San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Stained Glass Brings Color, Elegance Into Homes

From lamps to doors to skylights, stained glass is an elegant and colorful way to decorate your home. Several workshops in Costa Rica have artisans who consult with their customers to design stained glass pieces that fit their home decorating needs.

Art Glass (2268-3158), a workshop in Heredia, north of San José, specializes in sandblasted glass as well as something close to the grisaille technique, which involves baking stained glass and then scratching away at it to reveal different colors, though Art Glass also uses paint. Husband and wife team José Herrera and Lisa Kallor say they mostly make doors and windows for their clients, varying the style according to the customer’s preference.

Herrera estimates that their work sells from about $500 per square meter, but varies depending on the complexity of the design.

At Las Artes del Fuego (2224-1589) workshop in the southeastern district of Zapote, Claudio Dueñas and his assistants have been designing stained glass for homes since 1978. Dueñas sometimes works directly with architects or decorators to incorporate his pieces, which often focus on nature scenes, into homes as they’re being built.

Dueñas often uses the grisaille technique in his works and also designs beveled glass for doors and windows. The beveled glass is his best seller, he says.

“Normally people want a stained glass piece that’s a complement to their home more than a piece of art,” Dueñas says. His prices start at $300 for a glassdecorated door.

Sylvia Laks’ Studio (2267-6350, in the mountain town of San Rafael de Heredia features glass works that display Laks’ mastery of the grisaille technique, as well as those of her assistants.

Ruth Hidalgo, one of the artisans who work with Laks, says she thinks skylights are one of the best ways to use stained glass to illuminate a home. Flor Gutiérrez, another of the studio’s artists, says she is just beginning to put her work on sale, and sells her windows for about $700.

All three of the artists’ works are on display through tomorrow at the Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center in the eastern neighborhood of Barrio Dent.


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