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The History of Dalle Stained Glass

On 20, Nov 2019 | No Comments | In Aggrigate, Stained Glass Design & Styles | By fwsgadmin

Fort Worth has Dalle stained glass and if you are like us–you probably love it. If you haven’t seen it before– it is a type of stained glass made with cement or epoxy joints rather than lead caming. This makes it wonderful because it allows for large, bold stained glass artworks both indoors and out. Another interesting about Dalle stained glass is that it is a more recent stained glass style. Because of this, its origins have been well-recorded. And how this style spread across the world in only a few decades is amazing

Where Dalle Stained Glass Was First Made


The very first Dalle faceted windows were made in France just after World War I. An obscured artist collaborated with a french glass shop to come up with these cement and stained glass panels as a commission. Soon after, it was seen in French architect Auguste Perret’s work. He used it to make faceted glass concrete walls in the Notre-Dame du Raincy church in a Paris suburb. It wasn’t long after that French artists began using faceted glass in their architectural projects. Many of which were churches. 


Jean Gaudin is given credit for the complete development of this technique. He started with 1.25” thick poured then shaped by breaking with a hammer or cutting with a saw. The edges would often end up chipped which increased the faceted effects. These large stained glass pieces were then laid in a geometric design in a framed bed of sand. Sand and cement or epoxy resin were then poured between the glass pieces forming a frame. When it dried and clean it resulted in thicker, studier glass works of art with deep color and effects. However, it wasn’t until the1950s and 1960s that this glass really came into popular use.


Dalle de Verre Stained Glass In the 1950s and 60s


Dalle de Verre spread went first to the UK and was brought there by a man named Pierre Fourmaintraux. He subsequently trained Dom Charles Norris in the new technique, a Dominican Friar who went on to become one of the biggest proponents of this type of work. Today his works can be seen incorporated into several Modernist Catholic churches. Although early Dalle US installations were made at the beginning of the century, the Cathedral of St. Joseph where Jean Barillet created 26 windows that were each 67 feet high and 13 1/2 feet wide was made around 1959. These windows arguably started the Dalle de Verre stained glass period in the US.

Unfortunately, this type of stained glass fell out of vogue 1970s. This was in part because of changing tastes of the time but also because the glass was sometimes subject to structural problems over time. The size, weight and the hard to remove cement matrix posed challenges to restoration.

Here at Fort Worth Stained Glass or any of our nationwide locations we can work on and restore your Dalle stained glass to preserve a piece of history. Contact us today for more information.