FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. What is The Glass Studio Showroom Collection?
The Showroom Collection is a group of exceptional stained glass windows and sandblasted art glass panels made as examples of Stephen and Thomas Smylie’s artistic interests and technical skills. The panels were put on display at the studio to inspire new commissions by featuring innovative design and the best art glass while also serving as convenient references for glass colour and textural possibilities. The pieces reflect nearly the entire 38 year creative history of the studio.
Q. Are the Showroom Collection pieces new?
No. While all of the showroom windows are in nearly perfect condition (because they were always on display inside the studio), the earliest window dates from 1982 and the most recently-made panel dates to 2018. Many panels are signed and some are dated as well.
Q. How is your work priced?
Pieces are priced to reflect the amount of time and skill required to make them. While it might seem logical to price 'by the square foot', size has very little to do with cost. That's why some small windows cost more than bigger ones. The range of technical complexity in the showroom display windows varied enormously - ranging from simple pieces requiring just over a day to make to complex pieces that took many weeks of skilled craftsmanship to fabricate.
Q. Why wasn't all of your work signed?
Well …. facepalm. We tried our very best to remember to sign and date everything we made but some panels unfortunately missed getting a signature. However, 99% of everything we made is photographically documented.
Q. Can I use the panel I want without the frame or door it comes with?
Yes, absolutely. Frames or doors are included for free but, if you don’t need the frame or door, it’s still recommended that you transport the panel with its frame or door until you reach your site, then remove it. Frames or doors provide protection and support for the art glass while its in transit. Once at your home, it’s easy to remove the art glass and then install it in the custom opening you prepare for it. The size details of all showroom pieces provide the size of the art glass without the door or frame. 
Q. Will you ship the window to me?
Sorry, no. Shipping stained glass windows requires robust wood crates, insurance and specialized transport. It's expensive and risky. If you can't pick the window up yourself, we can refer you to a company which specializes in shipping fine art.
Q. The window I like isn't the right size - will you modify it for me?
Sorry, no. The Showroom Collection pieces are sold 'as is' and sizes can not be changed.
Q. Can I put your stained glass inside insulating glass? (also known as "inserts", "sealed units" or "thermal units")
No. It's a really bad idea for several reasons, both practical and aesthetic.
  • Stained glass does not need to be protected from the elements. It will easily last 100 years without covering.
  • From a purely aesthetic point of view,  the two glass surfaces of insulated units create undesirable, reflective glare - obscuring the beauty, texture and detail of stained glass inside.
  • Most insulated glass warranties are only 10-20 years, some as short as 5 years. Insulated glass warranties rarely (if ever) cover the labour costs of replacement or risk of damage to the stained glass inside.
  • All insulated glass units have seals that will eventually fail. When that happens, interior glass surfaces fog and can't be cleaned. Your beautiful stained glass window is now trapped between two layers of fogged glass. Someone will have to remove the insulated unit, break it apart - hopefully without damaging your stained glass - then send the fragile stained glass panel to a factory to be re-glazed (entirely at your risk by the way), then return to your home to re-install the insulated-stained glass 'sandwich' unit. Sound like a bad idea? We certainly think so.
  • Leaded glass put inside insulated units can cause wide temperature variations within the unit, causing seal failure. Solar heat is absorbed by darker glass and lead, which damages lead by causing it to stretch, buckle and pull away from the glass sections.
  • Stained glass is not repairable once put inside an insulated glass unit. If a piece of glass spontaneously cracks in your stained glass window (not common, but not unheard of) it can't be repaired because it's trapped inside the insulated glass unit. Likewise, if the leaded glass buckles due to trapped heat, it's not repairable.
Here's a link to an informative, illustrated CBC article explaining thermal window seal failure