Friday, August 30, 2013

Panel with Bevel Clusters and Blue Gems - Pattern and Glass Cutting

My current project is a custom window being created for an opening in the wall between a newly renovated powder room and the kitchen.  My customer and I started discussing this project a few months ago, before the space was even ready, so its a pleasure to finally be working on it.  The panel 29" x 15" and features clear Artique glass, two beautiful bevel clusters, a border of clear rectangular bevels and complimentary pops of blue glass.  Here's the progress so far:  (Click on any photo to enlarge)

Here's the space for the panel, looking from the kitchen into the powder room.

Though not a great rendition, here's a color representation of the finished window.  Clear glass shows as gray, so the glass around the two center bevel clusters will be clear Artique.  Its a gorgeous antique-looking glass, very appropriate for this older home.  I've replaced the original clear circular bevels in the clusters with blue gems, and added 1" squares of medium blue rough rolled glass to the corners as a compliment.  The panel will be bordered by 1", 3" and 8" long clear bevels.

The pattern making process begins by laying manila folders side by side, taping them together and then adding a layer of carbon paper on top.  Next, the paper design is pinned to the layers and the design is traced onto the folders.

Below I've pinned the paper design onto the Homasote work surface.  I've begun taking exact measurements.  Whenever bevels are part of a design, they must take first consideration since they can't be cut or re-sized as glass can.  Inevitably, due to the variances in proportions in a computer-rendered paper design which includes bevels, much of the pattern needs to be re-drawn as I'm doing below.

At this point, the bevels have been traced, several lines re-drawn, and now I'm numbering each piece.

Here's a view of the "pattern sandwich".  

Another view of the upper layer on which I'll build the panel.

The outside edge of the manila pattern is cut with standard scissors.  The pieces themselves, though, need to be cut with specially designed stained glass shears which are double-bladed and cut out a small piece (as shown) to allow for the application of copper foil to the edges of each piece of glass.The glass has to fit snugly, but not tightly, and this small space allows for this.

Since the Artique glass has a light texture, I'm tracing the pattern onto the glass face down so that I can cut the glass on the smooth side.

To conserve glass, I'm cutting some of the pieces with an Gryphon Omni Wire Saw.  Its loud and a bit intimidating, but its very accurate.

The Omni saw cuts and grinds at the same time.  For pieces that I'm cutting by hand, though, I need to grind the edges with my Glastar Grinder as shown.  I'm wearing Staples rubber fingers to project my fingers from cuts and to allow for a better grip on the wet glass.

And here's the beginnings of the pattern being covered piece by piece.  Notice the metal "fences" which are push-pinned in place along the outer border of the panel.  These will stay in place until all of the glass has been cut, trimmed, copper foiled, and tack soldered. The "fences" prevent any of the glass from shifting during the construction process.
 Stay tuned as the work progresses ... Its going to be beautiful!

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!

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