Funky Stained Glass Strawberry and Stars

Having finished the Bird of Paradise hanging, I had a day a half left of the five day workshop which gave me time to create a few small items.  I had been saving a tear drop shaped piece of red glass for ages (because I liked the shape), and whilst cutting the bird pieces another shaped offcut in green emerged.  I don’t like wasting materials and with the tale of a friend’s losing battle with slugs vs strawberries in mind the shape of Funky Strawberry came to me.  This piece is now hanging up away from the slugs.

With more time to spare I wanted to make some stars – just because I like them; after all stars are not just for Christmas.  What really makes their effect is the lovely glass.

Stained Glass Bird of Paradise Hanging

Since I made my Bird of Paradise material hanging I’ve wanted to do a version in stained glass.  A friend of mine was interested in having one so the project got going.  The design is inspired by and adapted from a Gail Lowther pattern (http://www.gaillawther.co.uk/v3/).   After the last 2 projects which were Large Window / Porch pieces it’s more relaxing to work on a smaller scale, although small doesn’t mean easy!. Because it was going to be hung on a wall I thought having it mounted on a board would reflect more of the glass colours, and this has turned out well.  As usual many thanks to Jenny and Mike at Vitreus Art for their assistance, encouragement and making the mounting board and mounting the piece.  This has been delivered to it’s new owner and will soon be hanging in their conservatory.

Day 1:  All the pieces were cut – not accurately as it seems I don’t have the fine motor control for freehand cutting.  Some have been ground to fit the pattern.

Day 2:  All pieces were ground to fit the pattern, some took a while to get them to the correct shape after the inaccurate cutting.  The orange and blue/green colour glass is textured and is more challenging to cut.  A few pieces were-cut: one because it was just the wrong shape, and 2 because the purple colour turned out to be more blue. In the remaining time I started on applying the copper foil on the edges; this is quite a precise and fiddly task and naturally I needed to redo some sections.

Day 3:  All pieces were foiled and one side was soldered.  That is definitely a skill that takes time to acquire.  Some of my solder lines aren’t bad, but some needed some smoothing out.

Porch Stained Glass Windows Installed

       The large stained glass panels I made last year for a friend’s porch have been installed and the owners are very pleased with them.  That’s a relief!

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!.

2016-10-day-6-left-window-cleaned-and-polished2

  • 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.

Stained Glass Door panels

         I am so excited to show off these completed stained glass door panels – my own design and I made them!. (Click on the picture to see a larger version)

The door is between the (very) small ‘hall’ from front door into lounge room and the installed effect is just what I hoped for. My house is all painted pale yellow and the lounge has rugs and sofa in green, hence the majority of the glass colours. Some of the subtle effects of the different glass is lovely although not evident from the photos. There are 2 different blues and 2 different greens. The glass that looks clear is actually a very pale yellow. The orange stripey glass is one of my favorites – I included it in both previous pieces.

From idea conception, back in October 2015 through design and construction her patience, expert help and assistance enabled creation of the panels.

The elapsed time was months, but this included a number of design iterations, Christmas and New Year breaks, and finding mutually available days.

This achievement was only possible with the expert tuition and help of Jenny from Vitreus Art – www.vitreus-art.co.uk, and using their workspace and tools.

I owe a huge thank you to Richard from Apple Stained Glass http://www.applestainedglass.co.uk/ , who so kindly agreed to install them for me. He is such a nice person and thanks to him, the installation went smoothly.

Now for my next project or two!. Yes I already have some in mind.

Venetian Wall Hangings

Rialto Bridge

Rialto Bridge

Venice - Gondola 3

Palazzo on the Grand Canal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two of Gail Lawther’s (http://www.gaillawther.co.uk/v3/) wonderful Venice design wall hangings, in the ‘stained glass’ mode – Rialto Bridge and Palazzo on the Grand Canal. The Grand Canal hanging I made many years ago (and can’t actually remember when!) and planned the Rialto Bridge at the same time but it sat in the UFO pile until very recently. Both hangings are birthday gifts in memory of trips to Venice, and both were months late. There’s a pattern there!.   I do love her designs, and I have 2 more Venetian scene designs – I wonder if they will get made?

Stained Glass Sun

2015-08-15 stained glass foiling1

A second go at using the stained glass method showing my addiction to sunshine! Thanks to a one-to-one session with Jenny at Vitreus Art (www.vitreus-art.co.uk), my glass cutting improved sufficiently to make a reasonable job of this creation. This time the copper foiling method was used to join the pieces; once wrapped in the foil the pieces are soldered together covering the foil. To my further surprise some of my soldered lines were declared ‘quite good’!.

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