Glass-on-glass mosaic: Earth, Wind and Fire

Earth, Wind and Fire

Earth, Wind and Fire

Earth, Wind and Fire

Yesterday, I took my second glass-on-glass workshop and loved every minute of it. After signing up for it last fall, I spent the next few months researching ideas on Pinterest, hoping to find a project idea that would excite me. No luck.

The day of the workshop came and, I still wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I just knew I couldn’t start a project that wasn’t fueled by passion. And then, inspiration came to me: this mosaic would symbolize the way I feel about life, and I would call it Earth, wind and fire. Earth, because we need to be grounded and create a solid foundation on which to build our lives; wind, because we need to be able to bend with the twists and turns of life; fire, because we must find and follow our passions.

Earth, Wind and Fire, being only my second attempt at glass-on-glass mosaic, leaves much to be desired from a technical point of view. That said, I gave myself the freedom to run with my inspiration, no inhibitions, no rules, no boundaries, no one to please but myself. I’m already looking forward to my next mosaic adventure. Please note that the the photo above was taken immediately after I finished it; it was too soon to stand it up, so we laid it on a big white sheet of paper on the work table. It looks so much better with the sunlight streaming through it.

Here are a few random photos of the project bits and pieces…

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With my vintage window already chosen, I then picked out my glass–one sheet for each of the three elements: earth, wind and fire.

 

 

 

 

 

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Then, I selected some glass baubles that would work with the wind and earth elements of my design. In the end, I didn’t use them all, but it’s always good to have more than you need.

 

 

 

 

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Finally, down to business. Naturally, I started with the earth section, the foundation on which to build my inspiration.

I hope this inspires you to throw caution to the wind and uncage your creativity.

Thanks, so much, for dropping by. I hope you will stop in again soon!

My first stained glass pieces!

Another check off my bucket list!

I have wanted to try making a stained glass piece since the early 1970’s…yikes, that’s well over 40 years ago! Well, I finally did it.2015-11-11 14.46.35

Stained glass looks so easy to do. It’s not. You find this out the first time you try to cut a circle or some irregular shape out of a piece of glass that just wants to crack in a straight line. I pretty much hated the first two classes and vowed that once I had2015-11-11 14.55.59 finished my projects I would never ever make another stained glass piece. That was before I saw my finished creations–the pears and the apple.

There are so many steps in the process, which goes like this:

  1. Number your paper pattern pieces.

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    The piece are all cut out and I’ve laid them back on the paper pattern for one final check. Notice that each piece of glass is numbered the same as on the pattern. As my very first attempt at cutting glass, a trained eye can see that it’s not perfect, but the solder covered a lot of mistakes!

  2. Lay each piece of glass on the paper pattern and trace the shapes–yellow glass for the pears, two shades of green glass for the leaves, clear textured glass for the background parts. A light table comes in very handy when using a very dark glass that you can’t see through, such as the brown that I used for the branches. Number each piece of glass to match the paper pattern.
  3. Once your pieces are all cut out (which usually takes more than one attempt), lay them back on your paper pattern to see what needs to be tweaked to fit properly into the overall pattern. If there is just a small bit a tweaking required, it can be done on the
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    The grinding wheel. The basin under the grid is filled to the top with water. A small spunge that is wedged in behind the grinding wheel, soaks up water and, in turn, keeps the grinding wheel wet. It cools the glass and keeps it from cracking.

    grinding wheel.

  4. Even pieces that don’t require tweaking must still be run over the grinding wheel to “rough up” the edges so the foil will adhere securely.
  5. Once all of your pieces fit nicely together and the edges are all smooth, its time to apply the foil to the edges. The foil comes on a roll and it’s a mere 7/32 of an inch wide, which makes it a bit finicky to put on, but you just have to be patient and go slowly.
  6. With all of the pieces foiled, it’s now time to solder…another process that gets easier with practice.
  7. Because my pears and apple creations were irregularly shaped, I used bendable lead “caming” (not “caning”) around the outside edge. The caming must first be stretched and then molded to the outer edge of the piece. It must also be soldered on.
  8. Next, because I wanted my solder lines to be black, I pour liquid patina over the whole piece and rub it into the solder solder lines and on the caming. Instant black! And, wow, do the colours ever pop, then! Ideally, you should let the patina sit for 24 hours before polishing your stained glass creation. The polish really gives it a shine and is worth the time and effort that goes into it.
  9. And now, we’re almost done. Two little rings are attached to the edges of your piece–you will attach the chain for hanging to them. But, first, these little rings must “tinned,” which means you add a layer of solder to them and then you’re ready to solder them onto your stained glass masterpiece.
  10. Add a chain.
  11. Hang in a sunny window and admire!

My next foray into the world of glass art will be taking place in December, when I take my first “mosaic on glass” class. It’s a one-day workshop in which I will create a glass mosaic pattern on an old window. Can’t wait. I’ll post photos!

Thanks, so  much, for dropping by. Please stop in again, soon.

Express yourself through arts and crafts.
There’s no right or wrong, it’s just whatever you feel like doing.