A local church is fortunate enough to have the fifth largest collection of Tiffany glass in the world. The church displays 108 Tiffany windows — and inexplicably, one that isn’t by the master.

The windows are stunning and provide a level of detail that is so unusual in glass: reflections in water, shadows, multiple dimensions, folds in garments, and waves in water. It only requires looking at a Tiffany and the non-Tiffany side-by-side to instantly appreciate the difference.

One of the keys to Tiffany’s success was his layering of the glass. You can see sections with up to seven panes that were fused together to create the desired effect, while others attempted to create their look using only single pieces. Layering requires significant extra work, but it is impossible to create texture and depth without it.

I think everyone’s projects could benefit from layering. If you just use the equivalent of one panel of glass it can be good, but adding in multiple dimensions will only enhance the final project. For example, writing a plain report may suffice, but adding in design, graphics, and hyperlinks may make the report more persuasive. Teaching a class by reading PowerPoint is equivalent to one layer while adding interactive activities, visuals, and materials can layer in learning.

Think about layering on your next project that matters. Distinctiveness can come in stages rather than all at once.

Note the difference in dimension and detail with Tiffany’s window (L)

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: