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What are the Different Types of Stained Glass Mirrors?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2016
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The different types of stained glass mirrors include those that are usable as well as those that are purely decorative. In addition to large and small stained glass mirror sizes, there are also styles that involve multiple mirrors. The different shapes of stained glass mirrors include rectangular, arched and round. While some stained glass mirrors have all straight or curved lines, others feature a combination. Most stained glass mirror designs have a border; this varies in width and uniformity.

For example, a large figure, such as an animal or flower, may appear within an otherwise straight, narrow border on a stained glass mirror. This figure is then both a part of the border and at least some of the main, center area in these types of stained glass mirrors. Typically, there are also some smaller stained glass shapes to fill in some of the remaining center area of the mirror.

In stained glass pieces meant to include a usable mirror, the entire center section is left plain. The focus on this type of stained glass mirror is on the border, which is typically highly detailed and wide. Usable stained glass mirrors may be small, as in one meant to hang in a hallway for a quick hair or makeup check or large such as the kind to place above a sofa as both a decorative and reflective accent piece.

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For pieces that have the mirror as a background for an overall design of stained glass, the effect is purely artwork. The amount of mirror left showing is usually very small. It acts to bring brightness and a contrasting look to the colors of stained glass used. When groups of smaller mirrors, each with some stained glass work, are used in one piece, this contrasting quality can be especially dramatic. The stained glass mirrors may be glued together to create a sculpture-like, layered look.

A stained glass mirror may have mostly straight or mainly curved lines depending on its overall style. Victorian stained glass pieces are especially noted for their elaborate, curved floral effects. Other kinds of stained glass mirrors look almost like tiles in that they feature rectangular colored squares and other straight-edged shapes. Another distinction between stained glass mirror types is that while many use jewel colored sections, others have pastel, more opaque, pieces.

All of the different styles of stained glass mirrors are made in a variety of shapes. Rectangular mirror shapes are especially common, but round and partially round mirrors are also popularly produced. Partially round mirrors have an arched top on an otherwise rectangular shape; this upper section typically features the main stained glass work, while the rest tends to have a decorative border.

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