STAINED GLASS has been made in Australia since the 1850's, with several noted companies and artists being prominent. Initially stained glass was mainly commissioned for churches and public buildings. Victorian times saw leadlighting become popular in domestic buildings, with a preference for elaborate designs around entrance ways and in stairwells. During Federation many Australiana motifs were used in glass, echoing the nationalism sweeping the country at that time.
The 1920's and 1930's produced many fine examples of Art Deco design in glass, which was particularly suited to the angles and straight lines predominant in Deco styles.
Stained glass was yet another casualty of the two world wars; a lack of skilled tradesmen and artists combined with the strict economies of the post war period saw a severe decline in stained glass work, and many fine examples of glass were lost at this time; until the resurgence of interest in the late 1970's started the cycle again.
The potential for the use of GLASS in contemporary architecture is immense. Traditional skills combine with innovative new techniques and methods to produce glass that can be almost anything you want it to be.
Glass is a unique contemporary architectural element in that it combines the eminently practical qualities of letting light in and keeping the elements out, with an aesthetic potential that can suit all moods and styles. Minimal and striking; colourful and abundant; stark and cutting edge; inspirational and uplifing - all of these and more are achievable utilising glass. New designers and fresh perspectives are required to match, and indeed exceed, the innovative progression in contemporary glass in Europe, the US and Asia.
Australia has a much richer heritage of stained glass than many other countries, and the capabilities to create an equally rich contemporary sector which will enhance the built environment in Australia into the future.
The term ARCHITECTURAL GLASS is used to describe designed and/or decorated glass which is specifically designed and constructed to be installed into a building.
Types of architectural glass are:
Kiln formed Glass
Laminated Glass - plus other methods
When creating a work, architectural glass artists and designers need to consider the appropriateness of the design of the piece of glass to be made; the construction methods best suited to the desired outcome; and the building,architectural and client requirements that relate to the design and installation of the work.
The integrity of the construction of the work, and the safety of the installation, are as important as the design aesthetic or art value of the finished piece.