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Bob Hook

The Gothic style and especially the High Gothic style opened up the walls of the churches with pointed arches continuing to the Groin Vault and ribs of the ceiling. The addition of flying buttresses did away with the need for interior columns to support the load of the roof. The roof load could be transferred to the outer walls creating a more open area with higher interior ceilings. This architectural advancement allowed for the exterior to appear less like a fortification and more transparent. Walls could be opened, and the spires could take on a structure that seems to be pierced with light traveling through it. The first glass used was called grisaille and was produced in varying shades of gray. There is an excellent example of grisaille in the original glass of the Salisbury Cathedral. Glass from the Victorian era was added later, and it is then that you begin to see not only the brilliant outlines and bright colors but the introduction of religious themes. It is interesting to note that as architectural and artisan techniques were developed they were quickly adopted by the church to convey their message to the people.