Ray Gregory, Art Glass, Inc, stained glass, Norfolk, Virginia, Beth El Congregation, Chrysler Museum, Christ and St. Luke's, Capt. George's Seafood, Washington Hebrew Congregation, Annunciation Greek Orthodox

 

 

 

Beveled Glass

When a kid in the 1950s, I was an amateur astronomer and made some of my own telescopes, both refractors and reflectors (using lenses and mirrors). In college I worked in the physics department's optics lab. So I was well acquainted with the interactions of glass and light when I started working with stained glass. Soon I realized that, while stained glass revels in glass' translucence and light filtering, it doesn't pay enough respect to refraction, one of the most remarkable effects glass has on light. Who hasn't marveled at a rainbow or the shimmer of light passing through a liquid? So why not turn those leaded-together glass segments into prisms and lenses? Why not make those transiting light beams dance?

While I had a special fondness for beveled glass, not so much for the Victorian beveling tradition in which glass segments are slavishly ringed with crisp, uniform, neatly mitered bevels. Art Glass, Inc. produced many such traditionally beveled windows, many even in the Victorian style, but its beveling repertoire also included beveling tinted plate glasses, varied width bevels, and non-angular lense shaping of the glass. The latter was accomplished by substituting sanding belts for the traditional grinding wheels of the beveling process.

There are four stages to hand beveling: rough grinding on either a diamond wheel or iron lap with an abrasive slurry (usually silicone carbide); smooth grinding on a stone wheel; rough polishing on a cork wheel with a powdered pumice slurry; and polishing on a felt wheel with a cerium oxide (or a jeweler's rouge) slurry. Pressing glass against the wheels at just the right angle and rocking with just the right motion was quite a challenge to hand-eye coordination. But as demanding and labor intensive as it all was, the gleaming, light bending result was well worth the effort.

Unfortunately, photos can't do full justice to the magic that happens between beveled glass and the human eye. But the ones following give a good sense of the varied styles of beveled glass that Art Glass produced.

— Ray Gregory

 

 

Beveled glass — refraction and reflection

 

 

In the Victorian Tradition and Style

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

 

 

 

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

 

 

 

 

 

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

 

 

 

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

 

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

 

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

 

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

 

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

 

Ray Gregory, Capt. George's, Seafood, stained glass, beveled glass

 

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

 

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

 

A more contemporary design, though still the Victorian standard of all-around, neatly mitered bevels

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

 

Clipped and Unmitered Beveling

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

 

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

 

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

 

 

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

 

 

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

 

Varied Bevel Widths and Lens Shaping

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

 

The fluid beauty of lense shaping:

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

 

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

Ray Gregory, stained glass, beveled glass

 

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