How do people today stain glass to make it all the colours it can be?
— Emily, 10, Edmonds, WA
Ever given that humans found out they could use sand to make glass, they’ve been experimenting with it. They even discovered how to handle the colours.
My good friend Dustin Regul is a stained glass artist and painter who teaches fine arts at Washington Condition College. He advised me a lot more about where by glass receives its shade.
“It’s really metals that support improve the colour of the glass,” he reported.
We can add these metals to glass in the type of a compound. A compound is a mixture of a person or additional components. For illustration, table salt is a compound created up of the elements sodium and chloride.
Yellow glass can be designed using a compound named cadmium sulfide. Crimson glass can arrive from including gold chloride. Manganese dioxide can make glass purple. Blue glass will come from incorporating the compound cobalt oxide.
Glassmakers incorporate in compounds when they melt the sand. The temperature has to be just ideal for every little thing to function. They heat the sand to about 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit—that’s even hotter than lava. As the melted sand cools, it results in being glass.
It turns out, glass made from melted sand doesn’t normally immediately turn out to be transparent. The glass sometimes has its possess pure color.
“You can visualize definitely previous glass bottles,” Regul stated. “They variety of have that bluish or greenish tinge.”
Glassmakers also figured out that a compound known as sodium nitrate could enable clear up the glass.
Regul said glass is a quite unusual content. It is not a reliable or a liquid. Researchers call it an amorphous sound, which implies a point out somewhere in the middle of those people two states of make any difference. It is also a quite fragile materials.
Regul should be very watchful when he is effective on stained glass assignments. Ahead of he receives began, he tends to make a plan and attracts out his layout on paper.
Following, he cuts up the paper drawing into items. It’s a guidebook that will support him as he cuts items of glass into styles with a particular glass cutting tool. Ultimately, he uses copper tape to join the items with each other and applies warmth to seal it all up.
In Medieval moments, when stained glass to start with grew to become truly preferred, individuals utilised a distinctive approach. The glass items were being held with each other with lengthy strips of a flexible materials made of guide. On each individual side of the lead strip was a minimal channel exactly where the edge of glass could be tucked in. And like the procedure Regul works by using, introducing heat to the strip helped hold the glass in place.
Human beings can use these truly modest items of glass — in all sorts of hues — to type a more substantial picture or story. Regardless of whether you are in the lab or the studio, it is wonderful what you can produce and explore when you established your intellect to it.
Have a science issue? Inquire Dr. Wendy Sue Universe, WSU’s resident science cat and author, by electronic mail at [email protected].