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Several of you have written to ask about painting black letters onto stained glass, and how to do this really accurately …
It’s certainly possible to use a computer-generated stencil (and flood the glass paint, for example; or apply a thick wash, and blend it).
However, it’s certainly also possible to do it by hand. Here, for example, you see some damage to the lettering of a stained glass window in a chapel:
In this instance, we were asked to paint a copy (rather than to use glue to edge-bond the broken fragments). So we removed the glass and took it to our studio.
On paper, I set down the lettering with calligraphic precision. On glass, I painted an undercoat. Next I copy-traced the design:
At this point I used a stick to correct tiny inaccuracies. Then I reinforced the lines as you see I’ve started doing here:
Once again, I used a stick to correct any minor inaccuracies.
Then it was time to fill in the lettering. The paint was thicker and darker than the paint I’d used to copy-trace and reinforce, but, working on such a small scale, it was by no means as thick as the kind of paint I’d use for silhouettes (because, with that degree of thickness, we wouldn’t have had the control that we required).
Once the paint had dried, I picked around it once again:
Once fired, I returned the new lettering to its rightful place:
The whole process calls for patience, good eye-sight, concentration, a good understanding of how glass paint behaves, and excellent hand-eye co-ordination.
Here’s my published article about stained glass lettering.
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