There is something truly magical about stained glass. Have you ever looked at a stained glass window or a Tiffany lamp? The warm, cozy and soothing feelings these works of art can invoke are wonderful!
Brief History of Stained Glass Art
Making stained glass dates back at least 5,000 years and some form of stained glass was used in European
Christian churches by the third or fourth century a.d. This creative art form flourished in the 12th century with the rise of the Gothic cathedral. In modern times, only about 10% of all stained glasses are used in churches and other religious buildings; the rest are used in residential and industrial architecture. Although stained glass has traditionally been used in windows, its use has expanded to such things as lamp shades, Christmas ornaments, and even simple objects a hobbyist can make.
In America, William Jay Bolton made a stained glass window for a church in New York in 1843, and the movement began. Bolton was in business for only 6-7 years before he returned to England, and no other American practiced the art professionally until Louis Comfort Tiffany and John La Farge began working with stained glass near the end of the 19th century. In fact, the art of stained glass in the United States languished until the 1870s, and did not undergo a true revival until the turn of the century. American architects and glass men then journeyed to Europe to study medieval glass windows and returned to create similar art forms and new designs in their own studios.
In the last 20 years, there has been an explosion in growth of glass studios in the United States and it appears this growth will continue. Statistics from the Stained Glass Association of America shows membership of 500 studio owners and 300 manufacturers. The circulation of its quarterly publication totals 6,000. There has been a huge resurgence in restoration overseas, and the home market continues to grow. It is clear that stained glass is now recognized as a true art form no matter where it is used, and innovative designs using this medium will continue to flourish.
Take a moment to enjoy a beautiful and unique stained glass work of art! Please feel free to leave your comments below!
I also have some articles on the brief history of stained glass, the simple beauty of pottery, hand carved wood, handmade pottery from Nicaragua, handcrafted wood decor, stained glass lamps, handcrafted wooden boxes called Waka Huia, handcrafted wreaths, tapestries, pottery by hand, people that create art with their hands, and carving wood into art. I hope you take a few moments to read them and thanks so much! For more about me, go to the About Me page above.