I submitted two preliminary designs, and then my customer designed a third concept which incorporated aspects of windows she liked. Part of the fun of custom work is being able to add elements from other sources to personalize the look! Here's the computer rendition of her design of the two windows, top and bottom. They are approximately 18" wide and 15" high. (The gray-looking glass in the rendition is actually clear glue chip glass.)
Since the design of these two windows are identical, I opted to prepare two separate sets of identical patterns. I used different color manila folders, as shown below. I did this to be sure that the correct pieces of cut glass were placed on the correct pattern. When making patterns, I use regular carbon paper sandwiched between the "cartoon" and the manila folders. Then I trace the design and transfer all of the markings as well. I used "regular" manila folders for the first window, and colored folders for the second.
I cut each piece of the pattern with double-bladed stained glass pattern shears which allow for a small amount of space which will be taken up by copper foil later. As pattern pieces are cut, I separate them into recycled envelopes by type of glass.
These windows called for many pieces of glass which needed to be 3/4" inch wide, to correspond with the 3/4" clear bevels. In order to have consistency in the width, I opted to use my Beetle Bits Cutting System shown below. I've had this system for a few years but had not tried it before. As a newbie in need of more practice, my results weren't quite as promised. It did prove to be a useful tool, though, which I will use on other projects which require cutting strips of the same size.
Marked off below are three strips of gray opalescent glass, ready for snapping with the (blue) running pliers and then placement on the two patterns. Notice the metal fence or "jig" which surrounds the border of the window. This is in place to ensure that the piece of glass do not shift.
Grinding the edges of a clear piece of glue chip glass. I usually wear "rubber fingers" for protection, but my leather-palmed gloves were nearby, so I wore them instead.
Here's a handful of rough rolled dark gray glass, ready for placement on the patterns. I keep the number on the piece until it is placed on the "cartoon".
Wearing my lead-protectant mask (seen here while working on another project).
Since working with stained glass involves handling lead, I also use "D-Lead Abrasive Hand Soap" after each work session. Although it is abrasive, it is actually mild on the hands.
Back to the project .. After all the glass pieces have been cut, I apply black-backed Copper Foil to the edges of each piece of glass. Then, using a "fid" or flexible plastic wand, I press the foil onto the glass as shown. This prevents any liquids from getting under the foil.
Now, all of the glass and bevels have been foiled. Notice that both of the windows are still enclosed in the metal "fence" or "jig".
The next step is the application of Canfield Technologies Blu-Glass liquid Flux. This is an agent which allows for the soldering of the copper foil. After I've applied flux to all of the copper foil, I add a dab of solder to each intersection of the pieces, to bond them together. This process is called "tack soldering". Then I pull the push pins out and remove the "jig", and carefully slide the paper "cartoon" out from under the glass.
Now the fronts of both windows have been fully soldered and the "cartoon" has been slid out. So now I'm cleaning the chemicals off using "Kwik-Clean Stained Glass Flux and Patina Remover".
Now my husband Eric measures and custom cuts a sturdy metal channel frame for each side of both windows. Here he's using a Dremel cutter to make the angle for the corner.
Eric placing the frame on the edge of the window.
And one more .. The computer rendition is on the right .. Finished windows on the right.
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!