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Stained Glass Designs

Victorian Era (1837-1901)
In the Victorian era, stained glass windows started to become more commonplace, and their use in "regular" homes grew rapidly. Victorian windows often had a double border, with a clear outer border and an inner border that was ruby red (or less commonly blue). There was extensive use of geometric designs (circles, squares and triangles). The design parts were often of pale tints and subtle colours. The darker colours of red and green were for flowers and leaves. Victorian rooms and decorating did not emphasize the use of natural light, and the windows were often full coloured.

Edwardian Era (1901-1920)
The shift at this time was towards brightness, natural light and texture. There are a large range of patterns applied to opaque glass. The strict geometric Victorian lines were softened by the influence of the Art Nouveau taste for curves and ovals. The hand-painted centre panels of the Victorian windows were replaced by the use of "stylized" versions of flowers and leaves. The depiction of birds that was common in Victorian hand-painted centre panels became quite rare and did not re-appear until the 1930's.

Art Deco Era
In the 1920-30's there was an inclusion of the Art Deco design into glass windows. These designs often emphasized patterns that had a direction of flow (diagonal, vertical and horizontal). Bright colours were regularly used and the effect, at times, was somewhat bold and "modern" looking.

The 1930's
In the 1930's, an emphasis on portrait like depictions of scenery, animals and boats developed. These designs often involved ships, windmills, forests and country scenes. Birds once again re-appeared. Often these windows were rather large and at times were spread over several panes of glass. This period also included a strong continuation of the previous Edwardian and Art Nouveau designs.

The 1940's
There was a return to the more geometric focus at this time. Simpler designs marked a shift away from some of the earlier artistry.

Modern
There are many glass designers and builders in the world today. An excellent current magazine that regularly highlights these artisans is Stained Glass. The Quarterly of the Stained Glass Association of America, P.O. Box 22642, Kansas City, Mo, USA, 64113.