Friday, March 25, 2011

Water Lily window completed

Only three weeks after meeting with our customer, the Water Lily stained glass window is done!  It's 16" high by 28-3/4" wide and a real beauty.  My husband custom cut the zinc channel for the frame, which I soldered and joined to the lead lines at the back of the window for a neat, solid look.

One characteristic of stained glass is that it will look different under different lighting conditions.  The photo below (click to enlarge) shows off the textures of the different glass that my customer and I chose, in order to customize this window, including opals, waterglass, wispies, and rough rolled.

And here it is with natural light illuminating it from the front and back.
The solder and zinc channel frame (with hanging hooks) were waxed to maintain their silver color.  My customer made a great choice to do so .. It looks wonderful with the water!

To make it official, I etched my name and the date into a piece of light blue waterglass, near the bottom left.  It is unobtrusive and can't really be seen unless you look for it.
Thank you, Samantha and Paul! It was a pleasure creating your custom window to your specifications.  I know you will enjoy it for many years to come!

If you have an idea for a stained glass window for your home, or you have a cracked window in need of a repair, give me a call at 201-600-1616 and we'll get started.

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

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Water Lily soldered

And here is the Water Lily window taken out of the jig and soldered.  My customer requested that the solder remain silver.  It looks wonderful with the water!

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

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Water Lily glass foiled

The Water Lily window has now been foiled in copper. As each piece of glass was  removed for foiling, I verified the fit of each piece.  If they are too tight, its possible that they'll crack, so I'm careful that each piece has a bit of "wiggle room" without creating a thick lead line.  A fine balance, but time well spent.

This window will have silver lead lines, so I used silver-backed copper foil. This foil will blend in with the silver lead lines, in case any can be seen through the clear pieces of glass. 

The next step is soldering, then cleaning, and framing with zinc channel ... Stay tuned ... Almost done!

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

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Water Lily glass all cut

All of the glass for the water lily window has been cut!  The edges of each piece of glass will then be wrapped in adhesive copper foil, fluxed, soldered, and waxed so that the solder will remain silver.  

As is the case with all windows that are under construction, the true beauty of this one won't be seen until its in the sunlight.   It will be stunning!  The next update will show the window with all of the glass pieces foiled.  Its in the home stretch now.

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

Friday, March 18, 2011

Water Lily glass cutting continues

Today I cut the glass for the leaves using medium and light greens with clear and/or white wispy glass.  We chose this glass because it adds a touch of realism and it mimics the look of brushstrokes that my customer requested.
(Click on photo to enlarge, use back arrow to return.)

I also cut the brighter whites for the blooming lily and the bud.  The whites will be trimmed soon after I cut the adjacent soft grays and pinks.  This window is coming along nicely!  I consider this the "potato chip phase" .. Once I start cutting glass, I can't stop!  Stay tuned ...

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

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.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Water Lily window pattern cut

A new project .. Yesterday, I started on a 28-3/4" x 16" water lily window to be hung in an upstairs bedroom window.  My customer wanted more water in the design, so I customized it from the original.  See the "before" and "after" designs below.  I removed the lines from the lower portion and added more water. 
Here is a color rendition of how finished window will look, using the glass that my customer and I chose.  It will be a nice mix of realistic blue waterglass and green wispy glass, for a brushstroke effect on the leaves.  We added whites, soft grays and pinks, and a dash of yellow glass as well.

I ran the design through re-sizing software and created a "life size" pattern which is the exact dimensions needed for the window.  Below is part of the full-size design which shows each piece numbered with colors assigned to each piece. For glass with texture, I also added hatch marks as a guide for placing the glass on the pattern, to achieve a more realistic effect.

Next, I prepared the pattern for the glass by tracing the full-size design onto manila folders.  Then I cut out the pieces with special double-bladed pattern scissors.  The scissors allow for "breathing room" between each piece which is needed for the copper foil which will be added later. Then I sorted the pattern pieces into envelopes, by glass color.

After the manila pattern was cut into pieces, I added a metal jig, or fence, around the perimeter of the full-size pattern. The jig will serve to contain the glass and keep all four borders straight and true, which will make for easier framing with metal channel when the window is complete.

Today, I started cutting the glass.  Eight pieces are cut as of now, with forty-five more to go.  Stay tuned as this window takes shape.  Its going to be a beauty!

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

Friday, March 11, 2011

Beautiful window repaired as new

My next project will be a 28-3/4" x 16" water lily themed window.  While I'm waiting for the glass to be delivered, I completed a complex repair.

This lovely, small window hanging, 11" x 13", was created by my customer's out-of-town family member as a special gift.  Evidently, workers in her home dropped it without her knowledge and caused extensive damage to 6 pieces as shown.  (Click to enlarge, use back arrow to return).

This project required some research in order to match the glass exactly.  The existing blue glass resembled Spectrum Artique, but had small air bubbles throughout.  After checking my sources, I discovered that this was not Spectrum glass, but hand blown glass from Germany.  By a great stroke of luck, I was able to locate a good match for the blue, and purchased enough to complete the repair.  And with even more luck, they had the perfect green in stock, as well.

When I do a repair, I'm always careful to remove pieces in a way which will maintain the stability of the piece.  Looking at the 3 cracked pieces in the center of the window, I removed the top and bottom piece first, and left the green cracked piece in place, to maintain that stability.  After the top and bottom pieces were replaced, I removed and replaced the cracked green piece.
How are cracked pieces of glass removed?  Very carefully. Wearing safety glasses, score the cracked piece and tap on it repeatedly until it crumbles. Using needle nose pliers, pull out all the bits of glass.
Then, using the soldering iron, melt the solder along the borders of the cracked piece.  As the solder melts, wedge the tip of the iron between the copper foil of the broken piece and the adjacent piece and carefully pull it away.  (Be careful to tilt the window in such a way that the dripping solder lands on the homasote work surface, not on you.)

Trace the inside edge of the opening onto a manila folder, then cut the replacement glass accordingly. Below is the manila pattern and the glass, ready to be cut.  When using dark glass, outline the pattern with a silver Sharpie pen. 
Be aware of the plane of the replacement glass.  If the glass does not sit flat on your work surface, you may need to make a template out of corrugated cardboard to place beneath the replacement piece to raise it to the level of the rest of the window.  This is what I did with this project.

Here's the replacement glass, foiled and ready for soldering.  After all 6 replacement pieces were soldered in place, the window was cleaned, dried, and waxed.
And here is the repaired window .. Just like new again!
Do you have a cracked, copper foiled window in need of repairs?  Do you have an idea for a custom stained glass window for your home?  Call me at 201-600-1616 and we'll get started.
Click here to see more stained glass at Boehm Stained Glass Studio website.