How to Tell Good Stained Glass from Bad Stained Glass

Stained glass is a beautiful art form. Works of stained glass can be hung on walls like a painting or can be hung in a place where natural light pours through them to expose another side of their beauty. But perhaps the most wonderful and unique aspect of the art of stained glass is that it can be a permanent fixture in your home as its own entire window.

As with many art forms, stained glass has different levels of quality, as well as several types of imitations of the real thing. Here we will go over some of the imitations, as well as the features found in top-quality stained glass in Prunedale, CA.

How stained glass is made

Stained glass is made by adhering pieces of glass together to form a desired shape or design. High-quality stained glass is usually made with glass that has been joined together with solder, which is then covered with copper foil. This can be done with colored glass, which is made by adding certain minerals to sand, which is then melted down and formed into sheets of glass.

Technically, all stained glass is leaded glass. This term is derived from the use of lead came to join the pieces of glass with lead or foil. Stained glass is simply leaded glass that has been colored. In the industry, leaded glass is often used to describe glass that is uncolored, and stained glass is used to describe glass that has color added. In everyday language, however, the generic term “stained glass” is often used to describe both types.

What are the signs of good stained glass?

Stained glass is an art form. Just like any other art, some results are going to be more appealing than others. One of the best methods for joining stained glass pieces includes copper-foiled solder lines. This is a process that was originated with Tiffany lamps and contributed to their beauty and desirability around the turn of the century. The highest-quality stained glass will have lines that are thin, uniform widths with a smooth solder bead.

Stained glass alternatives

There are many types of stained glass alternatives, but none of them last nearly as long as true stained glass. Often, this can be something as simple as pieces of glass with a plastic laminate or some type of sticker placed on them to color the light shining through.

Imitation stained glass is often not made with colored glass or soldered joints. Sometimes it’s glass that has been painted or printed on to evoke the idea of real stained glass. It is also sometimes not glass at all but plastic with outlines of plastic or thick lines of black paint added to make it appear as if it were several pieces joined together.

When you’re looking to improve your home and add value with stained glass in Prunedale, CA, contact the experts at Smiths’ Stained Glass today. Our artisans are ready to handle all orders for custom stained glass in Monterey County, CA.