Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Stained Glass custom-design cabin cruiser

This 16" x 10" panel was commissioned by a woman in Kentucky to give to a dear uncle.  Its a rendition of his cabin cruiser which I designed from an emailed photo.  See how I created this one-of-a-kind gift!  (Click on any photo to enlarge for a closer look).

Here's my customer's photograph of her uncle's gorgeous cabin cruiser.  My dad had a cabin cruiser in the Hudson River for many years, so these boats have a special place in my heart.


Here's my computer rendition of the photograph.  I sent multiple combinations of glass choices for the sky and for the water.  My customer wanted a sunset sky.  She chose this Spectrum Mimosa Pearl glass which is comprised of yellows, oranges and some white .. It was the perfect choice to complement the Spectrum Mystic Blue water.
 Here's the pattern .. The "cartoon" or original design is on top with carbon paper in the middle and Manila folder on the bottom.  All of the markings are traced directly onto the manila folder.

Below, I've cut out the patterns for the sky and then traced them onto the Mimosa Pearl sky glass.  From there, I used my Gryphon Omni Saw to cut the top right and top left piece, as they were too complicated to cut by hand.  Notice that there's a fence or "jig" pinned around the border.  This will remain in place to keep the glass pieces from shifting as they are placed on the "cartoon."  At this point, I haven't yet cut out all the pattern pieces.  When I cut them, it will be with specialized, double-bladed stained glass pattern shears.  They leave a small space between the pieces which is taken up later by copper foil.
 Now the sky, water and hull have been cut.  There are 57 pieces of glass in this panel.

Here are the stained glass pattern shears showing that small space which they cut out.
 For the area of the cabin cruiser where the railing meets the hull, there are several pieces in a row.  Since I want the panel to look as realistic as possible, I'm cutting that area from a single piece of glass as shown.  I then traced the pieces onto the glass and cut each piece in order.  In this way, the horizontal "sunset" lines are preserved.
 A handful of cut glass ready to go down.  After each piece is cut, I grind the edge with an electric, water-fed grinder.

Here I'm tracing the pattern for the length of white glass which covers the deck.  I'm using the same process as above, cutting one larger piece and then dividing it up as the pattern indicates.

Below, all of the glass is cut.  Everything is still contained inside the "jig".

Below, I'm applying self-adhesive copper foil to the edge of the glass.  Copper foil comes with three different colors inside .. Copper, silver and black.  I used black back foil for most of the piece.  In order to get the brightest white, I used silver back foil for all of the white glass.

After each piece has been foiled, I press it onto the glass using a flexible plastic wand or "fid".

Now, all of the pieces have been foiled.

As I do with all of my custom designed stained glass panels, I signed my name, month and year.  Below is the Dremel tool and the bottom piece of glass.  The signature becomes practically invisible as soon as the glass dust is rinsed off.


 Below, I'm applying Canfield Blu-Glass Flux to the copper foil using a metal acid brush.  Flux is a very caustic substance and needs careful treatment.

 Below, I've "tack-soldered" the panel with small dots of solder at the intersections of the glass pieces and at random places.  This assures that the pieces stay together in place when I remove the "jig".

I then remove the "jig" and fully solder the front of the panel.  Then I use Kwik-Clean Stained Glass Flux and Patina Remover spray on the panel and towel dry it.

And here's the front, fully soldered.

My husband Eric has measured and custom cut a sturdy zinc frame for the panel.  Here he's attaching them for me.

Seen from the back, the panel is back in the jig and the frame is in place on the border of the panel.  I then flux the corners and spots where the lead lines meet the frame.  I solder them all to provide stability and strength to the panel. Once that's done on both sides, I wash each side again and take off the jig.

Here I'm preparing the brass hanging hooks.  The one on the left has been "tinned" meaning that I applied liquid flux to it and then dotted on a bit of solder.  The one on the right has not yet been tinned.

The back right side hook is in place.

After the panel has been spray cleaned of all the flux from soldering, I allow it to dry completely.  Then, using another metal acid brush, I apply Novacan Black Patina to all the solder lines and to the zinc frame.  I work from the bottle cap so as not to contaminate the contents of the bottle.

Here the panel has been fully patina-ed and cleaned.  Next, I'll apply Liva Stained Glass Finishing Compound.  This is a light wax which serves to protect the patina and give the panel a nice shine.  Then I'll take it outdoors to get a "real life" photo of the panel in the light. 

And here's another look at the sequence .. From photograph .. To computer rendition .. To completed panel!

Thank you for having me make this special gift for your uncle, Laura! May he remember your thoughtfulness every time he looks at it. 

Please visit my website to see my custom windows and repairs (click here).  And if you are on FaceBook, become a fan and I'll keep you up to date on all my stained glass projects.  Call me any time at 201-600-1616 or email with your questions. Thanks! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Stained glass Side Lights by Front Door

As the final touch for a newly restored home, we were asked to duplicate the original, leaded side lights as shown below.  They are approximately 6" wide and 33" long.  The originals were created using clear window glass.  The diamond-triangle pieces were done using a textured clear glass.  Here's a photo of the original leaded panel.  (Click on any photo to enlarge).


The view of the front door from the inside of the home showing where the side lights are located.
 Another view of the original side light.
 Here is my design for the duplicates.  I followed the same proportions.
 The pattern making process .. Tracing the markings on the "cartoon" onto Manila folders using carbon paper.  The layers are tacked to my work surface with push pins to prevent shifting.
 After the pattern pieces are traced, they are cut using stained glass shears, shown on the left.  These are double-bladed and cut out a thin piece of paper which allows for the copper foil which will follow later.  To the right are standard scissors, used to cut the outer border of the pattern.

 Now the pattern pieces have been cut.  Many have been organized into recycled envelopes as shown.

After looking through several examples of clear glass, my customer made a nice choice, clear waterglass cut in a vertical orientation.  Rather than do just clear for the diamonds and triangles, we decided that a nice green would work well with the exterior of the home and the furnishings.  I had a large sheet of hand-blown green glass which was given to me by a gentleman who was giving up his stained glass hobby.  The glass is a medium shade with lovely bubbles throughout.  Thank you again, Mr. Johnson, I hope you see your glass being put to good use.  It was the ideal choice for this project!

Below, I'm using a pistol grip cutter to score the outline of a piece of clear waterglass.

After the score is made, I snap it off using these blue "running pliers".

A few pieces of the green traced and cut.  After each piece is cut, I grind the edges in a grinder.  This is to assure safe handling and also to promote the adhesion of the copper foil.
 My husband Eric sets up a fence or "jig" around the borders of each side light.  This is to ensure that the cut pieces do not shift.  Here he's verifying the measurements.

 Now all of the glass for both side lights has been cut and laid on the cartoon.

I remove each piece, one at a time, and apply black back copper foil as shown, to the center of the edge of each piece.

Using a "fid" or flexible plastic wand, I press the copper foil onto the glass.
 Now all of the glass has been copper foiled.

 Next, using a metal acid brush, I apply Blu-Glass Liquid Flux to the copper foil.  This is an agent which allows for the soldering.

Next I "tack-solder" the pieces as shown below.  I apply a dot of solder to the intersections of the pieces and at key points throughout the panel.  

 After tack soldering is complete, I remove the "jig" and slide out the cartoon.  This protects the cartoon from damage from the chemicals which follow.

Now I've fully soldered the front of each panel.

Next, I spray "Kwik-Clean Stained Glass Flux & Patina Cleaner" to the solder. Then I towel it off and allow it to dry.

My husband Eric is shown here cutting the angle for a mitered corner of the metal frame, which is made of zinc.

Here, Eric is placing the metal jig back onto the panel.  This time, its to hold the frame in place.  He'll do this for all four sides of each panel.

 Below, I've fluxed and soldered the mitered corners.  I've also soldered all the lines to the frame.  This gives added strength to the overall panel.

After I've cleaned off the flux again with Kwik-Clean, I apply Novacan Black Patina to the zinc frame and to the soldered lines as shown.  To prevent contamination of the supply, I take patina from the bottle cap and discard whatever is not used from the cap.

 Another cleaning with Kwik-Clean spray, and the panels are almost ready.

 Here they are, side by side after the patina has been applied.
 

I applied Liva Stained Glass Polish to both sides of both panels.  I propped them up to dry.

 And here is one of the two completed panels, ready for installation. It is resting in a custom-made holder that Eric made for me.
 Thank you so much Janice, for calling us in to replace your side lights.  It was a pleasure creating them for you.  We can't wait for you to see them "in person"!

 


Please visit my website to see my custom windows and repairs (click here).  And if you are on FaceBook, become a fan and I'll keep you up to date on all my stained glass projects.  Call me any time at 201-600-1616 or email with your questions. Thanks!