How Is Colored Added to Stained Glass?

stained glass color salt lake city

How Is Colored Added to Stained Glass?

Stained glass is one of the world’s most magnificent art forms. Not only are the intricate designs and hand-painted details remarkable (Can you imagine how long that would take?!), but the effect of sunlight entering the glass is mesmerizing. A brilliant array of rainbow colors wash over the room, adding a whole new depth and dimension.

Stained glass windows have been around for hundreds of years, but few people today actually possess the skills to produce these beautiful works of art. For those of us that lack the knowledge and skill required for glassmaking, it all seems like a mysterious phenomenon. After all, how do stained glass windows get their color? Let’s find out!

How Color is Added to Glass to Make Stained Glass Windows

The act of adding color to glass is something that started hundreds and hundreds of years ago. The Egyptians are credited with being the first people to experiment with adding color to glass in its molten form. They found that different additives created different colors. These colorful pieces were used to make jewelry, pottery, and all sorts of items.

Fast forward some few hundred years later, a chemist named Gerber started experimenting with glass and got some exciting results from mixing it with metal oxides. Different oxides resulted in different colors. Artisans also discovered that the amount of time that the melted substance was put under heat also affected its colors.

How Different Colors Are Made

Now, we know that certain additives result in certain colors. By adding metal oxides, sulfurs, and other compounds to molten glass, we can change its color. Here are some popular combinations:

  • Cobalt Oxide: blue-violet
  • Cadmium Sulfide: yellow
  • Gold Chloride: red
  • Antimony Oxide: white
  • Sulfur: yellow-amber
  • Uranium Oxide: fluorescent yellow, green
  • Chromic Oxide: emerald green
  • Learn More

    Are you looking for a studio in Salt Lake City who can make custom colored stained glass? Curious to know more about how stained glass is made? Contact our office to get more information.

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