ⓘ Dalle de verre


ⓘ Dalle de verre

Dalle de verre, from French: "glass slab", is a glass art technique that uses pieces of coloured glass set in a matrix of concrete and epoxy resin or other supporting material.


1. Technique

The technique was developed by Jean Gaudin in Paris in the 1930s. Slabs of coloured glass, 20 centimetres 7.9 in to 30 centimetres 12 in square or rectangular and typically up to 3 centimetres 1.2 in thick, are shaped by breaking with a hammer or cutting with a saw. The edges of the resulting pieces may be chipped or faceted to increase the refraction and reflection effects.

The pieces are laid out to a design, similar to traditional stained-glass work. The pieces are laid on a bed of sand, bounded by a wooden casting frame. A matrix material, sand and cement or epoxy resin, is poured between the glass pieces and allowed to dry, typically requiring 24 hours to harden. The visible glass faces are then cleaned and the resulting solid panel can be relocated, embedded or hung as required.

The use of thicker glass produces deeper colour effects than traditional lead came stained-glass, especially when illuminated by bright natural or artificial light.

The technique achieved prominence in the stained glass literature of the 1950s and 1960s.


2. Problems and conservation

The resulting works may be subject to structural problems over time and, just like more traditional stained glass works, pose challenges to conservators and restorers.


3. Dalle de verre in the UK

Dalle de verre was brought to the UK by Pierre Fourmaintraux who joined James Powell and Sons later Whitefriars Glass Studio in 1956 and trained Dom Charles Norris in the technique. Norris was a Dominican Friar who went on to become arguably the most prolific British proponent of dalle de verre. His work is incorporated in several Modernist listed Catholic churches.

Examples of dalle de verre by Gabriel Loire of Chartres can be found in The Holy Name RC Church, Oakley, Fife, 1958

  • a renowned glass artist who is credited with having introduced the dalle de verre technique to the UK and having taught other influential glass artists
  • stained glass and dalle de verre for Roman Catholic churches in the UK. He is thought to be the most prolific artist working in dalle de verre in the UK in
  • Studios, was one of the first American artists to experiment with the dalle de verre technique of producing stained glass also known as slab glass or
  • American stained glass artist who produced one of the first faceted Dalle de Verre glass windows in the United States in 1949. He was born in Sheboygan
  • Negril, Jamaica and St. John s Antigua They are made of soapstone, dalle de verre glass and fiberglass mortar. Breeden s legacy is still on display at
  • windows. Loire was a leader in the modern use of slab glass French: dalle de verre which is much thicker and stronger than the stained glass technique
  • a South African stained - glass window artist who specialises in the dalles de verre technique using glass and concrete Theron studied art at Rhodes
  • sense of space and colour created mainly by the open plan form and the dalle de verre glass panels, which form an integral part of the church s design Mathers
  • covered nave roof, with abstract dalle de verre windows by W. T. Carter Shapland. Covell continued the use of dalle de verre and copper roofing at St Richard s
  • Robert E. Langdon, Jr. and Ernest C. Wilson, Jr.. The cornice is made of dalle de verre thus giving the impression of rainbow - like reflections as one gets
  • an award from the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1966. The dalle de verre stained glass is by Patrick Reyntiens. In 2012, the church was awarded