Why does some stained glass contain imperfections?

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Why does some stained glass contain imperfections?

Why does some stained glass contain imperfections?

Stained glass doors and windows were an integral part of many Victorian, Edwardian and later dated properties.  The techniques for making them came perilously close to being lost, but have thankfully been revived in recent times.

Many different techniques are used to make glass and these can lead to a number of imperfections such as an uneven tinting, odd colour hues, bubbles, cracking lines or 'seeds'. 

These were then always incorporated into the glass to artistic effect - the manufacturers of this specialised item experimented with the use of deliberate flaws and variations in the glass to add texture and realism to the design, and so sometimes the piece has what looks like hairline cracks in it - however this is never the case.


There are a number of different types of imperfections and here we point out a few:

Crown glass which makes the bull's eye - no two are identical as each one is hand made and has a centre where the pointil (stick) has been pulled off leaving what sometimes looks like a hole.  However, this never runs through the piece, instead it is just on the surface

Cylinder glass is blown in a hollow tube, cut down the centre and rolled flat, which leaves bubbles and lines known as seeding.

Antique Cathedral is a transparent, self-coloured glass which is rolled - leaving lines - and has an irregular and very dense surface. 

Muffle glass sparkles and is getting harder and harder to come by.  Especially in red colours, the tones can vary within a piece.

Rolled glass such as Muranse or Florentine is again difficult to purchase these days and again the colour can vary within the piece.

Spectrum is a glass that allows light to pass through it.  It comes in a wide variety of colours and as there is even difference of tone within an individual piece, it is impossible to get two or more pieces which will be an identical match. 

Heritage glass is mouth blown and has surface distortion- these leave seeds and surface markings.

Today stained glass is made using exactly the same methods and

incorporates these 'flaws' to deliberately re-create the original look and feel.

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