6 Days to a Stained Glass Window

2016-10-30-left-window-against-porch3

I have recently completed a 5 day workshop with Vitreus Art, building a large (118 cm long by 43 cm wide) window for a porch.  Ultimately there will be two of them one on either side of the porch.  A HUGE thank you to my tutors Jenny and Mike without whose encouragement, tutoring and help the window would never have been built.

The window stretched my capabilities – I was unaware of the challenges until I started – accuracy in cutting and building straight lines, and I don’t ‘do’ straight!.  Thanks to the eagle eye of Mike and his assistance the lines ARE straight.

The main photo shows the window against the porch where it will be installed.

Day 1:  Started with quite a bit of practice cutting and grinding. Then the setting up and the decision on which way the long lead cames would go.  Doesn’t look like much progress!  2016-10-17-day-1-left-window

 Day 2:  Some progress was made, including putting together and taking apart a couple of times to get an accurate fit!  2016-10-18-day-2-left-window

 Day 3: Finally it looks like a window!!  By the time I arrived in the morning it had been dismantled and re-built by Mike – reason number 1.  2016-10-19-day-3-left-window

Before Lunch time it was dismantled and re-built – reason number 2.

If you compare day 3 photo with day 2 you might see why!

The piece labelled B6 (blue) actually fitted just as cut without further grinding !!  this is a SUCCESS.  I am improving on cutting straight lines and grinding straight lines.

Day 4: Significant progress was made.

2016-10-20-day-4-left-window-top-down

I’m getting the hang of cutting mostly accurately so building the pieces up didn’t take as long as previous days.  It was a long day and by the end I’d lost my energy.  So Mike kindly helped out with the last 4 tricky pieces (the edge ones) and put in the came at the top as I just wasn’t capable.

 

Day 5: Today’s steps were:

  • Add came and steel to the remaining side
  • Solder all joints on both sides (yes they let me loose on a soldering iron!!). Sadly I was disappointed in my soldering skills which soldering had an ‘off’ day
  • Apply cement into all the came edges followed by powder to encourage the cement to dry, on both sides – this is a VERY messy job.
  • Finally it was partially cleaned up on both sides – removing excess cement from the inside of the panes. 2016-10-21-day-5-left-window-cement-and-chalk

 

As the cement needs some time to harden before the final clean up that was scheduled for a few days time.

Day 6

This was cleaning day – 7 hours worth!.

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  • First the excess cement was removed from the glass with a scraper and vacuumed up.
  • Then Grate Blacking was applied to the lead cames with an old toothbrush; this also got over the glass – very messy.
  • Then the lead was polished with a cloth, removing as much of the blacking from the glass as possible.
  • Finally the glass was cleaned using special glass cleaner and a cloth to reveal a clean window on one side.
  • The window was turned over and the process repeated.

I think the window did look good afterwards.

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