I usually create my own designs but a few years ago I saw this tiny (just over an inch square) picture in a magazine and thought it would be a good candidate for a stained glass panel – I sometimes get lazy! So I cut out that tiny picture, modified it somewhat and am just finishing my version of the original.
After making sure I had the appropriate glass and enough came on hand to frame the finished piece, I cut and laid out the black glass border in a 12×13 jig after taping the inside edges with 7/32″ copper foil. Next I cut out the trees, ground the edges, taped them, and after the corners of the black border were soldered I soldered the trees in place.
This gives me a relatively stable framework that can be lifted slightly so that I can slip the glass for the individual bands of colour underneath, trace the shape, cut, grind, tape and tack-solder each in place. I started at the bottom with the green-brown band a worked my way up to the sky ( which alone used 5-1/2′ of copper foil).
A finished solder bead is then applied to the face of the panel. It is then flipped over to solder the reverse. The zinc came is then cut and soldered to the black glass border. Wire loops are soldered to the upper reverse side corners. A confession – I have never mastered darkening the fame successfully so after thoroughly cleaning the glass and applying the patina to darken the solder, and cleaning thoroughly once again, after everything is dry, I paint the zinc frame. ( a no-no, I’m sure!)I then polish the piece with furniture wax – and hope someone will buy it!
I am somewhat restricted re the size of any project now as I have to work in my apartment Kitchen. I cut glass in a 12×26″ area between the wall and the sink in front of the toaster oven – I have to tape glass there too as the light is good. (My eyesight is not so great now and I see double at times ). My grinder is beside the stove, close to the one reliable outlet on on the stove side of the kitchen and where my work board sits. Before I can solder however, I must press down the copper foil firmly on each piece of glass with a fid. That job is done on the other side of the sink. So now I’m ready to solder. The soldering iron is plugged into the same reliable outlet used by the grinder, the kettle etc. the stove top is OK except if I want to cook or bake. The whole set-up is not great, but I no longer have the luxury of a shop – great sadness!
A plug for the Scugog Library’s annual Snowflake Sale (a fund raiser for the library which takes place in the month before Christmas). My work is there along with that of a dozen or so locals. So if you are in Port Perry, do some of your Christmas shopping at the library!
Mary will be next at the gallery on July 23rd.