Ever since humans discovered they could use sand to make glass, they’ve been experimenting with it. They even learned how to control the colors.
My friend Dustin Regul is a stained glass artist and painter who teaches fine arts at Washington State University. He told me more about where glass gets its color.
“It’s actually metals that help change the color of the glass,” he said.
In medieval times, when stained glass first became really popular, people used a different technique. The glass pieces were held together with long strips of a bendy material made of lead. On each side of the lead strip was a little channel where the edge of glass could be tucked in. And like the technique Regul uses, adding heat to the strip helped keep the glass in place.
Humans can use these really small pieces of glass—in all sorts of colors—to form a bigger picture or story. Whether you are in the lab or the studio, it’s amazing what you can create and discover when you set your mind to it.