A love affair with grisaille

I’m obsessed with impossibly beautiful antique grisaille work and am drawn more than ever to really learn the craft.  Grisaille – pronounced “Grizz-Eye” is an ancient method of layering on glass paints (in between firings) to achieve a 3-dimensional look, usually in monochrome.  The problem with learning this is (1) there are no living mentors for this craft and style, at least not in the U.S.; (2) the techniques are really difficult to track down; and (3) the expense of kiln firing ($25/firing at the local glass shop) make it a little cost-prohibitive.  kiln, Santa?

Grisaille panel from Altenberger Abbey, Odenthal, Germany

I’ve found a couple good sources to start.  The informative but horribly-designed website of William & Byrne has been a great resource for techniques, troubleshooting, and just plain blather.  I’ve also come across some great DVD instructional videos by Hood River resident Peter McGrain, which is a lucky local find. He offers week-long intensive instruction on stained glass painting, so I’ve made the decision to take the course next Summer. Until then, I’ve gathered lots of educational materials (e-books, DVDs) and the supplies I need to start, but in true “Lisa” fashion, I have yet to begin.  Now’s the time. I really can’t wait!


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