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
Powered by.


It's a glass cutter.
October 29, 2002: Devil in the Details
Had class tonight. Came in with 35 more pieces leaded than I had when I left the last class, and was subject to much gratifying oohing and aahing from classmates. Even the instructor seemed to approve. Go me.

I fixed one of my gaps tonight---the one where the edge of a red piece was refusing to slide snug into its channel---didn't even have to recut the piece, just did some grinding on the one I had. As for the other two, the instructor was optimistic about their hideability. One, he said could be filled with putty and covered over with lead joints without too much obvious fudging... and the other he said could be filled in by cutting a piece of came in half down the heart to make little lead plugs and soldering them into place. Just like Bruce said. Nice.

There was little visible progress made, but it was good progress just the same. I spent a lot of time working on fitting a replacement for the second broken piece from last week. I think it was a good strategy to shape the lead using the clear piece, before tracing it to cut the Dark Violet glass. I actually did a pretty bang-up job tonight of figuring a way to create lead joints at a place where a the widest point of a curve sits right up against a straight line. The conventional wisdom for this kind of thing seems to be to use two separate strips of lead, side by side, for the line and for the curve, but just envisioning that, it sounds awfully vaguely-artistically-talented-kindergartener-with-no-real-sense-of-depth-or-perspective. So I opted to try to create the illusion of those two lines overlapping, by cutting the curve in two, cutting a bit of the heart from its lead, and trimming the face into a nice sharp point. I think it turned out pretty well, and will look even better once it's soldered.

Removing some of the lead heart is proving to be a most useful trick. They say it makes for a weaker joint, but I don't know... it's going to be filled in with putty anyway, isn't it?

You can see that some of the heart of the lead has been cut out here. This allowed me to cut the piece that fits into this lead (this is one of the pieces that was broken last week) with just a little tab sticking through the curved lead and into the channel of the straight lead just beyond---without that tab, this little trick would have gotten me nothing but a glass gap at the blanked-out part of the curve.

Not too bad, and will be even better once it's soldered over (will look less like the straight line is visually 'on top', which would really only work if these were crocuses by MC Escher).

For those of you keeping track at home, I should now be all done having to replace broken pieces. I hope. It's so time-consuming to do all that tracing and checking and adjusting, over and over again.

Also: not one, not two, but three flesh wounds tonight. One well-skinned knuckle when I slipped trying to stretch a too-short strip of lead, one medium-long cut to a finger due to careless handling of just-cut glass, and one instance of Mystery Injury, which wasn't there before I started helping clean up the classroom grinders but was bleeding pretty well when I was finished.

Posted by Michelle on October 29, 2002 11:59 PM

Comments are closed. Contact me via the email address at the bottom of the blog pages.
Copyright © 2002-06 Michelle Kinsey Bruns. E-mail me at my first name at this domain. (Take that, spam spiders!)