Artwork and science of stained glass | Lifetime

How do persons stain glass to make it all the hues it can be?

— Emily, 10, Edmonds, WA

At any time since humans found out they could use sand to make glass, they’ve been experimenting with it. They even acquired how to management the colours.

My pal Dustin Regul is a stained glass artist and painter who teaches fine arts at Washington State College. He told me additional about in which glass will get its shade.

“It’s basically metals that help change the coloration of the glass,” he reported.

We can incorporate these metals to glass in the kind of a compound. A compound is a blend of 1 or much more factors. For example, table salt is a compound made up of the factors sodium and chloride.

Yellow glass can be manufactured making use of a compound called cadmium sulfide. Pink glass can arrive from incorporating gold chloride. Manganese dioxide can make glass purple. Blue glass will come from introducing the compound cobalt oxide.

Glassmakers add in compounds when they soften the sand. The temperature has to be just right for almost everything to do the job. They warmth the sand to about 3,000 levels Fahrenheit—that’s even hotter than lava. As the melted sand cools, it results in being glass.

It turns out, glass made from melted sand does not generally immediately come to be clear. The glass at times has its own organic coloration.

“You can consider genuinely old glass bottles,” Regul claimed. “They sort of have that bluish or greenish tinge.”

Glassmakers also figured out that a compound called sodium nitrate could support apparent up the glass.

Regul mentioned glass is a quite unusual materials. It’s not a sound or a liquid. Experts connect with it an amorphous reliable, which means a condition someplace in the middle of individuals two states of subject. It is also a extremely fragile material.

Regul ought to be extremely mindful when he functions on stained glass assignments. Prior to he will get begun, he can make a plan and draws out his design on paper.

Upcoming, he cuts up the paper drawing into parts. It’s a manual that will support him as he cuts pieces of glass into designs with a distinctive glass slicing device. Finally, he employs copper tape to hook up the items collectively and applies heat to seal it all up.

In Medieval instances, when stained glass initially turned actually well-liked, folks utilised a diverse technique. The glass pieces have been held together with extended strips of a flexible content produced of direct. On each aspect of the direct strip was a minimal channel where by the edge of glass could be tucked in. And like the procedure Regul takes advantage of, adding warmth to the strip helped maintain the glass in place.

Humans can use these truly smaller parts of glass — in all kinds of colours — to sort a even larger image or story. No matter whether you are in the lab or the studio, it is awesome what you can make and explore when you set your thoughts to it.

Have a science dilemma? Check with Dr. Wendy Sue Universe, WSU’s resident science cat and author, by email at [email protected].