Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Clear Stained Glass and Bevel Bath Window

Sometimes the simplest designs and choice for glass make for the prettiest windows.  Here's an example of a recent bath window we created.

My customer needed inspiration for a design, so I brought her several pattern books from my extensive library.  This is the one which caught her eye.  It features clear textured glass, rectangular bevels, and a central bevel cluster.  This was a good starting point. Her window is 19" wide by 54" high.

There are hundreds of bevel clusters available from several companies.  I chose a variety of them for her to consider, and here was the winner.   This bevel cluster has 13 pieces and measures 9-7/8" wide by 18.35" tall.

 Here is my computer rendition, scaled to fit her window.  For the outer border we decided on clear swirly Baroque glass.  Inside that border is a box of 3/4" bevels.  Then for the larger squares, we opted to use clear glue chip glass.  And then the bevel in the center is the focal point.

 The pattern making begins by taping together Manila folders as shown.

 Onto the Manila folders goes a layer of carbon paper, then the “cartoon”.  This is the original pattern with all my markings on it.  I trace all the markings onto the Manila folders as shown.

Here I’m applying copper foil to the edges of each piece of the bevel cluster.  You’ll notice that the inside of the foil is black.  This is so that when I patina the solder in black, the inside of the foil will not be seen through the clear glass.

Now all of the bevel cluster pieces have been foiled.  I’ve pinned them down securely on my work surface.  I’m now applying liquid flux to the foil.  This is a catalyst which enables the solder to flow freely.

Here you can see the progression of the soldering.  On the left side of the bevel cluster I’ve done “tack soldering”. This is to lock the pieces together so they don’t shift. On the right side, I’ve competed much of the full soldering.  I turned the cluster over and fully soldered the back as well.

After the pieces are locked together, I took out the push pins and slid the pattern out from underneath.

I set the bevel cluster aside and turned my attention to the “pencil” bevels.  Here I’ve got them push pinned against a straight edge.  I’ll solder then where they join and lay them as a unit onto the “cartoon”.

Back to the pattern .. After all of the markings have been transferred from the original “cartoon” to the Manila folders, I cut the border with regular scissors.  I use specialized, double-bladed pattern shears to cut out the individual pattern pieces.  These shears leave a small space between pieces.  This is taken up later by copper foil.

Now all the pattern pieces have been cut out.

This is the “cartoon” or pattern on which all the cut pieces are laid in preparation for soldering.  You’ll notice that there’s an aluminum “fence” that’s push-pinned against the border.  This is to prevent the cut pieces of glass from shifting as I work.  At this point, The bevel cluster is soldered and in place, as are the pencil bevels.  As I’ve mentioned before, the bevels are the “boss”, so they go down first.

Here I’ve traced the pattern for two pieces of Glue Chip glass and I’m using an oil-filled pistol grip glass cutter to cut the glass.  If my left hand weren’t holding the camera, I’d be pressing down on that yellow ruler for stability.  (That’s how I normally hand cut glass with straight edges).

As each piece of glass is cut, I bring it to the electric grinder.  This enables the copper foil to adhere better and it also makes the glass safe to handle.

I’ve cut two pieces of the clear glue chip glass and all of the bevels are in place.

Another view showing the whole window.

Etching my signature and date into the piece at the lower left corner.

Here I've inserted one of several lengths of copper reinforcement.  It will serve to strengthen the window. It is fitted between the pieces of glass and becomes invisible after soldering.

At this point, all the glass has been cut and all the copper foil has been applied.

Brushing on the liquid flux. This is a chemical which permits the solder to flow freely over the foil.

Tack soldering.  At this point in the process, I apply small amounts of solder to random areas to connect the glass together.

After the front has been tack soldered, it’s safe to remove the metal “fence” which served to lock the pieces in place.  I’ve done that here and am in the process of sliding out the “cartoon” or original pattern.

My husband Eric is using a tool which creates the angles for the zinc frame.

Here Eric has put the side frames in place.

After all sides of the frame is cut, he puts the fence back on to hold them in place.  Here I’ve soldered the corners and the lead lines to the frame.

In one of the final steps, I’m applying black patina to the solder. This chemical works instantly.  After it sets for a bit, I wash off the remainder with a neutralizing chemical spray.  After it dries, I apply stained glass finishing compound, which is a light wax.  This helps to protect the patina and give the glass a nice shine. 

And here is the window, prior to the final cleaning.

Here's a view after the evening installation.  You can clearly see the textures in the glass.

Another view taken at night, from outside my customer's home. 

And here is a photo taken the following morning, courtesy of my customer.  Thank you Linda, for having Eric and I work with you on this pretty window.  May you enjoy it for years to come!

For more information on my other projects, please click here to visit my website.

If you're on FaceBook, please click here to "like" my BoehmStained Glass Studio page to keep up with all the latest projects.  Thank you!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Stained Glass Skier Sun Catcher Repair

Happy 2018 Everybody!
I'll start the new year off with a simple repair to an heirloom sun catcher.  This little gem was recently discovered while unpacking old Christmas decorations in my customer's attic.  This little skier may be 40 years old, purchased to represent her young daughter who was an avid skier.  My task was to repair it so that it could be presented as a Christmas present.  Here are the steps ..

Here's how it came to me.  The copper foil had separated along the shoulders and between the hand and the wrist.  Its a very lightweight, fragile piece.

As a first step, I detached the hand and head completely to prepare each piece for new foil and solder.

Now all the old solder and foil has been removed from the area.

This went quickly.  I added new foil from the left mitten, across the shoulders and around the right wrist and partway down the right arm.  I also added new foil to the hair and to the bottom of the face and to the edge of the mitten.  Then I brushed liquid flux onto the foil.  This helps the solder to flow freely.  In order to make a stronger repair, I opted to attach the hair to the shoulder.  Now there are two contact points, the hair and the head. This will greatly reduce the possibility of future breakage.  As I worked, the right hand mitten was not securely attached to the arm.  I opted to add short lengths of wire, top and bottom, at the wrist area.  It successfully anchored the mitten and proved to be a strong resolution to the issue.

After all the soldering is complete, I cleaned the area using a chemical-neutralizing spray.  After it dried, I applied black patina with a metal brush, as shown here.  It instantly turns the solder black.  After the patina set, I washed off the excess.  Then I waxed the suncatcher for shine and protection.

And here she is, ready to go down more slopes this winter!
For more information on my other projects, please click here to visit my website.

If you're on FaceBook, please click here to "like" my BoehmStained Glass Studio page to keep up with all the latest projects.  Thank you!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Stained Glass Lion and Lamb Window

Merry Christmas!  Happy Holidays!  Eric and I would like to wish all our customers a very happy New Year too!  Boehm Stained Glass Studio continues to grow, and for that, we thank you all.  As each year passes, we get to meet more and more wonderful people, and have the honor of creating, and repairing, dozens of stained glass treasures.

In celebration of the holiday, I'm posting a recent custom window which features a Lion and Lamb .. Enjoy!

Here is one of two photos sent to me by my customer in Florida, for the window she asked me to create.  Her brother is a former stained glass artist but he never got around to making one for her.  She said she's been waiting over 20 years for this window.  The window is 24" wide by 17" high, to go into the space left by a wall air conditioner. Here we go!

Here's the companion image she sent.  Her request was to do the entire window in shades of blue.

Here is my computer rendition of the all-blue image, which is approved on the first submission.

In order to render a realistic monochromatic scene, I chose 7 or 8 different shades of blue, opalescent glass, along with white and pink for the lamb.  She requested opalescent glass, which is non-transparent but lets lots of light shine through.

An early step in the process is the creation of the pattern.  Here I'm using taped-together Manila folders as the bottom layer, with carbon paper in between, and the "cartoon" or paper pattern on the top.  I trace all the numbers, markings and colors onto the folders.

The border gets cut with standard scissors.  The individual pattern pieces are cut with specialized stained glass pattern shears. They are double-bladed and cut out a small strip of paper between each piece.  This space will be taken up later by copper foil.

Each pattern piece is traced onto a shade of blue glass as shown.  Then I use an oil-filled pistol grip glass cutter to hand cut most of the pieces.

This tool is called "groziers" and it is used to nip off smaller pieces of glass.  The blue tool in the background are my "running pliers" which I use to snap off glass pieces which have a more straight score.

As each piece of glass is cut, I bring it to the grinder.  This step makes the glass safe to handle and allows the copper foil to adhere more effectively.

Some of the pieces in this pattern are too elaborate to be cut by hand.  Here is one of them.  Here I've coated the Sharpie outline with lip balm to prevent my electric ring saw from washing off the markings.

I gave my customer a choice of eye color for the lion.  She left it up to me, so I chose the amber.  She loved it!

Originally, I had designed the lamb's face by using several smaller pieces of glass.  Then I decided to paint the features on for a more realistic look.

Here are some blue pieces cut, some pattern pieces, and many more pieces traced and ready to be cut.

Back to the wet ring saw for more intricate cuts.

Its coming along nicely.  Here I'm about to place another piece of blue onto the "cartoon".  Notice the metal "fence" around the border of the cartoon.  This serves to hold the pieces in place as I work.

Applying the copper foil to each piece of glass.

I'm using permanent glass paint on the lamb's face and for the pupils of the lion's eyes.  After painting on the images, it dries for 24 hours.  Then the pieces get baked for 40 minutes.  After the pieces are cooled, they'll receive copper foil and be added to the cartoon.

Here's the window, with all of the copper foiling completed.

 As I do with most windows, I ran copper reinforcement randomly throughout the window.  You can see strips of it here, between the pieces of glass.  After the window is soldered, the reinforcement becomes invisible.

 Applying liquid flux to the copper foil.  This chemical helps the solder to flow evenly over the copper foil.

 Here I'm "tack soldering" the window.  I'm applying small amounts of solder to the intersections of the glass, to lock them together.

Now that the tack soldering is done, I removed the metal "fence" and I'm sliding out the "cartoon".

Here it is, fully soldered on the front.

Another view as I'm holding it up to the light.  Stunning isn't it?

Another view, showing the compelling amber eyes of the lion.

Next my husband Eric has custom cut a zinc metal frame for the border.  Then he reinstalls the "fence" around the perimeter.  Then I solder the lead lines to the frame, and secure the corners. After the front is done, the fence is removed.  Then I solder the back of the window.  After soldering, the window receives a thorough cleaning with a neutralizing spray.

Here I'm making hanging hooks out of 20 gauge wire.

Now the hook is embedded into a small mound of solder.  I slightly bent the hook so that my customer can attach hanging chains.

Next, the entire window, front, back, sides and frame, receives a coating of black patina.  The residue of the patina is also thoroughly washed off once its allowed to set for a while.

Wiping off the neutralizing spray.

And here is the completed lion and lamb in the light!

Another view. As with all stained glass windows, it will appear differently depending on the source, intensity and direction of the light on it.

My thanks to Susan for asking me to create this very special window for her.  As arranged, Eric and I delivered it to her family members in northwestern NJ, in time for the family to enjoy for Thanksgiving.

For more information on my other projects, please click here to visit my website.

If you're on FaceBook, please click here to "like" my BoehmStained Glass Studio page to keep up with all the latest projects.  Thank you!