Monday, July 14, 2014

Another creative outlet!

Twenty-something years ago I was introduced to the art of stained glass making.  My first piece was an iris that I made for my mom.  She still has it, and it still hangs in her house.

Weeks ago I found out about a "glass camp" that was being held, for two weeks, so I said why not!  I didn't realize at the time that it was a stained glass camp and imagine my joy when I found that there is a local studio that teaches this wonderful art!!! During the first class we were given clear glass to practice cutting techniques on, then we could choose from three small and easy projects before being "cleared" to start on something else.  So I chose the frog, and got him completed in the first day!!  All of the techniques came back to me so quickly!

When I got home from the first class I popped onto Pinterest to research more projects to do, small ones of course. Some day, I will tackle some larger projects, and have already had an offer to commission three pieces for a house!  And of course I want to do some window panels for my own house.  For now I'm going to focus on some smaller sun-catcher projects that I can use as gifts, the first is being made for my husband!

With any project, it is easiest to number your pattern directly on the paper so you have a reference.  You will also mark the pieces with the same number so you can keep track of everything.

The cutting process requires a lot of patience, a LOT, because I broke more pieces to begin with than I kept....

I finally figured out what my "problem" was, I was afraid of getting cut, glass is very sharp (duh!) so I put gloves on and was able to keep my pieces from breaking in the wrong place! After the pieces are cut I placed the pieces on the pattern and taped them together, it's always a good idea to do this because it makes storing them between classes so much easier!

Of course I did the heart shape last, not recommended, but it worked out.

I just had to do a LOT of grinding.

Doing glass art is a lot about compromises.  I am relatively new to this art, I know my final project will NOT match my pattern, and I just have to be OK with that, as long as the final project looks good!

All fitted                                            Cleaned and together                                  Starting the foil process
Adding the copper foil was the "easy" part, but it was also the part where I cut myself...of course!
After the taping is done it's time to get the pieces back together, add the flux and solder the pieces together, starting with tacking the corners.

After everything is in the correct spot and you are happy with your piece it is time to finish soldering the piece!

Once the first side is done allow it to cool then flip it over to do the second side.

I decided that I wanted to make the piece stronger so I stretched some lead rail and pieced that over the outside, I did end up removing a lot of the copper foil from the outside edges.
My instructor showing me how to
use the lead rail

Then you add any details that you want to finish the piece, by tinning copper wire then soldering it in place.