Thursday, September 8, 2016

Pair of Free Form, Half Moon Stained Glass Windows

This project enabled me to interpret another artist's design and complete the look of the windows in a large, Southwestern style living room.

Here's the right side of the fireplace which shows two stained glass windows up top.  The half moon has tape across it because the inner layer of glass cracked, perhaps by a cleaning person.  My mission was to create two half moon windows which mimic the design of the other windows.  Identical windows are located on the left side of the fireplace as well.

A closer look at the window on the left ..

And its counterpart on the right ..

 Below are my computer renditions of the two windows.  The background glass is clear Artique.

After the designs were approved by my customer, I bgan the pattern making process.  Here are the three layers.  The top layer is the "cartoon" or computer-generated paper pattern.  The middle layer is carbon paper.  And the bottom layer is Manila folders.

I carefully trace all of the lines and numbers onto the folders below.  Then I write in the type of glass needed. I then sort each pattern piece by glass, in recycled junk mail envelopes.

Here are the stained glass cutting shears.  They are double-bladed and cut a thin strip between each pattern.  This allows room for the copper foil which I will add later.

I'm tracing the pattern pieces on the clear Artique glass using a black Sharpie.  I'm writing on the smooth, non-textured side of the glass.  I want the textured side to face out, therefore, I'm laying the pattern pieces upside down.

Coating the markings with lip balm to prevent the wet saw from washing them off.

I start the cutting process by using my ring saw which coats the blade (and the glass) with a fine spray of water.  This keeps the blade from over-heating.  Here I'm using a larger sheet of glass with several pieces which I'm carefully and slowly separating with the saw.

After the larger pieces are cut, I do the finer cuts by hand with an oil-filled, pistol grip glass cutter, shown.

Here I'm using a pair of groziers to nip out a crescent of glass which I cut with the glass cutter.

Now all of the glass is cut for one of the two half moons.  Notice the "fence" or metal band across the bottom and the line of push pins around the curve.  These are to hold the glass in position as I add them to the "cartoon".

Here's another tool called "breaking pliers" which I use to separate glass which has been "scored" with the oil-filled pistol grip glass cutter (purple tool).

After I cut a bunch of pieces, I bring them to the electric grinder for finishing.  This makes them safe to handle and permits the copper foil to adhere properly.

Lots of small slivers cut for the windows.

Now all of the clear Artique is cut for the background, as well as the pops of color.

Next, I apply 7/32" adhesive copper foil to the center of the edges of each piece of glass. Then I "burnish" the foil using a "fid", which is a flat, plastic, flexible wand.

Now both windows have been foiled.

Next, I use an electric Dremel tool to etch my name, month, and year into the bottom of  each window.  (I use the Dremel upside down .. Its more comfortable for my small hands).

My signature .. Barely visible unless the light hits it just right.

Here I'm applying liquid "flux" which serves as a catalyst to enable the molten solder to flow evenly over the foil.

Action shot, soldering.  I wear this protective mask to protect my lungs from harmful lead fumes.

Now the windows are "tack soldered".  This means I've added small dots of solder evenly throughout each window, just enough to attach all the the glass together.

Now I've released the metal band at the bottom as well as all the push pins.  I'm sliding the "cartoon" out from under the window.  This will protect the paper from the chemicals which follow.

Now my husband Eric steps in to custom cut the frame for the bottom of each window.

Then I use a flexible brass channel and snap it around the entire perimeter of the curve.

After the frames have been soldered on, I apply "flux" to the backs of each window and solder them as well.

Here's a look at the "decorative solder" which my customer requested.  It matches the existing windows.

After I clean off all the flux and residue from the soldering process, I apply "black patina" which is a chemical that turns the silver solder to black.  After this sets for a while, I wash the entire window again. After the windows are dry, I apply "stained glass finishing compound" which is a light wax.  This shines the patina and protects the windows from dust.  It also makes the glass shine.

Close up view of one of the windows.

One of the windows, completed and ready for installation ..

And here's the other one ..

The decorative solder after being patina-ed.

The Andersen window on the right presented a challenge .. The inner layer of glass cracked but it took Eric some time to carefully extract the pieces while being careful not to damage the outer window.  It was worth the time .. All of the glass came out cleanly.

And here are the windows after installation .. (Special thanks to Derek for the photos, taken the next day).

And here's the other window, in the morning sunlight.

And here's a view of this beautiful room, now with coordinating stained glass windows.
Thank you very much, Marci, Harvey and Derek, for your hospitality and for inviting us to create these windows!  We hope you enjoy them for many years to come.
For more information on my other projects, please click here to visit my website.

If you're on FaceBook, please click here to "like" my BoehmStained Glass Studio page to keep up with all the latest projects.  Thank you!

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