Italy. The medieval period, rich in colored stained glass, started less than 200 years later–meaning it could have been the invention of color that inspired the next 500-600 years of works.
The Colors of Medieval Stained Glass
As you now know it is the colors that set medieval stained glass apart. So, what type of color was used that so distinguishes this period of stained glass history? Quite a few actually. Impurities in the silica used to make the glass are the reason for most of the colors and this was as often a mistake or experiment as it was intentional. However, some colors were fully developed and dialed in during this span of the Medieval period.
Medieval Blue Soda Glass
One of the most gorgeous colors in Medieval stained glass is the blue soda glass. The early medieval glass was chemically soda-based. While this blue is stunning, for reasons unknown blue soda glass was quickly replaced with Forest glass. But in its short time, this use of blue was prolific. There has been blue soda stained glass found in UK excavations at Old Sarum, Winchester and even some in France.
Red and Green Medieval Stained Glass
Green and red stained glass occurred naturally in many cases because of the aforementioned impurities in the silica. However, as the medieval time progressed the colors were likely made by adding copper– in the form of ore or copper filing.
Silver Stain Medieval Stained Glass
In the early Medieval period, unique colors could be brought forth by carefully controlling the furnace conditions (heat and length of fire). What really was happening was an increase or decrease in oxidizing. But, later in the Medieval period (the 14th century) silver stain was introduced which made it possible to create a wider variety of glass hues by painting on this chemical mixture.
The Importance of Medieval Stained Glass
As you well know, Medieval stained glass windows were a very long time ago. Be that as it may, they have had a huge impact on the modern glass we see today. Primarily because this was the first era that not only introduced color into stained glass but led to the development of many of the same colors we use today. Furthermore, with the use of color, this period of time started an era of life-like representations of people, places, and things–not unlike much of what we see in stained glass today.
For more information on stained glass or to get a stain glass windows designed for your Houston home, contact us here at Custom Stained Glass Houston today!
In case you haven’t heard, stained glass windows are one of the most popular trends this year in home design. That’s right, the same trend that was once popular for churches in the 16th century has now made its way into modern homes. Modern designers and architects have started using the vintage feature in new and exciting ways, which includes incorporating it into kitchens, bathrooms, and entryways.
Among the many styles of stained glass that are trending in Houston includes Dalle de Verre. If you’ve never heard of Dalle Stained Glass before, you may be wondering what it is and what it looks like. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the characteristics of Dalle Stained Glass and ways you can incorporate it into your Houston home.