Friday, May 16, 2014

Stained Glass Backyard Wild Birds #2

Earlier this week, I completed the first part of a 2-part commission for a customer in Omaha, Nebraska.  She is an avid birder and my husband and I are bird lovers as well.  A good match!  Here are more photos as I continued working on the 15 bird panels which were installed above her kitchen cabinets, making it a very unique space!

At this point, I've created a Downy Woodpecker, Hummingbird with Grosbeak, Chickadee, Oriole, Junco, a pair of Cardinals, a pair of House Finches, a Titmouse and a Northern Flicker.  Here are a few photos of these panels in various stages:  (Note: ALL IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT ©BOEHM STAINED GLASS STUDIO .. May not be used without express permission of artist).

As noted earlier, I've been shipping the birds to Nebraska four at a time.  Here are some of the birds in their new home!

For the past few weeks, I've been working on the Towhee, Nuthatch, Lazuli Bunting, Golfinch pair, two Blue Jays (one facing right, one left).

Here are a few more photos of the process:

These bird panels are only 5-1/2" tall so some of the glass pieces are exceptionally small.   Some of them also require intricate cuts which cannot be done by hand. I use an electric glass saw, an Omni Gryphon 2 which is very loud but works exceptionally well (with a lot of practice).  Below, I've traced the patterns for the white breasts of the Blue Jays, and one for a Downy Woodpecker.  The saw blade moves very quickly and therefore must be kept wet by the water supply which flows onto the glass from a tube behind the blade.  To prevent the pattern markings from washing off, I coated them with lip balm as shown.

Here I'm wearing rubber fingers to protect my hands from cuts and to get a firmer grip on the glass.  I'm slowly cutting on the black line using the Omni saw.

This gives an idea of the size of the pieces for the birds.  In order for them to fit well on the patterns, sometimes multiple trips to the grinder are needed.

Some of the birds required that parts be painted on, such as with the feet of the Towhee, shown below.  I drew the feet onto the pattern, then copied it onto the glass using PEBEO Glass Paint.  After the paint is applied, it must have 24 hours to dry, then it is baked in a 325 degree oven for 40 minutes.  Then the paint is permanent.
 The painted glass is placed on a cookie tray while the oven is cool.  The 40 minute baking time includes the time for the oven to warm up to the correct temperature.  Then take the tray and glass out and let it cool to room temperature before attempting to apply copper foil.
And one more tip about the eyes.  I always use gray (or blue) cathedral glass for eyes, whether its for birds or any other animals.  (See my Dolphin and Manatee windows, for example.)  Adding that bit of gray for the eyes really gives them life.  Here's how to do the tiny eyes of a bird ..

Using a Sharpie marker, draw small circles on a sliver of gray cathedral glass.  Cut them apart.  Put on your rubber fingers and grind of the corners to create circular eyes.  Mark the glass above and below the eye and hold it up to the small grinder as shown, and grind in a half-circle.  Do the same for the other side of the eye.  Keep at it until the eye will fit after its been foiled.  

A final look at the pair of Blue Jays.  This pattern is from Canadian artist Chantal Pare. With the exception of Chantal's wonderful Blue Jay, Chickadee, Nuthatch, and Oriole patterns, I designed the other birds based on actual photographs.  You may purchase Chantal's "Backyard Bird" patterns by clicking this link.
 My computer rendition of Chantal's design.
Finished panels.
Please contact me if you have questions about the patterns or if you would like to have one or more custom made stained glass birds in your own home.  Connie, thank you SO much for this commission!  Its been a true joy creating the birds that we enjoy right outside our windows.

To see a short video featuring all of the birds, please click here.  All designs are copyright © Boehm Stained Glass Studio or Chantal Pare.

My next commission, also for Connie, is a larger window which features Mountain Bluebirds which are common near her home in Nebraska.  Stay tuned!

Next, I'll be posting a couple of lamp repairs which I've completed recently.

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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