Materials The Pros Use

Cames – Since the invention of stained glass in the tenth century, H-shaped lengths of metal, called cames, have been used to join the pieces of glass. Lead is the preferred material, dating back hundreds of years. It is a gray pewter color which blends with any decor, is mechanically flexible and resistant to corrosion.

Other came materials including zinc, copper and brass, were introduced in the late 19th century and are still used today. Brass came is popular because of its dazzling gold sparkle. Unfortunately, that is short lived, due to oxidation. Copper is rarely used because the color does not match architectural accessories. Zinc is a light gray color and is most affected by corrosion. A patina is sometimes used to alter the color of cames.

Lead came is extruded or rolled in various shapes and sizes. Selecting came widths for a particular project involves several factors, balancing practical with aesthetic considerations.

Glass is thought to have been invented around 3000 BC. Today, forms of glass are used in every facet of modern life, and stained glass occupies only a small segment in the world of craft art. Glass is essentially melted silica sand, soda ash and limestone. These ingredients are heated to 2700 degrees Fahrenheit, forming a colorless, transparent mixture. Chemicals are then added to produce the colors of stained glass. In order to work with glass, it is important to have an intimate knowledge of the colors, textures and translucency of the glasses available from the manufacturers.

Glass is the magic of a stained glass window. It is the element that provides privacy when necessary and the beauty of color. The subtle beauty of leaded glass, clear, beveled or textured, provides a tasteful understatement for those who prefer the simplicity of clear glass. Glass is about 1/8″ thick and is made in the U.S. and in Europe. Mouth blown or rolled are the primary methods of manufacture. There are many ways of adding specialty surface treatments to the glass for decoration