Field Work Friday – Stained Glass Windows

We recently had the opportunity to learn about stained glass from a local artist.  Always interested in the creation of this art, Dr. Saunders had taken a class years ago and made a workshop for himself.  In the years since, he created stained glass windows for a local church and gifts for many.  Our children – and their moms! – were excited to learn about this process.
Dr. Saunders showed us how he begins his work with a pattern.  After planning the design, he must purchase  the materials.  At $12 per square foot, that’s not a light task.  One must also take into consideration any accidents that may happen as each piece of glass could be a tinted a bit differently and therefore not match, making it important to have enough from the same batch for your current project before beginning.
After drawing a curvy line on a small piece of glass, Dr. Saunders showed us how to use a glass cutter to cut the piece.  After tracing it with this tool, he used another tool which carefully separated the two pieces.
The children were curious about how the piece comes together.  After explaining the soldering process, Dr. Saunders explained that the stained glass is like us – it isn’t beautiful until God’s light shines through it.  To illustrate that idea and to allow them to see how the light affects each color, the group went to the window to check out the light streaming through this lighthouse window.
Afterwards Dr. Saunders let all of us look at some of his tools, and he answered many questions about the creation of stained glass. 
My Big Helper was fascinated to learn that a perfect window is never set inside a church, as the only perfect thing there is God.  Others were interested in seeing how the shapes could be put together to create pictures.  My Little Man liked hearing about how the glass is colored from the addition of chemicals to the molten glass before cooling.
If you ever have the chance to explore this art further, check it out!  Stained glass is beautiful. 🙂
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