In celebration of the holiday, I'm posting a recent custom window which features a Lion and Lamb .. Enjoy!
Here is one of two photos sent to me by my customer in Florida, for the window she asked me to create. Her brother is a former stained glass artist but he never got around to making one for her. She said she's been waiting over 20 years for this window. The window is 24" wide by 17" high, to go into the space left by a wall air conditioner. Here we go!
Here's the companion image she sent. Her request was to do the entire window in shades of blue.
Here is my computer rendition of the all-blue image, which is approved on the first submission.
In order to render a realistic monochromatic scene, I chose 7 or 8 different shades of blue, opalescent glass, along with white and pink for the lamb. She requested opalescent glass, which is non-transparent but lets lots of light shine through.
An early step in the process is the creation of the pattern. Here I'm using taped-together Manila folders as the bottom layer, with carbon paper in between, and the "cartoon" or paper pattern on the top. I trace all the numbers, markings and colors onto the folders.
The border gets cut with standard scissors. The individual pattern pieces are cut with specialized stained glass pattern shears. They are double-bladed and cut out a small strip of paper between each piece. This space will be taken up later by copper foil.
Each pattern piece is traced onto a shade of blue glass as shown. Then I use an oil-filled pistol grip glass cutter to hand cut most of the pieces.
This tool is called "groziers" and it is used to nip off smaller pieces of glass. The blue tool in the background are my "running pliers" which I use to snap off glass pieces which have a more straight score.
As each piece of glass is cut, I bring it to the grinder. This step makes the glass safe to handle and allows the copper foil to adhere more effectively.
Some of the pieces in this pattern are too elaborate to be cut by hand. Here is one of them. Here I've coated the Sharpie outline with lip balm to prevent my electric ring saw from washing off the markings.
I gave my customer a choice of eye color for the lion. She left it up to me, so I chose the amber. She loved it!
Originally, I had designed the lamb's face by using several smaller pieces of glass. Then I decided to paint the features on for a more realistic look.
Here are some blue pieces cut, some pattern pieces, and many more pieces traced and ready to be cut.
Back to the wet ring saw for more intricate cuts.
Its coming along nicely. Here I'm about to place another piece of blue onto the "cartoon". Notice the metal "fence" around the border of the cartoon. This serves to hold the pieces in place as I work.
Applying the copper foil to each piece of glass.
I'm using permanent glass paint on the lamb's face and for the pupils of the lion's eyes. After painting on the images, it dries for 24 hours. Then the pieces get baked for 40 minutes. After the pieces are cooled, they'll receive copper foil and be added to the cartoon.
Here's the window, with all of the copper foiling completed.
As I do with most windows, I ran copper reinforcement randomly throughout the window. You can see strips of it here, between the pieces of glass. After the window is soldered, the reinforcement becomes invisible.
Applying liquid flux to the copper foil. This chemical helps the solder to flow evenly over the copper foil.
Here I'm "tack soldering" the window. I'm applying small amounts of solder to the intersections of the glass, to lock them together.
Now that the tack soldering is done, I removed the metal "fence" and I'm sliding out the "cartoon".
Here it is, fully soldered on the front.
Another view as I'm holding it up to the light. Stunning isn't it?
Another view, showing the compelling amber eyes of the lion.
Next my husband Eric has custom cut a zinc metal frame for the border. Then he reinstalls the "fence" around the perimeter. Then I solder the lead lines to the frame, and secure the corners. After the front is done, the fence is removed. Then I solder the back of the window. After soldering, the window receives a thorough cleaning with a neutralizing spray.
Here I'm making hanging hooks out of 20 gauge wire.
Now the hook is embedded into a small mound of solder. I slightly bent the hook so that my customer can attach hanging chains.
Next, the entire window, front, back, sides and frame, receives a coating of black patina. The residue of the patina is also thoroughly washed off once its allowed to set for a while.
Wiping off the neutralizing spray.
And here is the completed lion and lamb in the light!
Another view. As with all stained glass windows, it will appear differently depending on the source, intensity and direction of the light on it.
My thanks to Susan for asking me to create this very special window for her. As arranged, Eric and I delivered it to her family members in northwestern NJ, in time for the family to enjoy for Thanksgiving.
For more information on my other projects, please click here to visit my website.