After spending thirty-six years in the working world, I am learning to "live outside the lines," become less regimented, and explore creative projects. This blog records my experiences with long-form writing, art, including stained glass and painting, and travel. I'm not a natural at making loud noises in today's "selfie" world, so making this public is a stretch. That's probably a good thing.
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It's been a challenging time for my hobby...with Glass Warehouse closed, I just work by myself. Which, 90% of the time, is just fine. But every once in a while, I need help or advice...duh. Becky MacKenzie from GW is organizing an open studio series at D&L Glass, which sounds exciting. I don't love the idea of driving to 52nd and Pecos, but I'll do it anyway.
I found this design (the left side of an antique English window) and decided to try it. My challenge was to combine multiple shades of the green glass for the leaves, so that it looked somewhat organic. I think it worked!
I took a class at D&L last month and learned how to make leaded stained glass. In other words, use lead came to assemble the pieces instead of copper foil. The lead came method is a thousand years old and is used by artisans worldwide. But, as one might expect, working with lead does present some health hazards, so it is a bit more persnickety than the copper foil method, which is what I learned several years ago. (Most new beginners in stained glass learn the copper foil method.)
The only thing I don't like about the lead came method is stretching the lead itself...I still don't have the hang of it. But I did love using the lead to piece everything together. For some reason, the process was more meditative than copper foil. Then, the mudding process (the "glue" that holds the piece together) is messy, but it works.
For some reason, the whole process feels more organic. Also, you don't have to solder as much, which makes me happy. I'm not usually a perfec…
Well, I learned something new with this last project: creating an abstract piece is a thousand times harder than following a realistic pattern.
I wanted to follow-up my lead came class with an actual project, completed on my own. As ever, I have bins of scrap glass, so I decided to create a piece where I could accomplish two goals: 1) use the lead came method; and 2) use up scrap glass!
It sounded rather easy...sort of like putting a puzzle together. The truth is, it was incredibly hard. Balancing colors and pieces of glass into a unified design almost drove me crazy. At first, I thought I could piece things together without a pattern, but that process was a giant failure. So, I forced myself to draw a pattern that I could revise, revise, and revise again.
I'm really happy with how it turned out, despite all of my whining...
I found a tile that I liked, and decided to see if I could turn it into a stained glass piece. It's relatively small (8 x 14), but I love how it came out. I was able to use some glass that really brought the design to life.