Glossary of Terms
Categories of Glass
Figurative window: Contains one or more figures.
Narrative window: Contains religious or secular scenes.
Legendary window: Has many small scenes (usually a large collection of windows in a church wall).
Mixed window: Full colour panels, usually with people and decorative painted panels of pale or clear glass.
Stained Glass Terms
Antique Glass: Mouth blown sheet glass with the irregularity of "medieval" glass. Glass blown into a large cylinder that is cut, opened and flattened into a sheet. Variations of antique glass may include seedy, crackle, flashed, opal, and streaky. "Antique" refers to the technique - not the age.
Armature: A metal divisional bar or bars making a framework for supporting stained glass, usually fixed into a wall.
Art Deco: The style of work produced in the early twentieth century.
Art Glass: Opaque, variegated colours in which the light is held and refracted internally.
Art Nouveau: French for "The New Art", an art movement popular in the 1890's and early 1900's in Europe and America. A busy, decorative style characterized by flowing vines, flat shapes and undulating lines.
Bar/Barring: A solid metal bar, often steel, held by copper wire ties or solder directly to the interior of stained glass windows for support and reinforcement.
Bevel: Cut and polished edge usually on plate glass at an angle other than 90 degrees, done in stages with roughing, smoothing, cork and felt wheel polishing.
Black Patina: A chemical solution to colour a solder black.
Bull's Eye: The raised twist of glass at the centre of a sheet of hand blown glass.
Cane: the "H" or "U" shaped lead bar used to hold the pieces of glass together to form a stained glass window. The centre part is called the heart (or core) and the sides are called the leaves (flange wings).
Cartoon: Full size working drawing showing detail of leading and painting.
Cathedral Glass: Machine rolled transparent coloured glass with pale tints and surface textures.
Check: A surface crack. An imperfection.
Cords: Optical distortions in glass, similar to waves.
Dalle De Verre (dalle): A piece of cast glass
Flemish Glass: Clear cathedral glass with a large wavelike pattern on both sides.
Glass: A hard brittle substance, usually transparent, formed by fusing silica, alkali, and other chemicals.
Glass Jewels: Small pieces of clear or coloured glass that have been faceted, molded or domed.
Glass Paint: Vitreous paints composed of metallic oxides and ground glass in a liquid vehicle then fired on glass.
Glazier: A person who assembles/installs windows.
Glue Chip: Heated animal glue applied to sandblasted glass that when dry, chips off leaving a crystalline or icy look.
Hammered Glass: Cathedral glass with a tiny tight uniform pattern of round smooth knobs.
Jean Cousin: The 16th century painter at Sens who developed pigment for flesh tones. The pigment still carries his name.
Lancet: A long narrow window with a pointed arch.
Negative Space: Any part of a glass window through which no light is transmitted (Black or painted glass).
Paint (for glass): A mixture of finely ground glass, metallic oxides and a liquid mixing agent, such as water and gum arabic, used for painting on glass.Ý It has to be fired at 1200 degrees F for permanent adhesion.
Plating (or Doubling): Putting a second piece of glass over a portion of a panel to alter the colour or for reinforcing old glass.
Pressed Glass: Machine rolled sheet glass, one patterned surface.
Quarries: Diamonds or rectangles of glass leaded together in a lattice design.
Reed Glass: Clear glass with half circle ribs.
Rondel: Usually a circular section of glass with a painted religious or secular scene, popular in both 16th and 19th century English windows.
Rose Window: A circular window divided by tracery, usually on the large west wall of a cathedral.
Saddle Bar: The T-bar metal part of the armature that goes horizontally between an upper and lower window panel.
Silver Stain: Liquid silver nitrate put on the opposite side from the hand painting. When fired, turns various shades of yellow.
Stained Glass: Glass that is coloured during manufacture, cut into a design, and assembled to make a window.
Tie Wires: Copper wires soldered to the panel and twisted around a saddle bar to provide window strength.
Transom Window: A window above a door.
White Glass: Term often misused for clear glass.