Color! Color! Painted glass in our etched glass designs
A great custom feature that is added an additional design element to many of our etched and carved glass is COLOR! From soft hints to deep, bold hues, color adds another beautiful dimension to any carved texture or design.
More often than not, color is added as a “highlight” to only certain portions of the design, as you’ll see on most of the examples I’m including in this blog. For example, we’ll add color to the fish and some of the plant life in a tropical aquarium design, but not to the background areas. Very often when we’ve done “Reeds” designs, the design will include a hummingbird, and only the hummingbird has been painted while the reeds were left “white” sandblasted only. Desert scenes will have some of the foliage and boulders, or even the palm trees painted, but the majority of the design will remain unpainted, like the foreground, mountains and clouds.
There’s one particular piece we did a few years ago, that out of all our work, I believe might be the most “colorFUL” piece we’ve ever done. It was an interior glass window commissioned for the Inyokern Baptist Church, Inyokern, California. The window features a cross with “beams” surrounding and extending from it with a crown above the cross. Color was applied to 100% of the glass surface, and the colors chosen were deep, bright yellow, orange, turquoise, purple and neon pink. The glass is back-lit with flourescent lighting and has the appearance of “stained, leaded glass”, but all achieved thru sandblast carving and painting the glass.
Early stained glass, incidentally began by very similarly painting the glass, just as we’ve done on this cross piece. For a great story about the history of stained glass, read “The History of Stained Glass” on the Stained Glass Assoc. web.
A personal experience we had that really “stood the test of time”, was the front door glass we had for many years. It was a Southwest landscape design that featured adobe houses, a beautiful clay pot, and colorful clay pot draped on a ladder. The glass was installed in 1990, and in 2003, the glass was actually moved to a different home (a beautiful, southwest adobe style home, perfect for the southwest design in the glass). To this day, over 20 years later (!), the color still remains! In both homes, however, the front door did not receive direct sunlight.
Adding color does take our artists more than twice the time to create, (in most cases, it will actually take longer to apply the color than it does to sandblast the design). All areas of the design have to be “re-masked” after sandblasting. This takes our artists many, many hours to achieve and so of course adding color the design will increase cost. But it does make a huge statement and adds a very rich element to the design.
Visit our Carved & Painted Glass Gallery on our web site, to see many examples of various types of glass products that feature color.