Friday, February 17, 2017

Custom Oval Stained Glass Window

This window was created on request from a customer in South Carolina.  At certain times of the season, the sun comes into his oval window, creating a glare on his computer.  I created this for him by using all opaque ("opalescent") glass.  This glass allows light to come through, but its more muted than see-through, or "cathedral" glass.

For an oval window, we generally make a site visit and prepare a template so that the stained glass window will fit exactly.  In this case, because of the distance, my customer prepared a template and mailed it to us.

After I received the template, I prepared over twenty combinations of colors in the palette he suggested. Here is the "winning" rendition, with the exception that he requested a cranberry red in place of the dark amber.

Using a light box, I made a duplicate of the original template.

Here I'm making measurements and tracing the existing lines onto the duplicate.

Tracing out the pattern pieces, numbers, and glass colors onto Manila folders using carbon paper and ball point pen.

Further work, preparing the Manila pattern which will be used to cut the glass.

These double-bladed pattern shears cut a thin strip of paper between each piece of glass.  This is to allow clearance for the copper foil which will be wrapped around each piece of glass.

I organize the pattern pieces into marked recycled envelopes, by color.

I've scored this glass along the line and now I'm tapping the metal end of the glass cutter to "loosen" the glass so that it will crack along the line.

Grinding the edges of the center circular piece of white glass.

These "groziers" are an invaluable tool for nipping off long thin sections of glass as shown.

I prefer to cut glass by hand, but in some cases I use an electric wet saw.  It helps conserve glass and is able to make cuts which are not possible by hand.

It would not be possible to cut these three pieces, in this configuration, by hand.

The amber pieces, traced onto the glass.

Red opal glass has become almost impossible to locate.  I was fortunate to have some on hand, and by coincidence, I had just purchased some from a vendor in Pennsylvania, not knowing that I would be using it the following week.  Shown here are "running pliers" which are used to snap glass which has been scored in a straight line.

More red opal being traced.

The glass still needs to be trimmed and properly fitted, but its all cut at this point.

The next step is to apply the adhesive copper foil to the edges of the glass.  Here I'm using a "fid" to burnish the foil onto the glass.

On each larger window, I always add reinforcement.  Here I've run a long strip of copper that fits between the glass.   It adds a great deal of strength to the window and also adds stiffness which will prevent cracks.

In order to be sure that the cut glass lined up perfectly with the template, I pinned and soldered the center area of the window first.

Here I'm etching my name, the month and year into the glass with an electric Dremel tool.

Continuing with the process of copper foiling.  I don't foil the edges of my stained glass windows.  They will be covered by a metal frame, so there's no need to do so.

Burnishing a red opal piece. Notice that the window fits perfectly onto the template now.  The small amount of clearance will accommodate the soft lead came frame that my husband will install later.

Applying liquid flux to the copper foil using a metal acid brush.  This chemical acts as a catalyst, allowing the solder to flow smoothly over the foil.  Next I solder the front of the window.

Here my husband Eric is attaching a flexible lead came frame to the oval.  He's taping it in place temporarily.

Now he's applying push pins around the border to hold it in place so that I can solder it to the lead lines.

Now I'm applying black patina to the solder. 

After it sets for a while, I has to be thoroughly cleaned off.

After the window is dry, I apply stained glass finishing compound to the front, back and sides.  Then I let that dry, and buff it off.

The window will look different depending on the light.  Here it is on top of a light box.

And here it is, lit from the front, on a white board.

This window is being shipped from New Jersey to South Carolina.  Here my husband is cutting plywood to use in shipping the window.  We double-box our windows, pack them securely with a few types of packing materials, and mark the outside with many "Fragile-Glass" stickers.  We also insure the windows and provide a tracking number to our customers.

We're happy to report that the window made it, safe and sound.  Our customer is very happy .. Here it is in its new home!  Thank you David, for entrusting me with this project, long distance.  It was a pleasure creating it for you!

Here's another view of the window.  We attached industrial-strength double sided tape to several points in the back so that David could easily do the installation himself.
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!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Small Blue Lamp Repair

This cracked little lamp had been waiting in an attic for a long time.  Its owner finally brought it to me for repair.

Here it is, with two broken pieces.

The first step in any lamp repair is matching the glass.  Here I have the pale blue/white opal glass and the blue cathedral needed to do the repair.

Starting with the blue piece, I cross-hatched it with the glass cutter.  Then I used the metal end of the cutter to smash out the cracked pieces.

After all the glass was removed, I tugged off the old solder and copper foil from the borders, using needle nose pliers.

Using a piece of Manila folder, I'm preparing a template from which to cut a replacement piece of glass.

Here's the pattern on the new blue cathedral glass.

Here I'm using the oil-filled pistol grip glass cutter at a 90 degree angle to score the glass.

Grinding the edges of the glass, for safe handling and for better adhesion of the copper foil.

Now both pieces have been re-cut and foiled.  Its ready for soldering.

And voila!  Here is the finished lamp.  Since the solder will remain silver, I did not apply patina.  I just waxed the entire lamp after cleaning it thoroughly.

And here's a view in different lighting..
Here is a nice note from my customer!
"Thanks again Kathy, the lamp looks beautiful and I’m glad I can use it again.  I can’t even tell where you fixed it!"
You're very welcome, Cindy .. It was my pleasure!

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, February 9, 2017

Business Logo in Stained Glass

Its rare that I set aside my customers' projects in favor of my own.  But in this case, I made an exception.  After having bi-lateral knee replacements early in 2016, I spent a LOT of time getting physical rehabilitation.  When I was finally done, I wanted to express my appreciation to the owners, the physical therapists, and the staff by making them something special.  I decided to re-create their business logo which appears here:

First, I made a pattern of the "rock".  Our town of Glen Rock, NJ is named for a huge boulder which sits at the end of the main street in town.  It was left behind by a glacier.

I had a nice supply of opalescent (opaque) glass in various shades of gray, so I traced the pattern pieces accordingly.

Using the glass cutter to score the glass.

Using "running pliers" to snap the glass after I've scored it.

There were a couple of difficult angles in the pattern, so I relied on my wet ring saw to cut them.
 After each piece of glass is cut I run it through the grinder.

Here's the glass "jigsaw puzzle" of the rock.

Here I've already applied copper foil to the edges of each piece of glass.  Then I stuck pins around the perimeter of the rock to assure that it would not move as I worked on it.  Then I applied liquid "flux" to the copper foil and soldered the glass together.  For the straight bottom edge, I clipped on a length of zinc "channel" which is metal made to fit the outer edge of the glass.  As I always do with my custom pieces, I engraved my name and the month and year with an electric Dremel tool.

Now I'm applying black "patina" to the solder, to turn it black.

Creating lettering in stained glass is a fun project, but there were simply too many letters to do so for this project.  So I settled for having an 11" card stock print made of the lettering beneath the rock.  Then I had it laminated at an office supply store (Staples).  I used Pebeo glass paint to paint on the crack in the rock on the right side, to add more realism to the logo.

I used a hole punch into the laminated card and attached it to the rock using black circular jump rings,

I made a chain a bit long .. but it is fully adjustable.
The owner and my physical therapist, Paul, was thrilled to see this and thanked me profusely.  I hope they've hung it where the whole team can see it and enjoy it.
Sincere thanks again to Paul, Kyle, Jeannie, Lauren, Nealy, Anthony and Olena for your kind attention and expertise.  And for all the laughs!

If you live in Bergen County, NJ and need physical therapy, I highly recommend Glen Rock PT and Sports Rehabilitation!  Click here to visit their site and to get in touch.

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!