Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuscany Villa window .. The latest

It’s coming along!  About 11 colors down, several more to go.  Here’s a sneak preview.  You’ll notice several variations from the original pattern (posted below) on the skyline and perhaps one or two of the colors.  Part of the fun of working the glass is being able to make decisions on the fly, depending on what will look better or more realistic.  All of the villa windows will be painted on later.  Since my client requested transparency for much of the window, the villas are done primarily with Spectrum Cathedral and Artique glass.  I’ve discovered Wissmach glass and just love working with it.  The entire line of trees, side to side, was done in sequence with just one piece of Wissmach glass, no breaks.  Amazing. 

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Tuscany Villa window update

Just a quick update on the Tuscany Villa window, below … After a few more minor design tweaks, I completed the pattern and cut out about half of it.  I’m doing a photography project today, but anticipate starting to cut the glass first thing tomorrow.  I'll be cutting for a while ... This beautiful 19" x 32" window now has over 270 pieces of glass.

Click here for Boehm Stained Glass Studio website

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tuscany Villa window commission

This Tuscany villa scene is the basis for my next project for a client who has wanted a custom stained glass window since her now-28-year-old son was an infant.  Her original idea was a four seasons theme but we couldn’t quite find “the” design that would work well with her 4-panel horizontal window.  Knowing her taste, I went back and did more research for her.  As soon as I found this Tuscany scene from  Paned Expressions  it got an immediate thumbs-up from both her and her husband.  Yes!  Based on our collaboration, I’ve already modified it to include two beautiful large sunflowers in the left foreground as well as the addition of vineyards to the landscape. This week I’ll be focusing on inventorying my glass, ordering what I need, and then starting the pattern-making process.  With this lovely Italian countryside palette and the ideas that my client and I developed together, this window should be stunning.  Can’t wait to start cutting the glass for it!  Stay tuned for updates.

Click here for Boehm Stained Glass Studio website

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dedicated to Mom

Since today would have been my Mother’s 82nd birthday, and because she is my inspiration for learning stained glass, this post is dedicated to her.  Pictured is the piece that started it all, a pretty grapes-and-leaves panel that my Mother started and I repaired. She had given it to me many years before her passing but it had broken into two halves before she had a chance to install it. After her passing, I wanted to repair it and enjoy it, so I signed up for a basic stained glass class to learn how.

The teacher told me that the repair would be too difficult to attempt in that class and that I should put it aside and try again in her advanced class the next semester.  Not to be so easily swayed, I worked hard, learned every skill as taught, and pushed to do more advanced techniques.

Toward the end of the course, I jumped in on my own … I removed and replaced my Mom’s old copper foil, sanded off the old solder, jig-sawed the two halves together, soldered them, and then refreshed the black patina.   It was a bit tricky due to the age of the piece, and the uneven borders, but the results were so worth it. I added channel to reinforce the borders as well as a wood frame. It is now proudly displayed in our front window, a warm reminder of my Mom ... naturally creative and always inspiring.

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Still Life in Stained Glass

There is another stained glass window on the horizon, but I’ll post a few past projects until its ready. This is a 46-piece window from a pattern called “Still Life” by Ellis Roddick which I completed in April ‘09.

I modified the round pattern by adding the four clear glue chip glass corners to make it a 13-1/2” x 19” rectangle. I also soldered on 16 flat glass marbles instead of cutting half-circle pieces of glass as the pattern suggested.  (Due to the possibility of the glass cracking from the heat of the iron, the marbles were soldered separately, then tacked on to the completed piece as a unit.)

For a faux wine label, we added a digitally altered photo of our home with the words “Chateau Boehm, Vintage 2008, Midland Park, New Jersey.” I framed the piece with thin channel, and then my husband made an external wood frame for it.  Then he added a half-inch internal wood frame between the stained glass and the existing window, as a moisture lock.

By using true-to-life glass colors for the elements in the piece, and by mixing up different textures of glass, we have a bright window that we never tire of admiring.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rescue Window for a Rescue Cat

This 9” x 12” piece was started by a client in memory of her rescue cat. She missed a couple of her stained glass classes and was feeling overwhelmed. She still wanted to see it finished, so she called me this week for help. My pleasure! She had already cut about half the pieces, but all were a bit larger than the pattern. Each one had to be trimmed with breaker-grozier pliers prior to grinding. Grozing makes such a satisfying crunching noise, its almost addictive if you can get past the mild panic that sometimes arises for fear of the piece breaking. But none of those pieces broke, and even the curvy tail came through unscathed. The wispy white and wispy turquoise for the diagonals are a nice complement to the curvy opaque black and white glass. This “rescue window” is an amazing likeness, and a fitting tribute, to my client's beloved rescue cat.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Repair to Stained Glass Dragon

This little brass and stained glass dragon from the 1970's came to me in pieces yesterday ... One wing had fallen off and the other was split into three pieces. Just by chance, I had glass in my inventory which nearly exactly matched the existing wings.  So I set down to work ... 

 I melted the existing solder and, using needle nose pliers, carefully pulled out the old copper foil embedded in it. Using the parts of the broken wing as a pattern, I cut and grinded a new wing, foiled and tinned it.  

Since this job required a third hand, I used my weighted, relocatable clip implement to hold the new wing in place against the body while I soldered. I re-foiled the fallen wing and re-soldered it onto the brass body of the dragon at an angle similar to the opposing wing. So, in about an hour, this little dragon was flying again.

Click here for Boehm Stained Glass Studio website