Leaded Glass Windows

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Custom Leaded Glass Windows

kühl doors, llc offers custom made leaded glass windows. All our leaded glass windows are hand crafted using traditional stained glass techniques. Along with traditional methods we use nothing but handblown glass. Every part of our glass panels is hand made. Because our panels are handcrafted you get a unique piece of art for your home that is personal to you. Even though we rely on traditional methods does not mean our designs are. All our designs are original and unique. We not only have designs that reflect traditional tastes but also mid century designs and contemporary designs you will not find anywhere else. Not only do we offer a range of designs we offer a range of prices. High quality, custom made does not mean high prices. We provide a range of prices along with all the information you need to order a glass insert. kühl doors, llc is a small studio located in Northern Michigan and ships anywhere.

Stained Glass for Bathroom Window

stained glass for bathroom window

Stained Glass for Bathroom Window

Ah, the bathroom. Twenty years ago the bathroom was built just big enough to enclose a tub, shower, toilet and sink. A place you took care of your personal business and got out. Windows functioned to keep the space fresh.  Today? Look up bathrooms in Pinterest or Houzz and you don’t see bathrooms, you see home spas. Bathrooms today are big and bright with beautiful tile and sculpted fixtures. After the kitchen the bathroom is the second most redecorated space in the home. That makes the bathroom a great place to consider adding a stained glass bathroom window.

stained glass for bathroom window
stained glass for bathroom window

Decorative Bathroom Windows

Stained Glass for bathroom window adds light to the bathroom while maintaining privacy. Anytime we do windows for bathrooms the first criteria is always privacy. We offer a wide range of hand blown glass to consider when selecting glass for your decorative bathroom windows. All our windows are custom made and easily customized to fit your space. To learn more about ordering a custom piece click here.

stained glass for bathroom window
stained glass for bathroom window

Stained Glass in Bathroom

Glass is an ideal material to add to a bathroom. It is easy to clean, is impervious to moisture, blends beautifully with other materials like marble, tile, steel. The leaded glass window shown above is purely a decorative element. It is a painting hanging on the wall.

stained glass for bathroom window
stained glass for bathroom window

Bathroom Privacy Window

For more design options check out our portfolio. Want to see our glass cabinet selection click here. For entry doors click here.

stained glass transom

Stained Glass Transom

Stained glass transom windows provide just the right custom element to your home. A transom window is a great way to transition from one room to another without losing light or looking like you are closing off a separate space. The transom window on the left is an interior window over the entrance to the library.

detail stained glass transom window

Detail Transom Window

My design philosophy is to keep things simple t,o focus on the inherent natural beauty of handblown glass. The combination on the left of clear mouth blown glass with chunks of beveled dalle de verre glass adds texture and dimension to the window. It feels sculpted. The window changes as the light in the room changes.

leaded glass transom window

Transom Windows

Rondels are another handblown glass I use a great deal in my designs. The unfinished room on the left uses large, clear rondels to give a traditional look. The design on the left is more intricate with a splash of color.

detail stained glass transom window
stained glass transom windows

Exterior Transom Windows

Whether you are looking for an interior or exterior transom window, a transom window insert or a whole entryway design we can make a custom leaded glass window for your home.

For more designs or options check out our portfolio.

Stained Glass Windows for Home

stained glass windows for home

Stained Glass Windows for Home

When you hear someone say stained glass what do you immediately think of? A church or a cathedral, right? A stained glass window is big and bright with bold colors depicting scenes and figures from the bible. Not true, think of Frank Lloyd Wright or many homes from the Prairie Modern Architecture.

A custom stained glass window does not have to be large or complicated to make an impact in the home. A simple design using high quality materials is all you need to create a beautiful handmade stained glass window at an affordable price.

Here is one project for a small interior window in the bathroom of a home in Northern Michigan measuring approximately 44″ tall x 16″ wide.

stained glass windows for home
stained glass windows for home
stained glass windows for home
stained glass windows for home

The Process

When we start a project we go one of two ways. The first way is the client goes through our portfolio, selects a design and we customize it to the size of the window opening. We provide the client photos of the stained glass design and glass samples if necessary. Everyone is confident in the outcome. No surprises.

The second way we work is to give the client something new. A design that is consistent with our aesthetics’s but still new and different. I do not have a photo of the completed design. We work with sketches and samples. Everyone must trust one another during the process. We are looking for surprises.

Our client wanted something new for their interior glass windows. Our first step is sketching design options. I am very found of incorporating trees and tree branches in my design. The twist in this design is adding the glass chunks to suggest flowers or leaves. Not literal depictions of flowers and leaves but just the suggestion of a flower or leaf.

stained glass windows for home

Originally I really wanted to make the window with white opalescent glass and shaping the chunks of dalle de verre glass into leaf pedals. The client selected a blue opalescent glass and blue chunks of dalle de verre. To prove my point and show how great the white opalescent glass will look, I made a sample panel.

While I do like the white opalescent glass I really love the blue glass. And I really don’t like the pedal shapes. Just too literal for me.

stained glass windows for home
stained glass windows for home

Like all our stained glass windows every step in the fabrication is done by hand. We cut the glass by hand, we assemble the glass pieces by hand and solder all the joints by hand. Custom, hand made stained glass for the home is what you get.

stained glass windows for home

Details

The design is very simple. There are only two different types of glass. Not a very complicated window. But if you look closely you will notice the chunks of glass are hand beveled. They are three dimensional. Therefore those beveled pieces catch light coming through it from the back of the panel, light raking across the surface of the panel and light bouncing directly off the panel. All light interacting with the chunks from different angles causes the window to really sparkle.

stained glass windows for home

Finished

This is an internal stained glass window for the home. The stained glass panel does not overwhelm the space. This is a piece of art built into the home like a door or cabinet or countertop. It is part of the home now.

Want to see more designs? Check out our portfolio

Stained Glass Panels

custom stained glass panels for the home

glass front entry door

Five or six years ago I was fortunate enough, thanks to Marty Rhein of BAC Design, to work on a remodeling project in Elk Rapids, MI. Last summer the home owner contacted me about coming back and making two more custom stained glass panels for the basement. There was one big challenge. The stained glass pannels are in the basement and the basement has no natural light. How best to showcase a stained glass panel without natural light.

To the left is the glass entryway door I completed when the house was first remodeled 6 years ago.

stained glass panels made to order

custom stained glass panel

The first stained glass panel is the stairway window. I kept this design very consistent with the front door. I used the same clear rondels and handblown glass I used in the front door and throughout the house. This gives it a real custom feel and ties the windows together. Small rondels in the bottom left moving to bigger rondels as they float up to the right. As you can see from the triangular shape our stained glass panels are made to order.

stained glass pannels

What I did not expect was having enough light in the basement to  create patterns on the other side of the panel. A similar effect when sun light passes through. Unfortunately, unlike glass that has sunlight passing through it the pattern will always stay the same unless a brighter light bulb is used or the light source changes position.

custom stained glass panel

The second project is a stained glass window for bathroom. It hangs on the wall kinda like a painting. It has a three inch space behind it with a light source at the bottom. I went a very different direction on the design. Because you don’t look through the glass and there is no depth I used an opaque white glass. I also used thick chunks of dalle de verre glass, beveled around the edges. The chunky glass is thick and dimensional and works great in reflective light. Had to add some rondels.

stained glass panels made to order

See how thick those chunks are.

stained glass window for bathroom

Yes my ‘masterpiece’ is hanging in a bathroom but I’m not too proud. This stained glass window for bathroom looks pretty good.

custom stained glass

custom stained glass

Custom Stained Glass

My design process for custom stained glass work is a little backwards. Normally, before I have a client I will see something or think of something to give me an idea and wonder how that something will look in glass. Patterns are a big inspiration, left over materials give me ideas or I discover a new technique I want to try. My process is backwards because I am not a paying client, I am just curious and I want to see what my ‘idea’ looks like. So I will go ahead and make a custom stained glass panel for myself. If I like what turns out then I find a client for the design. Clients can view my portfolio of designs and pick out a design they want for their own custom window. It is the way I work best, or rather I am most comfortable.

 

Once in awhile I get a client who likes my designs but wants something different. This project started with that kind of client. He wanted a new design using color for a free hanging panel. That is not how I normally work. I don’t like creating something not knowing how it will turn out. Glass is tricky, you can think you know how a panel will turn out but until you put all the pieces together and hold it up to the light you never really know. I have a studio full of panels I was convinced would look great and are not too good. I hate to disappoint but I was willing to deviate from my normal method and had some ideas I wanted to try and if the client is willing I am too.

custom stained glass

The sketch. This is just one of probably five different sketches. Takes me forever. I know I am not a great drawer but I am good enough to get by and convey a simple idea. My big idea for this project was my beveler. I have this big fancy beveler in the studio I inherited from my father and have been dying to use it. This was the project for my beveler. Fortunately my client was all in on my idea.

glass color samples

The most anxious part of this project was using color. If you look at my work I use very little color. My client was patient and through some back and forth we found a color scheme that worked. The glass I used is not traditional hand blown glass I normally use but dalle de verre. Dalle de verde glass is thick slab glass approximately the size of a sheet of 8″ x 11″ paper.

dalle de verde glass

After the design is approved I go to work and start smashing up the dalle de verre glass using a special carbide tip hammer. Makes a huge mess and is kinda fun, except for the splinters of glass. I bleed for my work.

blue chunk glass

I take the broken chunks and go to work on the beveler. The results make me think this project is gonna be awesome.

custom stained glass

After the beveler I lay out the chunks. Maybe not so awesome. Have to wait and see.

Time to assemble the piece. This is a tedious, time consuming pain in the rear. I love what I do but some times I question what I do. I am confident the custom stained glass panel will look good, the question is how good. Is it going to turn our just ‘nice’ or is it going to be ‘NICE !’.

custom stained glass
custom stained glass
custom stained glass
custom stained glass

Assembling is a pain and so is soldering and cleaning. There are all these big chunks and sharp edges and crevices. Takes time and patience and I just want to see what it looks like.

custom stained glass

NICE!

Hand Blown Glass – Mouth Blown Glass

Throughout my website I keep emphasizing hand blown glass, over and over ad nauseam. But what does that really mean, ‘hand blown glass‘? (Before explaining further I recognize the proper term is mouth blown glass. I should always write mouth blown glass, but since most people say or more importantly search for hand blown glass and because I want to increase my Google Ranking, I am going to stick with hand blown glass.) What does that mean? Exactly what the proper term says, mouth blown glass. Someone, a very skilled someone, gathers a lump of molten glass at the end of a hollow pipe, takes a deep breath and blows into the glass like you would a balloon. What the artisan does from there is truly incredible. Below are two videos from two of my favorite suppliers showing how hand blown glass is made. Take a look and see for yourself why I keep emphasizing hand blown glass. 

Lamberts Glass is a glass manufacturer in Germany. Watch how they make sheets of glass. I use Lamberts glass in all the windows I make. Rarely do I use anything else for the flat glass. If you ever make it to the Washington National Cathedral and see the West Rose Window or look at the clerestory windows or the George Washington Window and the Lincoln Window you are looking at Lamberts Glass. My father revered Lamberts Glass and so do I.

Rondels, I love rondels and if you look at most of my work I use a lot of rondels. I get most of my rondels from Kokomo Glass Company in Kokomo, Indiana. Great folks to work with who supply me with beautiful hand blown rondels.

custom stained glass window

Every custom stained glass window we make is made to order. We can take any design to fit any space, whether it is for a door, a cabinet or just a window. When making a custom window we first draw out the design.

sketch custom stained glass window
sketch custom stained glass window

After cutting out the patterns we cut the glass and layout ready for assembly. Everything is done by hand. We use only hand blown glass.

custom stained glass window

Using lead came each piece of hand blown glass is carefully assembled by hand and fitted together until all the pieces are snug tight into place. Once everything is in place the panel is ready for soldering.

custom stained glass window

The final step in making a custom stained glass panel is cementing. This provides waterproofing and additional strength to the panel. It is the final step before cleaning.

custom stained glass window

The finished piece. We can make any of our windows with a wooden frame for easy handling and installation.

Background – Artisans and Craftsmen

This past summer I took my family to Germany and the small town of Wiedenbruck where my mother and father grew up. My parent’s history in Wiedenbruck goes back hundreds of years. As described in my background page, there is the Goldkuhle Glas und Naturstein Co. started by my great, great, grandfather, Franz Anton Goldkuhle. When he started the company it was a wood working studio. The company is still thriving today and is run by my cousin, Klaus Goldkuhle. This lineage of tradesmen, artisans and craftsmen runs through everything we do at kuhl doors.

Goldkuhle GmbH und Co. KG

Here is the showroom of Goldkuhle Glas und Naturstein. Over the years the company has evolved into a glass company specializing in custom glass for residential and commercial applications. Wiedenbruck is located in the heart of the German furniture industry. It is an important supplier of glass to the furniture industry.

Goldkuhle GmbH und Co. KG

On the right is the house my father grew in. My grandfather ran the business from the house. Naturally growing up for my father revolved around the factory. There are some custom leaded glass panels throughout the house. Pretty sure my father’s finger prints are all over them. At one time my grandfather wanted to expand in the direction of leaded glass production. He sent my father to trade school for stained glass. Unfortunately for my grandfather, my father did not want any part of the family business. He used his training to pursue the stained glass trade focusing on ecclesiastical work.

Goldkuhle GmbH und Co. KG

This is my cousin Klaus Goldkuhle inside the factory.

wood work of Franz Goldkuhle

Wiedenbruck is a old historical town over a 1000 years old. An important part of the history is the furniture industry. Many German furniture manufacturers are located in or around Wiedenbruck. This is a direct result of the traditional wood working trade in Wiedenbruck. Franz Anton Goldkuhle started his wood working studio making wooden pulpits, alters, crosses and pews for churches. Shown here is one example of his work.

workbench of Franz Goldkuhle

There is a museum in Wiedenbruck dedicated to the history of the trades. My cousin Klaus was instrumental in creating this museum. In the museum I saw one of the highlights of my trip, this work bench. This is Franz Goldkuhle’s actual work bench. I checked with the museum director to make sure and he confirmed it. I love work benches and to see this one is a thrill for me.

invoice of Franz Goldkuhle
invoice of Franz Goldkuhle

This is a copy of an invoice from the original Goldkuhle Company. My cousin got it from a nearby church where Franz Goldkuhle did some work over 150 years ago. The resolution isn’t so great but you can make out the name Franz Goldkuhle and part of the Goldkuhle Company name in the upper left hand corner.

Faces of Duke Chapel

Stand in the nave of Duke Chapel, look up at the clerestory windows. You see a kaleidoscope of glass colors. Focus and you see each window is based on a major figure of the old testament, Job, David, Moses, etc. You can’t miss the central figure in each window but you can easily miss the smaller figures that surround the central character. These figures help tell the story. At first glance these minor figures appear simple and almost cartoonish but look again, they are very expressive and distinct.

how to make stained glass – a short film

How To Make Stained Glass – in 45 seconds. Having some fun with stop motion camera. What you see is the whole process of making a stained glass panel; full size cartoon, pattern cutting, cutting glass, leading glass and soldering. The only steps left are puttying, cleaning and final installation. This window is going into a custom home for an interior transom. The circles are clear hand blown rondel surrounded by clear hand blown glass.