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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/41

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GLASS-MAKING.

The manner of painting the flesh portions is not without interest. The pieces of opalescent glass are mounted in rough frames before a window, and nearly all other light is cut off. In this way the artist can see his work under precisely the same conditions that will prevail when the window is put in place, and he can paint to correspondingly good advantage. The colors are put on rather heavy to allow for firing, and for the distance at which the faces will commonly be seen. In many cases the paint is put on solidly, and is then picked off with a sharp instrument, giving much the effect of an etching. It looks a little eerie, on going into such a studio, to see a group of heads and hands, and other severed members of the anatomy staring at one in luminous characters. The painting must be done in installments, as it is necessary to fire the glass from two to four times. Each firing requires about an hour and a half, and six hours more for the kiln to cool down. Before the last firing the flesh portions are taken to the figure-room and given place in the otherwise completed picture. In this way the artist can judge of the final colors needed to bring them into perfect harmony with the general color tone of the picture.

It is by the expenditure of such care and labor that the soul and body of our picture-Window are brought together; but, before the union is made permanent, the window undergoes a searching art scrutiny, and any changes are suggested that would add to its beauty and harmony. In some cases all the combinations have proved so fortunate that very few changes are needed; but the case is not always so easily disposed of. It happens at times that portions of the glass must be recut several times before the desired effect is secured; or, even after the window is completed, the discovery is sometimes made that a different background would have been more effective in bringing out the figure. Such was the case in a Jeanne d'Arc window designed by Mr. Frank D. Millet. The substitution of a light for a dark sky brought the figure into much finer relief.

When, finally, the effect is considered satisfactory, the fragments of colored glass are removed one by one from the sheet of clear glass, and are skillfully bound together by means of strips of doubly grooved lead. This requires some very nice soldering. When it is completed the lead is tinned in order to protect it from the atmosphere. The spaces between the glass and the lead are then filled with a composition of putty and lead, which sets very rigidly, and serves the double purpose of making the window perfectly water-tight and of preventing any looseness on the part of the fragments of glass. There remains only the provision of a strong, iron-bound frame, and the picture-window, after a development covering many months, is ready to be put in place. The materials for its manufacture have been gathered from many