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 28, 2002: Life, the Universe, and Everything
42 pieces leaded.

Assembly continues.

That includes one of the two pieces that were broken last week. In order to replace it, I traced its shape from the building pattern onto clear glass, cut and ground the clear glass to fit, then traced around that piece onto Dark Violet glass and cut and ground that. For the other piece that was broken, I have the clear piece cut and ground, but I think I'll see if I can shape the lead using the clear glass before cutting the stained glass. I'm finding that with curvy pieces, their fit may be altered by how closely you're able to curve the lead around them. With wavy or squiggly lines of multiple small curves especially, it's tough to make precise bends.

The 42 pieces now in place also include two that just didn't fit right, so I recut them. One of those was due to the squiggly-lead factor above; the other was all straight lines so I'm attributing its bad fit to straightforward screw-up on my part, somewhere in the cutting or grinding process.

I'd feel better about the progress I'm making if not for these three gaps:

Here there are lots of curvy shapes and squiggly lines, making good leading really tough. I adjusted and re-adjusted and every time came up with a different but equally flawed result. The cover for this gap won't be too ugly: a decently shaped but slightly too-big glob of solder. I have glass gaps just above and below that tight 'V' joint. The cover will be a long unsightly smear of solder, immediately apparent as a newbie flaw to anyone who knows how to look for it. As with the first gap, I tried this a bunch of times, and this is as good as it gets. It's hard to see, but my glass doesn't actually slide into the lead channel here. I should recut that piece of red glass so as to take up the slack. We'll see if it happens.

Posted by Michelle on October 28, 2002 10:18 PM

you mean those three gaps that the rest of can barely see and you probably used a macro lens to capture? those ones? give yourself a tiny little break, ok?

Posted by: judith on October 28, 2002 10:37 PM

heh. until I finally do trade in my three-year-old brick of a digicam, no macro lens for me.

my concern is that I'll end up with glass gaps that, no, you can't really see when it's lying flat... but will possibly be all too obvious when the panel's hung in a sunny window.

I am cursed with the ulcer-making combination of pessimism and perfectionism. (why, yes I am a lot of fun at parties!)

Posted by: Michelle on October 28, 2002 11:25 PM

What you've got so far looks really impressive, though, and yay! on finding the solution to the broken pieces problem. I was wondering how that would be resolved.

Posted by: Adrith on October 29, 2002 08:47 AM

Hi Michelle,

Those gaps will be easy to fix using a technique my class learned last week called a "dutchman." Basically you cut a piece of lead to fill the gap, push it in with your fingers (not tools, you may break the glass), then solder it in place. Cut your H came in half first (i.e. top/bottom halves). You'll probably have to do it on both sides of your panel, but once the joint is covered with solder you won't even notice it. Ask your instructor for more details. My instructor said it is a commonly used technique to fix minor and even major mistakes like broken glass.

It looks great!

Cheers, Bruce.

Posted by: Bruce on October 29, 2002 11:51 AM

Bruce, you are my hero. Just full of well-timed helpful hints. Thank you!

I have class tonight (and egads, can I just mention how scary it is to load a piece this far into assembly into the trunk of the car and have it rattle-rattle-rattle down the city streets all the way to work?) so will definitely ask my instructor about "dutchmen" then. Thanks again.

Posted by: Michelle on October 29, 2002 12:18 PM

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