Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Leaded Glass Class at Glasslink, Fort Wayne

I have added another stained glass piece to my repertoire! 
My latest creation was made during the Introduction to Leaded Glass class given at Glasslink in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  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.
      I recently completed a leaded glass class at Glasslink in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This is not my first time taking a class at Glasslink.  In the fall I took part in the Creative Soldering class.  You can see how I used what I learned in that class here. I enjoyed that class so much, I knew I would return for more!  
Our pattern choices for learning the art of creating a stained glass panel using a
traditional leading technique.
I chose this pattern for it's Art Deco characteristics, one of my favorite styles!
      My usual way of creating stained glass artwork is the "copper foil" method.  In this method, I cut the glass pieces then wrap a thin strip of copper tape around the edges. I then apply solder which fuses to the copper edging, connecting the glass parts together. You can get a better idea of this process here, here, and here.
This daffodil panel was created using the copper foil method.
      When I began my study of art glass waaaaay back in college, I first learned the most traditional method of making stained glass, leading.  In this technique, the glass parts are connected by being locked together with channeled metal strips called "came."  
Lead came comes in many different sizes and shapes.
These are called "H" came...can you see why?
      I really wanted to incorporate the leaded glass technique into my Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellowship stained glass project, but I was not comfortable relying on my memory of one college class nearly 20 years ago.  I knew I needed to take a refresher course...and it's a good thing I did!  I never would have been able to pull off a leaded glass panel without the help of the Glasslink class.  
After MUCH deliberation, I decided that I would incorporate these sheets of glass into my new stained glass piece. Glasslink has so many different colors, textures, and qualities of glass, choosing these was truly the hardest part of the project!
      After choosing my pattern and my glass (neither one an easy task for the decision-making challenged), I set to work cutting the pieces. A surprising new twist...I learned to cut my pieces without the use of any paper pattern pieces! 
It's coming together...
      Danielle, my teacher, suggested I place my whole pattern sheet with the glass on top, on this giant light table and use a ruler and a cutter to just follow the lines I could see through the glass...whaaat?! No tracing and cutting tiny little paper pieces? No tracing them again on glass, cutting them out to be a little off-size, then grinding the pieces to the right size after all that work? (Note to self...ask that generous, dedicated, devoted, wonderful husband of mine to build me a light table!)
At the end of the first class I had all the pieces cut out and in place.  But there's just something about the arrangement of the colors that isn't quite right.  I'm not happy with this design just yet.
      By the end of the first 3-hour class, I had cut out all my pieces of glass.  If I were doing this at home, I would have started by getting out my trusty colored pencil set that I've had since high school, and colored a sketch of my design to decide on my exact color arrangement.  I couldn't do that here, so I tried to mentally visualize my design...and didn't do a very good job.  I wasn't quite happy with my design once it was all in place. It was a good thing class was over...I had some thinking to do.
Come back soon to see my re-design...

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