Dalle de Verre Film

This is a gem! A short film (2.5 minutes) showing Dalle de verre being made.

If you aren’t sure what Dalle de verre is they’re like chunky mosaics. It’s the technique of sawing or breaking thick (3cm /1.2 inches) coloured slabs of glass with a hammer then chipping the edges to make a lovely refracted light on the edges. What fun!

They’re then cemented in place with a liquid cement, left for three weeks before being held up to the light in all their glory.

The technique was invented in the 1930s, and this film is from 1956. These days, the glass is held in place with resin, but there are still construction difficulties with this type of window…

…they tend to leak!

P.S. We DO NOT speak like this in the UK 🙂

8 thoughts on “Dalle de Verre Film”

  1. Thank you Milly for keeping us all informed on everything glass! I appreciate
    your efforts to help keep the glass culture alive. I recently listened to a gentleman from the United Kingdom who told us on his website that stained glass artistry is dying by the wayside. He mentioned cost was one reason. I know young people in the United States just don’t have the money to put towards hobbies. Most can barely afford to live on their own with our economy. He encouraged viewers of his program to try to carry on the culture of stained glass and help others achieve their dreams of making glass. I have been trying to do just by educating the other artists members in the collective I belong to. Many of them do not know how stained glass hangings are made. I make mine with the Tiffany Style Method. Even some of the artists do not understand that lead caming, tacking two ends of lead caming to the corners or joints, is not the same as foiling each piece of glass, then soldering all those pieces’ sides together, and then doing the same on the back side, is a different technique. Also, caming with lead usually means adding some type of grout so the glass doesn’t rattles in the grooves of the caming and also adds stability to the overall glass. People need to understand this because the pieces offered at different department stores are not Tiffany-style pieces. The skill needed to make these is not the same as making a Tiffany-style piece where each piece is wrapped and soldered. Am I incorrect in writing this? I just learned this recently because I had no idea what people were talking about with lead caming. I used lead caming or zinc for framing but not for the whole piece of glass. It sounds funny but I never knew about caming until a younger person who made glass told me about caming. She told me if I did caming I could make like three pieces of caming hangings for every one piece of Tiffany-style method. I couldn’t understand why a person would want to make glass like this except for the money. My question for you is, does using lead caming cheapen the overall reputation of stained glass? Does caming get respect from other artists when using this skill versus the Tiffany method? Also, if Tiffany’s Method of stained glass what you always call cooper foiling and soldering each piece of glass? I am confused as you can tell! lol The one good thing is if I am confused so are others! lol Help!
    Best regards,

    • Thanks for your comment Deb. Lead came is on a par with the copper foiling (Tiffany) method. Either one doesn’t cheapen the other. Tiffany used both. They both command equal respect, they’re just different.
      Lead caming was the original method for making stained glass from around 1000 years ago.
      You have the techniques outlined correctly so I don’t think you’re as confused as you think 🙂
      I hope that helps and that you’ll give leaded stained glass a try. Here’s my page on leading techniques to get you started (from #5 onward) https://everythingstainedglass.com/making-stained-glass

  2. Thank you Millie I have just been into Coventry Cathedral this afternoon and wondering how the fabulous glass was made. So it was perfect to see this film today.

    • What brilliant timing! I’m so glad you got to see it in the flesh. Since I wrote this page, something amazing happened to me… I had the opportunity to have some of the original dalles made for the Coventry and Liverpool schemes! They’re now taunting me as I don’t have all the tools needed for this technique. They’re gorgeous just to look at, and their history adds to that 🙂

  3. hi Millie, When I come to England I always go to churches and I went to 1 church where I actually met 1 of the specialists that made 1 of the dalle de verre windows and spoke about them. Naturally ,when he told me what the weight of the finished item was I was astounded at how they would have put it into position. Amazing ! Thanks for reminding me.

  4. Ruth Adams (Stained Glass UK – Facebook), posted a video about the Baptistry Window at Coventry Cathedral so I was looking for more information about Dalle de Verre and up you popped! Thank you Milly!


Leave a Comment

Affiliate Disclosure

I get a small % from selected suppliers (not you!) if you purchase any shiny new tools after clicking through from my site. Thanks in advance for your support.
AMAZON – As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.