A suncatcher, also called a light-catcher, is a stained glass piece of artwork that is hung in or near a window so that it catches the available light from outside. Created to be an optical pleasantry, suncatchers are often small, vary in shape, and the designs range from abstract patterns to depictions of nature, such as flowers or birds. They are usually very colorful with at least three or four varying colors incorporated into the design. Suncatchers usually have some hanging mechanism that may be a simple hook or a small chain.
Though suncatchers are generally thought of as a piece of stained glass artwork, many are not made of stained glass but rather plastic or thin, painted glass. Both glass and plastic suncatchers are available mass produced and handcrafted. Many stained glass artisans assemble intricate suncatchers in various sizes from small, round window decorations to large panels designed to be hung from the ceiling. Suncatcher craft kits are very popular, especially for children, and are generally not made of stained glass but rather plastic that can be painted with a special transparent paint.
Mass produced suncatchers are also popular and are often found incorporated into other objects. A suncatcher may be incorporated into both indoor and outdoor decorative accessories including candles, wind chimes and various garden decorations. The appeal of any suncatcher is its transparent colors that become visually appealing when light shines through.
When hanging a suncatcher in a window, keep in mind the weight of the object. Those that are constructed of genuine stained glass will weigh much more than those made of plastic or even painted glass. Securing a stained glass suncatcher to a window with only a suction cup may not be enough to support its weight and could thus result in breaking. When placing a stained glass suncatcher in a window, it should be secured by a hook attached securely to the top of the window frame.
Lighter weight and plastic suncatchers can be hung safely in a window from a suction cup. Larger sized suncatchers can be hung indoors from the ceiling above a half wall or divider or from the interior edge of a bay window. As long as a suncatcher is able to catch incoming light, they can add visual appeal to most any area.