If you’ve ever visited an old church in Downtown Denver, or walked through the historic neighborhoods of Capitol Hill, Washington Park, or Congress Park, you’ve likely seen some stunning examples of stained glass. Stained glass is perhaps one of the most unique architectural features a building can have. Especially in today’s world, when ordinary clear pane windows are so common, the bright colors and beautiful patterns of stained glass instantly draw the eye to its presence.
But have you ever wondered how stained glass windows are made? And how do they get such beautiful colors? We asked our Denver stained glass experts and this is what they told us.
How Do Artists Add Color to Stained Glass Windows?
The act of adding color to glass is something that began long ago. Historians believe that the Ancient Egyptians were the first ones to come up with the idea. They began experimenting with glass in its molten state, and started adding various compounds to produce color. The liquid glass was then formed into small beads which were used for pottery and jewelry.
Some few decades later, the first stained glass windows were made. The oldest surviving examples of art of this kind are located in Augsberg, Germany. Soon, stained glass windows became very popular, and European architects started adding them to homes, churches, and all sorts of buildings.
Around this time, artists began experimenting with new and different ways to add color to glass. A chemist named Niklaus Gerber found that he could control the color of the glass by adding metal oxides when it was in liquid form. The more he experimented, the more he learned about which compounds produced certain colors.
Here are the combinations used to make some of the most common stained glass colors:
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Today, artists know how to produce all different kinds of stained glass colors. At Denver Stained Glass, we have over 50,000 colors in our inventory. Call today to learn more about our services or get a quote.