Saturday, June 14, 2014

Mountain Bluebird Stained Glass Window - Design to glass cutting

For the past couple of weeks, I've been working on an original design of Mountain Bluebirds for my customer in Omaha for whom I also did the 15 smaller bird panels.  (Click here and here to see them.

After discussing her ideas, I presented the initial design, and through emails and a phone call or two, we collaborated together to arrive at the winner .. (Note:  Designs are all copyright ©Boehm Stained Glass Studio.  Permission required for posting, publishing or use.)

Here is the initial design .. The size is 26 ¾ inches by 21 ¼ inches.

That design evolved into this one ..

 And then finally to this  design .. My customer requested clear windowpane glass for the background rather than Artique.  Based on her request, I also changed a few other pieces of glass to provide the greatest transparency.

 Below, using sheets of carbon paper, I've traced the full size "cartoon" or design onto side-by-side pieces of manila folder.

Here I'm taping the manila folders edge to edge, to cover the entire cartoon.

Following my color guide, I'm now tracing the cartoon onto the manila folder beneath the carbon paper.  All markings are transferred, including numbers, colors, and glass texture.

Below, using stained glass pattern shears to get that slim area between pieces for the copper foil which will follow later.

Pattern pieces before organizing them by color into recycled envelopes.  Since this window is so large, I cut about 1/4 of the pattern at a time.

Here the glass has been cut for the weathered bird house in the lower left.  Notice the metal fence or "jig" which surrounds the cartoon.  This will remain in place until the window is tack soldered.  It prevents the glass pieces from shifting.

A handful of multi-shaded pink petals ready for placement on the roof.

An example of the complicated cuts that my Gryphon Omni Saw has made for this project. I coat the markings with lip balm so that the water in the saw won't wash them away.

Note the small lines on the pattern to guide me when cutting glass which has a noticeable horizontal or vertical texture.
 More glass cut ..
 More petals ..

To get the most out of every sheet of glass, I've traced several patterns onto this sheet of clear windowpane glass.  It takes some skill in using the saw, but its a great time saver.
 To make the flower petals more realistic, I'm using two different variegated sheets of pink glass.  Pink is the most costly glass since it is made with gold.
 Another progress photo ..
 Another example of saw cutting ..

Here I'm sliding a pattern for the clear glass under the petals so I can make adjustments to it.  At this stage, a lot of "tweaking" takes place.  I carefully trim pieces and in some cases, re-cut them for a better fit.
Here I'm using Pebeo brand Vitrea 160 glass paint on the birds' feet.  After drying for 24 hours, I bake it for 40 minutes to make it permanent.  These painted pieces won't get foiled until after they're baked.
 And here's the window with all the glass cut.  The next step is applying copper foil.  Stay tuned ....
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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