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.

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