Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Entryway window glass soldered, framed and ready for installation

After a day or so off to celebrate Christmas, I went back to working on this lovely little window.  Since this window will be in a front door, I wanted it to be extra strong.  See below that I snaked some flat braided reinforcement tape randomly throughout the window.  (Note that there is a brand called Strong Line Internal Steel Reinforcement which I do not recommend for a small window.  Its not bendable). See below (You may have to click on the photo to enlarge for a better look).
The next step isn't pretty, but its necessary .. tack soldering the piece.  This entails brushing flux (soldering liquid) to all of the copper foil. Once that's been done, tack solder together the pieces at the joints and randomly along longer lines.  Tack soldering needs to be done to the front side only. (See below).

Now its time to release the window from the jig.  Take out the push pins, remove the metal "jig" (fence), and slide out the "cartoon" (paper pattern) underneath.  Then proceed with the "real" soldering, first the front side, then turn it over carefully and solder the back.  Since this window will be viewed from both sides, extra care was taken to neatly solder both sides.

Next, the window gets washed with powdered cleanser (Comet), rubber gloves and an old dish brush set aside for this purpose. Now you can see the window's beautiful colors.
Last night my husband Eric measured and cut some thin channel (metal frame) for the window.  After the frame was cut, he put it back in the jig to prepare it for me to solder this morning.
I soldered the corners of the frame, and then soldered the lead lines from the window onto the frame, for added strength.  The next step, applying the patina, is shown below.  Black is the traditional patina and that is what we decided to use on this window. I use Novacan Black Patina for Solder.  Fill the bottle cap with a small amount and simply brush it on for instant results.

Then bring the window back to the sink, rinse it off with cool water, let dry, and apply Clarify Stained Glass Finishing Compound to wax and protect both sides of the window.  Since this window will be exposed to the elements, we will advise the homeowner to wax the window at least once a year when the weather is mild.  For an indoor window, re-waxing may be done far less frequently, if at all.
And now for the "big reveal"!  Here was the computer rendition created on December 10.
And here is the finished window as seen against this afternoon's overcast sky.  The texture of all the glass can't truly be seen in this light, but the colors certainly are brighter now.  We made some minor tweaks to the design to accommodate the door, and I'm very pleased with the results!

The next blog update will show Eric installing the window.  Stay tuned ..

To visit our FaceBook page, please click here and "like" us .. and to see more of our projects at the Boehm Stained Glass Studio website, please click here.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Entryway window glass foiled

The next step for the window in the entryway door has been completed.  Black-backed copper foil has been applied to the outer edge of each piece of glass.  Black-backed foil was used on this window because the cathedral glass is somewhat transparent and the inside of the foil may show through the glass.  Since we will be patina-ing the solder in black, the inside of the foil will blend in with the patina when the window is completed.

Below is a photo of the application of the self-adhesive copper foil onto the center of the edge of the glass. (Click on photo to enlarge).

After each piece is foiled, it is smoothed onto the glass with a "fid" or plastic wand, as shown.  The razor knife is used to trim any excess foil at the overlap points.
And here is the window, foiled and ready to be fluxed and soldered. Notice that it is still in the "jig" to maintain its proportions and to be sure the glass doesn't shift.  It will stay there until it is tack soldered.
I'll be back to show the finished window and its installation soon after Christmas Day.  Happy Holidays to all!

To visit our FaceBook page, please click here and "like" us .. and to see more of our projects at the Boehm Stained Glass Studio website, please click here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Entryway window glass cut

All of the glass for the entryway door window has now been cut.  Using the manila folder patterns, each piece was traced with a black or silver Sharpie as shown below. (Click on any photo to enlarge).
Here are some stained glass tools, shown clockwise: Toyo brand pistol grip glass cutter, (blue) running pliers for cracking glass in a straight line, groziers to trim and snap off small pieces, silver Sharpie for marking dark glass .. and the purple rough rolled glass with manila folder patterns.

After each piece was cut and trimmed, the edges were ground on the electric grinder as shown below.
I'm wearing rubber fingers purchased from Staples.  They come in 4 sizes .. Find them here. They are invaluable for avoiding glass cuts and protecting your manicure.

The purple sponge shown in the photo above draws water from the reservoir which is below the grinding surface.  The water serves to cool the spinning grinder.  To enhance the effectiveness of the water and to protect the life of the grinding wheel, I recommend adding E-Z Grind Advanced Formula from Glastar to the reservoir.  For more info on this product, click here.

Most of the glass chosen for this window was cathedral, but we decided to add one piece of translucent wispy pink glass as a point of interest.  Here it is, below, with the pattern laid on top of it.  Also, I hoped to locate flat red one-inch wide marbles for the "eyes", but alas, they were nowhere to be found. Instead, I cut some brilliant red cathedral glass as shown below, with the pistol grip glass cutter.

And here is the window after the glass has been cut. The paper pattern or "cartoon" has been pinned to the homasote work board and a metal bumper, or "jig" is placed around the perimeter.  The jig serves to hold the glass in place until after the entire piece is tack soldered.
Note that the grape rough rolled glass for the "heart" appears dark when on the homasote work surface.  All of the glass will "come alive" when its in the light.

Next step: Applying copper foil to the borders of each piece of glass.  Stay tuned ..

To visit our FaceBook page, please click here and "like" us .. and to see more of our projects at the Boehm Stained Glass Studio website, please click here.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Entryway window for Tudor home

After shooting several recent photography gigs (click here for blog), I'm happy to back in my stained glass studio, designing, making patterns, and cutting glass.

My current project is a 13" wide diagonal window for the front door of a Tudor home.  It is a replacement for the existing window which is the initial of the surname of the previous family.  Here it is .. (Click on any photo to enlarge).

My customer was in need of inspiration for a new design, so I suggested she look around her home to see if there was anything that caught her eye.  Yes .. There is a beautiful stained glass light fixture in the kitchen which she and her husband both liked.  We decided to go with it.
After two meetings, we worked together to choose the glass, which will be primarily cathedral (clear) glass. This glass will provide privacy for their front foyer but will also enable them to see who is at the door.  Below is the design. 
We chose a mix of clear glue chip, clear artique, and blue, grape, and yellow rough rolled glass, all of which will work together for a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind window.
I then prepared the pattern .. See below.  My husband Eric took the measurements of the existing window and made a paper template on which he traced the design.  Using carbon paper, I then traced the design onto a manila folder.  (See below)
Note those 1-inch wide blue "eyes", actually flat marbles. The search is on for red ones in the same size.
I then cut each pattern piece using double-bladed pattern shears which give some "breathing room" between each piece, as shown.  This will accommodate the copper foil and reinforcement tape which will follow.

Next, each pattern piece will be traced onto the glass using a black marker.  All of the glass for this project will be cut by hand.  Stay tuned for the next update showing the glass cut. 

To visit our FaceBook page, please click here and "like" us .. and to see more of our projects at the Boehm Stained Glass Studio website, please click here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The challenge of matching glass for a repair

There are a couple of potential commissions in the works as a result of our recent shows .. but my photography has been keeping me busy lately.  Click into my photo blog link here to see recent work.

In the meantime, I've taken in this beautiful lamp for possible repair.  Its been in storage for 6 years and its owner is very interested in repairing it so she can enjoy it again. (Click on photo for a closer look).
The lamp has a total of 12 broken pieces, 8 of which are on the dome, some of which can be seen in the photo. I enjoy doing repairs but I'm very picky about making them look unrecognizable.  Matching the glass closely, or preferably exactly, is the key to a successful, un-noticeable repair.

I didn't recognize the glass on the dome so I sent a couple of pieces, with the edges ground for safety, to a supplier who informed me that the glass is no longer being made.  Bad news.  He can offer a similar color to the gold-amber, but the opacity would be thicker and the replacement pieces would appear darker when the lamp is turned on.  Worse news.
I am awaiting my customer's decision whether to go ahead or not.  Its a tough one.  If I don't do the repair, it will go back to the storage unit.  If I do the repair and the mis-match is obvious, neither of us will be happy with the results.  

This is the challenge with repairing stained glass pieces which can be decades old.  The techniques are fairly straight-forward, but its trying to match the old glass that trips us up.  The jury is still out on this one.  I'll post further if the repair gets a green light.

To see other repairs on my blog, click here

Please click here to visit and "like" our FaceBook page.  And for our newly designed website, click here, to see even more of our work.  Thank you!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A good day at the Dumont Oktoberfest Street Fair

Five years ago today, Eric and I met on a Bicycle Touring Club of North Jersey bike ride!  We celebrated by setting up our booth and greeting visitors interested in Boehm Stained Glass Studio.  We had a wonderful day.  Thanks to everybody we met, and welcome to all who are checking out our blog for the first time!

Feel free to check out the "Labels" or "Projects" on the right side, pick a project, and watch it develop from initial design through the installation.  We enjoy every step of the process .. We look forward to building a window for you.  Call us at 201-600-1616 or send an email through this blog.  Thank you.

Here are some photos of the day ..
For this show, I had fun making a mini version of my Victorian Tulip window as a demonstration.  This little one is only 8-1/2" wide .. The original is 22".  As a demo, I completed the right side only and applied black patina to the front and left the back silver.  The manila folder pattern is on the left and the original pattern is underneath. (Click on any photo to enlarge).
Here's the "big Victorian Tulip" next to the "little Victorian Tulip".
For this show, we added some autumnal fabric table cloths which we think warmed up our booth ... and we added some Fall foliage.
Here's a video of our booth!  Background music is by the Notorious Baker Brothers who were performing across the street.  Click here to hear more.   


Still lovebirds, five years later.  Thanks to my dear husband Eric, for always supporting my creative endeavors!

Please click here to visit and "like" our FaceBook page.  And be sure to visit our newly designed website, click here, to see even more of our work.  Thank you!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dumont Oktoberfest Street Fair this Saturday

Boehm Stained Glass Studio will have a booth at the Dumont Oktoberfest Street Fair this Saturday, 10:00 - 5:00.  We don't yet have our space assignment, but you'll find us somewhere between East Madison and West Shore.
We'll bring the Victorian Tulip, our Bear, and the Chickadees and Wisteria windows with us .. and maybe even a "demo" window in progress.  Stop by and say hello!  Visit our website to see our work .. Click here.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Allendale Festival Day & Car Show a success!

Well, we started the day a bit nervously with a healthy downpour right as the festival began .. but once the clouds cleared an hour or so later, the crowds came out in force.  We had a great day.

Special thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth to compliment our work or to ask questions about a repair to a lamp or stained glass panel, or to ask questions about having a custom window made.  Here are a few photos from the day:  (Click on any photo to enlarge).
Our booth on West Allendale Avenue
This was only our second show, the first with our new canopy and adjustable height 6' table.  We were very pleased that the canopy kept us dry during the rain at the start of the day.
We brought three of our windows with us .. The Victorian Tulip (not pictured here), the Wisteria and Chickadees, and the Bear (our trademark).  All of these and more can be seen on the BSGS website .. click here.  We also made some soldered glass refrigerator magnets which went over pretty well.  We've got plenty to spare for next time, too.  (We made a lot!).
New to my blog?  To see a particular window being built, from design through installation, look for the "Labels" or "Projects" listed in the right hand column, toward the bottom.  Click on any "Project" and see, in reverse order, the entire process, including photos, narratives, and tips.

My work bench now is ready for your repair or your custom window.  Thanks again for visiting, chatting, and picking up a business card.  I look forward to hearing from you!   201-600-1616 or email.

Please click here to visit and "like" our FaceBook page.  And be sure to visit our newly designed website, click here, to see even more of our work.  Thank you!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Allendale Festival Day & Car Show, Saturday, October 1

This weekend, Saturday, October 1, Eric and I will have a booth at the 19th Annual Allendale Festival Day and Car Show on West Allendale Avenue.  We'll be among over 100 vendors for what promises to be a fun, successful show.

We'll have a few of our stained glass windows on display, as well as framed photos of many others that I've created.  We'll also bring my full-color binder which shows, step-by-step, the entire process of constructing the windows, from design through installation.  And something new .. We'll be offering a variety of soldered glass refrigerator magnets as seen in the posting below.

If you're in the area, stop by and say hi!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Soldered Glass Magnets and Necklaces

Something different today.  Eric and I are getting ready for a craft show next weekend and I wanted to offer something small and affordable at our booth, in addition to soliciting commissions for custom residential stained glass windows.  These little soldered charms are just the thing!
They are super easy to make .. There are several good videos up on YouTube to show you how.  Here's a good one:
The products she uses are slightly different than mine .. and I ground the glass before foiling, but this video will give you all the basics.  I found 8x10" clear glass that is 1/3 thinner than most stained glass, which made using 7/32" copper foil tape an ideal choice.  I used lead-free solder. I will be turning some of these little 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" gems into refrigerator magnets.  The rest will become necklaces.

Here's the info on the show ...
Eric and I will have a booth at the upcoming 19th Annual Allendale Festival Day and Car Show, next weekend, Saturday, October 1, 2011 from 10:00 to 4:00.  Come by and say hello!

Check out the new look of Boehm Stained Glass Studio website (testimonials added, too), and also visit our FaceBook site.  Thanks!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Repair to Mission Style Lamp

This beautiful, classic Mission style lamp came to me for repairs after my customer's grandchildren accidentally damaged it.  The lamp had been in his family for 20 years.  Here's the damage. (Click on any photo to enlarge).
The goal of any good stained glass repair is to restore the piece to looking as close to the original as possible.  With older glass that's not always an option, but I've generally been fortunate in finding good matches.

The first step is to score and break out the broken piece of glass.  Then, using a soldering iron, melt off the surrounding solder and pull off the copper foil around the entire perimeter of the piece which was removed.  The photo below shows the broken piece removed as well as some of the foil, with a small piece of glass still attached.

Notice that I left the surrounding metal channel at the bottom, for structural stability.  If I had removed that piece, it would have compromised the strength of the entire lamp.  Also, if I had replaced that channel it would not have matched the original.  Since it was still in good condition, the better option was to leave it "as is" and work around it. 
I made a template of the 15" x 3" opening which became the pattern I used to cut a replacement piece of glass.  Though the new glass is not an exact match, it is very close in texture, opacity and color, and I was confident it would work well.

I applied new copper foil to the perimeter of the opening as well as to the new piece of glass.  In order to match the foil width that was used on the lamp originally, I chose a 3/16 size which is more narrow than the commonly used 7/32 foil.  Note again that the original metal channel at the edge of the lamp is still in place. I carefully tucked the replacement glass into that channel and fit it into the open space while the lamp was laying flat on my work surface.  I then taped the glass in place.

The photo below is the view inside the lamp laying flat, with the replacement glass taped in place and ready for soldering.
Solder is of course, molten metal, and it requires a flat surface on which to work.  I soldered the inside of the lamp when it was flat on the work bench.  But to solder the outside, I also had to make it "flat".  I carefully placed the lamp into a large box full of packing peanuts, with the outside facing up.  I soldered the outside while it was still in the box so that the solder would flow properly and I'd get good lines.
Another challenge with this repair was matching the existing patina, a beautiful bronze color.  Since there is no "bronze" color patina available for purchase, I experimented with a mix of black and copper patinas until I found the right color.

Note the small piece of clear glass above the bowl in the photo below.  I laid out a few pieces of copper foil, tinned them, and brushed on small amounts to test the color.  The best ratio was approximately 40% copper and 60% black patina. This proportion gave me just the right amount of warmth and darkness to match the existing patina on the lamp.
The repair was a success ..
My customer is happy with the results, and his grandchildren are probably relieved as well.  Call me if you have a broken copper foiled stained glass piece which needs repair. I'm happy to assist you with getting those broken pieces back out to be seen and enjoyed.  201-600-1616 or email me.

Boehm Stained Glass Studio website and FaceBook site.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Boehm Stained Glass Studio recent newspaper ad

Here is our ad which ran recently in the Suburban News, in Midland Park, Ridgewood, Hawthorne, Franklin Lakes and Wyckoff, NJ.  Think of us when you want to have a custom-designed residential Stained Glass window built .. or if you need repairs. We are happy to work long distance!

See more of our work at Boehm Stained Glass Studio website and our FaceBook site.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Art Deco windows installed

My husband Eric installed all 9 Art Deco windows this weekend.  Here he is, affixing clips to the large window to securely anchor it to the wood frame window. (Click on any image to zoom in).
He installed the 8 smaller windows above it with clear silicone caulk.  First he positioned each piece of glass in the center of the mullions and then secured each one in place with blue painters tape as shown.  Note that he also positioned a few layers of cardboard beneath each piece of glass to help center them.
Below, he's applying clear silicone caulk to the space between the edge of the glass and the edge of the mullion.  The silicone will secure the glass and is ideal for this application since it is clear and it will allow light in.  Its also flexible to allow for temperature changes through the seasons.  To allow for airflow between the layers of glass, some gaps were left in the silicone caulking.
It takes about 24 hours for the silicone to set, so we left it to our customer to remove the blue tape.  Here's what the windows looked like when we left. 
These windows face the front of their home.  It was wonderful to look up on our way out and see the character the stained glass windows add, even from the outside. 

Below is a photo of the completed window, as taken by my customer the next day.
Here is a lovely comment left for us ... "The window is gorgeous and exceeded our expectations! The pictures of the finished window don't really do it justice as the colors and the different types of clear glass are quite astonishing; especially when the light reflects through. We have already received quite a number of compliments after only a few days! It is the focal point of our bathroom, and rightly so"

Thank you for finding me, Mark and Debi.  It was a pleasure bringing your vision to reality .. May you enjoy them for many, many years!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Art Deco smaller windows completed

As soon as the 290-piece Art Deco was completed (see posts below), I started working on the 8 smaller windows which we will install above it.  The smaller windows are 8" square and will be clear waterglass and sky blue rough rolled glass, both of which are used in the main window.  Here again is my customer's window.
And here's the computer-generated preview I prepared:
Here is the glass, below, which I cut horizontally so that the texture of the waterglass moves from left to right.  On the upper left is a stack of the 4 plain clear waterglass windows.  Surrounding that are 4 clear waterglass quadrants with the sky blue rough rolled diamonds for the upper windows, along with their manila folder patterns. (Click on any photo to enlarge).
After I ground the edges of each piece, I washed and rinsed them off. Then I applied 7/32 black back copper foil as seen below. The self-adhesive foil is applied dead-center to the side of each piece of glass, then pressed into place with a fid, or flat plastic wand-like tool, also shown below.

After I foiled each of the windows, I put them in an individual jig to make sure they stayed square during the soldering process.  Below, the first two windows are soldered and the second two are just foiled.  (Click on image to zoom in).
After soldering the fronts, backs, and edges of each of the 8 windows, I applied black patina, rinsed, and then waxed them.  Waxing protects the patina and brings up the shine in the glass.  (Not pictured are the four plain clear waterglass windows which will be installed below these).

Here is one of the four windows which have the sky blue diamond in the center.  The diamond is the same color and size as the ones in the larger window.  Now you can see the true beauty of the clear waterglass.  It will let in lots of light but will give privacy as well.

Depending on my customer's schedule, my husband Eric and I hope to do the installation this weekend.  These windows will be the crowning glory to their newly renovated bathroom.  The next post will show the installation, and the windows in their new home.

Boehm Stained Glass Studio website and FaceBook site.