Stained Glass

My introduction to the world of Glass:

In 1991, I had a dream in which Stained Glass was to be my life path.
Soon thereafter, a contractor accidentally broke the glass insert of my new front door, so I signed up for a Stained Glass class and made my own door glass. During one single class, I felt such peace that I knew I was in the right place.
I continued on my own, studying countless books and teaching myself as much as I could. There were so many glass disciplines to absorb that I couldn’t read fast enough! Now the internet makes research much easier.
Thank You to all the educators in print for making my glass journey possible.

The Stained Glass Process:
Visit my Blog if you would like to see photos of the entire process.

  • Create a pattern or ‘cartoon’, then choose the glass colors and textures.
  • Trace the pattern onto the glass. Using my light table makes this much easier and far more accurate.
  • Cutting out the glass is done using a hand-held glass cutter. There are times when a more intricate cut is needed, so I use my glass saw.
  • Grinding the edges to achieve the perfect fit.
  • Cleaning the glass is an integral part of the stained glass process, especially to scrub off the pattern marks and grinding dust.
  • Foiling: This is why it’s so important to thoroughly clean the glass, the copper foil needs to stick well to the edges. The glass is held on edge and the foil is wrapped around it, carefully folding over the edges of each piece.
  • Soldering: Using 60/40 solder, I solder the foiled pieces together, flip the window and solder the back, flip again and re-touch if necessary.
  • Cleaning again: This cleaning removes flux residue left from the soldering process and any remaining pattern marks. This time it’s a bubble bath, rinse and dry, then 0000 steel wool scrub, then glass cleaner. The steel wool prepares the solder lines for the patina staining process. I love the look of black solder lines. When I leave the solder silver, it seems to distract from the piece.
  • Patina: Wearing gloves, I apply the stain to the solder lines.
  • Cleaning, yet again: Patina is messy.
  • Polishing: I apply glass polish to all of my stained glass pieces. Not only is it a polish, it seals the solder to better protect against the elements and helps prevent the look of aging.

Be sure to visit my Stained Glass section to see what’s new and unusual.

I began making glass long before I owned a digital camera. Unfortunately, I don’t have images of all of my work. It’s a bit sad because I made countless pieces, and have done several installations I would love to share with you now. More Stained Glass photos are on my Portfolio page, but here are photos of the door window installation that started my glass journey.

My first Stained Glass Window, 1991My first Stained Glass Window, 1991