Types of Stained Glass

As you plan your stained glass project it is interesting and helpful to identify some of the types of glass.  These are only some of the types of stained glass available, but probably the most common ones.

  • Antique. Characterized by delicate textural striations that give the glass a delicate light refraction quality and a subtle background distortion.  The traditional way to produce full antique glass is mouth blowing.   Today some automated techniques produce semi-antique and drawn-antique glass.

  • Baroque. Produced by two glasses of different compositions being stirred together in bold swirling patterns.

  • Glue Chip. Clear or colored glass with a surface texture similar to frost on a window.  Produced by applying a “glue-like” substance to the glass and heating causing the glass to “chip”.

  • Cathedral. A single color glass that is translucent and may be flat or textured.  Common texture patterns include hammered, granite, ripple, seedy, and water.

  • Iridescent. A thin layer of metallic salts bonded to cathedral or opalescent glass during sheet forming.  This process creates a colorful, reflective surface effect.

  • Opalescent. One to five colors mixed with white opal glass to produce a variegated glass with varying degrees of light transmission.

  • Seedy. A type of cathedral glass in which small air bubbles are trapped.

  • Waterglass. A translucent glass with surface texture resembling ripples on water.

  • Bevels. Usually 3/16 thick clear or glue chip glass pieces which edges have been ground and polished to an angle, reflecting light with prism-like effects.  Bevels come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

  • Jewels. Glass formed to simulate faceted stones, either pressed or hand cut.  Jewels come in round, square, oval or teardrop shapes and a variety of colors.  They are frequently used as accents in Victorian window designs.

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