The Predictable Unpredictability of Silver Stain

Nietzsche advocated living dangerously – once urging us to build our houses on the very slopes of fiery Mount Vesuvius. But it’s important not to go too far in this direction.

Tests: always tests

So, even using silver stain with oil as we suggest, it’s always sensible to run the necessary tests.

For the Fibonacci window, as you already know, we ransacked Mondrian only to discover that he loathed stained glass (which serves him right, because each man’s Shadow always wins).

Just a touch too sharp ...

Just a touch too sharp …

The original hand-made yellow was just a touch too sharp, we thought.

And we therefore decided to modify and warm it with a gentle blush of oil-based silver stain.

Now this wasn’t your ordinary hand-made yellow glass – oh, no – but hand-made yellow flashed on hand-made white.

We duly ran our tests and opted to apply the stain, not to the flashed side (being the yellow), but rather to the white.

No prizes for guessing why, but isn’t it interesting to note how silver stain – precisely because it adjusts the structure of the glass (as opposed to sitting anti-socially on the surface) – has this unending capacity to surprise?


Unstained yellow flashed on white (left), stained on white side (middle), stained on yellow side (right)

Moral (sorry, Nietzsche): oil reduces uncertainty considerably, but cannot altogether remove it.

I guess therefore we glass painters must all rest content with living dangerously just a little whenever silver stain’s involved.

How very exciting!


How much time and money are you wasting by using the wrong techniques with silver stain?

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7 thoughts on “The Predictable Unpredictability of Silver Stain

  1. I have just discovered this website and I am enjoying it immensely.

    I would love to hear from you more. Your videos with running commentary are great. It makes one understand more easily. God bless you!

    I take this opportunity to wish you and your dear ones Health, Wealth and Happiness for the NEW YEAR!


    • Hello Rohinton,

      Thanks so much for your message. We too are thrilled you have found this website. We look forward to working with you over the weeks, months and years ahead.

      We understand completely what you say about the videos. We’ll make more of these. And some videos also come exclusively with the e-mail newsletter. It’s great for all of us actually to see what other people do!

      We send you every best wish for your own success and happiness in 2010, Rohinton.

      P.S. There is more useful information on silver stain right here.

    • Hi Laura,

      Thanks for your good wishes. Thanks also for adding your own thoughts and tips on posts throughout the blog, because this helps everyone, including us of course!

      Happy New Year to you!

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