Stained Glass Class

My son Kolya and I went to a introductory stained glass class today.  We both had a good time and came home with finished projects.

My goal was to see if I could make a panel for my Greene & Greene style sconces.  I had patterns ready and the instructor OK’d my project.

The process is fairly straightforward, but of course the devil is in the details.  My glass cutting needs some work, and there are a dozen little details that I wish I’d done better on, but I understand the process now and am confident I can do it.

The gist of the process is to score the glass – and there is a special procedure for dealing with inside and outside curves.  Snap the glass on the score lines and check it against the pattern.  Any uneven edges get mark for grinding later after all the parts are cut out.

Cutting Out the Pieces

Cutting Out the Pieces

This is a fairly complicated part only because the parts are small, and there are small inside curves.  I cut them as best I could and then tried to fine turn them with the grinder.

Once the parts are fine tuned they get cleaned to remove the grinding dust, then warmed on a hot plate to help the copper foil stick.  The foil is rolled onto the edges so that it overlaps both faces just a little.  On the finished piece my solder lines are a little wider than I’d like – which is a combination of too much of a gap between parts and perhaps too-wide copper foil tape.

Soldering the Parts

Soldering the Parts

The parts are soldered from both sides, cleaned, a patina applied and a coat of wax applied.

I give this one a C+ for effort.  I’m going to buy my own set of glass tools and order some glass and make the parts for the sconces now.

My First Stained Glass - In the Sconce

My First Stained Glass – In the Sconce

Kolya's Project

Kolya’s Project



Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Stained Glass Class

  1. Ryan

    Great post, thank you

    May I ask the source you are using to purchase supplies?

    • The materials for the class were provided by the instructor. I’m thinking of purchasing the tools and glass to make the actual glass panels for my sconces from, but I have never purchased from them before so I can’t say whether they are the best place. I’ll do some price comparisons with other online sources, the tools and glass are pretty standard fare I think.

  2. Wow! I loved the way that turned out. You’re putting on the house next, right?

    • I’m going to re-make that panel, it’s not quite right. The solder joints are a little wide, I just need to get better at cutting and fitting the glass together. I also want to use an iridescent amber for the main party of the design.

      But I’m pretty happy with it. I was going to put it in the hall, but since I have two I’m going to use both and put them in the living room above the stairs. And make a different style for the entry hall.

      But first I need to scrape together some extra cash to buy a few glass tools.

    • PS: Kolya did *awesome*. He cut all of the glass for his fish, ground the edges for fit, put on the copper foil and soldered it by himself. He had some gaps between the glass, which he just filled with solder — and it looks great.

      • Yes! I noticed. Maybe we’ll be hanging the fish in the same room as the scones. 😀

  3. PPS: Yes, inside the house. You can’t even imagine the trouble I’d be in if I made a pair of sconces for the shop 🙂

  4. Pete

    Joe thats a good first effort.

    2 tips for you. I always have lots of window glass around to practice cutting before I work with the good stuff. There seems to be no end of broken windows. In my area there are a couple of Glass Art Shops that sell glass leftovers, partial sheets and tools. It allows them to purchase larger quantities at a discount having us hobbyists buy small amounts. So see if there’s a local you can patronize?

    • Thanks Pete. That’s a great tip. I know the local HW store has scrap pieces I can practice on. And cutting is the tricky part as far as I can tell. The local glass shop that hosted the class has lots of small bits of glass for sale too.

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