GLOSSARY OF TERMS

american opalescent A rolled glass made of mixed of colors on a translucent white base, first invented by Louis Comfort Tiffany in the 1870s.
antique glass Handmade blown glass made using the medieval method, featuring many textures, striations and bubbles.  The word "antique" refers to the process rather than the age of the glass.  This glass is made today chiefly in France and Germany.
came The H-channel form that holds individual pieces of glass together, usually made of lead but also of zinc, brass or copper.  The soft, malleable quality of lead came allows it to follow complex glass shapes.  It is usually milled in six-foot lengths of varying widths.
cartoon A full-size drawing on paper of a stained glass window.  The cartoon may be color or black-and-white.  It contains all the patterning for the lead and information for glass painting.  Cartoons are often hand-drawn buy may also be achieved through mechanical or photographic means.  Commercial studios may reuse cartoons dozens of times simply by resizing the window or border shape.
cathedral glass An inexpensive, commercial machine-rolled colored glass available in various textures but with very limited colors.
dalle de verre A technique using inch-thick colored slab or cast glass, shaped into pieces and faceted on the surface, and then set into concrete or epoxy resin.  Although it was used extensively in the 1950s and '60s, it's popularity has waned since that time.
epoxy resin A synthetic, colorless adhesive used either to hold colored glass onto a clear glass base, known as applique, or for setting glass in dalle de verre.
faceted glass See dalle de verre.
firing The process of heating painted or enameled pieces so that the paint, stain or enamel fuses permanently to the surface of the glass.  Most enamels are fired at 100 to 1250 degrees Fahrenheit (600 to 680 degrees Celsius).
flashed glass Two-layered glass in which a top layer of a darker color is applied to a bottom layer of usually clear or light-colored glass.
full size The measurement of a window opening to the farthest point occupied by the glass.
glass A super-cooled liquid with no crystalline structure and varying composition, primarily silica sand with soda or potash and lime, which is added to facilitate a lower melting temperature.  The color in glass is created with metallic oxides that are dissolved into the molten glass.
glass paint A glass treatment composed of brown or black iron oxide and finely ground glass, used to give added detail, linework and shading to glass.  It is permanently fused to the glass through kiln-firing at a temperature between 1200 and 1250 degrees Fahrenheit (650-680 degrees Celsius).
grisaille From the French grisailler, "to paint grey," decorative leaded windows of clear, white or pale-tinted glass that may be unpainted or painted with a repetitive foliage motif or ornamental geometric design.
halation Phenomenon whereby light-colored glass surrounded by darkness prduces a blurred effect in which the light seems to spread beyond the boundaries of the glass.
handblown glass Glass made by a person or team using a blow pipe and shaping tools.  See antique glass.
lamented glass Glass of two or more layers bonded together with a resin.  It is most often used as a safety glass since it is fairly resistant to breakage and shattering.
lead See came.
matte painting Tonal shading on glass that is usually fired on after the trace painting has been applied.  It further controls the light by creating a modeled, three-dimensional effect.
mullions Vertical bars that divide a window into sections.
opalescent See american opalescent.
panel A single element in a stained glass window that is not usually larger than 40 inches by 40 inches.  The shape of the panel depends on the window design and whether or not it is a tracery panel.  Larger panels require support bars.
plan of iconography A comprehensive plan for the subject matter of an entire fenestration.
plating The sandwiching of two individual pieces of glass within one lead came.  Occasionally, a separate piece of glass is soldered onto the back with it's own lead border - usually as an onsite repair.
rolled glass Glass that is manufactured by passing it through two parallel rollers.  The rollers often create regular textures on the top surface.  Cathedral and American opalescent glass is made this way, as is clear textured "industrial" glass.
rose window A large circular window divided by tracery that radiates in petal-like or geometric shapes.
sandblasting A glass treatment in which sand is propelled onto the surface of a piece of glass by compressed air, abrading the surface of the glass.  Light sandblasting on clear glass, or etching, produces a frosted appearance.  Sandblasting can also be used to cut very deeply into the glass to create a sculptural quality known as carving.  Sandblasting is also used to remove the surface of flashed glass.
seedy glass A type of antique glass with randomly scattered bubbles of varying sizes.  A commercial version of this glass is made in rolled glass.
semi-antique glass Glass manufactured through a "drawn" process that leaves striations.  It seems reminiscent of antique glass, although it is not handblown and does not possess antique glass' irregular coloration and variations in thickness.  Also call new antique, semi-antique comes in a very limited range of colors and is relatively inexpensive.
slab glass Inch-thick cast glass used for making dalle de verre type windows.
soldering The process by which the leads of a stained glass panel are bonded together.  Wire solder is melted over all the joints of lead came on both sides of the panel.
streaky glass A type of antique glass in which diffeernt colors or varying tones of one color are mixed while still molten, resulting in a sheet of glass with ribbons of color throughout.
support bar A flat steel bar that is soldered to a glass panel, or a round iron bar that is attached to a leaded panel with copper ties.  A support bar provides additional strength to a stained glass window and prevents it from bowing.
tee bar T-shaped steel bar that is secured to a window frame on each side for support and onto which the stained glass panel is placed.
tempered glass A type of safety glass made by heating the glass then rapidly cooling it, which results in a tough glass that breaks onto small pieces when shattered.
transom Window opening above a door or a larger window.
zinc came A type of very rigid came sometimes used as additional support in leaded windows or for geometric door panels.
   

 

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