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Stained Glass     In a nutshell

A stained glass window is essentially a puzzle of glass pieces that are connected with lead. The technique I prefer is called the "copperfoil" or "Tiffany" method, this means when a window is ready to be assembled I wrap the edges of each piece with a thin copper foil and place everything down on my pattern, ready for the next step. The copper foil edges receive some flux and are soldered together, creating a nice lead line, completing the puzzle.

I specialize in traditional glass painting which involves placing glass in a kiln (a sort of oven) that fuses the pigment to the glass surface at a very high temperature (usually around 1150°f) a process which takes around 5 hours. Most painted pieces requires multiple layers, some even needing as many as ten layers.

Step by Step

Here's My Process











Everything begins on paper and is then refined with a digital concept. After drawing up a full sized draft I transfer it by hand to tougher paper, cutting out the shapes to trace on glass.

After tracing the pattern out I can begin cutting my glass. I use a glass cutter to carefully score the glass and then pliers (or my hands) to snap the pieces in two.

It's very important to wear eye protection during this step!

I use a machine called a glass grinder to level the edges of the glass for safety reasons. It also allows me to reshape the pieces so my "puzzle" fits perfectly.

For more challenging shapes I use a diamond-bit ring saw.

Pigment is applied in thin layers and dried on the glass. Contrary to how painting usually goes, this process is more about removing paint rather than adding. So instead of adding shadows it is more like adding highlights. The glass is fired in a kiln at 1150°f.

After cleaning away the residue flux from the soldering process I add a polish to the lead lines which removes any extra darkness. 24hrs later I can buff away the polish and apply a patina. The piece is then polished again to ensure the patina is protected.

After a good cleaning the glass is ready to be foiled. The edge of each piece is wrapped with a tape that has a copper edge. The tape is crimped tightly to the surface.

Foiled edges are then fluxed and laid out on to the original pattern for accuracy. A soldering iron melts lead wire over the copper edges, joining them in one clean lead line. 

Zinc border frames are usually made for larger pieces to add stability to the panels so they don't bend over time.

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