A Special Surprise: The Steele Window

Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?

There’s a reason we’ve been quiet, though.

It’s that we’ve been hard at work on a special project, one that was meant as a surprise gift. But the gift has been given, and it was gladly received–which means we can show you what we’ve been doing!

This is what it’s leading up to…
All photos in this post by Kevin Elliott

Our customer has been building a private chapel for his wife. There’s a long history of people doing such things, stretching back into antiquity, and a lot of the private chapels that have been built across the centuries have included stained glass windows. Our customer wanted to take part in that tradition, and so he commissioned the window as a surprise addition to an already devoted gesture.

As is our practice (described here), once the customer reached out, we conferred with him about the design he wanted, talking about shapes, colors, and textures of glass, as well as the setting into which it would be installed. That discussion done, we drafted a quote and collected our deposit, and then we got to work.

Evidence of the cartoonist at work…

The first step in the work was to generate the cartoon, which we expanded to the dimensions the window would fill. From that cartoon, we crafted templates for each piece of the window, which we then applied to the various glasses we used in the composition of the project.

The piece in progress…

Piece by piece, we cut out each bit of glass, dry-fitting them together to make sure that the panel would look the way the customer wanted it to. As we saw the shapes fit together, we began slotting them into lead came, offering a solid framework for the window to live in. Some pieces, however, were more minutely detailed than came-work permits, so we applied the Tiffany technique, applying copper foil to the outside of the pieces in question in preparation for soldering them into place.

Piece 7 is the major piece in question; its ends were cut on a special saw built specifically to cut art glass.
A detail of piece 7, which has also been laser-etched and painted with glass paint.

All that done, it came time to solder the came together and putty the glass, ensuring that it fits snugly into the metal net woven for it. Once that part of the construction was completed, we cleaned the glass and set it in a wooden frame, in which it will be installed as a chapel window–and the light will illuminate it from behind, drawing the eye upward and the mind into contemplation of the divine.

Just a little cleaning remains…

We’re pleased with how the piece turned out, and we know our customer is, as well. We think we can make you happy, too! If you’d like to see what we can do for you, take 30 seconds to fill out the form below. We’ll reach back out to confer about how to get you your stained glass Heart’s Desire!

And, for your writing needs, get in touch with Elliott RWI!

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