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?

Movable Type
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It's a glass cutter.
May 31, 2003: Parts Is Parts
Went shopping for lamp parts today, one large and one small.

The small one is a vase cap, to be soldered to the top of my lampshade. The store's entire selection of vase caps came only in this brassy color which bears no relation to any stained glass patina known to man. I asked if the vase cap can be patinaed to match the lampshade---still haven't decided what patina I'll use, but will probably go with black. The answer was that the vase cap can be patinaed but will probably want to be tinned first. Tinning, of course, is applying a thin covering coat of solder, i.e.: prime opportunity to burn myself. Watch this space.

The big part for which I was shopping today was a lamp base. There are probably people who eschew "store-bought" bases in favor of hand-building something complex and unique, but I feel like I'm doing okay to have built a shade---I don't need to actually build a lamp. I'm okay with that.

I found a lamp base I liked, and made it mine. It's pictured below, with the vase-cap-less and yet-to-be-finished lampshade just sort of perched atop the harp of the lamp base, so that I can imagine what it'll look like when done:

I didn't have glass class this week. We were originally supposed to, then last week, someone in the class suggested skipping Memorial Day's class and finishing a week late. Everyone agreed, which is to say, everyone else agreed and I abstained, seeing the numbers were against me. So the holiday meant I had to wait two whole weeks to do the last couple of hours of work on my lamp. Fortunately (or not) I've been so busy with work that I haven't had time to be impatient about building pretty glass things. Even so: this Monday, I'd better be coming home with a finish-soldered, wire-wrapped, vase-capped, patinaed, polished-shiny lampshade. I have a spot for the finished lamp all picked out and everything.

Posted by Michelle on May 31, 2003 06:01 PM

That lamp is a really nice match for the shade, and will look wonderful when it's done. :)

Posted by: Adrith on June 2, 2003 11:06 AM

That is a gorgeous lamp, Michelle! Is it going to go in the living room after all? Hopefully your husband-to-be has warmed up to the idea! I think your stained glass talents complement your work as a tech person quite well.

Posted by: Linda on June 2, 2003 01:27 PM

I think I have successfully appealed to my sweetie's sense of fairness in giving the lamp a home in the living room.

If he kicks up any more fuss over it, I'm going to ask him whether, when our kid comes home from kindergarten with some horrifically ugly drawing and a big proud smile, he would refuse to put it up on the refrigerator on grounds of it not meeting his own aesthetic ideal. So that's my ace in the hole. Shhh.

Posted by: Michelle on June 2, 2003 03:34 PM

Well, I think the lamp looks pretty damn pretty :-) The new base complements it well, and of course your living room was really needing some green in it, anyway ;-) (Doesn't every living room? Mine can't be the only one!)

Posted by: Kim on June 3, 2003 10:04 AM

It's not absolutely necessary to tin a vase cap before applying patina. Scrub clean first with steel wool, then apply as normal. It will take more coats and more rubbing than without the tinning, but will darken eventually. If your not sure, try on the inside of the cap first.

The problem with tinning the vase cap (apart from burning oneself) is that it can be difficult to get a nice smooth surface without lots of solder blobs. Depends on how much of the antique look your going for I guess!

Posted by: Bruce on June 3, 2003 06:36 PM

I'm trying to find a place I can purchase the lamp parts for the tiffiney style lamps. Do you have any sources? Thanks.

Posted by: don cline on November 20, 2003 01:28 PM

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