Stained glass windows

Custom designed came glasswork

Over the last year I’ve been steadily replacing all glass panes in the house in an effort to improve insulation. Currently I’m replacing the glass in the front house.

Traditionally the top glass pane of the front windows is decorative, and would, amongst others, be used to reflect the farmhouse owner’s wealth. So ornate farmhouses would have stained glass windows, while the more austere farmhouses would opt for basic glasswork or add simple etched lines. Our house is quite a basic design and has the simple etched lines: not something I feel worthy of preserving. So instead I’ve been designing our own stained glass windows, to be sandwiched in a double glazed glass panel. One advantage is that we can match the colours of the glass with the rest of the house.

The design process took some iterations, as expected, and required quite a bit of design for manufacturing input from experienced parties as I’ve never designed this type of product before. We’ve prototyped the final design as a foil on the actual windows before having it be produced, as it is quite the investment. I love how design skills are so easily transferable and so widely applicable.

The supplier has recently started working on the designs, and has shared the first results. It’s a traditional craft: cutting the pieces of glass by hand, cutting the lead came, it’s really impressive. For the proper effect we selected traditional hand blown glass, and looking at the results I’m glad we did. I do feel a bit sorry for him though, as the design turns out more labor intensive than anticipated with its organic lines and different widths of lead came.

There’s two designs for the four windows, as there are two differently sized windows. The image at the top of this post shows the larger of the two. After the other designs are complete, patina will be applied to the lead came for the final touch. Otherwise, trapped between two sheets of glass, the lead came would permanently remain glossy.

In a few months time I expect I’ll have placed the windows and I will share pictures of the final result.


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