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.
November 19, 2002: Patina On, Patina Off
My last class of the fall session at The Art League was tonight. I plan to return in January for the copper foil class so I can learn to make lamps. I shall not rest until I have built a kickass stained-glass lamp. Probably not then either.

All I had to do tonight was to apply patina to the solder joints and to the zinc frame of the crocus panel. The lead polishes down, so to speak, to a dark pewter-grey color, but the zinc and the solder remain shiny. That's what patina is for: to make everything a nice uniform color. In theory, anyway. It's tougher in practice. Particularly in cases like mine, with a zinc frame with a leaded piece---the two metals require differently composed patinas, and then the color match will never be perfect.

I am not quite done with the patina work. My right hand still hurts if I use it a certain way, though not as much as it did. I thought the patina would be fluff work, i.e. non-painful, and it more or less was except for having to shine up the zinc with steel wool beforehand. That hurt, oh yes. So I didn't have it in me to finish everything tonight. I did patina all the inside solder joints---those that don't touch the zinc frame---and they turned out nicely. No more glaring silver solder joining up duller grey lead. And I did do the zinc patina. All that remains is to apply lead patina to the solder joints that meet the zinc... tomorrow, I think. You can see the difference between the shiny solder and the black zinc patina below.

Shiny... not shiny. Shiny... not shiny.

The next, and last, photo you will see of the crocus panel will show it hanging over the bed in the guest bedroom. I suppose I should take a few moments to reflect on how nice it is to learn new things and have a creative outlet again and know how to make something, anything, with my own two hands... but I'm impatient to start building some transoms already, so the navelgazing will wait for some other time.

Posted by Michelle on November 19, 2002 09:19 PM

"black zinc patina" would be an excellent band name.

Posted by: mike on November 20, 2002 09:14 PM

I'm wondering if anyone has a recipe for making homemade patinas. Let me know at Thanks!

Posted by: H.A. on June 25, 2003 04:54 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!)