Japanese Maple in Stained Glass Applique

Japanese Maple

“Japanese Maple” by Larry Stout

I was inspired by the beautiful style of Japanese stained-glass artist Ichiro Tashiro, so set out to attempt something akin to it by the stained glass applique technique for our bath window. After two years in our home, this piece has been sold, and I’m making something different for our bath window, this time inspired by a different style!

Milly’s reply:
This is absolutely beautiful. Delicate, light and captures the feeling of being underneath a canopy of leaves perfectly. The stained glass trees are inspired.

Thanks too for introducing me to a new stained glass artist – I had a look at Ichiro Tashiro’s work, and love it. They are very calm and he leaves a lot of space in his work, with areas of intense activity – something I really like.

I’m interested in the stained glass applique process – I did some years ago, but the grouting was very tricky to use. Can you tell me what you use? Thanks.

Comments for Japanese Maple in Stained Glass Applique

This is beautiful
by: Tracey

I have a 3rd window in my bedroom that stays covered and closed because my bed tests against it. I was just thinking that some type of stained glass appliqué would allow me the privacy I need while allowing light in. I have a Japanese Mapke Tree right outside of that window so my thinking is that would be the perfect window decor.

Sounds good Tracey!

What a Welcoming Site!
by: Martha

Just happened upon this site. Wish I’d seen this earlier. Just finished my stained glass panel (transom window) after a 20+ year hiatus. Am excited to start up again. So much information on here.

Milly’s reply:

Hi Martha, how nice to read, thanks so much! I’m always adding more and have a Facebook page – Everything Stained Glass – if you want more inspiration. Happy return to glass!

Truly Inspiring!
by: Lynne

This blog is a great find! For someone just starting out working with stained glass it’s got all the information you could want. Thank you for all your advice, I feel more confident to get started now. Truly inspiring!

by: Larry Stout

It doesn’t take much to grout even a large stained glass applique panel, and what’s left in the bag or box must be kept air-tight or it will set up over time, so get the smallest amount available. Non-sanded tile grouts come in colors (gray, buff, etc.), and they all of course will be opaque in transmitted light, but you can get carbon black cement coloring (a tiny bit goes a long way) if you’d prefer absolutely black grouted seams.

Further RE applique technique
by: Larry Stout

I don’t know whether Weldbond is available in the UK (it is mainly used by woodworkers/joiners, I think). One caveat about it: USE ONLY A THIN FILM; otherwise, the cloudiness (whiteness) might take YEARS to cure to full clarity. Even after the Weldbond cures to clarity, bright back-lighting reveals the sinuous outlines of the contracted glue, so use of cathedral or wispy glasses with the applique technique is problematical, at best. Nevertheless, Weldbond it THE glue to use.

Another drawback of the applique technique is that chattering (chipped edges) will not be concealed by foil or lead. When grout is applied to the seams, it inevitably also fills these tiny scallops and crevices on the glass surfaces, and wire wool will not get it all out; so, on close inspection, a certain raggedness of the lines is apparent, in unpredictable and varying degree. To minimize this effect, you can use grinder bit of fine grit as a final stage in shaping the pieces, but this will add considerably to the time required to finish a given work.

Still, the applique technique lends itself to a subtlety that can’t be obtained by copper foil or lead, as the seams can be so narrow as to virtually disappear, and very narrow/tiny glass pieces can be used for detail. And, 100% non-toxic process, no ventilation required.

Applique technique
by: Larry Stout

I had to experiment extensively with the applique technique, since the UK book in which I first saw splendid examples did not provide details. The first hurdle was the adhesive, all of which were disasters (gummy, toxic, caused cracking, etc.) until I tried a Canadian multipurpose glue called Weldbond: nontoxic, spreads easily with the finger, ultimately cures to clarity (white to start). The grouting (non-sanded tile grout) is also tricky, and the main problem is bleeding of dark liquid from the moist mix beneath the s.g. pieces (which are seldom quite flat on the backside, and often far from it, so capillary action is induced); use as little water as possible in preparing the grout, press gently into the seams, wipe off excess from glass surfaces (there will be a lot of it) soon after applying, using paper towels, next day remove residual grout film from glass surfaces with wire wool.

Thanks Larry, that’s really helpful.


4 thoughts on “Japanese Maple in Stained Glass Applique”

  1. This is one of my all time favorite stained glass pieces… which is not surprising since I really love Ichiro Tashiro. I think I reached out a number of years ago and you had stopped doing stained glass. I would like to learn how to do it and recreate something like this. Any tips please let me know. absolutely love this… love Japan actually. Thanks for any support or advice. Donna

  2. Hi!
    I just saw an entire church with complete sheets of pink glass just glued to the original float glass with a dot of clear silicone in each corner. I had to be very close to the window to realise there was some glue.
    I still can’t understand how Weldbond, a PVA emulsion (like Elmer’s Glue All) could possibly be better than silicone. I get silicone is gummy until it dries and it takes some time to dry, but afterwards you wont be able to remove a single piece.
    Please, I’ll appreciate some advice since I really want to do some Appliques and Weldbond is not something quite affordable here while silicone is transparent since the very beginning and cheap.

    • I wouldn’t recommend the method that you witnessed, Leo. Although it leaves the necessary gaps for condensation to escape, it doesn’t sound very secure. Two-part resins are the most secure for applique, as the glass is surrounded by and then sets securely in the resin. This isn’t my area of expertise so I can’t advise on specifics I’m afraid.


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