Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Stained glass

Stained glass is a pretty significant element of our house. There are 6 installed stained glass light fixtures and 3 stained glass lamps, and there are 5 stained glass panels mounted inside windows. When designing the garage/bath/closet addition we decided to repeat the stained glass element because we like stained glass and because it would further tie in the new portion with the existing house.

Spouse saw an ad in the local GLBT magazine for a stained glass studio that sells pre-made pieces, makes custom pieces, and gives lessons. The studio is only about a mile from our house, so we stopped by one day and met the owners, a married couple whom we liked right away. We explained our project, looked at their pre-made pieces for sale, and browsed their huge glass selection.

I took digit photos of our existing window inserts and emailed them and our new window dimensions to the stained glass couple and asked for estimates. They gave us an accurate estimate on the window insert we want duplicated, and a rough estimate on the other, different pieces. They asked us to come back into the shop and look at some glass samples they pulled out for us, so we went in again last Sun. They also said they wanted to see the window inserts in person (to check my measurements and assembly technique) so we made arrangements for them to come by yesterday evening.

They really seemed to know their stuff. We talked about lead versus copper, mounting versus hanging options, etc. and they seemed to understand my concern for staying within our budget. Because we live in a small historic town where homes are more expensive that those in the non-historic areas, some tradespeople think that money is 'no object' for people who live here. Well, it is certainly an object for us, so I have found it good to mention "working within a budget" whenever dealing with tradespeople.

Here is the side of our house, before the addition. Notice there is a diamond shaped window between the 2 rectangular windows in the dormer on the 3rd floor. (Click the image to expand it.)
There is another diamond shaped window between the side door and a rectangular window on the main floor. Both diamond shaped windows have stained glass inserts with the same pattern: a tulip. More on the tulip motif later.*
Here is a close-up that shows the different colors and the different patterns of clear glass used.
So we are going to have the stained glass couple (SGC) duplicate the diamond shaped window insert above but make it larger for the new, larger diamond shaped window in the dressing room (on the left, below).
When all is said and done, from the side of our house you'll see all 3 diamond shaped window and they will have the same tulip pattern and colors. Pretty nifty, eh?

Here is our house from the side/front, before the addition. Notice in the peak on the 3rd floor there are 3 rectangular windows.
Here are the 3 stained glass inserts in those windows:
Here is a close-up:
Also visible from the front of the house are these 3 new window, located over the tub in the bathroom part of the addition.
At first we thought we'd have the pattern duplicated from the 3rd floor window inserts for these 3 windows, but then decided against it. We started thinking it may be too many tulips, and since the 3 inserts above have a lot of clear 'air bubble' glass in them, you can see through them pretty easily, which is not so great for windows over your tub.

So when we spoke to the SGC in the studio on Sun, we asked them to help us design a complimentary window insert using the same colors, but less clear glass and no tulips. They assured me there was no extra charge for custom designing, just the materials used and time to assemble them. So Spouse & I designed simple, sort of geometric pattern using the same glass colors as the other windows, along with some clear glass, and a diamond in the center. The SGC will make 3 of them, which will be hung in the lower sash of the 3 windows over the tub.

When the SGC came last night for the measurements, etc. they had a drawing of our custom design, and I must say I think its terrific! I should have snapped a picture of it while they were here, but I didn't think of it, so you'll just have to wait until the window inserts are done to see it.

*Now, for the story behind the tulip motif. Our house was built in 2005, which was also our town's 375th anniversary. As a part of the 375th anniversary celebration, the local garden club planted 10,000 tulip bulbs in public areas like parks, libraries, and government buildings. They chose tulips because tulips are very Dutch, and our town was originally a Dutch settlement in 1630. So when the stained glass inserts were designed for this house, they chose the tulip motif to commemorate the house's completion during the year of the town's 375th anniversary as a Dutch settlement.

Crush du Jour: Jonathan Agassi


A Lewis said...

Love the glass! And, by the way, is it necessary to always leave us with a piece of georgeous tantalization? Damn it.

behrmark said...

I commend you and spouse for maintaining the "theme" of stained glass windows - they're beautiful and reflect the classiness of the house's owners. I'd be remiss if I didn't comment on your crush du jour. The first thing that came to mind was: WOOOOOF.

Joy said...

It just gets better and better!

Truthspew said...

We used that stained glass film here. You can't tell if you don't look TOO closely. It's just a stone pattern.

Only use it on our front door to conceal that huge window on the door.

But I think the addition is going to be a stunning addition.

And the eye candy of the day, yum! I like em' with some hair, just like me.

G said...

What A Lewis said. Perfect balance.

Anonymous said...

It's going to be beautiful! I can't wait to visit and see it in person!

Peter Maria said...

Neat info re: the tulips. AND, I think you're right in limiting it. Hope you're new design will be a hit!

tornwordo said...

You should take the class. It looks like something you'd enjoy.

Java said...

I agree with Tornwordo. You and/or Spouse should take the stained glass class.

I like the story behind the tulip motif. How very historical.

Bob said...

My dad has been doing stained glass for years and we have many pieces he's made for me, and then for Carlos and me, about the house. They really are beautiful to look at and through.

Victor said...

They are lovely windows.

Stephen said...

Yes to the stained glass & yes to the crush.