Sunday, February 11, 2007

Stained Glass Work Shop!

Create a pattern, sharp curves should be avoided for beginners unless you have a glass saw. A few copies are necessary to lay out on and to work from. A firm strong paper is advised.Cut your pattern out with pattern shears as they allow space for copper foil and lead. Make sure you number your pieces and add color and direction lines.Transfer your pattern onto clean glass by either tracing around it or glueing it to the glass so that you can cut out each piece.Wearing googles, hold the cutter as in the photo above, without pressing but allowing the weight of your arm to rest on the glass. You want to position your body that you can see your lines and have free motion in your cut. It is very important to never go over your line twice, but to bring the cutter towards you in one motion. You should hear your cutter sing on the glass. As soon as your score line is completed, place your thumbs up on either side of the line, not allowing the glass to contact the web of your hand and press out and down.Place your cut piece on your pattern and continue until all pieces are cut.Fill your grinder with water as directed on grinder and clean all edges, making sure that your glass is cut to pattern for neat and thin soldering lines. Dry and place back on your pattern.Foiling needs to be very neat, place the foil evenly on the glass and overlap about a 1/4 of an inch. You want overlapped edges towards the center of the piece and not on an outside edge. Roll the foil onto the glass so that there are no wrinkles and it adheres well to the glass.With horseshoe nails or a straight edge, make sure your glass pieces are tacked into a tight position on your layout pattern so that they don't move during the soldering process.Flux the copper foil and tack your glass pieces together, turn and do the same on the other side. When completed go over your soldering again to form a bead, build strength and remove any air bubbles. Do the same on the front. Add a strong bead along the outside edge for strength. You can put a brass edge on the finished piece, u came or leave it as is. If it requires more strength, a frame will work also.Clean your glass art work with a neutralizing agent, brass wire cloth and dish detergent.You can then place a copper or black patina on your lead lines and rewash in order to insure continuity of color as lead oxidizes. A glass wax and buffing minimizes oxidation.Good luck, if you need help, feel free to contact me through my email on ebay.

Thought it might be nice to post a few pictures of me and my studio.

The self -representing art category on eBay is comprised of many very talented and creative artists, but more importantly, most are lovely people also. Many have been educated in the arts, some are self taught and some are quite famous, all are passionate. There are many art groups for support, marketing and socializing, where many of us go to chat. Without the support of my fellow artists, I don't know if I would still be doing my glass which I love deeply but cyber space can get lonely and can be very frustrating. As a crafts person many times over the years I have found fine artists to be very snobby about showing with them but that's never been the case on eBay, where everyone seems to pull for one another. I've grown to love the eBay community and so it is with great pride, humility and joy that I have been awarded the Artist's Choice Awards in the Pottery&Glass and the Sculpture categories. I thank each and everyone for their nominations and for their votes, it's a real honor to be considered one of them, but mostly I thank them for being there over the years. Their friendship has meant the world to me.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I hope it's just the cold weather causing me to want to hibernate, but lately I 've been selling quite a lot and yet I've been very uninspired to produce any art work. I recently completed the window below. It was very challenging and enjoyable but I was distracted over the holidays with family obligations and lost momentum. The piece sat too long and getting back to it was difficult. Once I disciplined myself to complete it I was really happy but I came to a screeching halt in wanting to begin a new piece. It's very much like beginning a new book for me, it starts out slowly and is difficult to get to the meat of it, causing me to put it down, lose my place and usually having to start over. Once I'm captivated by it though, I can't do anything else until I finish it. Then a sadness seeps in because it's completed.
I have a few days now with time I've set aside to just replace the items I'm short of as staples in my store, once that's done I'm hoping to find the desire to be creative once again.