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.

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