Friday, March 18, 2011

Water Lily glass cutting has begun

Progress .. I finished cutting the blue glass for the water lily window.  The shades of blue in the photo below will all look noticeably lighter when its off the work surface and hanging in the window.  
(Click on any image to enlarge, use back arrow to return).  

The pale blue is Spectrum waterglass, which is a cathedral (clear) glass with ripples.  And the medium blue is a mix of Spectrum waterglass and Spectrum rough rolled, which is similar to waterglass, but with smaller ripples.  A nice mix!  Below you can see some of the texture, as well as the metal jig which was mentioned in the prior post.  The jig will stay in place as the window is being built.
The thick black lines are the pattern showing through.  The lead lines in the finished window will be thinner, and they will be silver, which will complement the water.

I cut most of these pieces by hand, as I always prefer to do.  I get much more accurate cuts, and the snapping sound of the glass is SO satisfying.  But for a few of the larger, more complicated pieces on this project, I fired up my Gryphon Wire Saw.  Its an essential tool, but its also very loud and requires nerves of steel to operate.  Thanks to the somewhat unpredictable nature of glass, there's probably about an equal chance of breakage whether its done by hand or by machine.
 Here's a tip for using the Gryphon Wire Saw .. Stop sawing about 3/4" of an inch from the edge of the glass.  Shut the machine off and then slowly back the blade out.  Then, using running pliers held perpendicular to the cut, break apart the pieces. Its far safer doing that last cut manually.  The glass can unexpectedly buck when the pressure on the blade suddenly decreases as it reaches the edge.

Next up .. Cutting the greens!

Click here to see more stained glass at Boehm Stained Glass Studio website.

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