Ever wondered what goes into making a stained glass item?
Allow us to first give the the dry version and then show you in pictures
1. Print the pattern.
2. Cut out all of the pieces from the printed pattern.
3. Stick the pattern pieces to the appropriate colored sheets of glass.
4. Cut the glass pieces.
5. Grind the edges of all pieces to remove sharp burrs.
6. Wash the grinding dust off all pieces.
7. Check all of the pieces fit together correctly.
8. Apply copper foil around the edges of the pieces.
9. Flat solder the pieces together. (1st. pass)
10. Turn piece over, flat solder the back. (2nd. pass)
11. Solder the front, adding the ‘bead’ to the solder. (3rd. pass)
12. Solder the back, adding the ‘bead’ to the solder. (4th. pass)
13. Solder all the way around the edge, which is done a quarter inch dab at a time on curved edges, which almost everything we make, has.
14. Add the hanging hook and any other wire work and apply solder to it.
15. Thoroughly wash the piece to remove flux residue and all finger marks.
16. Thoroughly dry and rub the piece down with steel wool to remove oxidization from the solder.
17. Apply patina, a chemical which turns the solder lines black.
18. Wash again and dry.
19. Polish the piece.
Every single piece of glass, no matter its size, goes through 20 minutes of handling to make a quality stained glass item.
Small pieces actually take longer than large pieces because of their ‘fiddly’ nature.
The Hummingbird for instance, has 20 pieces @ 20 minutes per piece = 6 hours and 40 minutes to make one. And we have not included the time to pick out the appropriate pieces of glass, the countless times the cutting surface has to be brushed off while cutting the glass, and the drying times needed between steps, which easily takes it to 8 hour per item.
And that’s for the the small pieces!