Monday, November 29, 2010

Dolphin & Manatee windows are foiled

As of this afternoon, the Dolphin and Manatee stained glass windows are now foiled.  This process involves evenly wrapping the edge of each piece of glass with a strip of adhesive 7/32" copper foil.  The foil is then burnished with a fid (a flat, firm, but flexible, plastic wand). The two windows took a total of 53 yards of copper foil.

The foil is then brushed with liquid flux (a wetting agent) and then soldered with 60/40 solder.  I anticipate starting that process tomorrow, followed soon after by patina-ing, cleaning, waxing, and framing.

With time on my side, the windows are about one week from completion .. The anticipation is building .. Stay tuned. 

(Click on images to enlarge, use back arrow to return).

Click here for Boehm Stained Glass Studio website.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dolphin and Manatee window glass is cut

All of the glass for both windows have now been cut, ground and fitted, and are ready for the next step, applying copper foil.  (The gray above the water line is the pattern showing through.  It is actually clear glue chip glass).
Although I prefer to do all my glass cutting by hand, these windows are primarily opalescent (non-transparent/ translucent) glass which doesn’t have the “grain” of a cathedral (transparent) glass.  This characteristic makes getting good cuts “iffy” when cutting by hand. 

Rather than take chances with “bad breaks”, I fired up my Gryphon Omni 2 Wire Saw.  Its loud and its messy, but given a slow hand and a lot of concentration, it is very accurate.

Much of the glass used in these windows came from my reliable online suppliers in PA and FL.  But nothing beats a trip to the Glass Gallery in Nutley, NJ where surprises always await!  I found the beautiful light gray for the Manatee there, as well as the swirly textured dark blue and green for the lower portion of the water, and the pale green Spectrum Corsica glass used in the greenery.

I am a fan of Youghiogheny glass (don’t ask me how to pronounce it), and I was glad to incorporate some of their steel gray opal mottled glass into the Manatee’s body and the Dolphin’s tail.  It adds a very realistic dappled effect appropriate for these graceful sea creatures.  I gave each of them dark gray-blue eyes … Next time you see them, they will be foiled in copper and ready for soldering.

(Click on images to enlarge, use back arrow to return).

Click here for Boehm Stained Glass Studio website.

Monday, November 15, 2010

First look: The borders

As they lay on the pattern, the true beauty of the pieces of glass can't yet be seen, but here are views of the Dolphin and Manatee windows, with the borders cut.  The outer border is composed of shades of deep purple, the inner borders are shades of emerald green, and the diamonds are a bright yellow.  

The purple glass is a mix of Spectrum grape rough rolled, which is a semi- cathedral glass with a texture which bounces light beautifully, along with a few pieces of deep purple water glass. The green glass is mostly Spectrum emerald green rough rolled, along with some rich Wissmach green that has a hefty hand-made look with some darker green and a touch of yellow in it. The yellow diamonds are from an older glass, similar to Spectrum rough rolled, but a bit more refined in texture and more brittle to cut. It really pops in the sunshine.

The mix of colors in the border will echo the exterior colors of my clients’ home.  They will be a beautiful match when viewed from outdoors at night! 

Next up will be more cutting and refining as the windows come together.  Stay tuned for updates as the Dolphin and Manatee take on their personalities and come to life!

Click here for Boehm Stained Glass Studio website.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pattern Making for Two Windows at once

 I’ve decided to construct the Dolphin and Manatee windows simultaneously, so this requires even more organization than a single window.  Even though the borders are identical, each individual piece will differ slightly, so the pattern pieces must be cut and placed exactly where they are intended.

To this end, I’ve made the pattern for the Dolphin window with tan manila folder paper.  And I’ve made the Manatee pattern with green manila folder paper.  The pieces which correspond to each pattern have similar numbers, but they are followed by a “D” or an “M” to further distinguish them.  (Click on photo to enlarge, use back arrow to return).

The pattern pieces, (the tan “D”s and the green “M”s together) were placed into envelopes marked for the color and texture of glass I’ve assigned them.  I’m cutting the glass now, color by color, going back and forth between the patterns.  Following soon will be an update with photos of the windows with the borders cut and in place.  To assure that all the glass fits well, I build the windows from the outside in.

These two have a wonderful selection of glass … As always, I can’t wait for them to see the light of day!

Click here for Boehm Stained Glass Studio website.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Evolution of Custom Designs

The day after "Starry Night" was installed, I received a request to design and build two more windows, a Dolphin and a Manatee, each approximately 17" x 24", to be installed above a spa tub.  We spent about three weeks collaborating on the custom designs.  Here was our process:

I searched my sources for designs and presented several different ones to my clients.  I also presented two potential borders.  The "winning" two designs were both created by Canadian artist Chantal Pare.  Here they are ...

My clients want the Dolphin window to be on the left side and the Manatee on the right, so I ran the designs through PhotoShop and flipped them so that they face each other.

In order to make them symmetrical, I added a body and tail to the Dolphin and cut out the single Manatee from the original design.

These were the designs at that point:  
After seeing these, my client sent me a photograph of a stained glass window with a border she preferred. Eric drew it for me and we created the next version of the pattern.  I suggested adding some sea weed to the bottom of each design .. I re-sized and positioned the greenery I used in the "Starry Night" window.  I scanned each full size pattern, saved them as JPEG's, and then ran them through my stained glass software.

Here are the color versions of the final designs as approved by my clients:
Since these will be mounted above a spa tub, I selected and ordered glass which is not transparent.  The glass will arrive on Friday and I can begin cutting the pieces. Today I'm busy tracing the patterns onto manila folders to be numbered and cut.
Custom designs to suit you .. As long as the designs are structurally sound, the possibilities are endless.

Stay tuned .. These are going to be beauties!

Click here for Boehm Stained Glass Studio website.