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?

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It's a glass cutter.
January 28, 2003: Procrastination Street
It's been cold. Damn cold. Too cold, for example, to expect my cute little space heater to warm the detached shed so that I can work in there. (The space heater is plastic, which is a dead giveaway that there's only so much heat you're going to get out of it.) I keep wondering what I have done to deserve this. Probably there's something.

I finally decided on Sunday that a few degrees above freezing was the best I would get for a while, and bundled myself up to go out on the porch and putty some transoms. It wasn't until I got all my supplies (putty, putty brush, rubber gloves, newspaper, whiting, whiting brush, face mask, little table, transom panels) onto the porch that I realized that the putty objects to the cold weather too: it was dry and crumbly with the cold. So I admitted defeat, dragged everything back inside, and puttied in the basement, hoping that the Shop-Vac would be an appropriate match for flying nuggets of sticky black clay-like goo.

When I took my lead class at The Art League last fall, one of the items in the toolkit I was given was a plastic fid. It was one of two things in the toolkit (a copper-wire toothbrush was the other) that our instructor never actually told us what to do with. I discovered on Sunday that the fid is handy for pushing putty underneath the face of lead cames. Much more effective than using my fingernails---which in theory should have been protected by my rubber gloves but instead broke right through them, so I appeared to have auto-mechanic nails for a while there.

When I finished puttying the dining-room transom, I took it out into the back yard, and made for the picnic table that Don built last year and that has been good for nothing other than collecting snow just lately. There, I made a hell of a mess with whiting and scrub brush. Synthetic bristles, this time; I found with the first transom that natural bristles don't have the necessary tension to efficiently scrub the excess putty from the glass.

When I was done coating the back yard with white powder of a less-wet and less-picturesque sort than the recent standard, I was done with one more transom. Well---I need to patina the solder joints so they aren't so shiny, especially the giant solder glob I ended up with on this particular transom---but that'll take five minutes. At this point, it's in Don's hands for framing and installation.

I should have gone ahead and puttied the other transom while I was already dressed for messes, but I was cold and cranky, so I didn't. Just as well---it started snowing again shortly thereafter. But I heard a rumor of temperatures into the forties this coming weekend, and if that happens, I'll be breaking out the Hawaiian Tropic, the flip-flops, and the wide-brimmed straw hat in order to finish my work on the last transom.

Posted by Michelle on January 28, 2003 12:26 PM

I think the recent cold streak is my fault - I went to Florida the second weekend in January, and when I came back, the midnight lows below zero showed up.

Mea culpa.

Posted by: Adrith on January 28, 2003 04:38 PM

Go ahead and hog all the warm, why don't you, Adrith :)

Posted by: Michelle on January 28, 2003 05:16 PM

So that's what all that white powder was around the picnic bench? Seriously, I was puzzled. I was wondering if the neighborhood kids were dealing coke out of our backyard.

Posted by: Don on January 29, 2003 11:09 AM

Sorry, babe. That's the whiting. Now you see why it's out of the question to do that inside, no matter how cold it is outside :)

Posted by: Michelle on January 29, 2003 12:17 PM

Here's a tip to avoid the evils of whiting... Apparently clean sawdust will do the trick. It will help sop up the excess putty, but it won't shine up the glass. (And if the cats are dragging sawdust through the house, you have to have some somewhere....) You can also apply the whiting sparingly. Can't wait to see the next installation :)

Posted by: JenB on January 30, 2003 06:26 PM

There's an idea. I like to believe I've Shop-Vac'd the last of the sawdust from the first transom frame, but the cats probably have a stash of their own if I can only find it. Thanks!

Posted by: Michelle on January 30, 2003 09:36 PM

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