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.
January 01, 2003: Glass Monkey
I would love to have spent serious time this week cutting up pieces of glass, but there has been paying work doing other things, and bleeding from one's fingertips does not pay the bills.

I did get a lot of glass cutting done Saturday, before starting work on my other project Sunday morning. Saturday I cut seventeen pieces of the clear sparkle glass, and the next day on a break from work, cut the remaining three needed for the next two transoms. I'd run a little high on sparkle glass consumption building the first transom, and was worried I would run out. Now I think I might be okay, but that could change if I break stuff in construction, which was the source of a lot of my waste breakage with the first transom.

Another respite from work tonight had me cutting the long, tricky green S-shapes. I need four total; tonight I did two that came out beautifully, then got cocky and broke the next two I tried. At that point it was time to get back to winning the bread, so I gave up, and it's just as well. I really need to be careful with the green glass; if I end up needing to buy more it's going to be a great big expensive sheet, because I'm pretty sure no one will sell me three inches by a foot and a half of glass. One or two people had suggested that I rework my transom pattern to make each swoopy S-shape two shorter joined pieces, but being stubborn, I refused to consider it. Wonder if I'll regret it later.

When I have cut the last two green S-shapes, I'll have left to cut only ten little bitty pieces of red and orange, which will be a cakewalk in comparison to the more complex, larger shapes of clear sparkle and green. After that, I'll have no choice but to clean out my grinder, which has a shallow reservoir of water directly beneath its removable plastic work surface that serves to contain the unhealthy-for-your-lungs glass dust the grinder produces, which is starting to get full:

You'd want your goggles and your face mask to come any closer. Maybe a smock too---see all the dried goo that's collected on the cardboard box I keep the grinder in, for just that reason?

I've never cleaned mine out, but at my glass class last quarter, they locked the grinders up every night, so they needed to be cleaned at the end of each class, and I helped once or twice. I'm here to tell you it's ugly. It's definitely time for mine to be done; the goo in the reservoir is starting to get into the sponge that sits against the grinding head, hardening it and interfering with its life's purpose of water-cooling the head.

I hope there's an old paint scraper or putty knife I can have somewhere in the basement. I'll have to figure out how to dispose of the glass-dust sludge, too. If you pour it down the drains it will eventually harden into a rock-solid plumbing nightmare; if you scrape it into the trash it will quickly dry into a respiration nightmare. Only one thing for it: I'll have to go get some takeout hot-and-sour soup, so I can have the container as a sealable, disposable sludge repository.

Between the glass dust and the lead came, it's really a wonder they don't make you take out a city permit to do this stuff. Makes me wonder what sorts of dangerous activities are going on in the neighbors' basements.

Posted by Michelle on January 01, 2003 09:19 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!)