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A Christmas Tetraptych

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A beveled glass setting for an exquisite stained glass Nativity.

 
Four beveled-edge glass plates frame the Adoration of the Magi, a miniature of the Epiphany stained glass window, Cathedral of the Epiphany, Sioux City, Iowa.
 
This close-up detail shows how beautifully the beveled glass sets off the stained glass.
Judging from your email, The Christmas Lantern—has been well received, and it seems that Celso Rosa in Brazil is not alone looking for 3M transparency Film.

But what happens when the Christmas tree is put away? Wouldn't it be a shame not to still have the Christmas Lantern to brighten your day?

I started thinking about a setting for this exquisite Nativity scene that could be enjoyed all-year-round.

So I've been busy myself running around town in search of beveled glass. Thick plate glass, to be exact, beveled, and cut in the shape of a Gothic window that showcases four panels of the Epiphany stained glass window from the Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City, Iowa.

I love how the beveled glass of the Christmas Tetraptych (from the Greek for "four folds") refracts and reflects candlelight. And how wonderfully it highlights the the Adoration of the Magi printed on 3M transparency film.

Besides the familiar two panels used in the Christmas Lantern, the Christmas Tetraptych features additional panels set at a 135 degree angle.

This geometric stained glass is found on either side of the Adoration of the Magi in the Cathedral of the Epiphany, and they work well in this miniature.

A few drops of epoxy secure the four panels together, even though the plate glass is quite thick—it measures almost half-an-inch—and could stand on its own.

Besides the beveling, the two outside straight edges of the Adoration and the inside edges of each of the candle panels had to be mitered at about 67.5 degrees, although the exact size of this miter is a matter of personal taste.

Do you need thick plate glass? Beveled? Of course not. Even regular glass—cut in a Gothic window shape and with polished edges—would work just as well.

And it occurs to me that a stained glass shop just might be able to come up with an even better setting for you. One idea would be to set each transparency film between two identical glass panels, and have those panels joined with stained glass leading. Wouldn't that be a nice effect?

For a while now, I've been wanting to make these inspiring stained glass windows part of my life.

And now, with the Christmas Lantern and the Christmas Tetraptych they can also be part of yours.

—Alexis

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