Stained Glass Panel

I got a couple of hours in the shop yesterday, and finished cutting the glass for the stained glass panel for the Byrdcliffe-inspired cabinet.  Like everything this seems to be moving in slow motion, but I’m continuing to chip away at it.

The process to make the panel is pretty simple.  Cut and fit all of the pieces, clean them and wrap the edges with copper foil tape, solder and apply patina.  There are plenty of details to sort through along the way.  Getting an accurate cut required some hand skills with the glass cutter when to score the shape.  Tight curves and long thin pieces are separate challenges.  You can offset lack of skill with the cutter by spending more time at the grinder, but that slows things down.

If I can read the pattern through the glass I may cut it directly, but most often I need to outline the pattern with a sharpie to be able to see it though the glass, and then I draw it directly on the glass.

Marking pieces to cut

Marking pieces to cut

Then I score the cuts, plus any relief cuts I need and break the pieces apart.

Pieces scored and broken apart

Pieces scored and broken apart

Then I hit the pieces on the glass grinder to tune up the shape and fit, and drop them onto my master pattern board.  As I go I inevitably decide to fine tune other pieces or even re-make them because the color is off or the fit isn’t acceptable.

Fitting in more pieces.  I'm going to re-make #39, 2 and 3 because I'm not happy with the fit.

Fitting in more pieces. I’m going to re-make #39, 2 and 3 because I’m not happy with the fit.

Eventually I got all the pieces made with the help of my son Kolya.  He’s a pretty deft hand at stained glass when I can pull him away from video games and South Park re-runs.  And Golf, although I don’t mind that and in fact spend a chunk of my weekends ferrying him bcd and forth to the golf course.

All the pieces made

All the pieces made

There are a few pieces I still want to re-make; 39, 2 and 3 are replaced and fit much better.  The purple “heart” isn’t quite right, the color on #43 is out of place and one or two other pieces are enough “off” that I want to replace them.  Once that is done I can clean them and start applying foil.  Inevitably I’ll find a few fitment problems due to the thickness of the foil.  I try to account for that when making the pieces, but I’m guessing that across the section where the tulip bud is there will be some problems.  Hopefully the next time you see this it will be done and installed in the door.


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