Thursday, December 29, 2016

Octagonal Stained Glass Sunrise Sunset Window

My customer, in Queens NY, commissioned me to create a window which is to be the focal point of his newly renovated kitchen.  At his request, I prepared several geometric as well as sunrise/sunset designs.  Here's the winner ..

My husband Eric began the process by traveling to Queens to make a paper template of the window.  Octagons can be tricky.  Sometimes the sides are unequal.  He made the template to be sure of an exact fit. 
Here I'm using the template to define the borders for the pattern pieces.  On the bottom layer are Manila folders, taped together.  Above that are sheets of carbon paper.  And on the upper layers, my computer pattern and the template.  

After I've defined the borders of the octagon, I'm now tracing the numbers and colors onto the pattern.

As each color pattern is cut out, I organize them in marked, recycled envelopes.  I'm using double bladed stained glass pattern shears which cut a thin channel of paper between each piece.  This bit of room is essential for the copper foil which will be applied later.

Using the template that my husband Eric made of the window, I'm tracing the border onto the computer-generated pattern.  This will ensure that the borders will be correctly sized.

I decided to start with the red glass.  I generally cut all of one color at a time. Here I'm tracing the pattern pieces with a silver Sharpie pen.

I cut each piece of glass with an oil-filled pistol grip glass cutter shown here.  I "score" the lines by pressing down firmly on the glass at a 90 degree angle.  Once the glass is scored, I tap all along it using the metal end of the cutter.  This is one way to "loosen" the glass to get it to split properly.

Another way I cut glass is with a wet ring saw, shown here.  It gives precise cuts every time.  I use lip balm over the markings to prevent them from washing away as the saw is running.

Another tool used to split the glass is "running pliers" shown here.  I place them at the end of a "score" and the glass will break cleanly.

As each piece of glass is cut, I bring it to the electric grinder.  Its important that the edges of each piece of glass be ground.  It makes them safe to handle, and it improves the adhesion of the copper foil which will follow.

As I grind and then clean each piece of glass, I place them on the pattern as shown.

This tool is called "groziers" and its used for nipping off thin sections of glass

Another example of "groziers" nipping off a piece of glass.

All glass is cut.

Adding braided reinforcement wire to several places between the glass, to strengthen the piece.

Applying copper foil to the borders of each piece of glass.

Using a "fid" to burnish the foil.

At this point, the center pieces of the panel have been "tack soldered" so that I can slide it onto the template.

The glass is all on the template now.  I'm marking glass to be trimmed around the edges.

The glass has been trimmed to fit the template.  Now I'm using a Dremel tool to sign/etch my name and date into the glass.

All the glass is cut, foiled and soldered on the front.  It's now ready for the zinc channel frame.

Finished!   Eric custom-cut a metal frame from zinc channel, which I soldered it to the border.  The window has been cleaned and waxed.  It will look different under different lighting conditions.  Here it is outdoors with the sun behind it, and also with a white board.

Here it is with a white board behind it.

Here's Eric doing a night-time installation in the new kitchen, about two weeks ago.

Here's a night-time view from outside the window.  I love how the sun pops!

And here is a photo taken by my customer the next day, in full sun.  Thank you for the photo, Manuel, and for the pleasure of meeting you!  May you enjoy your renovated kitchen and your beautiful window for many years to come! 
HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, and all of my Boehm Stained Glass Studio followers and customers!
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!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Custom Stained Glass Angel

This little angel is only 8" x 8" but it has given my customer a great deal of joy which will be shared when she gives it to her boss as a Christmas gift.  The design came from an inspiration stained glass window in her home, which I modified to suit its smaller size.  Here's the process, start to finish ..
I prepared several different variations of the angel .. Here is the "winner"

Here I'm preparing the pattern.  I sized the design to 8" x 8", then made a "sandwich" of Manila folder on the bottom, then carbon paper, then the printed pattern on top.  Then I transferred all markings. I keep a color rendition of the piece nearby so that I can mark the glass colors as well.

I use stained glass pattern shears to cut the pattern pieces.  They are double-bladed and leave a small bit of paper between each piece.  This leaves room for the copper foil to follow later.

The glass palette and the recycled envelopes where I keep the pattern pieces.

The metal "fence" which keeps the glass in place as I work.

Tracing pattern pieces onto the glass with a black Sharpie.
 Cutting the glass by hand by resting an oil-filled pistol grip glass cutter against an old, flat ruler to get a straight "score".  After I score the glass, I tap on it repeatedly with the brass end of the cutter.  Eventually the glass will loosen and split along the score.

 Cutting some pieces with a ring saw.  Here I'm coating the Sharpie markings with lip balm to prevent the water from the saw from washing them off.  Because the glass is still sharp, I'm wearing gloves.  The ring saw enables me to accurately make deep curves and unusual shapes that would not be possible to cut by hand.

Now all the glass has been cut and fitted onto the pattern.  I call this a glass jigsaw puzzle.

Here I'm applying the copper foil to the edges of each piece of glass.   Since the solder will be blackened with patina, I'm using "black back" copper foil.  On some of the clear pieces, the inside of the foil will show through.  The black interior of this foil will make it invisible.

Now she's all foiled.

 Brushing on liquid "flux".  This chemical allows the solder to flow freely over the copper foil.

Now I'm "tack soldering", meaning I'm putting dots of solder at random places on the design, to lock the pieces together.

Since the pieces are locked in, I've removed the "fence" and I'm sliding out the paper pattern.  Now that the angel is free from the fence, I can maneuver it around to get good angles for soldering.

Here I'm soldering the front.  The back follows soon after.

After the front and back are fully soldered, I apply "black patina".  This is a blue chemical which instantly turns the solder black.  After it sets a few minutes, I wash it off carefully with a spray called "Kwik-Clean" and I allow it to dry.

Here's the angel with the black patina applied.

Next, my husband Eric custom cuts a metal frame and pins to the panel.

Making hanging hooks from paper clips. Sometimes I make hooks from wire, but since this piece is small and lightweight, the small paper clips work just fine.

To prepare for soldering the hook, I add flux to the area, then I place a blob of solder over it.  I hold the hook in place using needle nose pliers, then I heat it and let it sink into place.

Here's the computer rendition again ..

And here's the finished angel in the sunlight.

Another view showing the beautiful textures of the glass. The angel will look different depending on the amount of light nearby.

And another view .. Thanks so much for asking me to make this for your boss, Diana .. It was a really fun project .. I hope she loves it.  Merry Christma to you, your boss and to all of my Boehm Stained Glass Studio customers!
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!