Stained Glass Windows
by Angola Glassworks (Kraig Whiting)
Custom Stained Glass Windows

My windows are designed and built in my workshop in north east Indiana. I use Kokomo stained glass almost exclusively. (They have been making pot metal glass in central Indiana for 130 years using sand from the eastern shores of Lake Michigan.) My wooden frames are individually crafted for each window using local wood processed by a lumber mill in Steuben county whenever possible.

How much does it cost? Not to be evasive, but it depends on several factors. The type of constuction (lead came vs foil, see below), the complexity of the pieces, the size of course, and the framing. The amount of design time and extra costs for things like bevels factor in too. For budgeting, expect the cost to be between $150 and $200 per square foot.

Can I choose my own colors? Of course. As well as your specific size and design elements. The design can be general, or can incorporate things that reflect your personality. Maybe you're interested in music, horses, pets, flowers, birds, or something to match the design elements of your home or window view.

How long does it take? Stained glass is very labor intensive. The time varies, but by the time we finalize the design and exact size it could take 1 to 4 weeks. Again, it might be longer to special order glass if required. Also, keep in mind that I can only work on one window at a time. But it's best to discuss the time requirement when I know a bit about the project.

How do I get started? Call me or email me. I will ask you about your project ideas. I will ask for approximate sizes and shapes. It might help to have a photograph of where you wish to hang your window. If you have pictures of a window you wish to pattern your window after, that would help. Or if you have opinions about different stained glass windows you like that would help, too. With a rough idea of what appeals to you, I can develop some design ideas and finalize pricing for you. Please ask me about any stained glass questions you may have.

There are two general types of stained glass design, leaded or foiled. In both cases, glass is cut into very precise shapes. Then the glass is assembled using one of two methods:

Lead Came, or traditional stained glass - Metal pieces are cut to the specific lengths required then soldered in place holding the glass securely. After soldering, each piece is cemented holding the glass tightly and preventing rattles. The lead may be polished or finished as needed. Leaded windows are heavier, stiffer and much more labor intesnive than foil methods below.

Foil Method, or Tiffany Style - Each glass piece is wrapped with copper foil. The foiled pieces are soldered together putting a generous bead of lead along each seam. The solder bead simulates the look of traditional lead came. This method is used for small to moderate sized windows, some intricate designs, and three-D projects.

Stained Glass Windows

The window on the left is a true leaded glass work. Most of the glass is transparent creating a light, airy feeling. Although it is difficult to see in the back-lit photo, the frame on the left is poplar with a white stain. It is easier to see the wood finish in the photo below. This window is approximately 39" wide by 24" tall before adding the wood frame. The lead has a black patina applied.

Color Shifts
The picture to the right is the same window shown above. Without the outdoor backlight, the colors look very different. Colors can change dramatically depending on how they are viewed.
Circles of browns and reds are used in this traditional leaded glass window. A significant amount of this glass is opaque. This window is 26.75 inches wide and 19.75 inches tall and is finished with gloss urethane over golden oak stained oak.
Colorful chaos is constrained with a 16 bevel outer border. This window is made with traditional lead came and mostly transparent glass. This window is 17 inches wide and 21 inches tall and is finished with gloss urethane on oiled, quarter sawn oak.
Large Bevel Framed Window
This by window was built using the foil method and has 35 light refracting bevels to create a rainbow of light in the sunlight. The glass is almost all clear with textures used for effect. The frame is oak finished in Tung Oil. Approximately 27" wide x 21 inches tall.
Frank Lloyd Wright Style Room Divider Leaded Stained Glass Window
Large_FLW_Stained_Glass_Window This large leaded stained glass window is mounted in a 2" by 2" oak frame, stained to match the existing woodwork. There are approximately 175 individual pieces of glass assembled into the 16" wide by 82" tall window.
Swirl Style Abstract Leaded Stained Glass Window
Fifty pieces of glass make up this 16" wide by 29" tall abstract window. I like the way the design plays off itself. The underlying nautilus is overlaid with the rainbow ribbon changing from deep violet through the light spectrum. A series of leaves change from spring green through fall and winter colors. The leaves also add a three dimensional aspect to this window: The top green leaf is actually a foil method assembly and is mounted on top of the window. The two center leaves are in the glass as normal, and the leaf in the lower left corner is another foil assembly mounted on the back-side of the glass.

Although difficult to see in this back lit photo, the lead is polished then waxed. The frame is oak with a glossy urethane finish.

See the steps involved in making this stained glass window here.
Clipper Ship Leaded Stained Glass Window
Over 70 pieces of glass make up this rendering. Shown with red oak frame. No polish or patina has been applied to the lead.

The frame is oak.
Smaller Frank Lloyd Wright Inspired Leaded Stained Glass Window
Thirty eight pieces of glass are framed in a quarter-sawn oak frame with multiple coats of glossy urethane. Natural lead (no polish or patina applied). Approximately 24" wide by 17" tall.
Interested in Stained Glass Classes in north-east Indiana?
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Copyright (c) 2019 by Kraig Whiting