Archive for the ‘Stained Glass’ Category

How to Properly Solder Your Stained Glass

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

Since stained glass making is such a fine art much attention is paid to the type, colors and quality of glass used and/or the quality of the paint used on the glass. The soldering iron, while absolutely crucial to the outcome of the project is often given little or no consideration and attempts to use one borrowed from a friend or found in the tool bin in the garage are often made. The right soldering iron and type of solder can make the difference in the overall quality of the finished stained glass window or other project, however, and should be given more attention.

Using a low wattage soldering iron as one might find handy from household projects is a bad idea. Irons of less than 75 watts do not retain enough heat to handle the large amounts of solder that are needed to complete your stained glass project. When the iron loses heat from constant use, the solder suddenly becomes sticky and slow and the joints become messy and unstable. Not only will your stained glass project look unprofessional, it may well fall apart!

Using a soldering iron with too high a wattage can also present a problem. Soldering irons over 200 watts will heat the solder too quickly, causing drips and possibly burning or melting the metal cames and irrevocably damaging the stained glass project. Turning the iron off periodically may help this problem, but all too often one forgets to turn it back on and is left with a cold iron or the same problems as using the too low wattage iron with slow, sticky solder.

Sometimes the most important aspects of a subject are not immediately obvious. Keep reading to get the complete picture.

The ideal soldering iron would have a temperature control keeping it at a constant level between 100 and 200 watts. It would also have an iron coated or plated tip to make it long lasting and easy to use. The tip should measure about 1/4 inch and be comparable to a flat tip screw-driver in shape. You should replace the tip often to keep your projects flowing smoothly and to help keep your joints neat and clean.

The first step in soldering your stained glass project is to heat up the soldering iron. Once it is heated it is important to clean the tip to remove impurities either by wiping it on a damp rag or sal ammoniac (a naturally occurring mineral that reacts with the heat of the soldering iron to clean residue when the tip of the iron is rubbed across it). Next, brush the tip of the soldering iron with a little flux and then melt a little dab of solder onto it. When the solder melts into a shiny liquid bead, you will know your soldering iron is ready to use on your stained glass project. Start by soldering all of the joints in your stained glass piece, that is any area where two pieces of came intersect. Then you should carefully run a bead of solder along all of the sections of came on your stained glass project.

If the solder is too sticky you should wait for the iron to heat up a little more, if it is too runny your iron is too hot. You want to be careful to ensure a smooth finished look, but do not worry about the heat of the iron cracking the glass since stained glass is kiln fired at temperatures about 1000? F, there is little chance of that! Soldering your stained glass project well will give it a more professional look and ensure that it will last for many generations to come.

Knowing enough about Stained Glass to make solid, informed choices cuts down on the fear factor. If you apply what you’ve just learned about Stained Glass, you should have nothing to worry about.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, proud owner of this top ranked web hosting reseller site: GVO

Stained Glass Projects for Children

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Stained glass is a beautiful art form that combines the use of various colors, shapes, textures and transparencies with light to illuminate, decorate and inspire the mind, spirit and eye of the beholder. Children have always been, and will always be, fascinated with shapes and colors which makes the art form of stained glass perfect for them.

Unlike a coloring book page which is colored once and then maybe taped to the refrigerator for a few days before finding its way to the garbage can, a stained glass creation can bring enjoyment and help boost a child’s self-esteem for many years to come. There is nothing better than a beautiful constant reminder of the child’s great “achievement”.

In its early days, long before Christ was born, stained glass was made by mixing different metals with sand and soda and heating them at high temperatures so that the colors were actually a part of the glass. This type was thicker and the colors were rich and dark. Throughout the decades styles and tastes changed and new ways of using stained glass were needed. As people wanted to get more detail in their stained glass windows and also allow more light in, they began to use the technique of painting on the glass, rather than mixing the colors into while making it. This would be the easiest way to introduce a child to the art of stained glass. Many craft stores and mass marketers carry ready made stained glass kits that allow the child to make beautiful sun catchers or Christmas tree ornaments.

Is everything making sense so far? If not, I’m sure that with just a little more reading, all the facts will fall into place.

These kits are very easy to use. Most have kid friendly designs with raised metal borders and the child can use an eye dropper to add a stain to the different areas of glass. These kits are basically fool-proof and allow the child to easily create something beautiful without any smudges or smears.

Another idea to capture the feeling of stained glass is to use black colored paper as your “lead came”. You will need to go through two sheets at once to create your design with various shapes cut out. You may use either thin colored crepe paper or two sheets of waxed paper that have had crayon shavings ironed between them as your “stained glass”. This is something that can be created easily with objects you probably already have laying around the house.

Children love to learn and using a stained glass project provides the opportunity to teach them on a variety of topics such as art appreciation, the history of religion, architecture for the older students and things as simple as colors and shapes for pre-school and kindergarten ages children. Any project that allows a child to be creative, spend time with their parents and develop their self-esteem is worthy of taking into consideration and stained glass craft making certainly meets those requirements. So why not make some cookies grab a stained glass art kit and your favorite child or children and spend some quality time creating stained glass art?

Take time to consider the points presented above. What you learn may help you overcome your hesitation to take action.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, proud owner of this top ranked web hosting reseller site: GVO

John La Farge, American Stained Glass Artist

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

When you’re learning about something new, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of relevant information available. This informative article should help you focus on the central points.

American stained glass artist, John La Farge was born in New York City on March 31, 1835 to french immigrant parents. Upon completion of his formal education in law he ventured to Europe to study art. After his return to the United States he made a brief attempt at practicing law, but soon gave it up to follow his passion for artistic expression. Initially, he painted landscapes later moving on to figures and stills and eventually caught a break doing drawings for a magazine. His first prominent assignment, however, was in 1876 when he was commissioned to handle the décor for the entire interior of the Trinity Church in Boston.

That accomplishment represents a milestone in American art as it was the first real mural painted here. Many art historians consider his painting on the end wall above the altar in the Church of the Ascension in New York his greatest masterpiece.

He became intrigued with glass making after becoming aware of certain inadequacies in the industry which limited the ability of an artist to create brilliant designs with varying transparencies without losing the polished finish. He then developed techniques in overlays (plating) and opalescent glass which has come to be known as American Stained Glass. Initially he used these new methods on privately owned homes despite the fact he had previously designed the old style stained glass window for the Trinity Church. The “Battle Window” in Memorial Hall at Harvard University, commissioned to commemorate Harvard’s Civil War dead, is considered to be one of his most significant works in stained glass. Other notable stained glass achievements include Watson Memorial in Trinity Church, Buffalo and the Church of the Ascension, New York.

You may not consider everything you just read to be crucial information about Stained Glass. But don’t be surprised if you find yourself recalling and using this very information in the next few days.

While his leading competitor in the business, namely Louis C. Tiffany, chose to employ a staff and develop a factory, John continued to do his projects one at a time and mainly by himself. He began to perfect a technique of making jewel-like flower panels which were installed in the mansions of many of the wealthiest members of turn-of-the-century American aristocrats such as Cornelius Vanderbilt. La Farge is believed to have created several thousand stained glass windows over the course of his career some of grand and immense artistic and historical importance and others just a minute decorative touch in a private home. His last work of the jewel-like flower type is said to have been “The Peacock” which was purchased by the Worcester Museum.

La Farge won many awards including one from the Legion of Honor, which was given him for the stained glass window exhibited at the French Exposition in 1889. He was awarded a gold medal at the Pan- American Exposition at Buffalo in 1901 and three years later in St. Louis he was awarded a diploma and medal of honor for distinguished service in art. He was the initiatory recipient of the Medal of Honor from the Architectural League of New York’s. He was elected an Associate of the National Academy of Design in 1863 and became a full fledged Academician in 1869.

He presided as president of the Society of American Artists among other notable achievements before his death in 1910. La Farge will long be remembered for his contributions to American art and most especially his innovations and artistic expression in stained glass.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, proud owner of this top ranked web hosting reseller site: GVO

Designing Your Own Stained Glass

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

The following article covers a topic that has recently moved to center stage–at least it seems that way. If you’ve been thinking you need to know more about it, here’s your opportunity.

Creating works of art in stained glass in an immensely satisfying and interesting hobby. To get started you might decide to take a class or grab a couple of how-to books and prepare for a little trial and error. Either way, your first few projects will probably be made either from a pre-made kit or with a pattern from a book or printed from a website. You may soon decide that you are ready to create your own stained glass design and bring it to life. Although the idea may seem daunting at first, you will soon find the challenge inspiring and realize that designing your own stained glass is not as difficult as you first thought.

All stained glass art projects, big and small begin with a cartoon. The cartoon is a drawing on paper of what you would like your stained glass artwork to look like. The fact that you are translating your artwork into a stained glass piece provides some extra challenges. You will have to take into consideration the strength and integrity that the different sized pieces of stained glass will create. You will need to keep in mind the copper or lead “skeleton” that is created by your came. This skeleton needs to be thought of as not only a strength or support to the stained glass, but an integral part of the design itself. This can be an advantage as you are forced to stretch your creativity and add extra lines where you might not have initially considered, unexpectedly adding more depth to your design.

Now that we’ve covered those aspects of Stained Glass, let’s turn to some of the other factors that need to be considered.

There are many places you can and should look for inspiration for your stained glass design. You will find many books and websites about stained glass from which you may find ideas. Paintings, magazines, your home furnishings or any interesting pattern you see may provide insight. Your stained glass art may be a scene from a family photo, a familiar landscape or a completely abstract design.

Once you have decided on a design for your stained glass it is time to draw it out on paper. Think of the size your finished piece will be and draw the perimeter and begin planning the stained glass design within it. Once you have made the initial drawing, look it over and think about whether any of the pieces will be too difficult to cut and consider changing the lines slightly to avoid difficult cuts. Remember that smaller pieces with more leading between them will make the stained glass stronger, so consider adding lines in areas that are too large. When working on your first design, keep it simple so you can gain experience and build your confidence before moving on to more difficult pieces. Remember that even the great American stained glass artists like Tiffany and La Farge started with small jobs before they adorned America’s great churches!

Once you are satisfied with your pencil drawing, ink it in and make several copies. You will need one for cutting the stained glass design out and at least one other for checking that the pieces fit together. When placing your pattern pieces to cut your glass take into consideration any irregularities or streaks in the glass and consider how to use them to your advantage such as a streaky blue being used for a cloudy sky. Most importantly, relax and trust you intuition. Your stained glass will be a one-of-a-kind and an expression of your unique personality.

Sometimes it’s tough to sort out all the details related to this subject, but I’m positive you’ll have no trouble making sense of the information presented above.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit his top ranked GVO affiliate site: GVO

Stained Glass Windows- a Light unto the Soul

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Light is truly the inspiration for stained glass in both the physical and literal senses. During the Gothic Era from about 1150 – 1500 A.D. there was no electricity so alternate ways of lighting Cathedrals was necessary. Immense and exquisite stained glass windows were created and intended to provide physical light by allowing in much needed sunlight, but they were also intended to provide spiritual light. The King James Version of the Bible in John 8:12 says “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Jesus was the inspiration for and his life, gruesome death and subsequent resurrection were the subject of the majority of stained glass windows created during that period in history.

Grand and magnificent cathedrals carved up gigantic stones and supported by immense pillars and flying buttresses reaching up towards the Heavens in worship of God and His son were crowned with beautiful jewels known as stained glass. In some Cathedrals, stained glass panels covered entire walls and the supporting pillars go almost entirely unnoticed. The pillars alone could not have supported the weight of the structure, which is the purpose of the flying buttresses (they braced the structure from the outside).

The art of making stained glass has been poetically referred to as “painting with light” taking the analogy even further. This term was coined due to the fact that rather than reflecting light off of it, a stained glass window allows light to be transmitted through it. It is a unique partnership, as neither the light nor the window is as magnificent without the other.

Those of you not familiar with the latest on Stained Glass now have at least a basic understanding. But there’s more to come.

Abbot Suger of the Cathedral at St. Denis in France was among the first to employ the Gothic form of architecture in an attempt to glorify God and Jesus Christ. The following quote is taken from a writing of Suger, included as a part of a transcription on the doors to the Cathedral. That gives insight into his motivations for using large amounts of stained glass and the relationship of the physical light to the spiritual, “…The noble work is bright, but, being nobly bright, the work should brighten the minds, allowing them to travel through the lights to the true light, where Christ is the true door.”

He later gave a detailed explanation as to what the purpose of the exemplary works of stained glass window art were in the church; “Thus sometimes when, because of my delight in the beauty of the house of God, the multicolor loveliness of the gems has called me away from external cares, and worthy meditation, transporting me from material to immaterial things, has persuaded me to examine the diversity of holy virtues, then I seem to see myself existing on some level, as it were, beyond our earthly one, neither completely in the slime of earth nor completely in the purity of heaven.

By the gift of God I can be transported in an anagogical manner from this inferior level to that superior one.” Walking into a mighty cathedral such as St. Denis, even today, one can feel the influence this passion for light had on the development of the art of stained glass making and the worship of God during the Gothic Era.

This article’s coverage of the information is as complete as it can be today. But you should always leave open the possibility that future research could uncover new facts.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit his top ranked GVO affiliate site: GVO

Stained Glass Lead Came Technique

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

In today’s world, it seems that almost any topic is open for debate. While I was gathering facts for this article, I was quite surprised to find some of the issues I thought were settled are actually still being openly discussed.

The lead came method of stained glass construction gives an appearance of uniform lines and an antique look. The lead channel is wrapped around the glass and then joined at the “seams” or joints by a bead of solder.

Lead came, used for joining pieces of stained glass, comes in one channel, called “U came,” or two channel, “H came,” strips about six feet long. “U” lead strips are used to frame the outside edges of stained glass, especially on small suncatchers or ornaments with only two or three glass pieces. In larger stained glass projects, the “H” lead strips are used to join two pieces of glass together, placed inside the grooves.

Stretching the lead strips before fitting it around the stained glass makes the lead more rigid and stronger. Some lead is pre-stretched, but might have acquired some kinks or bends in packaging, so you may want to stretch it a little to get the kinks out. Do not over-stretch as it will narrow the grooves in the channel, making it too narrow to fit around the stained glass. Lead that is stretched too much will break.

The lead is soft enough that after fitting it on the stained glass and making sure that you have good connections, you can easily cut it with lead nippers, a lead knife or even scissors. Be careful to make sure the joints you have cut butt so that it will be strong throughout the stained glass piece. Filling gaps between the joints takes a lot of solder and makes the joints look sloppy and unprofessional.

Your stained glass work will be laid on a pine board, beginning at two strips of wood nailed at right angles to each other. These wood strips will act as a support for your project. Your alternating pieces of lead and stained glass will be temporarily held in place by horseshoe nails as you progress across your stained glass pattern.

Most of this information comes straight from the Stained Glass pros. Careful reading to the end virtually guarantees that you’ll know what they know.

Each piece of stained glass and the lead strip around it has to fit within the pattern lines before you move on to the next piece. If one piece is too large and crosses over the pattern line, then every other piece will be off and your entire stained glass piece will be off.

Before you begin soldering the lead joints on your stained glass project, you should practice on some scrap pieces of lead first. Lead melts so you want to check your soldering iron’s temperature on the lead scraps first. If it is too hot, a rheostat can lower the temperature enough to prevent unwanted melting of the lead. A 40 watt soldering iron is hot enough.

Before you solder the lead joints, prepare the metal with flux, then move your soldering iron tip quickly over the lead, creating a pool of the 60/40 solder. The pool of lead should smoothly flow over the seams and lie flat. It is not necessary to raise a big ball of solder at the joints.

Solder all joints on both sides of your stained glass panel. Clean the flux away with warm, soapy water. Reinforce the stained glass panel by forcing a glazing compound or putty into the lead channels. Clean away all excess putty with whiting or sawdust, and then a soft cloth.

Another method of joining stained glass, created by Louis C. Tiffany, is the copper foil method of stained glass construction. The glass crafter can choose which method he/she prefers based on each individual stained glass project. Both methods of stained glass construction generally work equally well.

Is there really any information about Stained Glass that is nonessential? We all see things from different angles, so something relatively insignificant to one may be crucial to another.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, proud owner of this top ranked web hosting reseller site: GVO

Stained Glass Artisan, Louis C. Tiffany

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

In today’s world, it seems that almost any topic is open for debate. While I was gathering facts for this article, I was quite surprised to find some of the issues I thought were settled are actually still being openly discussed.

Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) is associated with Art Nouveau style stained glass lamps and windows. He was nicknamed “Rebel in Glass” because he ventured into many avenues of art glass. He founded Tiffany and Company soon after the Civil War and employed several artists to carry out his artistic ideas.

Tiffany had studied painting in Paris and when he returned home, he studied Medieval techniques in glassmaking. From his experimentation of many techniques of glassmaking, he came up with his beautiful “drapery” stained glass which he used to represent the folds and ripples in the robes and gowns of figures in his stained glass windows.

Tiffany’s first figure stained glass window was built in 1878 using opalescent glass from the Heidt glasshouse. He made his first glass tiles at Heidt glass house, his factory in Brooklyn. Tiffany’s stained glass designs were unique and constructed with an aim for stability so that they would last and be enjoyed for generations.

Much of Tiffany’s work no longer exists. Without a thought, people threw away Tifffany stained glass lampshades; and, church and cathedral stained glass windows have been destroyed over time. Some of Tiffany’s stained glass lamp shades, when found, are now valued up to tens of thousands of dollars or more.

Tiffany’s stained glass products were not intended to be mass produced but, rather, were created for individuals or church memorial gifts. Probably only less than half of Tiffany’s stained glass products are still in existence. Those are mostly already in museums or are kept by prominent collectors. So, it is unlikely for you to accidentally run across a Tiffany stained glass lampshade or stained glass window panel that will make you wealthy.

Most of this information comes straight from the Stained Glass pros. Careful reading to the end virtually guarantees that you’ll know what they know.

Tiffany was an avid painter who painted all his life. His painting ability was very useful to him in designing his significant stained glass windows. His “cartoons” were not merely patterns on paper, but often they were full-size oil paintings on canvas. For Tiffany, stained glass windows were simply another form of painting.

Interestingly, Tiffany’s stained glass windows for public buildings were signed, but stained glass windows he built for individual homes were not signed. He thought the families who lived in the homes would be able to attribute to the fact that he or his company had made their stained glass windows. This has caused problems proving stained glass windows were his.

One of Tiffany’s better known designs was the Wisteria Table Lamp (c. 1900) of which many reproductions have been made. The beautiful stained glass lamp shade is a resemblance of a vine, leaves, and wisteria blossoms dripping all over in beautiful colors.

Tiffany’s stained glass works can be seen in various places. One such place is the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida where the interior of the chapel Tiffany designed is assembled. It had been designed for the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago. After the exposition, it had been stored in Tiffany’s mansion until the mansion burned down. The chapel parts and all its stained glass windows were salvaged and rebuilt in the museum at Rollins College.

There are several of Tiffany’s stained glass windows in New Jersey. Stained glass windows at Saint James Church in Fordham, Bronx, New York represent some of Tiffany’s best work from the late 19th century through 1929. Other Tiffany stained glass works can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, City.

Many references to locations where Tiffany’s stained glass windows and other art can be seen can be found online.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit his top ranked GVO affiliate site: GVO

How to Decorate With Stained Glass

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Would you like to find out what those-in-the-know have to say about Stained Glass? The information in the article below comes straight from well-informed experts with special knowledge about Stained Glass.

Once upon a time, thousands of years ago, stained glass was used only in grand Cathedral windows to bring in sunlight and illuminate the “hearts of men”. Many years later, wealthy aristocrats added the elegance of stained glass windows to their mansions and palaces. These days just about anyone can decorate their home with the beauty and elegance of stained glass. Back in the 18th century, stained glass artists like Tiffany and La Farge changed the face of stained glass and proved that the medium could be used for more than just windows. Light fixtures, lamps, picture frames and mirrors lined with stained glass are all beautiful additions to almost any home or business.

Where should you add stained glass? The entryway to the home is a good place to begin as this is where your guest’s first impression is made and it is also the first sight welcoming you home each day. Stained glass will add color and style to an otherwise boring door and window pane in your entryway. The stained glass will allow light in while adding very desirable privacy to your home. Modern stained glass comes in a variety of styles and colors and can easily be matched to any décor whether modern or classic.

Living rooms can benefit from unique and beautiful Tiffany-style lamps. Choose a color and style that compliments your upholstery, carpet and wall colors or go for a highly contrasting eclectic look. The stained glass lamp can simply blend in and be a useful source of light for reading or it can be the added bit of character that serves as a “conversation piece” in the home. Either way “a thing of beauty is a joy to behold” so add some joy to your living space!

The dining room is a great place for a stained glass chandelier. Beveled edges and translucent colors will add interest and excitement to your table setting. Lighting certainly sets the mood for the dining room and stained glass provides just the right feel. Food even seems to taste better when served in beautiful surroundings, don’t you agree?

If you find yourself confused by what you’ve read to this point, don’t despair. Everything should be crystal clear by the time you finish.

The bathroom can be accentuated with a beautifully stained glass framed mirror and/or Tiffany-style light fixtures. How about a jewel-look stained glass soap holder? Use one of the main colors in the stained glass to match your towels, toothbrush holder, shower curtain and soap dispenser to for a fabulous, elegant rich look. These items don’t need to be expensive and your bathroom will look like it belongs to the Vanderbilt’s!

A beautiful stained glass window over the kitchen sink would certainly make doing dishes more enjoyable. Casual meals in the breakfast nook would seem more extraordinary when surrounded by beautiful stained glass. Dishes in one of the jewel-tones of the stained glass and a contrasting jewel-toned tablecloth would pull the look together nicely.

Saving the best for last…the bedroom! Beautiful stained glass lamps gracing the nightstands on either side of the bed could help to set the mood. A stained glass vase or jewelry box on top of the dresser could be just the touch you need.

There are so many ways to decorate with stained glass. You could easily put a stained glass piece in every room of the house either to compliment your decorating theme or even AS your decorating theme. Let your imagination run wild and enjoy your newfound love of stained glass.

When word gets around about your command of Stained Glass facts, others who need to know about Stained Glass will start to actively seek you out.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit his top ranked GVO affiliate site: GVO

Stained Glass Copper Foil Technique

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

This article explains a few things about Stained Glass, and if you’re interested, then this is worth reading, because you can never tell what you don’t know.

Copper foil is a stained glass leading technique that has a more delicate or intricate look to it than the lead came technique. Louis C. Tiffany created the copper foil technique in the early 1900’s. Tiffany didn’t have the adhesive-backed copper foil that we have today. When he built his copper foil stained glass projects, he painstakingly cut the copper strips and applied wax to them to secure it to the stained glass.

Copper foil is often used for decorative glass boxes, stained glass lamps, and other stained glass projects with intricate curves. The copper foil is flexible and when the solder bead is applied correctly, it is strong enough for just about any stained glass project.

Deciding whether to use copper foil or lead came on a project is mostly a personal choice; yet, some areas may have building restrictions or codes that you might want to check. Some people believe that the copper foil method of stained glass construction is not strong enough for large stained glass windows.

There are methods of reinforcing stained glass windows whether they are constructed by the copper foil method or the came method. Rebar is used to reinforce large stained glass windows. There is a copper flat wire called “Strong Line” that is also used as reinforcement by placing it between the pieces of stained glass before soldering.

The copper color of Tiffany’s thin strips of copper for his stained glass window construction would have shown in, for instance, clear glass. Today’s copper foil comes in various backing colors like copper, black, silver and brass. This gives the stained glass artisan choices of backing that will show up less through clear glass; and for instance, if you use silver backing on white stained glass, there will not be a line of shadow on the white stained glass near the solder lines.

If you find yourself confused by what you’ve read to this point, don’t despair. Everything should be crystal clear by the time you finish.

Also, if you plan to leave the solder lines silver and not use a patina to color the solder, then silver back will look better wherever there is clear glass. The same works for using a copper patina on the lead; you would want copper backed foil on your stained glass. Black-backed foil would look best on that clear glass if you are using black patina.

Copper foil tape is a “dead soft copper” which, when burnished onto the stained glass, sticks closely to the glass. It comes in various widths with popular sizes being: 1/8″, 3/16″, 1/4″, 7/32″ 3/8″ and 1/2″. Most copper foil tapes are in 36 yard rolls.

When working with larger stained glass projects, 3-dimensional articles or windows, a wider copper foil like 3/8″ or 1/2″ will be stronger. Thicker stained glass requires a wider tape. When you are doing very intricate or delicate stained glass work, you might prefer to use the narrower 3/16″ copper foil tape.

When you wrap stained glass in copper foil tape, be sure that the edges of the glass are ground and then cleaned very well; otherwise, the foil will not stick to the stained glass. Wrapping the glass edges carefully and being sure equal amounts of foil are folded up onto either side of the stained glass will ensure a smooth, even solder line. Be sure to rub or burnish the foil until it is smooth and secure.

Copper foil for stained glass construction is available through wholesale distributors all over the world. A very popular and reliable copper foil is manufactured by Edco Supply Corporation in Brooklyn, New York. Stained glass retail stores, craft stores, and online stores carry copper foil for stained glass.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit his top ranked GVO affiliate site: GVO

Stained Glass Workshop Safety Tips

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Whether you are an experienced or new stained glass crafter or artisan, it is important to think about safety in your stained glass workshop or studio. There are the obvious hazards of working around glass, but tools and chemicals can also be hazardous.

When you go to your stained glass supplier, do not bring small children. There is too big of a risk of being cut by glass and being exposed to toxic fumes, dust and lead. Most stained glass warehouses post signs requesting that small children do not go into areas where the stained glass is stored. Your local retail stained glass dealer would appreciate not having the stress of having a “bull in a China shop.”

When carrying sheets of stained glass, wear gloves that help you have a good grip on the glass. The gloves should protect your hands from cuts from the razor sharp edges of the stained glass. Grip the glass on each side. Carrying it with one hand on top and one on bottom creates a hazard that the glass could snap in two. If you grip from each side and the sheet of stained glass breaks, you have a better chance of letting the glass slip away from you without being cut.

When scoring and breaking stained glass at your workbench, wear protective eyewear and gloves. Be careful not to use your hand to swipe glass shards out of your way. Keep a bench brush and dust pan handy so that you can frequently brush off your workbench. This will reduce accidents and also keep a smooth surface to work on. The tiniest glass shard under a piece of stained glass that you are scoring can cause the piece you are working on to have an unwanted break.

Never use a glass grinder without protecting your eyes. Glass particles can fly up into your eyes and cause terrible pain and may permanently damage your eyes. Most glass grinders are equipped with face shields or face shields can be purchased separately.

Once you begin to move beyond basic background information, you begin to realize that there’s more to Stained Glass than you may have first thought.

While grinding your stained glass, wear goggles that shield your eyes from all sides to prevent glass particles from getting in your eyes from underneath since the grinder is below eye level. It would also be a good idea to wear a paper mask to prevent breathing in the glass particles and dust that could be harmful to your sinuses and lungs.

When leading the stained glass pieces, wear gloves to protect you from exposure to lead poisoning. If you have cuts on your hands, cover them with band-aids. Pay careful attention to your hot soldering iron. Don’t look away and reach for your iron. You might grasp the wrong end of the iron . . . the end that is several hundred degrees hot!

Make sure that your area is well ventilated when you are soldering. Fumes from solder and flux contain harmful lead and acid. Solder scraps should be kept in a special container for taking to a recycler.

Sometimes new stained glass crafters don’t have a workshop and think they can begin by working at their kitchen table or counter. That is a definite risk of exposing you and your family to lead poisoning, chemical contamination, and hazards from the shards of stained glass. It would be better to set up a space in your garage or an unused room. Some stained glass shops will allow you to rent bench time.

Common sense and a clean stained glass workshop will help keep you safe and add to your enjoyment of the art of stained glass.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit his top ranked GVO affiliate site: GVO