Friday, July 27, 2012


      I confess, I'm a bit of an overachiever.  During a recent 2-day stained glass class at Glass Axis, a very cool non-profit glass studio in Columbus Ohio, I met once again with my defining character trait.
Our teacher: Samantha Hookway.
Check out her website!
      The teacher of my class, Samantha, keeping our 12 hour time frame in mind, suggested creating a stained glass composition comprised of 30 or so pieces.  MY piece ended up containing nearly 75 pieces!  I knew this could present a problem when it came to finishing the project within the class's time frame.  But I tried anyway, and ended up getting it mostly done before I had to return home.  Visit here to read about the first day of class, and here for the second day of class.
When I left Glass Axis, this is what my project looked like.
      "Stained glass" consists of many phases each piece of glass must pass through prior to completion.  During my time at Glass Axis, I designed a pattern, cut the glass pieces, smoothed them by grinding, copper foiled each piece, and finally, soldered all pieces together on the front side.  

Finishing work continues at home.
      When I arrived home, my project still had a few steps to go before being complete.  My first course of action was to solder the back side. Then I had to create a frame using wide, "U" shaped zinc "came".  Came refers to the metal used to surround a piece or composition of stained glass. The U refers to the metal's shape.  U shaped came allows the glass to slide in one side and be held securely, as a frame. 
U shaped came (shown on it's side, so C shaped came?)
The edge of the glass goes into the open side. The closed side is smooth and tidy,
creating a nice finished edge for the frame.

      I brought a piece of this with me from Ohio, and after leaving it behind in the rental car for a few days, was finally able to construct and complete the frame. 
Attaching loops for hanging.  Now if only I had a place to hang it!
      Next, I had to create a way to hang the panel.  I created these loops by twisting copper wires together and bending them into ovals.  I did this to make the loops strong enough to hold this 9" x 16" glass construction.  The last thing I want is for my hard work to come crashing down out of the window because the hangers are too weak!
Yeah!! Finally finished!  I am super pleased with how my daffodils have turned out!
        Only one more step...and I forgot to take a photograph, sorry.  You will notice that the lead solder areas that used to be silver in my panel are now black.  The final phase in my piece was oxidization. I brushed a liquid chemical all over the front, back, and sides of my piece which created an instant black patina.  In the "olden days," stained glass artists would have to wait for the patina to occur naturally from the effects of weather and time.  I'm not that patient.  By the way, oxidization is completely optional.  I could very easily have left the lead silvery.  However, I felt the black would dramatically set off the light and bright yellows and blues in the design.  
All lit-up in the window, I love it!
         After adding a chain, I am finally completely, totally, 100% DONE! Hooray!  I feel like I have made a major accomplishment!  And once I hung my creation in the window, I was struck by how the effects of light change the visual aspect of the design.  The colors become so vivid and dynamic, the black lines are so fluid and crisp. My heart swells with satisfaction!  This whole process is just a tiny, tiny bit of what I have yet to do to complete my Lilly Teacher Creativity fellowship.  But now the pump has been primed!  


  1. INCREDIBLE!! I love it, congrats, Katy! It's a stunner!

  2. Oh my goodness, it's gorgeous!

  3. Thanks Cassie and Amy! I can't wait to get started on my next pieces...nervous, too.