Painted glass and stained glass experts in Morpeth
The art of painted glass and stained glass dates back a thousand years. At Vitrail Studios, we have an expert team who can design, manufacture, restore and conserve painted glass and stained glass windows, doors and decorative items. We serve across Northumberland, Whitley Bay, Cramlington, Ashington, Bedlington, Alnwick, Hexham and Newcastle upon Tyne.
Glass decorating services
Traditional glass painting has always involved kiln firing in order to fix pigments and stains. Until the 15th century, painting and staining was carried out on predominantly coloured glass. When glass manufacturing techniques enabled the supply of clear glass, painters were able to decorate this glass with paints, stains and later, enamels. The term stained glass is a confusing one and can refer to any glass, either coloured during its manufacture or glass which has been decorated due to some processes.
Some processes that facilitate glass staining:
Oxide pigments: They range from reddish brown to black and are used to paint opaque black lines or, when diluted, to give tone and shading. These pigments are kiln fired at around 630 degrees centigrade to fuse onto the glass surface and become permanent.
Enamels: They are ground coloured glass mixed with a flux and painted onto glass. Although not as rich in colour as the coloured glass itself, when painted onto clear or pale coloured glass they give a variety of colours. They are best used in small areas and like oxide pigments are kiln fired to achieve permanence. Firing temperature, however, is lower at around 580 degrees centigrade.
Silver stain: It is made from salts of silver and when applied to glass and fired at the same temperature as enamels, can produce a spectrum of yellows from deep amber to pale lemon. Unlike oxide pigments and enamels this colour is not fused onto the glass surface, but is created by a molecular change in the glass surface which is permanent. Silver stain is often used to create details or patterns on larger pieces of glass.
Flashed glass: This glass is not coloured throughout its thickness, the colour being a thin layer fused over clear glass during the manufacturing process. The coloured layer can be totally or partially removed either with hydrofluoric acid or by sandblasting. A clear image can be created with a coloured background using either of these methods. The image can then be stained, painted or enamelled, as can the coloured background.
Time served craftsmen at your service
Stained glass needn’t only be a fixed architectural item in windows and doors. Painted and stained leaded panels can be made in a variety of sizes and used to decorate a room by hanging them against a window. Painted inscriptions may also be included as part of the panel in much the same way as memorial texts are placed at the base of many church windows. These of course may relate to more happy occasions such as weddings, anniversaries and birthdays.
Our experienced craftsmen have the skills and expertise to assist you in your architectural pursuits. From domestic and commercial buildings to churches and museums, we can work on a range of properties. Get in touch with your query and we’ll help you. We restore and repair existing pieces of art as well.