Behind the Scenes: Crafting A Colorful Masterpiece At TerHaar Stained Glass Studio [VIDEO]
COLD SPRING -- This week in our "Behind the Scenes" series on WJON, we get artistic learning how to make stained glass windows.
Working with stained glass is a unique craft you don't see done very often. TerHaar Stained Glass Studio's have made thousands of masterpieces for churches, businesses, and homes since 1959.
President Gary Terhaar says each day is new just like the pieces they create.
"Every project we do is different because each one is custom made and we are custom designers," says Terhaar.
Each project begins with a design session with the customer, where Terhaar says the ideas begin to flow.
"We will do color designs for them, show them just what the window will look like and the actual size once it's fabricated," says Terhaar.
As designs are approved a full scale blueprint is made and each piece is marked and label.
"Each pattern corresponds to a different piece that's in the window and we number them so we know what colors to use for that piece," says Terhaar.
Terhaar says they have many colors options of glass on hand, or they create their own colors by painting and fusing the glass.
"We have a kiln in the back room and the painted glass is put in there and heated to where the glass liquefies and the paint melts right into the glass," says Terhaar.
Once the colors are chosen, the pieces are hand cut, put together and sautered before a final reinforcement is applied.
"We squeeze putty in between the lead and that will give it strength, it won't rattle anymore and be easier to pick up," says Terhaar.
The window is then cleaned before it's installed in its new home. Terhaar says it's an honor to make and restore pieces and preserve the many memories of families for years to come.