Church Window Restoration
"Baptism of Christ," Tiffany Studios, 1916, Restored by Bovard Studio, 2000

Glass Cutting and Shaping

Glass Cutting and Shaping

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Julie Rickert, one of Bovard Studio’s fabricators, is cutting glass for a new window project underway on her bench.

Once the glass selection has been finalized and the full-size drawing is complete, it is time to select the actual glass sheets that will be cut into the component pieces for the window’s design. The artist must carefully choose the ideal area of the colored glass sheet, taking into account the variations within the sheet, to achieve the desired artistic expression. As pieces are cut they are laid out on a light table, or a viewing easel. The easel is a sheet of clear glass that is positioned in front of a natural light window and the stained glass pieces are temporarily fixed onto it.using sticky wax. This way the artist can examine the effect of light passing through the stained glass composition. They will examine color, density, streak direction, texture, and any other aspect that may have an effect on the overall composition and make refinements and adjustments as necessary. When the client-artist trust relationship is in place, artistic license is granted to the artist to make changes and refinements during the process of designing, developing, and building a stained glass window. Often while the glass is being cut or laid out the artist will have an insight for a refinement that will add greater beauty to the finished window. Placing restrictions on this artistic license does not allow for artistic intuition to occur or for artistic genius to manifest itself.