Laura Goff Parham

Laura Goff Designs

519 Lovell Rd, Ste 306

Knoxville TN 37932



Terms and Definitions

Acid Etching: Hydrofluoric Acid will remove layers of flashed glass. This technique is not used very often due to the safety hazards. Most artists will etch with sandblasting rather than acid. You will see this in antique windows. 


Antique Glass: Refers to the traditional method is manufacture, not the age. Antique glass is blown into a cylinder which is called a muff, that is later cut open and flattened. 


Antique Mirror: Can be an old mirror. However it it generally refers to new mirror that has been distressed to look old. 


Architectural Glass: Clear glass with geometric or linear patterns.


Art Glass: Generic term that refers to any forms of stained glass products or even the individual sheets of glass.


Beveled Glass: Thick glass that has been ground and polished on an angle or miter. The bevel acts as a prism. Small pieces are hand beveled while large table tops are beveled on a machine. Chamfer. 


Blown Glass: Glass that is gathered in its molten form and blown into shapes or vessels.


Came: The lead channel is called came. It is an extruded profile that is usually an "H" or "U" shape. The leaded glass window is built with lead came.


Cartoon: The full scale working drawing is called a cartoon. This drawing will have all the specific notations necessary to complete the stained glass window.


Cathedral Glass: Transparent colored glass.


Cold Paint: Paint applied to the surface of glass that is not permanent. It has not been kiln fired.


Copper Foil: Copper coated tape that is used to wrap around glass to provide a surface that can be soldered.  Used as a method of building intricate windows, lamps, three dimensional objects.


Drapery Glass: Opalescent glass that when in the molten state was folded onto itself to form folds similar to folded cloth. Drapery glass was often used by Tiffany to represent garments. 


Enamels: Metal oxides added to ground glass to create colored paint that is applied to the surface glass, then fired in a kiln.


Etched Glass: Glass that has a design incised into the surface usually by acid etching, sandblasting, or engraving.


Flashed Glass: Antique glass that is made in two layers of different colors. When one layer is removed by sandblasting, acid etching, or engraving, the second layer is revealed.


Float Glass: The current term that describes how the manufacturing method of modern clear window glass. Molten clear glass is floated on a molten bed of tin. The glass that touches the tin will pick up some of the tin. Paints, stains, and enamels will react different on the tin side.


Fold: Stained glass windows that have many horizontal lines at the bottom will tend to fold like an accordian as the window ages.


Fused Glass: Two or more separate pieces of glass that have been fired at a high temperature to become permanently bonded. Fused glass can refer to the technique, the finished product, and individual sheets of glass that were specifically made with the same coefficient. 


Glass Paint: A vitreous paint that is applied to the surface of glass, fired in a kiln the paint is permanently bonded to the glass. This is the same technique as in the 14th century.


Grisaille: Monochrome vitreous painting on glass using little or no color.


Jewel: Dimensional piece of cast or cut glass that is used in stained glass windows. Jewels can be smooth or faceted. Also called Gems.


Kiln: High temperature oven used to fire glass paint, stain, or enamel. Also used to fuse layers of glass together, to cast glass, and to slump glass.


Laminated Glass: Two or more pieces of glass bonded together to make safety glass. The front wind shield of a car has laminated glass. 


Leaded Glass: Any window that is built with lead came. Stained glass and leaded glass utilize the exact same technique. Stained glass typically refers to colored glass whereas leaded glass used clear glass.


Matte: Vitreous paint that has been applied evenly to the surface of the glass. The paint is then selectively removed to create shading and depth. Kiln firing permanently bonds it. 


Mullion: A main vertical division of a large divided window frame.


Muntin: Set of structural divisions within a window that divide a larger opening into smaller 'lites' or 'panes'.


Opalescent Glass: Colored glass with a milky quality that causes varying degrees of opacity.


Patina: The chemical alteration of a metal surface resulting in color change. When lead is exposed to the elements, this process occurs naturally.


Pattern: A part of a cartoon that has been traced on and cut out of paper. The pattern pieces are used to cut the glass.


Plate or Plating: The act of joining multiple layers of glass in a stained glass window to create a special effect or a color change. Tiffany often plated the front and back of his windows.


Re-Bar: Reinforcement bars are round or flattened steel bars attached to a stained glass window to support the weight. Re-bars are required for structural stability. Round re-bars are attached to the window with copper wires that have been soldered in the joints on the interior side. Re-bars are always on the interior.


Rondel or Roundel: A blown disc of glass used and an accent in stained glass windows. These are often referred to as bulls-eye glass, bottle bottom glass. 


Sandblasted Glass: Frosted dimensional effect created by masking off the surface, cutting out a pattern with an Exacto Knife, then spraying the exposed areas with abrasive material.


Sand Carving: Glass that has been sand blasted to varying depth as if it were carved.


Seeds: Small air bubbles in clear or colored glass.


Silver Stain: This is a specific type of glass paint. The fumes from heated silver stain fuse into the surface of the glass when fired. Silver stain will vary from lemon yellow to deep copper. Silver stains will often leave a metallic finish on the glass.


Slumped Glass: Glass that has been heated in a kiln, then bent over a mold or sometimes free form. The glass is only heated until it will bend, not to molten state.


Solder: An alloy of tin and lead. Solder is heated with a soldering iron and used to join the lead came or copper foil. 


Stained glass: Generic term for colored glass, colorless glass, used in a decorative manner in a window opening.  Leaded glass, painted glass, faceted glass, laminated glass, etched glass, sandblasted glass, beveled glass, and fused glass can all be called stained glass.


Tracery: Elaborate framework for stained glass windows. Sometimes called kites.


Zinc Came: Channel made from zinc. It was once thought to be a replacement for lead. However zinc is not as pliable and cannot be bent into complex shapes that are needed in stained glass. The life span of zinc is 50-75 years whereas lead will last 100 years.