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 25, 2002: Introducing the Fisher-Price My First Stained-Glass Christmas Tree Ornament
Of course, it's not a Fisher-Price product. It only looks that way.I built this ornament (about five inches tall) this week from scrap glass, skinny lead that I'd decided not to use on the transoms after all, and some U-shaped lead for the edges. I am aware it came out all crookedy, but I prefer the term "experimental."

I drew the pattern freehand on a legal pad, and didn't bother with a duplicate building pattern, though in retrospect I think I ought to have. Putting it together was interesting: no straight edges meant that I couldn't build out from a corner the way you would a rectangular panel, so this was another of those situations where having about five hands would really be the best way to deal with it.

Working with U lead (for edges, instead of H lead for interior seams) was fun, actually. It's easier to cut than H lead, but it was an absolute bear to stretch---my lead stretching clamp just didn't want to grab on to the came. The big challenge with this ornament was in leading the pieces of the star that have the small triangles attached to their sides---it's one line visually, but for construction, it needs to be U lead for the edge, then H lead to hold the triangle, then U lead for the edge again. The challenge was to join the three pieces of lead to make one relatively straight line, preferably not too uglified by great globs of solder.

I also played with finishing compound for the first time on my ornament here. A word to the wise: when they say to buff with a soft cloth, they mean a really soft cloth, if you patinaed.

The silly part of all this is, you'd really want to do a little, funny-shaped ornament like this using copper-foil construction, not lead came. But I only know how to do lead came, for the moment, and so that's what I did. All in the name of scientific inquiry.

Tonight I gave the ornament to Momma Bastard. I told her that I'm not sure whether or not it will have all fallen apart when she unboxes it for next Christmas, but that if it does, I'll make her another one. Hopefully by then in copper foil, which will help it look less like kindergarten stained glass, and will be sturdier too if it's funny-shaped like this one.

Momma Bastard was very gracious about my smushed-looking star, I am pleased to report. Next year's ornament gets a building pattern. Definitely.

Posted by Michelle on December 25, 2002 10:13 PM

Hey, I think that ornament is absolutely awesome! I'd love to see what it looks like on a tree with some lights around it-- I'll bet it looks great, and begs for another few dozen more to keep it company :-)

Posted by: KIm on December 26, 2002 05:49 AM

I agree, Kim. I think it's super. Especially considering she did the bulk of the work in just a coupla hours.

But we're both such hateful critics of our own work. Ask Michelle about my travails with my picket fence. =)

Posted by: Don on December 26, 2002 10:01 AM





Posted by: Michelle on December 26, 2002 01:52 PM

Could you please tell me if lead came can only be used on large windows and doors. I have just gotten interested in doing lead came and was wondering what would be the smallest panel you would use lead came. Do you charge more for a panel in lead came than in copper foil. THanks, Jane Tucker

Posted by: Jane Tucker on February 23, 2004 01:41 PM

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