This is how all stained glass projects begin, with a Manila folder and carbon paper to create the patterns from which to cut the glass. Here I've traced a carrot and egg onto the folder.
I traced a second egg a bit smaller than the first and added a couple of designs.
Here are the carrot patterns and the glass partially cut out.
When I cut the stripes on the eggs, I use stained glass pattern shears. These leave a small channel between the blades so that there is room for the copper foil which will come later.
Now each of the suncatchers has been cut and is ready for grinding and foiling.
After the glass is cut, each piece gets the edges ground in the electric grinder.
Then I press on 7/32" adhesive copper foil to the edges of each piece.
After the foil is on and hand-pressed to the edges and sides, I burnish it using a "fid" or flat plastic wand.
Now each suncatcher has been foiled and is pinned in place on the Homasote. This is my cushiony work surface which is made from soundproofing material. It has "give" to cut glass and it readily absorbs any chemical spills.
Here I'm applying liquid flux which is a catalyst which enables the solder to flow freely over the copper foil.
All three have now been soldered. To strengthen each one, I added a wire reinforcement around the outer edge. This is particularly important for the area where the greenery meets the carrot. This is considered a "hinge" and is highly susceptible to separation. The wrap-around wire will go a long way to preventing that through the years. It will also strengthen the sides where the stripes on the eggs are located.
Here I'm wrapping 20 gauge wire around a metal brush and leaving about 3/4" for "legs". These will become the hanging hooks.
I soldered the hooks along the lead lines, for invisibility and strength. Following the soldering process, each piece gets sprayed and washed thoroughly with a chemical neutralizer.
Next comes the black patina. This is a blue chemical which turns the solder black instantly. Another cleaning follows. Then the patina is allowed to dry and stained glass finishing compound is applied. This is a light wax which protects the patina and gives a nice shine to the glass.
And here they are! For hanging on a window, I recommend Command Brand 1/2 lb hooks which are made specifically for glass. They are more secure and reliable than the suction cup variety.
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