Prices: Ruplinger Glass Art
The term “stained glass” includes several varieties of glass art. The varieties vary from traditional multi-piece colored glass with lead joints to solid laminations called “cast glass”. Cast glass can be several inches thick. Its brilliant colors are incredibly beautiful.
It is important to choose a glass artisan who’s style appeals to you. Like any piece of fine art it will be cherished forever. Long after your home or edifice is gone, the glass art will likely be hanging in a museum.
If you see a design in our gallery that especially appeals to you, we can fabricate a similar design to fit the exact dimensions of your window. Or better yet, we can create something entirely suited to your interests. We welcome unique inquiries.
Prices vary by size, technique and the quantity of pieces of glass. For example a large window with relatively few large pieces of glass can cost significantly less than a smaller window with numerous pieces. An impressive new technique fuses glass segments in a kiln at 1,450 degrees. This technique is called “fused” or “cast” glass. It is less labor intensive and cost less than traditional assembly with lead. Cast glass makes incredibly beautiful wall dividers, stair treads, and monument style sculpture.
For private residences, we begin by meeting with clients to learn what their interests are, the architecture of their home, budget, and orientation to the sun. We follow-up with one or more watercolor renderings for approval. Planning, design and artwork often requires more time than the actual fabrication. For private residences, this preliminary service is often free.
For commercial and public edifices, we begin by evaluating the budget and time frame. Subsequent meetings are held with city planners, architects, designers, art committees, and possibly anthropologists. The minimum charge is twelve hundred dollars.
Transoms are a handsome embellishment to any door. They vary in price depending primarily on how any pieces of glass they contain. For example, the fused glass transom below could be prepared for $300.00. It is 9″ x 34″. A similar design but with fewer pieces could be prepared for $150.00
The lavender transom above is hand painted and kiln fired glass. Its value is $280.00.
The elegant transom above has over one hundred and thirty pieces of glass. It is labor intensive. The pink lilies are made with a special hand textured glass. Its value is $1,200.00. It is 8″ x 34″.
Like Transoms, windows vary depending primarily on how many pieces of stained glass they contain. Other factors include special techniques such as painting, and fusing. Painting is accomplished with extremely fine powered colored glass mixed with water. Each piece is then fired at 1,250 degrees, sometimes numerous times. The brilliant result will last for centuries. Fused glass is the process of melting two or more layers of glass together in a kiln at 1,450 to 1,500 degrees.
This award winning glass painting, by Peter Ruplinger is 32″ in diameter. Its value is $1,600.00
The window above is 28″ x 34″ and has close to eighty pieces of glass. A similar window would be priced at $1,900.00 It is of interest to note how orientation to the sun can dramatically change the color of stained glass. The stained glass above appears totally green when the sun is not shining on it.
The Nautilus has only 26 pieces of glass. It is, however an exceptionally appealing design. Without the frame it is $900.00. The type of glass used in this design is called “water glass”. It is unfortunately no longer made. We have, however, enough inventory to make one more similar piece.
Portraits in Glass require unique skills and numerous fired coats of enamel. This award winning icon, by Peter Ruplinger, with a hand made and embellished frame (not shown), is valued at $5,800.00.
Entries, Room dividers and Panels
Entries, room dividers and panels vary in price depending on square footage, pieces of glass, and technique.
Tasteful and well made stained glass is available at any establishment that sells doors and windows. This glass is usually made in China, or in the U.S., with the aid of water-jet robotics. There is nothing wrong with purchasing commercially fabricated stained glass. It is similar to buying a print of a painting rather than an original. Unlike commercially available glass, however, custom made stained glass is art. It will be prized forever. Long after you and your home are gone, your custom stained glass art will be hanging somewhere, perhaps in a museum.
The Entry below, by Peter Ruplinger, has over nine hundred pieces of glass. The sky, water, and distant shore are painted and kiln fired as many as four times. The plant leaves and flowers are kiln fused at 1,450 degrees, from as many as four layers of glass. The tree leaves are double pained to give a three dimensional illusion. The rocks, tree trunk and branches are made from specially blended glass. Its replacement value is $80,000.00.
Decorative Glass Costs
As with many aspects of construction, the materials may be a minor portion of the cost. The costs for decorative glass vary considerably from project to project, but it’s not unusual for the design and artwork to be more time consuming than fabrication. In recent years contingency has also been high. This is due in part to arbitrary, ill-advised, untimely and unpredictable restrictions and fees placed on glass manufacturers by the EPA and state agencies. Without prior notice, material costs for some glass has doubled, or the glass has become unavailable. In 2017 the nation’s two largest stained glass producer, Spectrum Glass and Uroboros Glass, were forced to change ownership and move operations to Mexico. For this reason some artisans prefer to quote projects on a cost-plus basis. In some instances, cost-plus quotations may reduce costs, and provide better protection for both parties.
How to choose a decorative glass artisan
A client who is searching for attractive glass, but is not looking for an artistic creation, can find well fabricated and handsome stained glass at any establishment selling windows or doors. Commercial stained glass is usually fabricated in China, or in the United States with the aid of water jets and robotics. There is nothing wrong with factory assembled stained glass.
Unlike factory assembled glass, decorative glass designed and fabricated by an artist will never be discarded. It will last for centuries. Long after the edifice is gone, the art will remain on display, very likely in a museum.
A client searching for unique glass art to adorn their home or edifice should begin by finding an artisan who’s style they admire, and who’s work is within their budget. It is prudent to obtain references to insure the studio is reliable. Once the artisan has been chosen and the design has begun, it’s inappropriate to shop for a lower price. A reliable artisan may ask for a small up-front deposit, perhaps twenty-percent. If it’s a large project, they may ask for minor additional funding as the project proceeds. Final payment should not be requested until the project is completed and installed. Most studios can provide bonding on major projects.