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

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Someone out there is using XML for something... right?

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It's a glass cutter.
November 12, 2002: Completion Pending Shouting
Class tonight was all about elbow grease and big messes.

First, soldering rings of wire onto the top back of the piece for hanging. I'm still a clumsy oaf with a soldering iron, which is why I'll show you a photo of the one my instructor did for me.

Too clever.

Second, puttying, which is taking a scrubbing-style brush that will never be usable again and using it to push sticky, clay-like putty into the channels of the lead on both sides of the piece.

Very messy. So very messy. I'm wearing an awful lot of putty right now.

Third, whiting, which is using another scrubbing-style brush to scrub the piece with, um, whiting, which helps remove excess putty around your seams and also polishes the glass and the lead.

Wearing a mask is a good idea so you don't breathe the stuff, which means I finally got to use what I have been calling my 'anthrax kit', which I was issued at work in the wake of September 11

Lastly, scrubbing the hell out of the thing with an old towel, which shines up the glass even more but causes the lead to lose its shine and go pewter-black. This happens with time anyway; as I understand it there is perpetual maintenance implied in trying to keep lead permanently shiny. Lots of straight ammonia, too. No thanks.

I will be going to class for the last session next week after all, but only for about half an hour--- justlong enough to spot-patina my solder joints, which don't lose their shine when you polish them with a soft cloth the way the lead does. Right now my piece looks goofy, dark sedate lead put together with bright sparkly silver solder.

After that? Hang the finished (!) panel up. Not in a window, but against a white wall, which will provide enough light from the rear to give the glass a little glow, but not enough to make me wince at the brightness of the green and the un-matched-ness of the blues that are apparent with full backlighting. There's a spot in the guest bedroom/office which will do nicely.

The flesh wound of the evening was borne of sheer stupidity, which is another word for using your fingers instead of pliers to hold a tiny circle of metal wire while soldering it onto zinc. See also: clumsy oaf. What degree a burn is it again when it raises a fluid-filled blister? I bet you didn't even notice I typed this whole entry without once using the letters F, R, G, or V.

Posted by Michelle on November 12, 2002 10:41 PM

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