Making Stained Glass Art

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Stained glass becomes artwork when the craftsman has a vision, develops his own pattern and creates a unique design that incorporates complicated techniques and shapes. See the difference between art and craft with helpful instruction from an experienced glass artist in this free video on glasswork.

Part of the Video Series: Stained Glass Art
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Shanon Materio and I'm with McMow Art Glass in Lake Worth, Florida. Today I'm going to talk to you about the art of stained glass which might be different from buying a pattern book and cutting out a window and the craft of stained glass. Where does that line get crossed? When you go over that point? Well it's a very subjective question and the best way I can answer is to say that, if you are to the level of doing your craft; that you can use your own imagination and think about what you would like to see in an opening that just cries for stained glass and you create your own design, your own pattern and you realize the importance of the value of different types of glass and you use your glass as your palette, you have just crossed that line. As an example what I'd like to show you is basic patterns for a peacock. These are great patterns for crafting a peacock; very simple and good for a beginner. However, if you thought a customer or you want it for yourself, create something a little more complicated and you want to have more artistic value to it, it would require you coming up with a design that perhaps is more realistic to an actual peacock; which this pattern is by depicting the feathers and individual pieces, the balustrades; giving some depth and perception to it, also adds to the design. Now this is realism. You don't always have to go on this direction; but this is a small scale design. This is the same design; this one's colored. This guides the artist to choosing the glass that they choose for specific reasons. This being the finished piece installed into the opening. This was a requirement of this piece not to be able to see through it. So as you can see only opalescent glasses were chosen for this and the brilliance of the colors have to have an intense amount of light to come through them for them to show. It's a very large piece as you can see and it does have very very complicated small tight little pieces. So an amateur would probably want to stay away from something this complicated. Artistically speaking, some of the things that make this a little bit more special technique wise is the heavier legs that are use to create the wrought iron gate lock. And what you may not be able to see from just the photograph is that there are little fused cabochons to create the eyeball of the peacock which in person makes for a very lovely, wonderful technique in design. In the same house and following the theme is another realistic pattern; again, using some of the techniques with the wrought iron and also a lot of very small pieces, you can visualize the size of this openings here and understand that in this particular situation, the client wanted to be able to see outdoors. So, this is a great pattern for an original design to be able to keep the natural light and nature from outside to come in and this is so that you don't see outside. Both are very artistic; both are different, but yet they go together. That's art in stained glasses.

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