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.
December 19, 2002: Slow but Steady
Most of this week's expenditure of creative talents has been allocated to the artful wrapping of Christmas gifts (and to the not-so-artful shopping for them, but that's a whole other thing). I have, however, been working on my transom , in fits and starts, during brief spells of otherwise-unclaimed time.

13 pieces of a transom leaded.

I've got thirteen of seventeen pieces in place right now, but the way I'm having to build this design out, that number is so variable, upwards and downwards, as to mean not a whole hell of a lot. I'm having to do a lot of placing one piece in order to lead an abutting piece, then taking out one of those pieces in order to be able to slide in a piece somewhere else... it's like one of those plastic puzzle grids that used to be given out as children's party favors, where all the sliding numbered tiles would be jumbled out of order and you were to fix it using only the single empty space on the grid and your wits.

Detail of my transoms' flower shape.

Like this here. After I've finished laying down the flower shape, the big clear piece in the upper right will have to be pulled out again, in order for me to fit in what's left. But for now its presence is crucial to shaping the flower.

I am learning about the difficulty of true symmetry in stained glass. It's not that it can't be done, I imagine, it's just that you'd have to be a hell of a lot better than I am. Still, I'm close enough to pattern that I think once the piece is installed, no one will see the asymmetries unless they're looking for them. And I have high hopes for being able to smooth over some of these rough spots during the soldering process. Like that vertical line at the bottom center of the flower shape---right now it's a little loose and a lot crookedy because of the difficulty of getting all the glass to fit snug together in a spot where so many pieces meet---but I can solder it in straight and then all will be well.

Speaking of tricks for hiding flaws, I decided this week to ditch my idea of leading the transoms in 3/16" and 1/8" lead. The 1/8" is just too skinny to work with. The wider the face of the lead, the more you can get away with in terms of hiding the edges of a slightly wiggly "straight" line or other cutting/grinding flaws, and I'm discovering I need the forgiveness of wider-faced lead. So it's all 3/16" from here on out. The eighteen or twenty-four feet of 1/8" came I've got in the basement is gonna be there a while, I suspect.

Posted by Michelle on December 19, 2002 01:49 PM

That's beautiful!! And the light coming through it will be lovely, mostly bright and clear with a really discrete warm spot. You should be proud of yourself.

I've been enjoying your blog, I love the idea of dangerous art. I've been wanting to try woodworking and I'm sure I'll slip and chisel my knee or something ... why not just go for it as dangerous from the start.


Posted by: fruitbat on December 19, 2002 01:56 PM

Thanks, fruitbat :)

Absolutely go for the woodworking. Embrace the danger... skin grows back, usually ;)

Posted by: Michelle on December 19, 2002 02:00 PM

Hee. I guess I'd better get finished with your frames. Looks like this one might even be ready in time for Christmas. I'll have a talk with Santa to make sure he rewards you for being such a sweet and clever girl.

Posted by: Don on December 19, 2002 02:19 PM

Michelle -- That looks fantastic! How cool when it's both a functional as well as decorative part of your home :-)

Posted by: Kim on December 19, 2002 03:11 PM

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