Ochoa Stained Glass, Tucson, AZ, Custom Stained Glass Art and Restoration


Frequently Asked Questions

If you’ve been thinking about ordering a piece of custom stained glass art, kiln-formed glass art or a glass mosaic artwork, you likely have a few questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received over the more than 30 years we’ve been creating custom glass art. Also if you have a specific question that isn’t answered here or on our Commissions page, then be sure to contact us at stainedglass@ochoasg.com and we'll get back to you.

1. How long has Ochoa Stained Glass been in business?

Ochoa Stained Glass was established in 1975, and is one of the longest-running custom stained glass art businesses in Tucson, Arizona. For more information about the artisans of Ochoa Stained Glass go to About Us.

2. How can I tell good craftsmanship from bad in stained glass art?

Good craftsmanship is fairly easy to discern in stained glass. Ask yourself these questions.

  • Are the lead lines or solder seams even and consistent?
  • Is the design aesthetically pleasing?
  • Do the lead lines/solder seams interrupt the overall design
    or contribute to its aesthetic beauty?
  • Is the glass art piece structurally sound?
  • Are the solder joints clean and smooth?
  • Is the glass fitting proper—tight in its channeling?
  • Does the color/type of glass contribute to the overall
    aesthetic beauty of the artwork?
Good craftsmanship takes a combination of skill, artistry and technique. Skills are developed over time with experience. Artistry is expressed through the creativity of the artisans. And techniques are practiced and honed with commitment to detail and quality materials. At Ochoa Stained Glass our artisans have been commissioned to create thousands of custom glass art pieces since the business was first established in 1975. Stop by to see sample works in our studio and showroom or review our portfolio or go to the Gallery or Commissions page of this Web site.

3. How much will it cost me to have a custom piece of glass art made?

That depends on several factors. If you’re thinking about commissioning a piece of glass art, there are some things you need to know about the commission process, in order to fully understand how to select the best stained glass studio to create your custom artwork, and how to best estimate the overall cost of the project. Go to the Commissions page of this web site to find out more about our commission process.

In general, there are three basic components to the cost of a custom glass artwork:

  • Design—the cost for the artist’s time to render a full-scale design that is structurally sound for glass fabrication
  • Fabrication—Estimated on a cost per square foot basis to include the cost of labor and materials to build based on the complexity of the design and the type of glass and other materials selected (hand-rolled versus machine-made, lead versus brass or copper came, etc.).
  • Installation—the cost for labor and materials to prepare the space for the glass artwork, as well as to install the glass artwork once it is completed. 

4. Do you do repairs?

As a service to our customers, we repair and restore damaged and/or antique stained glass art works. Often a treasured stained glass piece, marred by glass breaks, can be restored to its original splendor by our skilled artisans. We approach each restoration with great care and regard for your prized possession. We recommend a restoration, whenever the piece of glass art has significant sentimental value in addition to the monetary investment. Sometimes, it is more economical to replace the art with a new piece. When we repair a damaged piece we have to take it apart before we can put it back together and this can be a very labor intense process. Let us consult with you on the nature of the repair and help you evaluate whether or not you want to invest in its restoration. Call us to discuss the nature of the repair, stop by with the item or send us an e-mail to stainedglass@ochoasg.com attaching a digital photo of the damage to your glass art piece so that we can better estimate the costs for repair.

5. What's the difference between a copper foil and leaded glass piece?

Copper Foil is a method used in building stained glass that evolved from techniques developed by Louis Comfort Tiffany just after the turn of the twentieth century. This method utilizes a copper tape with an adhesive backing that is applied to the edges of the glass pieces and soldered together to form the panel. A leaded glass piece is created using lead came, a piece of lead channel that is either shaped like a U or an H and holds the glass pieces together to form a panel.

6. How do you decide whether to build a stained glass panel using lead came, zinc, brass, copper or copper foil?

That depends on the design of your stained glass piece. If the design is complex, with lots of intricate details and curved shaped pieces, then copper foil is probably the best way to go. If you choose a design that is primarily geometric, with lots of straight lines and sharp edges then a metal came is ideal not only for its aesthetic beauty, but also for its structural advantages. The hard metal cames—zinc, brass and copper—are best used on larger geometric designs or in cabinets and doors. In every instance, aesthetic judgments must be made that will influence your decision on what materials to use.

7. Why use metal came?

Zinc, brass and copper can add a lot of aesthetic beauty to the overall design of a particular stained glass creation. But the most important reason for choosing a metal came is because of the structural support it provides on larger projects.

8. How should my stained glass artwork be installed?

There are many things that influence how a piece of stained glass art is to be installed in a particular space.

  • Do you want the piece to be permanently installed or do you plan to take the glass art with you when you leave your current residence or place of business?
  • Do you want to create total privacy in the space or do you want more light coming through?
  • Is the piece being installed in a fixed window or does the window need to open?

Once these questions have been answered effectively we can help you determine how to best install your stained glass. Just stop by, call or e-mail us and we can discuss your project with you. Or go to the Commissions page and review the Finishing/Installation section for more details.

9. What’s the best way to clean my stained glass?

We finish all our custom glass artworks with a glass wax known as “Kem-O-Pro Finishing Compound”, following the manufacturer’s directions. This is very similar to the carnoba wax used in automobile waxing in the past. It will make the glass sparkle and shine brilliantly, and create a protective coating over your glass art that will make regular dusting/clean-up a breeze. All you will need is a feather duster.

10. What is warm glass art?

Warm glass art refers to glass artwork that has been kiln-formed—either slumped, draped and/or fused. Slumped and draped glass has been reheated in a glass kiln to take a certain shape or form other than its original flat form. Fused glass involves reheating multiple layers of glass in a glass kiln to become one piece of glass. Warm glass art is often more durable than traditional stained glass artwork and therefore, is a great solution for outdoor art applications. We have created beautiful warm glass artworks for garden gates, poolside sculptures, landscape walls and more. Consult with our artisans on how a piece of warm glass art can add to the beauty of your outdoor living space or how warm glass can be incorporated into your stained glass artwork to add depth and dimension to your custom glass artwork for your indoor living space or workspace.

11. When should I consider a glass mosaic artwork?

Glass mosaics are developed in the tradition of the original mosaic art forms, developed in Mesopotamian times, utilizing smaller pieces to create the shapes and blocks of color that make up the finished artwork. If you like a more hand-made, primitive, folk-art style, glass mosaics is a great approach. Using glass tiles instead of the traditional ceramic, stone or other materials you can choose from thousands of colors and textures to create a beautiful artwork that can be used indoors or outdoors.

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Ochoa Stained Glass
3920 East Fort Lowell
Tucson, Arizona 85712 

(520) 325-8791 

© Copyright 2003-2008 Ochoa Stained Glass, Tucson, AZ
Custom Stained Glass Art Creation and Restoration. Established 1975.