The family gave me a nice assortment of photos of the two dogs, their mother's beloved pets. There were very few photos of the two dogs together, so I combined the two photos below. I chose these because they are facing each other and I wanted to show the interaction between them.
Here's my computer rendition with a clear hammered glass background. This was the "winning" design. It is 12" high and approximately 24" wide.
After printing the pattern, I'm taping the sheets together, matching lines and numbers as I go.
Here's the "pattern sandwich". The bottom layer is taped-together Manila folders, the center layer is carbon paper, and the top layer is the paper pattern or "cartoon". All of the lines and numbers are copied onto the Manila folder layer, which becomes my templates for tracing onto the glass.
When doing dog portraits, I like to work with a variety of fur colors. Here is my palette.
These double-bladed stained glass pattern shears cut a thin channel between the pieces. This allows room for the copper foil which will follow.
Tracing the pattern pieces onto the glass.
Using my electric ring saw to cut the larger pieces. I'm coating the markings with lip balm to prevent the water from the saw from washing them off.
After the larger pieces are cut, I'm now hand cutting the details around the borders of each piece. Since this is a straight cut, I'm resting the pistol grip glass cutter along the edge of an old ruler.
Tracing brown pieces. For darker glass I use a silver Sharpie.
After each piece is cut, the edges are ground.
Applying 7/32" adhesive copper foil evenly to the edges of each piece of glass.
Burnishing the foil onto the glass using a "fid".
Now all the pieces have been foiled.
I sign and date each of my custom windows. Here I'm using a Dremel tool to etch my signature.
Signed and dated.
Next step: Applying liquid flux to the copper foil. This is a chemical which allows the molten solder to flow evenly onto the foil.
This is the "tack soldering" process whereby I use a small amount of solder to attach the glass pieces together.
At this point, the "fence" is removed and I can slide the paper "cartoon" out from under the "tacked" panel.
And here are the pups with the front side of the panel fully soldered.
Here my husband Eric has custom cut the four pieces of zinc for the frame and is attaching them to the border.
He replaces the "fence" at this point. Then I solder the frame to the panel at the lead lines, front and back for a secure bond.
Now the panel is fully soldered, front and back, and the frame has been installed. After soldering, I spray-clean each side thoroughly.
Here I'm applying liquid black patina to the solder. After it sets, I wash the entire panel again.
And here it is after the patina is applied. Notice that I also painted on a dot of white to add that spark of life to the dogs' eyes.
Next, the hanging hooks. I make them with 20 gauge wire which I wrap around a metal acid brush as shown.
I brush flux onto the upper back of the panel to prepare for soldering,
I "tin" the hook, meaning that I coat it with flux and then a layer of solder. Then I hold it in place using the needle-nosed pliers and add more solder to secure it to the back of the panel. And its done!
To recap .. Here are the original photos ..
My design ..
And the finished panel in direct sun ..
Indoors with an overhead light ..
And indoors in a different light.
Thank you so much for finding me, Elizabeth and Rachel .. I'm thrilled that your mother enjoyed her gift so much! May she enjoy this memento of her beloved Dachshunds for many years to come!
Please call 201-600-1616 or email me to inquire about having your pet rendered in stained glass. Click here to see other dog portraits. For more information on my other projects, please click here to visit my website.