Adventures in Dangerous Art
I'm learning the art (or is it a craft?) of stained glass. At this weblog, I record progress, note useful links, and document flesh wounds.


The Art League
Where I took a lead class and a 3D construction class.

Weisser Glass Studio
Where I buy supplies, and where I took a foil class.

Virginia Stained Glass Co.
Where I buy supplies if I happen to be in Springfield and if they happen to have what I want.

Great prices on supplies, a lively and helpful Glass Chat message board, and excellent Technical Tips on stained glass tools and techniques.

Glass Galleries Links List
A list of Glass Chat users who've uploaded photos of their work.

The StoreFinder: Stained Glass Store Front
Lots of articles. Tutorials
Even more articles. Particularly recommended: "Anatomy of a design" and "Wood frames."
Courtesy of Google Groups.

Nancy's Beginner Tips and Tricks
Scoring, breaking, soldering, finishing, and more.

Splinter Removal Tips

Syndicate this site
Someone out there is using XML for something... right?

Movable Type
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It's a glass cutter.
October 14, 2002: Good To See You Here, Better To See You Gone
My grinder arrived today. I asked Don to answer the door when the UPS man showed up because I knew before it happened that in between some passive-aggressive bitching about working on the holiday, he'd be overly familiar and friendly. Don says it's just "old-fashioned customer service". Maybe so, but it creeps me out when I am out in the world about my business and suddenly being chatted up by a guy in a brown uniform who can and does rattle off my address by heart, as did happen to me recently.

Did receive an unpleasant surprise in the form of finding that an eye shield does not come standard with my grinder. Um, I don't know, I would consider flying-chip face protection to be pretty much non-optional. So what did I do about it? Yes, I drove to Springfield again to buy one on the spot. Note to any and all DC-area entrepreneurs reading this weblog: if you'll open a stained-glass supply store actually in DC ... or I'd even settle for inside the Beltway ... I'll keep you in business all by myself.

And that's a nice segue into the long comment I wrote in response to a comment of Kim's, asking what glass actually costs, anyway. Short though this entry may be, I've been sitting at this computer way too long already now, so while you're reading all about your options for emptying your wallet in the pursuit of artsy-craftsy nirvana, I'm going to be hanging out on the couch with Don, wondering if it's too late tonight to cut just a little bit of glass.

Posted by Michelle on October 14, 2002 11:10 PM

So what exactly does one use a grinder for, anyway?

Posted by: Lori on October 15, 2002 09:55 PM

For finessing the shape of a cut piece, or just to smooth its edges.

I imagine you eventually get better with cutting exactly on the pattern line as you get more experience. I think you'd always have to do at least a little though, especially when cutting convex curves or circles, which is done in several shallowly curving scores which run off to the edge of the glass, forming sort of a pinwheel which you break off piece by piece. At that point (at least if you're me) your finished curve has a lot of little points where your pinwheel scores came together, and the piece will look like this. Those little pointies need to be ground off so that the glass will fit snugly into the recessed channels of the lead strips that hold everything together.

Grinding for smoothness is useful not just for making the edges of cut pieces less dangerous, but also to wear off any tiny fissures or cracks along the edges, maybe from a not-so-clean score or break, which will become stress points for potential breakage in the finished piece.

Posted by: Michelle on October 15, 2002 10:24 PM

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