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Staining Glass

I spent this week at Derix Glasstudios in Taunusstein, Germany, developing production techniques with Barbara Derix and Rahmi Schulz that will be employed in an upcoming ecclesiastical glass commission of mine. The experience was remarkable in so many ways, including being at a world-class glass studio and meeting glass artists Karl Heinz Traut, Stuart Low, Oscar Galvez, Brigid O’Malley, Karl-Martin Hartmann and Johannes Schreiter. Dr. Schreiter was working on a set of windows for the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Heidelberg, Germany. He saw our test panels and said they were right on. Wow!

It doesn’t get any better for an artist than playing directly with color and light. The photograph below shows what glass looks like after you paint it with silver stain (silver-nitrate) and fire it in the kiln. This technique comes from the fourteenth century and produces a range of luminous warm colors from transparent pale yellows to deep ambers. The silver actually enters the glass, staining the glass, and is so beautiful in the way the color holds the sunlight within.