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YnysMon

Stained Glass Lessons - A New Adventure

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I couple of weeks ago I posted on the 'My Day' forum a post about my first completed project from the 'Stained Glass' evening classes that I've signed up for this autumn.

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Really clumsy soldering - my first attempt!

Jean (SwanR) suggested that I start off a new thread recording my further adventures with this class - so here goes!

We had 'half term' off last week... (What's that about? It's not like we are in school and it was a week or a fortnight behind most schools' half terms anyway, depending on which authority you are under!) so I was quite keen to get back as I hadn't caught up with the rest of the class in the last session, having had a week off on the Broads mid-October.  

I turned up over half an hour early this week, as the Tutor had mentioned that he arrives early to set up, and he was quite happy for me to start to cut out the glass for the next project, which is a butterfly sun-catcher. I had cut out the paper templates for this at the last session.  Using these templates, the next stage is to mark out the shapes on the glass using a 'Sharpie' pen, and then cut the glass using a hand-held glass cutting tool.

For the first project we were given pre-selected glass, but this time we had been able to select our own glass from a batch that the tutor provided. I had selected a sort of green-blue glass at the end of the last session.  Cutting out the glass was fine - I think I'm starting to get the hang of it, though I don't think my templates were very accurate!

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Inevitably, it didn't quite fit, and part of the process of preparing the glass is using a grinder to ensure that the glass is shaped properly so that it will fit together.  After a bit of grinding here and there I was able to move on to the next stage, which is to put copper foil around the edges of each piece of glass. 

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The copper is on a roll of about 1/2 cm (or less!) wide strips, and once you peel off the backing paper is supposed to stick to the edges of your glass.  I got on okay at first, but then found that the copper just wasn't sticking to some of the smaller pieces.  Tutor suggested I go and give my glass a good wash with hot water and detergent, and that worked - the copper stuck to the edges, which was a huge step forward.

It was still really tricky to fix the copper with an even overlap both sizes of the glass though.  Very, very fiddly!  Still...I'm ready to go with the soldering next week!  Not sure all my edges are where they should be though! Doh!

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Very interesting Helen. A good craftsman can make something look so easy that is actually quite tricky to do. That copper foil is very pretty. I like the colour of glass that you have chosen.

Looking forward to seeing how this progresses. :)

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I'm enjoying this thread very much. We used to have an archaeology storage facility next door to a stained glass craftsman's workshop. Absolutely fascinating and intricate work. More please Helen!

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Great thread Helen!

 

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More next week. Classes are Thursdays.

We had another trip to Bournemouth today to take Alec back to Uni after his ‘reading week’. Just as we arrived at the campus he realised he’d left his house/room keys at home in MK...typical!

Graham started talking about doing the journey back with Alec, and then there and back again in the same day (mad what!)...luckily Security had a spare set of keys. Whew!

 

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And how often are we told to stop fussing when as mothers we go through that inevitable check list before they step out of the door?! Glad that Security got you in!

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Lots of soldering this evening and I managed to finish off my butterfly suncatcher. To start with we had to apply a liquid over the copper to help the solder stick and then apply a couple of blobs of solder on the main joints before spreading the solder along smoothly (ish, in my case!) over the copper.

Then we had to put a thin layer of solder on the outer edges before adding ‘bead’ solder (a thicker layer) over the joints.

Final bit of soldering was to add a small loop to hang the butterfly and solder on the antennae...I almost messed up at this point as I initially only gave my butterfly one antenna and had to be reminded that it should have two...doh!

We finished off by using another liquid to darken the solder.

 

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Very pretty and very intricate by the sound of it. Do you have the perfect place to hang it at home?

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Awwww this is looking amazing Helen, I've never been the crafty type but I'd love the time to do something like this :17_heart_eyes:

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Hi Jean. Still trying to decide where to put it. I need a suction hook or something to hang it against a window.

We’ll be starting on making fused glass tiles next week. I need to refine the design that I’ve come up with for mine. Thinking of doing a sort of seascape design.

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If you keep this up and we move to Norfolk in a few years time  I may be calling you to do a few for me 

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Does your son like and enjoy BU? Just been down to one of my younger daughters graduation there - she loved Bournemouth and has come away with a good degree and now got an excellent job as a result.

She particularly enjoyed the nightlife and in the summer the beach parties!!!

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Hi, yes thanks, loves Bournemouth.  He seems to be getting along fine - socially anyway, though he's thinking of asking to switch to Politics instead of Politics and Economics.

Thanks for asking.

When we visited Bournemouth Tuesday last week to pick Alec up there was a graduation going on.  Lovely to see lots of graduates and their families on the beach front and lower gardens.  What a super setting for a graduation!

Helen

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You're doing well, it's a lovely art to learn. I love looking at stained glass, luckily here in East Anglia we have some beautiful glasswork to see, in our cathedrals, churches and public buildings.

Soldering is an art in itself, I've only ever done electrical soldering (on guitars and amps mostly) but have found, as in most things, practice makes perfect. So keep doing it and you'll soon reap the rewards...

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Must have seen me last Tuesday on the beach then!!! ( But not getting an award other than for patience! )

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Marshman, wasn’t sure to respond with a thanks or a :default_icon_clap: to your post!

Glad your daughter had good weather for the day,. I thought it was a lovely setting for her graduation. Bit amazed though that the graduation ceremony was so late in the year. Is that the norm nowadays?

When I graduated from Bangor in 1981 (showing my age here) the ceremony was in July (brilliant weather). Same for Graham who graduated a couple of years behind me (long story...we met in school and he was a year behind me, then he did a four year course at Uni). Graham’s graduation ceremony was a week exactly before our wedding (July 1983). That was lucky, as we hadn’t really factored in his graduation in our plans. Given we had met in school aged 16 we had waited quite a long time to get married. Seemed an age as Graham had proposed 3 months into our relationship. 

:default_biggrin:

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Yes it is a bit late - I put it down to either them rushing around the country with the gowns or the fact that the BIC is otherwise fully booked or just too expensive in season!! They take it for the full week and use a lot of it, in fact most of it I think!!

No don't misunderstand me - it was a really great day especially for my daughter who really enjoyed going back especially to see her friends - she is now in Leeds, some miles from that part of the world!!

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Sorry for the delay in posting this week’s instalment.

We started work on fused glass tiles today. We were each given a 11cm square piece of plan glass and had the freedom to come up with our own designs.  The tutor had a good selection of different coloured glass and different colours and grades of ‘frit’ for us to choose from.  Frit ranges from fine powder to small gravel. I had decided on a design featuring stylised waves and a boat. 

The evening was spent cutting and grinding out the glass to our design then fixing it to the glass tile using a small amount of PVA. My cutting didn’t quite go to plan. The top and bottom waves were supposed to stretch across, but the broke in two whilst I was cutting them. Rather than start again I just reshaped them.  I’m hoping that the two grades of clear colour frit that I used will help give the appearance of waves and cloud.

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Before the end of the session we carefully placed our tiles in the kiln for an overnight firing. So we won’t know whether they have turned out okay until next week.  Ooh, exciting!

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Love your red boat against the waves on this Helen. Looking forward to hearing how it turned out. :)

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That looks lovely Helen. I love the different whales swimming underneath the boat :default_smiley-angelic002:

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Another delay in writing up my adventures from last Thursday’s class.  Whoops! My excuse this week is that my cousin arrived to stay with us from Thursday until today.

My fused glass tile emerged safely from the kiln. Sea looking a bit more clumsy than I’d hoped.  Oh well..

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I started on a design for an ‘inclusion’ glass today, deciding to keep it simple. 

Inclusion is where your design is sandwiched between two glass tiles. I cut out the shape of a bird in copper foil and used cherry red frit around it. 

66C5F20A-79F1-4A9F-ADA2-6C24171E702D.thumb.jpeg.f9ea754a118f77c7e81f542bb539976d.jpegThe tutor advised keeping the design away from the edges. It will go into the kiln this evening.

As that had taken up less than half the evening, our tutor suggested I try ‘kiln carving’. This is a technique which allows you to impress a pattern into the glass without using any coloured glass. Well, I hope it will anyway!

I had a pattern for a cat which could be used to make a stained glass cat using the same technique we had used to make our butterflies. I asked the lady on reception if she could make some photocopies of the pattern for me. I then cut these out, the first being the complete cat, the second the cat without it’s tail, third without tail and main body, and so on.

A859FAB6-5BBB-4D2D-8720-31F57A47301C.thumb.jpeg.5b6232076c43a3d5b54e44f34f42ad15.jpegI then used the paper templates as patterns to cut out the kiln paper. The first couple of layers were thicker paper. Finally I glued the lot together to end up with a layered cat. Our tutor will cut a piece of glass to fit. Hope it turns out okay!231688E5-C4A6-4D14-9E62-BE231B5B58F7.thumb.jpeg.f877e10e092685a7d0854ddd9c26d142.jpeg

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25 minutes ago, YnysMon said:

Our tutor will cut a piece of glass to fit. Hope it turns out okay!

Oh don't worry Helen, I'm sure your tutor is more than capable of cutting a piece of glass. I'm sure they have done it many many times before for other students.

 If not, maybe you need a better tutor :default_smiley-angelic002:

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Lol...I know other people will know what I meant Jay!

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