On my workbench this week are two “works in progress” which illustrate some interesting differences for people considering stained glass windows. I hadn’t planned it that way; I have one more identical piece to each of these to make but I ran out of supplies for both! So before I take a trip to the glass store, I thought I’d spend a minute sharing about the way these two projects are different and how it impacts pricing. The one on the right is constructed in the “Tiffany style” which involves wrapping each individual piece of glass in copper foil. In the next step, lead solder will be heated, it will adhere to the copper and will hold all the pieces of glass together. This technique works well with a design consisting of small pieces of glass. When they are side by side, it’s easy to see how much smaller these pieces are and how much more intricate this design is. This one measures just over a square foot and is constructed of 49 textured clear pieces. The window on the left measures nearly 5 1/2 square feet and is made with only 32 pieces. It’s constructed using lead came which is best when the pieces of glass are large because the lead came is more substantial. It’s really messy right now because I just finished pushing putty (or cement) into the channels to give it greater strength. To help the putty harden, appropriately named “whiting” is sprinkled over the top. Sometimes people ask me to give them a price for a stained glass commission and, with only dimensions, it’s hard to give an accurate cost because design is such a significant part of pricing. With these two, the clear panel has over 8 times as many pieces per square foot as the the other. But there’s another difference that’s hard to see because of the mess of the putty and whiting: the red glass in the window on the left is made with gold! A sheet of that glass costs nearly 10 times as much as a sheet of standard clear glass. But it is so beautiful— I’ll share more photos when it’s finished. So there you have it, a little visual explanation on the challenges of pricing!