As “church architects”, dealing with stained glass windows is a regular part of our work. It’s a rare project indeed that does not require some discussion of stained glass – either how to preserve existing stained glass, how to reuse salvaged stained glass or how to incorporate new stained glass in a new or existing building.
Our firm has worked with several different churches that wanted to reuse stained glass taken from either a building lost to fire or from an earlier worship site. Understanding what the church hopes to accomplish with these windows is an integral part of the design process. However, equally important is understanding the options available to us, based on the salvaged windows and the proposed design. It is at that point that we must involve a stained glass studio to help determine what is possible and what it might cost. Many of the studios we have worked with recently contributed to a Special Product Report in Traditional Building magazine entitled “The Art of Glass”. If you are contemplating a project involving stained glass windows and have not been through the process before, you might want to read this article first to gain an understanding of the options and the potential pitfalls of various common approaches.
If you’re thinking of a new window, you might also want to consider hiring a liturgical art consultant such as Artsphere Consulting, LLC, to assist you in the design & procurement process. Artsphere recently completed an installation of a new Reconciliation Room window in Reading, MA at St. Athanasius Church. They assist their clients in finding just the right stained glass artist and studio for the particular project, making sure that all design aspects (setting, lighting, liturgical design, etc.) are right for the installation.