Designing your own stained glass pattern is extremely satisfying, as the end result is 100% your own creation. It is well worth the time and effort to do so, but there are a few creative and practical things to consider when designing with stained glass.
Click the video link below to hear how to design a stained glass pattern that is a work of art!
Here are 4 tips (and 7 design principles) you can use when designing your stained glass piece:
Tip #1. Choose a unique subject matter that you love! You want your interest in the piece to sustain you through the whole process. It’s your fuel. This might seem obvious, but it’s easy to get caught up in creating things that you think other people will like, or that seem popular. Ask yourself what you really want to create.
Tip #2. Utilize art and design principles. Consider these 7 basic principles:
- Line – do you like organic swirls or crisp geometry? Consider the shape and thickness of each line. Most stained glass has a uniformity of lead line thickness, but if you are more advanced, why not play with this?
- Negative and positive space – think about not just the line itself, but the shapes created on each side of that line.
- Rhythm – is there an interrupted repetition of colour or shapes? Think of music.
- Colour – consider making your piece monochromatic, or maybe using contrasting colours (like hot red-orange and icy green blue)
- Scale – are you balancing pieces of a similar size, or using variation? Harmony or disharmony can be achieved by considering these ideas.
- Direction – does the glass point in a certain direction? Does it feel heavy or light? Horizontal lines are the most stable, diagonal the most dramatic.
- Contrast – apply this principle when thinking about colour, texture, shapes, and all the other principles.
Tip #3. Consider the limitations of the glass (don’t design L-shapes as the glass will want to break along that curve. Deep curves may be difficult for a beginner to cut without breaking. Larger designs need solder lines leading to the edge of the frame for support.
Tip #4. Assess your time and tools. Don’t design a piece that you’ll give up on because it is too difficult or time consuming – create something that you’ll actually do!
Apply these ideas and you’ll be well on your way to creating a work of art. Happy crafting!