Artists who create windows made of stained glass have developed their own tools and methods over the centuries. Steel and diamond blades have replaced the original irons that were used to chip away at colored glass plates. The artist now scores the glass with their blade to get a perfectly measured piece. There are now abrasive grinders and water saws that can also be used to cut pieces of glass. They save the artists a great deal of time and effort when making the shapes that will fill in the modern window. Each time saving steps allows the artist more time to design and perfect their piece.
Glass made in previous centuries was often imperfect. While character was added due to the imperfections, not all artists were satisfied. Modern methods of glass making are quicker and more efficient. All of the glass mix is melted, and the result is a pane of glass that is even throughout the entire sheet. It has no bumps or air holes to make the pane easier to break. This modern manufacturing adds to the strength and durability of the glass pieces in a window.
While strength in a stained glass window is important, character is part of the charm of these artistic pieces. Colored pieces of glass can be made with modern manufacturing methods to resemble the bumpy glass of the past. If smoothness is desired, glass transfers or glass decals can be applied to create the same effect. This ensures the piece has the modern strength to endure in all weather conditions while presenting a charming view from the past.
Stained glass windows are becoming more popular again. European and American churches were once the largest customer of stained glass artists. Other religious institutions, private homeowners and new businesses have begun to see the beauty in these pieces. Modern manufacturing methods assure customers of a window that will be weather resistant and safe. The artistry gives customers the beauty of an ancient art form that still has a viable place in the world today.