Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mountain Bluebird Stained Glass Window - Foiling, Soldering, Framing and Patina

This lovely Mountain Bluebird stained glass window is now on its way to Omaha.  Here are the steps covered since the prior post.  They include applying copper foil, soldering, framing, and applying the patina. 

At this stage, all the glass had been cut, trimmed, fitted, ground and copper foiled.  There were 193 pieces of glass.  Here I'm applying Canfield brand Blu-Glass Liquid Flux with a metal acid brush.  This flux is less caustic than standard flux.  Always a safer choice.  Note that I am taking it from the cap of the jar.  The excess should never be returned to the jar, as it can get easily contaminated.

Below, I'm "tack soldering" the pieces together while they are still in the "jig" or metal fence.  This assures that the pieces will not shift when the jig is removed.

Here I've tack soldered the entire front of the window and removed the jig.  Now I'm carefully sliding the "cartoon" or paper pattern out from under the window.  This assures that the pattern is kept clean from the chemicals which will follow.

At this stage, I've soldered the entire front of the window.  Here my husband Eric is placing custom sized zinc framing to the outer border.  When the framing is complete, he'll secure it in place with a series of push pins along each side.  Then I'll solder the corners and solder the lead lines of the design to the frame, for added strength.

Here is the framed piece with the front soldered.  I then turn the window over and flux and solder the back.

 After the front and back are fluxed, soldered and cleaned, and the frame is in place, I begin applying  Novacan brand black patina to the solder with a metal acid brush.  The patina reacts instantly with the solder.  I let it set for a while, then I use Kwik-Clean spray to remove all of the chemical residue.  The final step is to apply Livia Stained Glass Finishing Compound to the entire piece, including the front, back and frame.  This protects the patina and gives the glass a nice shine.  No further care will be needed for the window except for an occasional dusting.

Here again is the original design ...

 And here is the completed window!  (Note that the background is clear windowpane glass.  It was photographed against a white wall in my studio).
Connie, its been a true pleasure working with you these past few months on your bird designs!  Even though there are many miles between us, I'm especially pleased that we were able to collaborate almost entirely by email to create your 15 bird panels and this lovely window for your newly renovated kitchen.  May you and Rod enjoy them all, for many years to come!

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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