|GlassLink is an art glass studio, supply retailer and education center specializing in Stained Glass, Fusing, Mosaics, Lampworked Beads, Dichroic Jewelry and Precious Metal Clay.|
Normally, the soldered lines of stained glass art are smooth, even, and slightly rounded. In fact, as a stained glass artisan your goal is to try to make your leading as smooth as humanly possible. However, I had seen glass art in which the leaded portions of the piece were not smooth, but were textured in many different ways to enhance the artwork. It was one of those things you see and think, "I don't think I could ever do that! It's so intricate, detailed, and seems nearly impossible to control!" I was intrigued, though, and bought a book that I thought would enlighten me.
|Solder Magic Book, by Kay Bain Weiner|
|My experimental panel. You can see several different textures in the soldered lines.|
We were instructed to bring our own soldering irons. After everyone had a laugh at my trusty, but quite crusty, old iron, we got started. We began by soldering together a small experimental panel with many lines of solder to practice on.
|Not the most beautiful thing I've ever made, but boy did I learn a lot!|
It turns out that a lot of what goes into creative soldering is simply temperature control. That, and quite a bit of practice! We learned how to make soldered dots, dashes, stippling techniques, and more. Additive soldering is when you actually add more metal to your existing line, like adding dots, drops, or beads of metal. Subtractive soldering is when you remove part of the solder that is already there, like in a technique called Bamboo.
|Teardrop pattern, an additive soldering technique|
|Dash pattern, another additive technique|
I loved every second of the Creative Soldering class at Glasslink, and I will definitely be taking more classes from them. And since my class, I have been able to use some of the techniques I learned in my own glass art.
|Snowflake Heart Ornaments made by me, using creative soldering|
I love how the dimensional soldering turned out on these little ornaments. I also love how it turned out on one of my big stained glass panels I've created for the Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellowship. Be looking for that blog soon!