Tuesday, September 16, 2014

This Little Light Of Mine

    The drive over to the church today was less stressful than yesterday in some ways, and worse in others. Today is the day we have to lift each panel up vertically, fix it in place, shim it perfectly, and shoot in the exterior stops. My mind creates one catastrophe after another. What if a panel bends in half?  What if it doesn't fit?  What if the nailgun misses and shatters a panel?

     Ed has been so patient during this whole process. I should have known he knew what he was doing.  After I watched him move the first panel into place, I felt a huge pressure lift off me. He made it look so easy.

    We began with the Lion and Lamb window. I have heard the phrase "And the lion shall lay down with the lamb" so many times, I didn't realize that the phrase doesn't actually exist in scripture. "The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them."  Isaiah 11:6.  Still, the symbolism and imagery remain.

 The next window is my favorite, He Is Risen. "When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body.  Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, 'Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?' but when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away."  Mark 16:1-4 Perennial lilies remind us of rebirth and renewal.  The open tomb glows with heavenly light. The rising sun lightens the sky.

     The Alpha And Omega window, the third one, has multiple symbols. The Greek letters are in royal purple.  "He said to me: 'It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.'" Revelations 21:6.
  The wheat and grapes symbolize the Eucharistic bread and wine.  "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. "  John 6:48 

   The final window is the Holy Spirit Descending As A Dove.  She is surrounded by olive branches, symbols of peace and reconciliation.  The dove is often used throughout the Bible as a symbol of hope, and as God's grace. "And the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: 'You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.' "  Luke 3:22.  The Holy Spirit is also represented in the flames above the dove's head. 

   I can't begin to describe how it feels to have these windows safely in place.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to do this work.  I am so grateful for Ed and the support he has given me throughout this project.  My hope is that it will enhance the peace and worship in this church.   

Monday, September 15, 2014

What A Ride

   What an anxious morning. Ed and I loaded the glass rack into the truck then began moving each panel to the rack.  Honestly, I was a mess the whole way over to the church. Every bump seemed like a mountain.  Every curve was ski moguls.  Only by God's grace and Ed's excellent driving did we make it without any noticeable damage.  Ed carried each panel upstairs into the sanctuary. Then we drove back home for lunch, loaded up ladders and power tools, and drove back to put in the stops.

    Ed cut the stops into appropriate lengths, leaving gaps for the rebar on the back sides of the panels. Then he used some hardwood we had (leftover walnut flooring) to make stops. The walnut is sufficiently dense that it won't shrink or deteriorate over time. The gaps will also provide space for the necessary air circulation.

    Tomorrow the windows will go up. If we break anything, that's when it will happen. I have every confidence in Ed's glazing abilities, but my stomach won't stop doing somersaults until we're all done.

     So the stage is set, the players know their parts. All we can do is do the best we can.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody Clean Up

   The last panel was polished and put away today, pending installation. The stack of twelve panels in the garage doesn't look like all that much work.  Ed tied them down securely so the cats don't knock them over during the night.

   I went back into the craft room and began the clean up process. Sweep up tiny shards of glass and throw them away. Clean out the grinder. Sweep more shards. Sift through larger shards. Which ones to save as usable scrap and which ones to throw into the what-do-I-do-with-these? bucket. More sweeping, more sifting. Pull that tired old piece of sheet rock off the work table. There is still a lot of clean up to go, but I haven't seen the top of the work table in a long long time.
   Ed has the stops all sanded, primed and painted. Saturday I'll finish sorting and stowing the leftover glass. Installation begins on Monday. I'm so excited!

Monday, September 8, 2014


    Yay!  The last piece for the last panel is foiled and ready to be soldered,  This week will be soldering and cleaning this panel.  Ed will be working on preparing the wood stops for installation.

As I did for the other windows, I made a mock-up of all three panels together to get an idea of the finished window.

Next?  Installation!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I See The Light!

  I just cut the last piece of glass for the last panel.  It looks kind of funny all by itself, but I estimated there are about 3,600 pieces in the twelve panels.

   I still have to foil this panel, solder it, polish it up and get it off the work table. But at least now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Change Of Plans

    Yes, I know.  I said I was going to work on the grass first. I use several different types of green glass for the grass to give depth and color variation. I came up short on one particular green, so I switched to working on the top of the panel (background and lion) until I figure out which green to use for the rest of the grass. One more day of cutting should be all I need.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Crossing The Border

     I cut out the last border today and I may now officially cross the borders off my list! They're not difficult, but after twelve of them they're not very exciting either. I thought on this one I would do the grass first and work my way up the panel.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Last Layout

     I put the pattern down today for the last panel. I use a sheet of drywall on top of the work table because it's easy to push in the pins. By now the poor piece of drywall is more pinholes than solid, but it only needs to hold together for two more weeks.
Who am I kidding?  I'll probably flip it over and use it for the next project.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Light Of Day

  I finished this panel yesterday. I was able to get a photo as we lifted the panel off the work table. The light changes the colors completely.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Almost There

The panel is foiled, reinforced and one side is soldered. Tomorrow I'll finish soldering, clean and polish both sides and get it up off the work table. After that, one more to go!

  We've also started planning the installation. We ordered 500' of 1/2"x3/4" wood stops. Those will need to be painted  to match the existing window trim. We'll also need some neoprene blocks (think shims) to secure the windows.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wrapping It Up

The cutting is finished for this panel. Tomorrow will be a full day of foiling.

Monday, August 18, 2014


I was only able to cut for about five hours today, but I got about half the grass done. I do like how it's turning out.  Tomorrow is go-to-town day, so I won't be able to finish cutting the grass until the day after. Is that what you call "pro-grass-tination"? A terrible pun, I know.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Everything But The Grass

Everything but the grass got cut out today. And I do mean everything. I have bandaids on each hand to prove it. You know you're in the glass groove when the blood is more of an annoyance than a concern.  I'm hoping to get this panel wrapped up by the end of next week.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Deja Vu All Over Again

   I took a few weeks to visit family and am back at the project. The center panel for the Lion and Lamb is up off the work table and the first of the two side panels is ready to start. Actually I did start it. It's the 11th of 12 panels and I've done the border over and over...and over. This panel has the Lion's body, background and grass.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


The copper foil is all on, just awaiting solder, which will probably be tomorrow. I love the grass!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Sees Like A Cat

    The center panel is all cut out. The mane gave me a few "moments" as I cut one piece on the texture side, which is the wrong side and had to re-do it. I'll also make a minor adjustment to one eye, so the lion looks more serious and less cartoonish.
   I won't be able to start foiling until Monday.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

       The lion is cut out, except for the mane.  I think one more full day of cutting should do it for this panel. Sleep mighty lion. Tomorrow is another day.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Begin In The Middle

   I wanted to start this window with the center panel. That way I could get the lion's color placement and grain in the right places...I hope. The border went in first, then the grass. Today I finished the lamb and began the lion.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Should I Cut The Grass?

   The last several days have been spent celebrating Independence Day with family. I already had the pattern for the Lion and The Lamb window printed out, taped together and ready to go. Today I put the center panel on the work table and started the glass placement. The grass in the foreground is solidly placed, but I'm still fussing with the background grass.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Revised Edition

  I finished cutting the glass, got it all foiled and took pictures like I normally do.  Sometimes I see things in the photo that I don't notice on the work table.  The two crosses got lost in the green hills.

  I took out the upper row of green glass and put in brown mountains. That added a lot of depth to the overall picture and was much better contrast for the two crosses.

So here they are all together, more or less. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Back In The Saddle

   We're back from Montana and I got to cut some glass. But only for about half of the day. The weeds grow at a monstrous rate this time of year, and were threatening to overtake everything. Still, I got quite a bit done and can finish cutting tomorrow.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Consider The Lilies

     "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon was dressed as one of these."
     I am here to testify. These particular lilies didn't do the work. They WERE the work. But they are done now, and I'm glad to have them.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Looks Can Be Deceiving

  Did I really cut glass for six hours today? Yes I did, but looks can be deceiving. It doesn't seem like I made much progress.

  I am estimating one more full day to finish the lilies, then two more days to finish cutting the rest of the panel.  Tomorrow is go-to-town day though, so no glass tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Earth And Sky

   I managed to cut out the rest of the yellow border, the sky, and began the greenery at the base. I was hoping to get the lilies started. Not today!

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Light Peek

   Just got the center panel off the workbench. Here's a peek with the light behind it.I'm pretty excited!

   I also was able to lay out the third panel for this window today. I managed to cut out part of the border, but after a bit, the glass just wasn't cutting correctly. Time to quit for the day.

Friday, June 6, 2014

I Zinc I Like it.

   Foil is on, StrongLine is in, and the soldering has begun. Today I tack soldered the first side and installed the zinc came frame. Tomorrow I'll finish the soldering and start cleaning it up.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Still Foiling

   I foiled for several hours today. I love how the foil brings out the dimensional aspect of the cross and burial cloth. I should be able to finish foiling and applying Strong Line tomorrow.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Third Time Is A Charm...Or Not

     Yay!!  I finished cutting the glass for this panel. When I got to the last piece, a lily petal, I thought "Easy..."  Not.  The first one snapped in half. The second one, AND the third one didn't fit. Finally, I remade the pattern piece, cut it one more time and (cue the chorus) it fit!  I dusted off most of the glass dust, some of the dried DNA, and am ready to foil.

Friday, May 30, 2014

I Can Only Cut One Piece At A Time

    I started to get a little overwhelmed with the project today. Will I get it done in a timely manner?  Will it be ok? Will the congregation be happy with the result?  Will I EVER be done cutting out these lilies?  I had to remind myself that I can only cut one piece of glass at a time. The big picture is just a little scary, but I can do one piece. Life is like that too sometimes.
   At the end of the day, I completed the background, some of the foreground, and one of the lilies. Tomorrow is a new day.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Six Hour Limit

I think my limit is about six hours bending over the glass table. When it stops being fun and becomes a chore, it's time to put the cutter down and call it a day. I was hoping to get everything cut out today except the lilies, but that didn't happen. Tomorrow is go-to-town day, so I won't be able to cut any more until Friday.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pay Attention

     What a great day!  I felt like I got quite a bit done on the center panel. First I put the border on the top and bottom, then started cutting the morning sky. I love, love this glass! It looks so different depending on whether the light is shining on it or through it. At first I was concerned that it would be too...dramatic?  Too...colorful?  Too...something. But really, it represents a dramatic event...a miracle! The glass I am using for the cross is a granite ripple, which means lots of texture on the front side. It also means the freshly cut edges are lethally sharp until I run them through the grinder. It sure makes me pay attention.

      I anticipate two...maybe three more full days of cutting before I can start foiling. Those lilies at the bottom seem to take forever to do!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day: A Day Of Reflection

    Today I finished soldering and polishing the first panel for the Risen Cross window. As I worked I thought about the parallels and differences between the meaning of Memorial Day and the meaning of the Risen Cross. America's soldiers died defending freedom. Christ died to show God's unending love. There are those that would argue that one is the polar opposite of the other. In my mind, there are some humbling parallels.

   I was able to lay out the second panel for the window this evening before calling it quits for the day.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Up Off The Table

    I finished soldering the first side of this panel today. I was a little nervous about rolling it up and seeing the light through this glass. It's always a surprise when you see it with light the first time. It will take me a day to complete the soldering on the second side, and another day to clean and polish both sides.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Lilies Defined

I finally got the panel foiled. In the same way that the foil set off the wheat in the prior window, the lilies come to life with the foil here.
   The first two windows went so quickly. This one is just dragging and it seemed to take forever to get to this point. Somehow I keep getting pulled to other things. It's a lot easier to stay on task during the winter.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

But Wait!

   I got up this morning and was raring to go.
   But wait!
   I need to dust and do some housecleaning. After doing what my mom used to call "a lick and a promise", I started toward my work room.
   But wait!
   The ground is tilled and the potatoes need to go in the ground. Ditto the winter squash. The asparagus needs attention, and the berries need netting. I need to tie up the raspberries.
    I broke for lunch then finally got to cut some glass. I was able to finish the cutting for this panel.
    Maybe, just maybe, I can get some foiling done tomorrow after church.