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
Weisser Glass Studio
Virginia Stained Glass Co.
Glass Galleries Links List
The StoreFinder: Stained Glass Store Front
Nancy's Beginner Tips and Tricks
Splinter Removal Tips
Beaded Unity Candle
Green Tiered Lamp
November 22, 2002: Crust and Crud
When I said the next photo of the crocus panel would be of it hanging up in the guest bedroom, I lied.
I've let the panel sit for three days after I did most of the patina work on Tuesday night. I still had some to do, but I've been sick---on top of my mystery hand injury, it turns out I've also had bronchitis for a month---and so I haven't been doing much of anything this week. When I headed down into the basement to take a look at what still needed done, I was aghast to spy all over the edges of my panel the dreaded "white mold" oxidation.
You can develop this oxidation on your finished piece if you haven't cleaned off the solder flux correctly. (Solder flux is what makes the solder actually stick to the metal; it comes in liquid, paste, or gel and generally you brush it along the places you'll be soldering.) I knew this already and thought I was prepared. I read up on every technique used for cleaning flux from stained glass and I used them all: ammonia or flux remover to neutralize the acid, oil-free liquid Dawn to remove the greasy reside, lots of hot water in all cases. However, looking back on all the time spent scrubbing the panel in the bathtub while ammonia fumes irritated my eyes, I realize I only really scrubbed the interior joints and glass---not the edge joints.
As a result, I now have crusty oxidation outlining my solder where it lies on the zinc frame of the piece. Flux had collected there in those seams, and while I assume that the patina somehow reacted with the flux to speed oxidation, it would have happened with time even if I hadn't patinaed.
So now I have to take fine steel wool and scrub all the patina from my zinc frame, then bust out the ammonia/flux remover/Dawn and go at the frame again. Maybe an old toothbrush will be the way to go. When that's done, I'll have to patina again.
And when THAT'S done, maybe I'll really really be done with it. If you want to know the truth, I'm tired of the crocus panel... and if I didn't know that someday I'll want to be able to look back at my first piece and laugh at all its evident newbie-ness, I'd chuck the silly thing and be done with it. After all, I got what I wanted out of it: I learned how to do leaded stained glass. And I learned what not to do.
Posted by Michelle on November 22, 2002 07:12 PM
Copyright © 2002-06 Michelle Kinsey Bruns. E-mail me at my first name at this domain. (Take that, spam spiders!)