Cartoons for Stained Glass Windows
When the word cartoon is used, many people think of animated movies or television shows. That is the modern usage for this word in today's societies. Anime is a word being used more often, but many countries have not yet substituted it for cartoons. A cartoon is also thought of as a comical drawing, usually in a newspaper. Therefore, it is a surprise to find that the drawings used as a guide when making stained glass windows are called cartoons. This is because the original meaning of cartoon was simply any drawing and not defined as either funny or animated.
Artists do not just get up one day and throw together pieces of stained glass to make a window. It is a process that begins with a conceptual drawing of the finished product. Once the basic design has been decided, the artist then makes a drawing of what the actual window will look like. This is the part of the process that is called a cartoon. It is the guide that the artist will lay the glass on to ensure all the pieces are the correct size. The cartoon is placed on a board once the assembly process begins.
Cartoons are useful when creating a stained glass window because there are many pieces. Each piece must fit into its allotted space correctly for the design to work. One reason the cartoon is secured to a board is to make sure it does not move during glass placement. The glass pieces are actually smaller than the cartoon drawing. This is done because the leaded element, usually zinc or tin, must be added between the glass pieces to hold them in place.
Making stained glass windows is a complex process. It requires many painstaking steps to get every element properly in its place. For those who do not have a great deal of time, glass transfers or glass decals can be placed on a flat pane of glass for the same look. They can mimic any look desired, and this includes stained glass elements down to the color and placement of each piece can be recreated accurately.