Ordering Custom Windows

My studio specializes in custom work, and a good designer tends to make (or break... pun intended) a stained glass piece, since stained glass is both an art and a craft. The art of stained glass is in the layout of the design, and the choice of glass color, pattern, and texture. The craft is in the technical know-how of cutting the glass and assembling the finished piece from hundreds of components much like a carpenter building a house. The finished piece is both a piece of art and a carefully crafted structure.

Butterfly and Vine Window Sketch
Butterfly and Vine Window

New Window Designs

I stand by the principle of "If I can draw it, I can make it in stained glass for you!" What that means to you: My experience with etching, fusing, traditional glass painting, and 25+ years with a glass cutter in my hands culminate in window designs that are unique to the point of instant recognition by people that know my work. How does you get involved in this process? Well, any observable direction you can provide is useful. One client explained that his father had always had blue hydrangeas in their garden, and this was a great help in designing a gift panel for his parents. I'm also communicative about the design process, and not only send progress photos, but I also check in during the design process and glass selection process.

Stained Glass Hydrangea Window

Placing a Commission

Initially, we discuss what subject or color palette you'd like. Then, I can (for an additional fee) provide full color photo-realistic mock-ups of what the finished piece should look like for each design I present. In fact, the sun spiral design located below is an example of my mock-up procedure, as the window never advanced beyond the design stage.

Last but not least, you get my studio's guarantee: I will never reproduce the exact same window for someone else without your written permission.


New windows measuring more than 4 square feet or repair jobs are generally limited at this time to within 100 miles from Dayton, Ohio (unless you can pick up your window). If you are outside of my work radius, please do not hesitate to call anyway. The stained glass community is rather small and I may be able to recommend a qualified studio near you.


I charge a per square foot price for each new window, which is based on the size, intricacy, and materials used in a piece.

  • Photo-realistic design mock-up $75-100 each

Fabrication of:

  • Simple designs $150-200 per square foot
  • Moderately complex designs $200 to $300 per square foot
  • Complex designs $300 or higher per square foot

Simple designs consist of basic geometric shapes, with no lettering or painted imagery. And example would be a diamond pane window, with no other shapes involved.

Fleur De Lis Window

Moderately complex designs consist of basic shapes interspersed with organic shapes. They may contain a small amount of painted imagery.

Moderately Complex Dragon Window Design

Complex designs consist of mostly organic shapes and intricately detailed designs, or may have lots of painted imagery. Certain colors of glass are more expensive than others. Bright pinks are the most expensive due to the use of gold in the glassmaking process. Other colors vary in cost, but generally a window with mostly hot or colors (red, orange, yellow, & pink) will cost you more than a window with mostly cool colors (green, blue, purple, grey, white). Additional treatments such as glass painting, etching, sandblasting, multi-layering glass, unusual bevels, glass gems, and hand-blown glass are also available and typically affect the cost of the final piece.

Ganesh window with handpainted henna design and rainbow border


Restoration and Repair

There are no set costs for restoration or repair work, as it's kind of a unique thing that depends on a huge number of factors that are assessed when I take a look at an older window. More information on that topic is located here.

Terms of Payment

I typically require at least a 25% non-refundable deposit with the remaining balance due prior to installation. Installment payments are accepted on larger windows or projects. I am, after all, a very small business, and have regular bills to pay just like everyone else.

Time Frame

I'm a one-person shop, so not every commission can be started on the day it is ordered. Wait times vary depending on my schedule and the number of custom jobs on my studio roster. I generally send status reports including estimated time of completion as well as progress photographs of any job larger than a square foot.

Ready To Book A Commission?

Email me at MSotherdenArtGlass@gmail.com or call me 724.452.7932.