Posted by: Glassartist | November 13, 2014

Installation challenges


The studio has encountered many situations where a window that is proposed to be glazed with stained glass is overlooked by adjacent buildings, trees, or unsightly views. This affects the way in which light can evenly illuminate the glass, and unless it is intended to use on opaque glass or have some surface etching that frosts the glass and disperses the light, another solution will be needed.

Even heavily textured glass will show the outline of nearby buildings, and result in dark blocks and distracting outlines. Heavy use of vitreous glass painting to both sides of the glass, as so often used on Victorian glass, will render the glass almost opaque, but modern design and taste has moved away from this approach. The vitality of subtle surface texture that is inherent in a traditionally made mouth-blown sheet of ‘antique’ glass is exceptionally beautiful, and this character would be lost were heavy painting or etching to be employed.

One of the most successful methods that we have researched and developed to keep the maximum light passing through the stained glass and to maintain the clarity of the glass, is the application of a specialist lightly diffusing film to secondary glazing behind the window. This disrupts the outline of buildings and allows lighting evenly across the stained glass panels.

Our new installation of the World War 1 memorial ‘Remembrance’ west window to the chapel of St John’s School employed this method to good effect, disguising the outline and shadow of a nearby building that overlooked the chapel.

WW1 memorial Remembrance window

WW1 memorial Remembrance window

The scale and near proximity of the new building to the existing chapel and particularly the western end, was quite overwhelming before the commissioning of the new stained glass window.

nearby building

West window before new stained glass commission

West window before new stained glass commission

The chapel now has privacy, and the sense of a sacred space for quiet reflection and prayer and worship is restored and enhanced.


The glass is evenly lit at all times of the day, and the beauty of the hand-made antique glass and delicate etching is not lost by the diffusing film, and the subtle surface painting that also helps to control the light passing through the glass can be enjoyed.

More on this lovely new window can be found here.

St Johns WW1 Memorial Poppy window11

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