Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Bear and Moose Cabin Stained Glass Lamp

This project was inspired by a gift from a dear friend, a birch branch lamp for our log home. He did a beautiful job with it, and I thought it deserved more than just a paper lamp shade.  I decided to create a stained glass lamp shade which would match our moose and bear stained glass windows.  I had created them in 2009 and they were already hanging up above in the cabin.  There were many steps involved, so this posting has more photos than usual.

My husband Eric often collaborates with me on projects.  After he heard my thoughts, he created a 6-paneled cardboard pattern for the lamp.  It would highlight the bear on one side, the moose on another, something different on another, and then three "background only' sides.  Once he created the cardboard pattern, the rest just fell together.  Here we go ..

Pictured in the upper right is the original moose stained glass .. And on the lower left is the bear.  The moose and bear windows were designed by Dawn Lee Thompson. Next to them are my computer renditions of the panels.  The larger images are the completed bear and moose panels in the sunlight. Now onto the process of creating the six panels ..

 As always, the process begins with the patterns.  Here I've traced the original "cartoon" (or pattern) onto a Manila folder, using the color renditions as my guide for marking the colors.  Each piece was labled with a code to match the panel.  "B" for bear, "M" for moose.  I decided to add a funky tree as the third image, so those pieces were marked with a "T".

I cut the glass for three panels at a time.  Here I've traced all the red.  

And I've now cut out the red and traced the black.

Red and black and yellow are cut and now I'm cutting the amber.

Since I've collected a pile of cut glass I'm now bringing each one to the electric grinder to smooth out the edges.  This makes the pieces safe for handling and helps the copper foil to adhere.

Moving onto the greens .. Here are some of my tools. The blue is the "running pliers" which snap straight scores.  The purple is the "oil filled pistol grip glass cutter" which creates the scores.  And the black are the "groziers" which nip off smaller areas of glass.

Tracing some of the blue water.

I'm working on the moose panel here.  I've applied 7/32" copper foil to the edges of each piece of glass within the panel.  Note the metal "fence" around it.  This keeps the glass in place while I work.  Here I'm using a "fid" or flat plastic wand to burnish the foil onto the glass.

Now the moose is fully foiled.

Next I'm "tack soldering" the glass pieces together.  Before I solder, I brush on "liquid flux" which is a catalyst which enables the solder to flow freely.  I'm using small dots of solder mainly at the intersections of the glass, just to lock them together.

After the panel is tack soldered, I've removed the "fence" and I slid it off the "cartoon" or paper pattern.

Two steps have been completed here.  I fully soldered the front of the moose, installed a thin metal frame around the perimeter, then I fully soldered the back. 

 After cleaning the flux and excess solder off of the panel, I'm now applying the black patina. This is a chemical which instantly turns the solder black. A thorough cleaning follows here as well.

And now onto the bear already in progress.  Its been tack soldered and slid off the cartoon.

Here I'm soldering the frame to the panel.

Now the bear panel is also finished.

Here it is in the sunlight. The beauty of stained glass is how different it looks in different lighting conditions.

Cutting more glass for the remaining panels.  Working on the purple mountains here.  Note that I'm using a metallic color Sharpie to mark the dark glass so it can be seen.

Purples and whites are cut.

A bunch of blues ready for the grinder. I'm cutting three identical pieces at a time.

Back to the grinder ..

Here are three "background" panels in various stages. The first one has been fully soldered and famed, the second one has just been foiled, and the third has just been cut.

More glass cut ..

Here's the funky tree in the process of being foiled.

Now the lamp is taking shape.  Here are four completed panels laying flat but not in their proper sequence.

Here I'm using a Dremel tool to engrave my name, the date, and "Birch Glen Cabin" into the lamp.

Moving along well.  Here I'm applying the patina to one of the "background" panels.

Eric custom made a wooden template on which to solder the six panels together.  We positioned the panels on the template and then taped them securely together using stretchy black electrical tape.

Now it looks like a lamp!

These panels have some weight to them.  To make sure they stay in place securely through the years,  I've run a line of wire along the top and bottom edge as shown.  The wire is soldered in place.

Here's the lamp in the wooden template, clamped in place, ready to be soldered.

A view after the reinforcement wire had been soldered to the top and bottom edges.

Inside view of the lamp.

After the six panels were fully soldered together and cleaned, I applied the black patina to the newly soldered areas.

Here is a series of photos of each side of the lamp ..

The funky tree that will be facing the wall!

Eric created a crown of steel and rivets at the top which included three lengths of brass rebar that extend down the sides of the panels.  Very sturdy!

 For a special touch, I purchased a pine cone final for the top.

 And here is the lamp at our cabin on a winter weekend when we had snow on the ground.  Love it!

It's just below the bear stained glass window.

Here's a view of the room featuring both of the inspiration pieces, the moose and bear stained glass window, with the new matching lamp on the corner table below.  Special thanks to my wonderful husband for his help on this project, and to Bob for making us the beautiful Birch tree base!  We will enjoy this lamp for many 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, March 27, 2018

Stained Glass Easter Suncatchers

Spring has sprung .. Time to do a little seasonal project to welcome the season.  Here I've made 3 suncatchers for Easter .. Two eggs and a carrot.  My dear hubby keeps questioning my decision to add a carrot to the mix, but I just though it fit.  Here goes ..

This is how all stained glass projects begin, with a Manila folder and carbon paper to create the patterns from which to cut the glass.  Here I've traced a carrot and egg onto the folder.

I traced a second egg a bit smaller than the first and added a couple of designs.

Here are the carrot patterns and the glass partially cut out.

When I cut the stripes on the eggs, I use stained glass pattern shears.  These leave a small channel between the blades so that there is room for the copper foil which will come later.

Now each of the suncatchers has been cut and is ready for grinding and foiling.

After the glass is cut, each piece gets the edges ground in the electric grinder.
 Then I press on 7/32" adhesive copper foil to the edges of each piece.

After the foil is on and hand-pressed to the edges and sides, I burnish it using a "fid" or flat plastic wand.

Now each suncatcher has been foiled and is pinned in place on the Homasote.  This is my cushiony work surface which is made from soundproofing material.  It has "give" to cut glass and it readily absorbs any chemical spills.

Here I'm applying liquid flux which is a catalyst which enables the solder to flow freely over the copper foil.

All three have now been soldered.  To strengthen each one, I added a wire reinforcement around the outer edge.  This is particularly important for the area where the greenery meets the carrot.  This is considered a "hinge" and is highly susceptible to separation.  The wrap-around wire will go a long way to preventing that through the years.  It will also strengthen the sides where the stripes on the eggs are located.

Here I'm wrapping 20 gauge wire around a metal brush and leaving about 3/4" for "legs".  These will become the hanging hooks.

I soldered the hooks along the lead lines, for invisibility and strength. Following the soldering process, each piece gets sprayed and washed thoroughly with a chemical neutralizer.

Next comes the black patina.  This is a blue chemical which turns the solder black instantly. Another cleaning follows.  Then the patina is allowed to dry and stained glass finishing compound is applied.  This is a light wax which protects the patina and gives a nice shine to the glass.

 And here they are!  For hanging on a window, I recommend Command Brand 1/2 lb hooks which are made specifically for glass.  They are more secure and reliable than the suction cup variety.
Happy Easter!
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!