stained glass demonstration,process of making stained glass

Exceptional Stained Glass
& Beveled Glass

Incorporating Innovative Design & Precision Craftsmanship


stained glass demonstration,process of making stained glass


stained glass demonstration,process of making stained glass


stained glass demonstration,process of making stained glass






stained glass demonstration,process of making stained glass


stained glass demonstration,process of making stained glass


See How Stained Glass is Made

Many people who work with stained glass use only the copper foil method of holding the pieces of glass together. But when you know how to use lead came as well as copper foil, the choice becomes which is better for any given artwork. For me, the decision to use lead came is the correct decision about 95% of the time. That is why I am about to show you how a leaded artwork in stained glass is done.

After discussing the clients' setting, desires, and constraints, one or more initial designs are created on my computer, then submitted for client review on a private web page. Once I have gotten client feedback concerning their likes and dislikes, I produce further versions of the design. This goes on until the clients are happy with the design. Once the final version of the design is set, it is printed out (small) on paper to aid in creating a very precise full size drawing of the artwork. While many stained glass artisans think it's ok to enlarge a design at their local copy-shop, the precision I strive for in my own work requires that I blow up the design to full size with mechanical drawing skills. If you're thinking of commissioning stained glass, be sure to ask about how an artisan does this... it's an easily obtained insight into the attitude and the skill level of an artisan you're considering using.

While the full size design is being constructed, the choice of which glasses to use is discussed. While I used to submit photos (such as the ones shown below) to facilitate this discussion, in recent years I have moved toward encouraging the clients to trust me to select the glasses myself. While this is not a requirement of commissioning me, it does help me to select glasses that match the final design and go together well. The drawback with photos is that they can never show all of the aspects of glass (true color, light transparency, texture, etc.). In all of the times I have done a project this way, not one client has been unsatisfied with the results.
The green glass for the border is chosen.
Glasses for the sun and moon are considered.
1] The full size drawing is cut into separate pieces of paper.

2] The paper is glued to the glass.

3] The glass is cut to size.
After these paper patterns are used to cut shapes from this large piece of white glass, all of the glass pieces will be ground smooth along their edges with a diamond-bitted router.
Once all of the glass is cut and ground smooth, putting it together is like assembling a jugsaw puzzle. Here, my son is helping his dad by figuring out where each piece goes.
Once the glass jigsaw puzzle is completely laid out, the paper patterns are removed and the first true glimpse of the artworks is seen. You can see small circles that have been left out. These holes are where faceted glass jewels will be added in later.
With zinc along the outside edges for strength, the interior of the artwork is constructed one leadline and one piece of glass at a time. Pieces are held tightly in place with nails and scrap bits of lead. The hammer and the needle-nose
pliers are the most commonly used tools.
The border design begins to take shape.
Although most artisans build a stained glass panel on top of a full size paper pattern, my methods for shaping the glass pieces are so precise that no full size template is necessary.
Figuring out the proper order in which elements of the design should be leaded into place is crucial to avoiding leading oneself into the proverbial corner.
Sometimes, fitting in the last pieces into one section of the design before going on to the next section is tricky.
Finally, the construction is complete and the panel is ready to be soldered where one leadline meets or touches another.
Once the artwork is soldered on both sides, it is washed. Then, the zinc, lead, and solder are darkened with a chemical patina that turns all of these metallic parts to a charcoal gray.
The final artwork can be seen here.

stained glass demonstration,process of making stained glass