Silver stain is a unique pigment. When an oxide of silver is applied to glass and fired in a kiln the heat triggers a chemical reaction coaxing ions of silver to migrate into the glass. The result is that the glass is permanently stained a transparent yellow color. Although the origins of the technique are unclear its impact on the medium of stained glass was revolutionary. It enabled the glass artist to have two colors (clear & yellow) appear on a single piece of glass without having cut the areas out of separate pieces of glass and joining them with lead channel. This allowed the artist greater freedom of expression to create intricate color changes within small areas, producing new decorative effects. Although this technique is most often used to turn areas of clear glass yellow, it can also be used to obtain a green tone on blue glass. The technique was so widely used that the whole medium of “stained glass” obtained its name from the use of silver stain.
This comprehensive guide, richly illustrated with never before seen works by the author, should be of assistance to all artists seeking to master this temperamental technique.