Creating Stained Glass Windows and Art Pieces

As a material stained glass is glass that has been colored by adding

metallic salts during its manufacture. The colored glass is crafted into stained glass windows in which small pieces of glass are arranged to form patterns or pictures, held together by strips of metallic foil or lead and supported by a rigid frame.

What is Stained Glass?

​​​The Beginnings of Stained Glass

In the first century AD, the Romans glazed glass into windows. They cast glass slabs and employed blowing techniques to spin discs and made cylinder glass. The glass was irregular and not very transparent.
One of the oldest known examples of multiple pieces of colored glass used in a window were unearthed at St. Paul’s Monastery in Jarrow, England, founded in 686 AD.
The oldest complete European windows found in situ are thought to be five relatively sophisticated figures in Augsburg Cathedral. (These five windows are no longer in their original setting. They have recently been moved into a museum and replaced with copies.) These five windows show fired glass painting which utilizes line and tonal shading and they are made of bright, varied colors of glass. The authors of Stained Glass say, “they are the work of skilled, experienced stained glass artists. Where are the children who are father to these men? Where are the earlier windows?” (Lawrence Lee, Seddon and Stephens. Stained Glass. P. 67)
Authorities believe that Arabian glass windows appeared in the second half of the thirteenth century. Lewis F. Day suggests that Byzantine, Moorish or Arabian glass could have appeared by the tenth century AD. Pieces of glass were either inserted into intricate pierced marble or stone, or glazed in plaster before the plaster had set hard. Ribs of iron were often used to strengthen the plaster.
Arabian filigree windows moved into Europe when the Moors entered Spain. As the fashion moved farther north into areas of more inclement weather, covering became more necessary. This covering usually came in the form of slices of alabaster. In Europe, plates of pierced lead replaced the plaster grillwork.This information was obtained from The Stained Glass Association of America. For a comprehensive history of stained glass, visit

Juanita Stovall, co-owner of Heirloom Glass is an experienced stained glass artist. There are numerous steps Juanita completes to ensure that each piece is exactly what her client wants. Juanita's intention is that every piece she creates will become an heirloom, passed down through the generations. 

First Juanita must make a template. She does this from a pattern supplied by the customer for commissioned pieces or creates her own or original work.

Sometimes she uses existing patterns or reproductions of historic or vintage patterns. She must draw, copy or print the pattern on a piece of graph paper that's the actual size of the finished piece of glass.

Working with various types of glass and her professional tools, she scores the plates of glass and cuts each piece to the correct shape and size.

The edges are ground until they are smooth. Tiny pieces of metallic foil is affixed to the edges. The glass is soldered in place according to the pattern.

Almost any design that can be imagined can be created by Juanita. Give her a chance to quote or your project. Contact her here.

Projects from Juanita Stovall's studio in Lynnville, Tennessee

Heirloom stained glass pieces are perfect for businesses, weddings, home decor, memorials, births, graduation and more. Buy Heirloom Glass stained glass HERE.

See More of Juanita's Work and Buy Online by clicking HERE.