Thursday, September 17, 2015

Stained Glass House Number Transom

I've been wanting to create a transom with a house number for years .. Here's my first one! (Thank you Ellen & Jim). We had a creative exchange which featured 4 (or 5) similar designs in many color combinations. The more designs, the more combos!
Here are four different ones, created for their review.

 Here's the front door, just waiting for a transom with their house number.

 And here's the winner! Its a great choice. It sets off the the green in the front of the home, and the plum is a great accent color.

Early in the process is the pattern making. Before finalizing the pattern, Eric made a template of the opening. The pattern consists of three layers: File folders on the bottom, then carbon paper, then the numbered "cartoon" above. All of the markings on the cartoon are traced onto the file folder layer.

Specialized stained glass pattern shears are double bladed and leave a thin strip between each pattern piece. This is to allow room for the copper foil.

Then the pattern pieces are laid down onto the glass, traced with a Sharpie, and then carefully cut out.

As a batch of pieces are cut, I bring them to the grinder.

When I score straight cuts, I use these "running pliers" to snap the glass.

Now all the glass is cut. Notice that I have a color rendition of the finished piece to guide my glass selection. Also note the "fence" or "jig" around the glass. This holds the glass in place while I'm working on the transom.

 This transom features three clear, flat marbles which also, of course, need to be foiled. Here I've wrapped the foil around each of the marbles.

A quick way to get the foil burnished onto flat marbles is to toss them into a small container together and then shake them up! Works in under a minute.

Applying copper foil to the edges of each piece of glass.

Now all the glass is foiled.

As I do in most of my panels, I'm inserting flat, braided copper wire in between the glass in several places. This adds another element of strength and reinforcement to the transom.

The next step is called "tack soldering" where I apply liquid flux to the foil, and then add a dab of solder to the intersections of the pieces. I put on just enough so that the glass stays together as a unit. Then I remove the "fence" and slide the transom off of the "cartoon".

Then I fully solder the front of the transom, followed by a thorough cleaning and drying with Kwik-Clean spray.

 My husband Eric then custom cuts and fits a metal frame around the piece. He places the "fence" back on to secure the framing while I solder it on.

A view of the transom with the lead lines soldered to the frame.

Here's the transom with the framing soldered on

Another view of it, off the work table, and on a light box so that the colors can now be seen.

Back on the work table, I'm applying black patina to the solder. Its a chemical which reacts instantly with the solder.

I wash off the excess patina, let it dry, and then I apply Liva Stained Glass Polish to the entire transom, front, back and sides. It gets buffed off when fully dry.

And here it is! Ellen and Jim were thrilled to see it "in person". Ellen said she couldn't be happer with it. Yes! Another happy customer. Thank you again, Ellen and Jim, for bringing me my first house number project!  I hope you enjoy it for many years to come (now that everybody knows where to find you!(.

For information on other projects, please click here to visit my website.

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