Silica (sand casting), parison, chalice, base, blasting, baccarat—all these terms have one thing in common: glass.
A master glassmaker (stained-glass artisan) is behind the creation or restoration of decorative glass objects (stained-glass, figurines, sculptures) or utensils (tableware, special glassware). He or she works from a base of individual ideas or models (small-scale design plans) and assembles flat, leaded glass—colored or non-colored—sometimes enriched by painted motifs called grisailles. The master glassmaker selects the material and the tools, taking into account the materials’ technical characteristics (composition, fusion point). He or she then transforms the base material for cutting, structuring, molding or assembling.
A glassmaker can create his or her proper glass creations from fused and thermoformed glass. This technique consists of assembling, cold and flat pieces of glass. The ensemble is then placed in a special “fusing” oven at 800 degrees, forming a single, homogenous piece.
For stained glass, the design begins with panels. In effect, stained-glass pellets have pre-determined dimensions to respect in order to avoid being damaged. Coloring and cutting pieces of glass into pellets shaped like wheels or diamonds, assembly comes once the pellets are cooked. Then, difficulty arises from genuine savoir-faire, according to the support: stone (churches), wood or concrete.
Oscillating between light and shadows, stained-glass is the new field of expression for young master glassmakers who wish to propose innovative motifs while conserving and restoring historic monuments, which form a piece of our living patrimony.