Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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Dawn
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Posted: Feb 17 2006 at 2:01pm | IP Logged Quote Dawn

I wasn't sure which forum to post this in, but I thought I'd start here ...

I would love information and resources about stained glass windows ~ the art, history, tradition, child-friendly craft ideas, etc. Any information would be appreciated!

I purchased this stained glass sticker for our window and it has sparked quite a curiosity. My son asked if they are unique to Catholic churches, and, you know, I'm really not sure ! I guess I haven't been in many non-Catholic churches.

What we have been talking about are all the ways our church is special (big ideas and small details) and the boys really love looking over the stained glass windows. After I put up that sticker they wanted to know more about stained glass. That's when I suggested we learn more about them ...

Thanks for any help!

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MaryM
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Posted: Feb 17 2006 at 4:07pm | IP Logged Quote MaryM

Non-Catholic churches that are liturgical (like Episcopal, Lutheran) do have churches (mainly older ones) with stained glass. But definelty more prevalent in Catholic Churches.

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lapazfarm
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Posted: Feb 17 2006 at 5:49pm | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

My Mother makes stained glass windows for a living (semi-retired now) and has made them for all kinds of churches including Baptist, Church of Christ, and many more. She also makes them for homes, businesses, etc.
Anyway, more to the point, this website
Virtual Cathedral
has some good info on stained glass history, design, tools, etc. Dont miss the links to the Rose window puzzle, the gothic cathedral puzzle, and the link to the many virtual cathedral tours.
Another site, Art Attack, has a stained glass project. Art Attack
Also, the David Macauley book, Cathedral, does a nice job of explaining how the rose windows were made and installed.
Also, there are a ton of those stained glass coloring books out there. Mostly by Dover, I think.


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Dawn
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Posted: Feb 19 2006 at 5:45pm | IP Logged Quote Dawn

Thank you, Mary and Theresa, for the information and helpful links. Theresa, how *wonderful* your mother makes stained glass windows for a living ! Do you have any in your home?

We spent some extra time today looking at the windows after mass. The morning light was so radiant it was hard to believe it was only 11 degrees on the other side!

We are going to pick one window each week to observe. Back at home, we will read and talk about the scene depicted, and then try to draw the window. I also bought some colorful tissue paper today ... I figure I can fiddle around with it and come up with a stained glass craft ~ maybe a frame for our drawings?

Recently we started a fledgling religion notebook and I thought these drawings might be nice in a section about our church ... Or, since most of the windows depict a saint, we could add them to our saint study section ...

I also found a couple of neat books (the first is a craft book, the second is a story book):

Rose Windows and How to Make Them

Easter

I also thought I would check the library for books on church architecture.

Thanks again ~ and thanks for listening to me "think out loud."

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lapazfarm
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Posted: Feb 19 2006 at 9:01pm | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

What a wonderful idea about studying a window a week! I may just have to steal that one! We have some really beautiful windows we could study right in our very own church!And I had never thought to have a section in our religion notebook about our own church! Duh! That's a great idea, too!
Thanks!

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JennGM
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Posted: Feb 21 2006 at 11:14am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

I've always had a love for stained glass windows. I was out of town and eager to get to this thread. I love looking at the stained glass in older churches. I always had an idea to make a book filled with pictures of the stained glass from local areas. Pittsburgh in a small area has tons of churches with just gorgeous windows. That could be a whole study. But so many places have an older church or two with lovely studies.

Historically, stained glass windows were the catechism in pictures. Many people in medieval times couldn't read or write, but followed the saints and life of Christ and other teachings of the Church by the symbols and depictions in the stained glass windows. If you are studying older windows from medieval times, a good companion to understanding the depictions and symbols is The Golden Legend (Aurea Legenda) Compiled by Jacobus de Voragine, from 1275.. You can find various translations, some are harder to read. Here's a bit more about the Legend. The version I have is translated from the Latin by Granger Ryan and Helmut Ripperger.

Dover has some great stained glass coloring books. One I bought for myself years ago was Cathedral Stained Glass Coloring Book. What's unique about these is the paper is translucent, so after coloring and removing from the book, you can hang in the light to see similar effects as real stained glass. Of course, not the same thing, but a good visual.

A good overview with some practical projects can be found from Reader's Digest Crafts and Hobbies Book. Not religious, and very simple geometrical shapes, but a good way to see HOW it's done.

A most beautiful book that I highly recommend is The Book of Saints by Lesley Whiteside. This is a hard cover, full-color, and I paid full price when I bought it. It has over sixty best-loved saints, illustrated in stained-glass windows. Most of the windows come from Germany, France, England or Ireland. These prices are REALLY good, for the quality of books I'm looking at. I'd grab it fast!

I also see she has another book in print The Spirituality of St. Patrick, (review)St. Patrick in Stained Glass(timely for Lent) and In Search of St. Columba and one more "The Stained Glass of Christ Church Cathedral Dublin."

A living book I picked up at some sale that covers a bit of medieval stained glass (rose windows) is Glass, Stones & Crown: The Abbe Suger and the Building of St. Denis by Anne Rockwell, Atheneum, 1968. No colored illustrations, just nice black and white drawings and diagrams.

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Posted: Feb 21 2006 at 1:57pm | IP Logged Quote MaryM

What great links and information, Jenn. I had also been thinking about suggesting the book Authur and the Sword. It isn't about religious stained glass, but has vibrant stained glass illustrations. The author uses a different art style to illustrate each of his books and provides examples of that art form - in this case stained glass. (Another example is the Saint Valentine book illustrated in mosaic). There is a lesson plan with activities to go with this book.

You mentioned having the tissue paper, and it looks like the rose window book from Dover will have projects using that. I recall one of my favorite art pieces that I made in elementary school was a tissue paper/black contruction paper butterfly. The style/technique was similar to this craft, except mine was a butterfly not a lizard. It really turns out pretty and does catch the light in a window.

I found two other simpler stained glass windows using tissue paper and construction paper. Example 1
Example 2 (scrolled to middle)

Those inclined toward "craft guilt" please disregard this message. I mean to induce no guilty feelings.

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Posted: Feb 21 2006 at 3:23pm | IP Logged Quote Dawn

Thank you, Mary and Jenn, for the wonderful information and suggestions! I think our stained glass "study" is definitely taking shape I *love* the craft ideas, and I've found some of the books at my library!

I was flipping through Seton's Art 1 for Young Catholics and found a really nice St. Joseph's stained glass window craft. This will come in handy next month .

jenngm67 wrote:
Historically, stained glass windows were the catechism in pictures. Many people in medieval times couldn't read or write, but followed the saints and life of Christ and other teachings of the Church by the symbols and depictions in the stained glass windows.


This is really interesting, Jenn! I have always found stained glass windows gorgeous to look at (they are part of my fondest childhood memories of Mass), but I wondered if there was a deeper purpose behind the beauty ...

Thanks again!



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Posted: Feb 21 2006 at 9:28pm | IP Logged Quote Rachel May

The Duke University Chapel in Durham, NC is Methodist affiliated and has great stained glass windows and some that look painted. Is that still considered stained glass? There aren't many good images online , but I found a comment that nearly the whole Bible is depicted there. Surely an exaggeration (since the Methodists are missing some books, right? ), but they are lovely and there are a lot of them. They have recently been restored. Ahhhh, the walk down memory lane.....

And here is a link to windows by Marq Chagall at Hadassah-Hebrew U Med Center.

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Posted: Feb 22 2006 at 12:20pm | IP Logged Quote momwise

I've been hanging out over at fun-books.com quite a bit recently and when I saw this Klutz Window Art Kit (scroll down to the bottom), I thought of this thread. I bet this would be a fun way to decorate for Easter!

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Posted: Feb 22 2006 at 4:54pm | IP Logged Quote Dawn

Gwen, what a neat site! I love the idea of decorating our windows for Easter with our own "stained glass" . Fun Books' price was even cheaper than Amazon (but I noticed the refill kit was less expensive at Amazon).

I will have to check at A.C. Moore or Michaels, the next time I get one of those store coupons (don't you just love those things? I always end up over-buying and thereby negating any possible savings ) But this kit looks like great fun for all my boys ... thanks for the tip!

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