Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Stained Glass Commemorative Gift

Stained glass panels make wonderful, personal gifts.  My customer asked me to create this commemorative anniversary panel from artwork which was admired by someone special in her life.  I submitted several variations of the design as well as different color combinations. Here's the one which was the winner!

It's based on the color wheel and has some nice, clear textured glass in the center areas. It's 13" round.

I created a pattern by tracing the shape and markings onto Manila folders, using carbon paper.  Here I'm using special double-bladed pattern shears to cut out the individual pieces.  The shears leave a narrow strip between the pieces which allows room for the copper foil which will be added later.

Here's the colorful palette of wispy and streaky glass that I've chosen for the gift.

Here's a close up showing texture of the clear granite glass for the center areas.

Resting the oil-filled pistol grip glass cutter on a ruler (which I hold down with my right hand).  This enables me to make straight cuts.

After repeatedly tapping, front and back, on the score made by the cutter, the glass will eventually separate.

These "groziers" are used for nipping off small bits of glass.  The blue tool are my "running pliers" which are used to snap straight scores/

After each piece is cut, it goes to the electric grinder.

As the pieces are cut, I organize the pattern pieces into junk mail envelopes.

A few pieces of the yellow, traced onto the glass and ready to be cut.  For this project, I chose a variety of types of glass, most with variations in color on each piece.  This adds to the interest and also makes for a better transition from color to color.

Using the running pliers to snap a straight score.

Now the first few colors are cut and ready to be placed on the "cartoon" or original paper pattern,

Here all of the glass has been cut and is in place on the pattern.

Now I'm applying 7/32" copper foil around the border of each piece of glass.

Using a "fid" or flat plastic want to burnish the foil onto the glass.

Some of the pieces have been foiled.

All of the pieces have been foiled.  I used push pins to lock them into the work surface so that they don't shift as I flux and solder them,

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

Here I'm doing the "tack soldering" process whereby I'm locking together the pieces of glass with small amounts of solder.

After the pieces are locked, I remove the push pins and slide the cartoon out from underneath.

Then I fully solder the front of the panel.  After soldering is complete, I spray it with a chemical neutralizer and buff it off.

Now the design has been fully soldered, front and back. I'm now fitting a length of lead came around the border, to create a frame for it.

As I fit the frame around the border, I'm soldering it to the lead lines around the perimeter.

Since this piece will be hung on a wall or in front of a window, I'm hand-crafting hanging hooks.  I'm using 20 gauge copper wire wrapped around a metal acid brush.  I leave long tails on the hooks for maximum bonding to the frame,

I've soldered the "legs" of the hooks directly into the lead lines.

Black patina is a chemical which instantly turns the solder black.  After its allowed to set, I wash it off using the neutralizing spray.

Here's the panel right after its been patina-ed and before its dry.

Finished!  This view is in front of a white wall.

And here it is, front lighted and back lighted.

Another view outdoors, showing the colors.

One more view out doors.  Thank you Beth for asking me to make this special gift!  I was thrilled to hear how well it was received.
For more information on my other projects, please click here to visit my website.

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