Leaded glass windows are windows in which the individual flat glass pieces are connected by H-shaped lead came and the intersections of the rods have been soldered. There are with and without stained glass leaded windows and they are usually of the artistic representation. Despite the similarity in name no lead glass used in stained glass windows.


Stained-glass windows are common since the High Middle Ages in Europe. Initially, this technique was used only for the windows of the great cathedrals. Stained-glass windows are an important feature of the Gothic. From the late Middle Ages, but also more and more secular buildings were equipped with stained glass.

The method of assembling a larger glass area of small pieces, is due to the difficulty in a larger area to cool liquid glass so that it does not tear. Only with the production of real antique glass and larger glass surfaces were possible by flat glass, this problem was completely solved. That left the glassmakers of the Middle Ages only the way to make small glass panes and to connect them by means of lead rods and kitten. By using different colored glass pieces are created in this way the image window, which converted the apparent disadvantage into an art form. Here, a special " graphic " the technically unavoidable framework of the lead cames forms design tool. The shards were often processed with Schwarzlot and Silver Yellow to achieve fine lines, shadow effects and yellow spots.

Leaded glass windows are also now made ​​even for religious and secular buildings. If the glass breaks, weather-related damage or restorations of old glass windows, it is important to maintain the existing substance as far as possible. Jumps can be glued or secured with jump lead. The cleaning of dirty glasses must be done very gently so as not to violate any existing paint and the glass surface. Missing glass pieces are faithfully supplemented, as destroyed parts of the lead network.



  • Glass: Blown glasses are such as real antique glass and real antique cameo glass. Neuantikglas, restoration glass, Goethe Glass, cathedral, Opalescentglas and Danziger glass jars are manufactured in the table - cast - rolling process. Are machine-made ornament glass and float glass in the drawing process. A special form represent leaded windows and moon discs, made in the spin coating technique. Antique glass is blown with a blowpipe into a hollow cylinder, cut lengthwise with red-hot iron, knife- rolled, stretched and annealed in a furnace. This creates a lively surface with streaks and bubbles; these are caused by the knife coating.
  • Lead: The soft moldable lead ( lead came ) is an excellent tool to combine pieces of glass together, but as a stressed member and backbone of glazing not very reliable. By steel inserts the lead cores but the stability of the lead fields can be substantially increased. Alternatively, galvanized flat steel wrench can be soldered. About two meters long lead rods are pulled in several widths from the so-called broken lead, which have different profiles and different levels of lead core.
  • Solder, Solder: Solder consists of 60 % tin and 40 % lead. Its melting point is lower by 100 ° C than for lead, so it is possible to have two lead cames to connect with each other without the lead melts. As solder used stearin, Stearinwachs and solder paste.
  • Kitt: To make stained glass waterproof and stable, passes to lead the cheeks with putty. Alternatively, a liquid up mixed paste of linseed oil, chalk, carbon black and turpentine or white spirit is deleted prior to the introduction of the glass on the inside cheeks of the lead joints to seal the joints.


  • Stencils and Stencil knife scissors have double blades at a distance of 1.5 mm. Corresponding to the thickness of the lead core. If you were to cut the stencil with a normal pair of scissors, they would be too large. Stencils scissors and knife cut out a thin strip out of the box, after which the glass is cut.
  • For cutting the glasses there is the glass cutter with a steel wheel or a cutting diamonds, which however is nowadays used any more. The cutting carriage permits, just to lead sections, with the round cutter are achieved circles.
  • With the Glaserhämmerchen or the metal stem of the glass cutter you can cut after cutting the trigger from below, so that the glass can be easily separated.
  • Grozing pliers and grinding stone used to straighten irregular edges and to remove the burr.
  • The lead is cut by the lead cutter into pieces and expanded with the Bleiaufreiber slightly so that the wheels can be pushed into the profile easier. Glaser nails fix the glass pieces on the lead table.
  • The soldering iron heats the solder with which the lead rods are interconnected.
  • Using the putty knife or by brushing the soft cement is injected under the lead cheeks.


A good design is essential for a successful stained glass. Usually it is applied at a scale of 1:10. The important thing is the material of adequate clean lines. Are unfavorable to small areas and difficult to cut shapes. After the design drawing, the artist made ​​at the factory carton. In size, it determines the lead lines, the thickness of the lead cames and provisional coloring and highlights those areas for etching or grinding work. In the lead crack the Glaser defines the lead sprouts, the lead edge is based on the fold of the frame.

The lead crack forms the template for the stencil made ​​of strong paper; they are numbered as the lead field is einbleibar or numbered from top to bottom right. With the stencils scissors or stencil knife glazier cuts the lines along and puts the finished parts back to the design.

Now he is looking for the colored glasses and assigns it to the template. He puts little space as possible on a sheet of glass, cut with the glass cutter along the edge of the stencil and aborts the piece with your hands. Ridges or peaks are mitigated with grozing pliers or grindstone.

Notwithstanding this technique it is possible to work without cardboard and stencils. Are the pieces of glass cut free, shape and color can be changed at any time. At large carrier glass the exact contours of the lead fields are drawn and sketched the lines of intersection of the glasses on. The glass pieces are cut together like a mosaic, and revised the adjacent discs located. Through this free improvisation, constant check and change one is not hampered by initial determinations. Josef Obernberger designed with this method of clearing, for example, the window in the Cathedral of Augsburg and Regensburg Cathedral.

After the leaded glass cutting begins. On a large lead table, two flat stop bars are nailed left and front right angle. At this the Glaser initially creates two edge Leads or flashings. He pushes the first piece of glass in a marginal lead and fixed it with a nail. A piece of the inner lead is compressed and fed to the glass so as to surround the piece with one side of the H-shaped profile. Protruding ends are sharply cut off at the edge of the glass with the lead knife and again compressed by placing a lead knife with the hammer. This work leads one continues to completion by the last two edge Leads, whereupon the glazier fixed the window with wood slats. Now he is on the joints of the pieces of lead solder and some sets with a hot soldering iron and solder a flat, sufficiently large soldering point. If all lead rods are fixedly connected together in this manner, he repeated the whole thing on the back of the lead field. This will make it more stable, putty can be given in the open lead profiles. These are then painted over. Extremely stiff, the window is by completely tinning of lead shoots. Steel inserts or tap wrenches provide additional strength.

Finally, you clean the window with petroleum, whiting or sawdust. If the image is designed to be hung, loops are still attached copper wire or lead. Mostly, however, it inserts it into a folded frame made of wood, metal or stone. This technique is also applied to stained glass, in which the wheels are painted and fired before the leaded with black stain and enamel colors.

Well-known artists

  • Marc Chagall designed numerous stained glass windows for churches, synagogues and mosques.


Stained Glass at the Angelika Kauffmann Museum in Schwarzenberg

Glass window in the Munich City Hall

Largest church window north of the Alps in the Altenberg Cathedral in Odenthal

Old church Zurich -Wollishofen

The products designed by Marc Chagall window in the choir of the cathedral in Zurich woman

The choir of the Church of St. Stephan in Mainz with some windows by Marc Chagall

Chancel windows of the village church Radewege