Frequently Asked Questions

How do different types of glass get their color? 
Colored glass is made by blending in minerals when the glass is molten. Cobalt makes blue glass, while gold is used to make rose, pink and red-colored glass.

Do you use machines to design or make your stained-glass windows?
People are surprised to learn that my stained glass is all hand-crafted. There are no machines. I draw by hand, not on a computer. We cut the glass by hand and put it together by hand. It’s a totally and completely hand-made product.

Where is your glass made?
Stained glass originated in the Middle East and Europe. However, most of the glass I use is made in the United States, because of the wonderful legacy left behind by people like Louis Comfort Tiffany, who actually orchestrated the manufacturing processes of glass. We refined a lot of the processes here, especially for opalescent glass, that has the milky look that you seen in churches.

How long will it take to design and build a window?
The time it takes to design and build a stained-glass window depends upon the complexity of design, and how many commissions are on the calendar at the time. I stay pretty busy with the amount of building done in Houston. There are slow times. It’s best to plan in advance because it’s difficult to whip something together in three weeks.

How much do Farrell Art Glass windows cost?
Typically a stained glass window costs between $200 and $450 per square foot. It depends on the complexity of the design and the types of glass used. Hand-blown glass costs quite a bit more. Though, if people bring a budget to me, I can work with them most of the time.

What are some of your favorite types of glass?
Beveled glass is thicker, and has actually been ground down like a diamond in different layers to polish it. I love beveled glass even though it’s almost colorless. It refracts the light so you get a prismatic effect with it, and it’s beautiful in certain applications. I use jeweled glass in as many applications as I can. They come in all shapes and colors and I think they are so beautiful.

Do you ever create stained glass windows that don’t have many colors?
I like using different textures, bevels and jewels to get almost the same feeling of different colors even if you aren’t using colored glass. A lot of people are afraid to use colors so they use textured glass. Truthfully, color doesn’t always have its place. Sometimes it’s nice to use something that’s not colored.

What are the greatest influences on your work?
I tend to like the Prairie Style designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, but I also like the Victorian use of many different colors. Frank Lloyd Wright didn’t use as many colors, but I do like the aesthetics of Wright’s geometric designs because I find them to be kind of masculine. They are seemingly simplistic, but they aren’t the easiest to do because they are so mathematical. When you go to the Victorian designs, there are lots of flourishes and it’s more organic, but the design work is easier.

Where do you draw your inspiration?
I’m inspired by nature and flowers especially. I’ve seen how diverse and intricate they are. Plants themselves come in so many different greens. To me, being out in nature is a Zen experience, and it makes me comfortable and happy.