Elevate Your Solid Wood Entry Door with Custom Glasswork

September 23, 2021

Custom-made solid wood interior and exterior doors make a beautiful lasting impression. When you choose to have a door made by hand, you are effectively creating a work of art—one that reflects your individual style and taste.

At Madawaska Door & Trim, no two doors are the same. Master craftspeople take your ideas and build the solid wood door of your dreams. 

Integrate fine hand-crafted decorative glass into your design, and you’ve added a personal, creative element that beautifully expresses the character of your home.

We recently spoke to artisan Anna Draper, who has spent the last 20 years creating custom glasswork in Madawaska’s studio. She barely considers her job work; it is a genuine labour of love.

She walked us through how high-end glasswork designs come to life at Madawaska and described many of the distinctive options available to customers. She also shared some of her favourite projects with us.

Decorative Glass Designs: From Idea to Masterpiece

Decorative Glass Designs: From Idea to Masterpiece

Although some clients come to Madawaska with a specific vision in mind or a picture to replicate, Anna explains that many customers need advice. “We are happy to guide them along the way,” she says. This might involve discussing how to match their existing interior design style or looking at online photos together to develop a plan.

Everyone, from homeowners to churches and businesses, is looking for something unique. “They want it to be different than everyone else’s,” Anna notes. Fortunately, this is exactly where Madawaska shines; each custom wood entry door is truly one-of-a-kind.

The next step involves translating the idea into a design. Anna draws out where each piece of cut glass will ultimately go and identifies where to place the caming. (“Came” is the metal used to hold pieces of glass together.) This can be a tricky process as glass is so fragile. In fact, it creates some design limitations. Anna conveyed that you can only cut glass a certain way or “it will break right through.” 

From here, the perfect glass options are chosen for the project.

Endless Glass Options for Your Unique Door

Colour and texture choices dominate the decision-making process. There are literally hundreds of options to choose from. Madawaska carries many selections and can source anything that isn’t already in stock.

Anna shared that clear textured glass is very popular because it offers the benefits of natural light combined with a level of desired privacy. You can choose from glass with whimsical names such as chinchilla, glue chip, acid-etched, pinhead, and more. Each features a distinct decorative pattern within clear glass.

Endless Glass Options for Your Unique Door

Glass colour ranges from opaque to translucent, with or without swirls or textures. “Choosing many different shades and textures will help with the depth of the picture,” says Anna. She favours swirling baroque glass that gives incredible dimension to landscapes, grass, trees, and mountains. Madawaska also works with (and customizes) bevelled glass kits.

Colour choices extend to the caming. Lead, brass, copper, or zinc are used to join together the glass sections and frame the piece. Lead is typically the easiest to bend and thus is commonly used for intricate projects. It can also be treated to have a black patina; a finish Anna consistently receives requests for.

Lastly, the thickness of the glass itself is also something to consider. Typically, Madawaska works with 3mm glass because it fits well into the caming. However, stained glass can also be “triple insulated” and encased between two tempered glass pieces. All three layers are bonded together with a strip of metal, resulting in a thicker, stronger pane that keeps the heat in and the cold out.

Old World Artisanship

Inspirational Glasswork Projects

Once a client approves the final design, the Madawaska crew sets to work—the old-fashioned way. 

Every solid wood door is proudly made by hand, with careful attention paid to the smallest details. Each artisan is committed to creating a premium product that brings a customer’s vision to life. This craftsmanship takes time, but it is well worth the wait and adds value to your home.

Anna was bursting with pride as she described being an integral part of the process. “It’s amazing seeing lumber come out of the shed as raw material and personally helping transform it into a beautiful door. It is really something special,” she said. She also enjoys working directly with customers. When requested, she shares pictures and project updates with clients. 

Inspirational Glasswork Projects

Enhance Your Entryway with Custom Glasswork by Madawaska

It was difficult for Anna to narrow down her favourite projects. She loves them all, from a gorgeous peacock to a fun Pittsburgh Steelers design.

She is clearly drawn to nature, though, and spoke highly of elaborate flowers, an elegant heron and a three-panelled piece featuring a bald eagle, bears, and a fox.

Recently, a lighthouse project kept her very busy. Anna was looking to make a statement piece that would showcase a beautiful bevelled-glass lighthouse. She carefully drew out the water, a sailboat, some clouds, and rolling hills. She shared that “the blue and green hues I planned to use were beautiful, but I wanted to add some colour that would really pop.” So, in order to breathe life into the image, she placed reddish-orange poppies with bright yellow centers in the corner. “Everyone loved the piece. It brightened up the room immediately.”

To see other examples and get inspired, visit Madawaska’s custom glass design gallery.

Enhance Your Entryway with Custom Glasswork by Madawaska

Madawaska creates custom solid wood doors that enhance any home or business. With Canadian roots dating back to 1947, we proudly hand-craft our doors in Barry’s Bay, Ontario, and ship them worldwide.

Contact us to discuss your next custom wood door project. The team at Madawaska can’t wait to work with you!

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