Saturday, March 29, 2014

Appreciating A Little Support

   The wheat panel was a little bendy, and after garnering advise from fellow glassers, I put some rebar on the back side in two places. The rebar is 1/8" x 1/2" steel, coated in zinc, then tinned with lead solder. The first support went across horizontally in the center. The existing window in the church has a mullion in the same place, so the rebar will not have a significant visual impact.

    The second piece of rebar is at the bottom of the panel at the border. These long horizontal runs create a potential hinge, and with the weight of the panel, could potentially cause a problem. The rebar adds stability.  I may go back and add rebar to the completed panels in the same location.

 Finally, the wheat and grape panel came off the work table, and I began setting up for the Omega panel. It took most of today to make the template, place the pattern in the metal grid and cut out the border.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wreak Havoc Or Foiled Again

   Six hours of foiling today, and I finally got it done. It takes as long to foil a small piece as a big one, so this panel really wreaked havoc with my schedule. Also, the background glass is minutely thicker than the rest of the glass, and  didn't want to go into the foiler. That's ok, it's all done now. Tomorrow I'll start putting in Restrip and Strong Line for reinforcement.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Each Step Is A Leap

Yay! The last piece for this panel is cut. It is always a milestone when that happens. I still have at least a full day of foiling...maybe two with this panel, but each step is a leap.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Leaf It To Me

     A few of the pieces today were pretty tricky. Inside arcs are the most difficult because glass doesn't want to break that way. It wants to go straight or in a slow outside curve. You have to trick the glass by making many tiny cuts in very small arcs to finally get to that tight cut. Think layers of onions...sort of. The template for the piece of glass is cut out of contact paper, then stuck to the back of the glass. I cut the glass into the arcs as closely as I dared, then used the grinder to finesse the rest. All of the background glass is now done for this panel.

   I  was hoping to get all of the leaves and grapes done today too, but it didn't happen. Those grapes take a long time! For whatever reason the leaves are much faster. Things keep happening. The cat needs in. The dog wants out. Run into town for fill-in-the-blank.

   Tomorrow the goal is to finish cutting the glass and start foiling. But who knows? Ed was working outside and just came in with a wrenched knee. Time for ice.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Green And Grapes

   It was nice to get into some new colors today. The textured purple of the grapes echos the purple wispy colors in the background glass. The green is a nice mix of light green, dark green, olive and brown. In retrospect I wish I had used this green for the olive branches in Holy Spirit panels. Too late now! I think I have one more day of cutting glass, then I can begin foiling.

Monday, March 17, 2014

What Are You Looking At?

I was only able to work a few hours on the panel today. I did manage to finish cutting out the wheat kernels. Someone who will remain nameless came in, took a look and said "What am I looking at?"  I emitted a heavy sigh. I assured him it would all become clear once the pieces were foiled and leaded. I have to admit, at the moment it's not clearly defined.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Grain Of Wheat

   Grains of wheat aren't difficult to cut out, but after twenty or thirty of them, they aren't very interesting either. One more stalk of wheat and I can move on to grapes and leaves! I wanted to have this panel cut out by this time, but it's just going slower than expected. If I can get it cut out, foiled and soldered by this time next week though. I'll still be on schedule.

Friday, March 14, 2014

I Learn Something Every Day

   This window is a tough one to photograph in-progress. Much of the detail will show up in the lead lines. It will define the wheat kernels and the beard. I didn't know wheat had beards, but apparently they do. I learn something every day. I also learned that six hours of cutting glass is about my daily limit.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Another Run For The Border

     I managed to get the border done, and worked on the background  a bit. Once again I was distracted by the beautiful weather and sunshine. That's OK. It'll all get done in due time. It's hard to see this and believe it's four hours of work.  It's a good thing the rest of the background pieces will go quickly because those grapes and wheat grains are going to take a while.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Wheat and Grapes

     The weather was so beautiful today I had a hard time staying inside. I puttered in the garden for a while, came back in, worked on the wheat pattern. Then I went outside and pulled a few more weeds, came back in, worked on layout. When the sun is shining, the birds are singing, it's hard to stay on task.
    This one will take a little longer to do than the last one. There are about 230 pieces to the panel. That's a lot of cutting.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A is for Alpha

   In spite of several delays, the Alpha portion of the panel is finished. I'm a little frustrated by my soldering technique. I switched to a different flux because the smoke is less noxious. I don't know that it has made my soldering any worse, but it sure hasn't made it any better. Soldering is my "Needs Improvement" category. It's not horrible, it's just not pretty.
   Tomorrow afternoon I'll start layout for the center panel to the Alpha and Omega window.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Another Delay

    I managed to get the rest of the glass cut this morning before we had to make another trip into town.  There wasn't enough time when we got back to work on the foil, so that will be tomorrow's goal ..foil and Strong Line. With some luck, I might be able to get the back side soldered as well.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

One Of Those Days

     Some days the glass cuts like butter, and some days it doesn't. Today was a "doesn't" day. I only had a half day to work on the cutting, and maybe I was rushing a bit too much. In any event, it seemed like every piece had a problem. Hopefully tomorrow I can get the 14 remaining pieces cut and the entire panel foiled. Anyway, that's my goal.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


     The layout for the Alpha panel is finished. It always surprises me how long it takes to do. I live in fear of forgetting to reverse the pattern, or putting the border on the wrong side (since it's worked in reverse).
 Not only does the pattern have to fit the frame, but then the pattern has to be traced onto the contact paper. I then use the pieces of contact paper to place on the glass for a cutting guide. It took two hours today to get that part done. Tomorrow I can start setting in the border.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

I Begin At The Beginning

     After four hours of soldering today, the Holy Spirit window is officially finished and off the work table. It took 178 hours (not counting design time), 15 lbs of solder, 5 rolls of Strong Line, and 8 rolls of copper foil.  Technically three panels, it's the first of four windows.
     The second window is Alpha and Omega, with wheat and grapes. The concept drawing shows the same border repeated in each window.
     I started by printing out the Alpha symbol, in reverse, since that's how it goes on the work table and taped it together. The letter panels should go a little faster, since there aren't as many small pieces as the last three panels.