Church Stained Glass Windows

While the discovery of glass dates from over 4000 years ago in Mesopotamia and Egypt, wealthy Romans were among the first people to use stained glass in their villas and palaces. It began to be regarded as an art form when Christians were permitted to worship openly in 313AD. Churches began to be built in Byzantine models and church windows began depicting large figures – mostly saints- in lozenge shaped windows.

Stained glass flourished again with the advent of Gothic architecture which demanded expansive windows and large frontals. It began to gain popularity in European churches and in England. Coloured glass was regarded as a precious commodity and because it was quite expensive to make, was mostly used in ecclesiastical work.

The process of making stained glass windows began with a sketch by the artist. It used to be drawn to scale and this was then used to create a full scale rendering that would be used on the Church window. These paintings were not only beautiful and informative, but usually expressed with religious or political sentiment. Later, however, ecclesiastical expanded to social themes and a celebration of life and luxury. Designers in stained glass worked in different kinds of themes – from classical mythology to fashionable modern expressions of art.

In Australia, church stained glass windows have had a rich history too. When stained glass was regaining popularity in England in the 1860’s, it coincided with a strong economic growth period in Australian colonies. Architects and artists in glass migrated from England to find prosperity and set up home on Australian shores. This resulted in a building boom and stained glass flourished. Till date, the windows of the University of Sydney’s Great Hall remain famous for its stained glass creations by Clayton & Bell.

In Perth, Tradition Stained Glass is proud to be one of the pioneers in the stained glass industry. ……………….., grandfather of today’s creative director of TSG, Kim Fitzpatrick began his first workshop in 19… Many current iconic buildings in Perth bear testament to our workmanship, including the Parliament House.

At Tradition Stained Glass we are called upon every now and then to restore or repair old glass in churches and cathedrals. This takes special care and know-how. When historic buildings are damaged, it takes time, diligence and extreme patience to restore priceless stained glass to its original quality. Recreating a design from broken bits of glass is like piecing together a complex jigsaw puzzle. Every piece of glass that needs restoring is subjected to in depth study. We take care while doing restoration work to see that there is congruence and strong resemblance to the original art work. Our superior craftsmen ensure that the restoration matches the rich colour and luster they once displayed.

If you own or manage a building which houses old or iconic stained glass you can be prepared for any eventuality by taking the following measures

  • Taking detailed pictures which can be used later for restoration
  • Labelling all pictures and windows with location of damage

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