Sunday, October 16, 2011

Historic Orange Stain

A student sent me these photos of a panel that came into her shop for restoration. I ran into a similar project years ago and was equally frustrated. Here is what I know about orange stain.

I understand from reading: Barley, Keith. “Trials and Observation in the Use of Silver Stain” Stained Glass, the Magazine of the British Society of  Master Glass Painters, no. 1, 1996, pp. 11-13 that there was a glass called "kelp glass" or "staining glass" that was produced in Britain in the 19th century which took silver stain extremely well and allowed the achievement of the red orange color shown in these photos. The silver stain was applied to both surfaces of the glass to double the intensity.

Unfortunately, I do not know of a way to achieve this color today using stains or glasses which are currently on the market. In my own experimentation I was not able to reach a red-orange color only shades of amber-brown.

I came close to the color using gold ruby enamel on one side of the glass and silver stain on the other, but the result lacked the transparency of the historic orange stain. Of course acid etching red or orange flashed glass would be a solution however it was not the way this color was created historically nor would it be very efficient today.

Here is another approach which I have not yet tested:
Debitus produces a copper red stain which in my experiments produces a red color on the tin side of float glass or on glass formulated to be "reactive" with copper and silver - like Bullseye's "Reactive Ice" C.O.E 90 or Uroboros "Red Reactive Transparent" C.O.E 96. Experimentation with this copper stain in combination with silver stain may produce a similiar color result on float glass. I have not tried mixing them together or applying them in layers.

As a side note, I have also petitioned Lamberts Glass to develop a clear glass which takes silver stain better. Clarifying ingredients in their current batch inhibit the development of silver stain. In my tests with Lamberts clear I found that their glass does not take stain as well as some clears produced by other factories. I would encourage others to contact Lamberts as well so they can begin to recognize there is a world wide need for a glass like this in today's market.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Exhibition at Bryn Athyn College

Oct 6 - Nov 13, 2011
Interior of the Doering Center, Bryn Athyn College

The Joker

Seeing Red

The Ineffable Lands

Curious George


The Peaceable Kingdom

Cait in the Cloister




All Things Bright and Beautiful

Monday, August 15, 2011

November 5 & 12, 2011 – WORKSHOP: Glass Painted Panels using Historic Techniques

This class will introduce traditional techniques of glass painting used by stained glass artisans in the medieval and renaissance period. Participants will be given a choice of patterns and produce a small panel during the workshop. Students will learn to mix and apply glass based pigments. Proper brush techniques will be covered in detail. All materials provided. No experience necessary.

Students make a panel like this!

FEE: $225
Class length: 2 Days
DATES: November 5 & 12, 2011
Daily schedule: Saturday 1:00 – 4:30 PM
Maximum Class Size: 10
Register at Glencairn
Contact Doreen Carey at 267-502-2981 or


J. Kenneth Leap has been painting on glass for 25 years. He currently holds a position as the Education Chair of the American Glass Guild. He is the Stained Glass Artist in Residence at Glencairn Museum. He is an associate artist at the Wheaton Arts & Cultural Center in Millville, NJ where he maintains a studio and offers additional classes. For more information please visit


Glencairn, located in Bryn Athyn, PA was the home of Raymond and Mildred Pitcairn, built in the Romanesque style between 1928 and 1939. Glencairn now serves as a museum of the history of religion. The museum houses an extraordinary collection of French medieval stained glass panels on par with the finest examples in the Cloisters or the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For more information about Glencairn visit

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Book review

Many thanks for that wonderful book on silver stain! You've made the scientific part of me very happy with your exhaustively complete samples. I plan on using it a lot. My favorite glass is Fremont Antique (made right here in Seattle), which is based on the formula for float glass, so I'm sure results will be similar. I've used silver stain extensively, both Oster and Reushe, but still appreciate having such a well-organized and informative book as yours. Worth every penny. By the way, I found out about it on Judith Schaechter's facebook page when I was browsing about.

Best regards,