Thursday, 1 December 2011

Second Piece, in which I learn that Soldering Is Hard.

This second piece made me cranky. First off, my cutting skills were still pretty rudimentary (who am I kidding, "were"? Ha!) Cutting angles and even straight lines was something I thought I had to do freehand.

Now, the thing about cutting everything freehand is, it's not very exact. When you don't have exact cuts, your pieces of glass don't fit together properly. The slightest deviation in the first piece throws the second piece slightly out of whack, and so on until you have a piece of stained glass that is not so much square as...blobular.

This is especially so when you're using the copper foil technique. Lead came hides a multitude of sins where inexact cuts are concerned. You don't have that much leeway when you're using copper foil.

Oh, and did I mention? This was my very first experience with the copper foil method, and it is - let me tell you - a lot harder than it looks.

So, with all that said, here it is, in all its uneven, scraggly, blobular glory:

Are the pieces supposed to be all different sizes?

And then, oh lord. The soldering. Can I tell you how danged difficult running a bead of solder smoothly down an uneven seam of copper foil is? My solders were globby, spiky, and altogether crappeh.

As it turns out, none of this mattered, because I ended up breaking the damned thing anyway. Going back in to try and smooth out one of my solder seams, I overheated the central pentagon-shaped amber piece and it cracked. 

I think the death of this piece was a relief for everyone involved.
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Wednesday, 9 November 2011

First post, first piece

There are things to be said for being married to the Best Husband in the World. Here's an example: last year we were watching Mastercrafts, and they were showing three people learning how to do stained glass. I made an off-hand comment that I'd always wanted to learn how to do stained glass, and promptly forgot that I'd ever told him that.

But did Best Husband in the World forget it? No! He squirrelled that comment away in his brain, and a few months later, sprung it on me that my birthday present was two one-on-one classes with a stained glass professional!

See what I mean?

Anyway, I took to stained glass immediately. Despite the aching back you get from standing bent over a cutting table for hours on end and the innumerable cuts, burns and other indignities your hands suffer when you work with glass, I loved it.

I'm starting this blog to chart my progress with stained glass. Here's the first piece I ever made. I drew the design freehand and it took me two sessions of about 5 hours each to cut, lead and finish the piece.

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