Stained Glass Crystal – NEW OFFERING!

I’m excited to announce that I have a new offering here – stained glass crystal suncatchers and corner pieces! These  leaded stained glass pieces are completely hand-crafted by me and my partner, Patti.

I wanted to take you through a journey of what it takes to get these lovely stained glass ‘crystals’ to your door.

WE STARTED BY ORGANIZING THE WORKSHOP

I have always been drawn to the stained glass suncatchers and corner pieces I see online.

I have also always wanted to learn how to do stained glass. Patti has done stained glass in the past and had all the equipment needed, so we got to work!

It was cold in the basement (cue beanie) and I wasn’t planning on sharing a photo of myself soldering, but there you have it. Yikes.

stained glass organization
Some of the organization
stained glass organization
Genn soldering

PICK THE GLASS, LAY OUT THE PATTERN AND CUT

layout and cut the glass
Pattern affixed, ready to cut

The process of making these stained glass crystals starts by selecting the glass. We create the suncatchers based on harmonizing colors of glass and varying textures.

I begin by creating the pattern and printing it on card stock. Next, we cut out the pattern pieces with a special set of scissors that cuts the line off the pattern (to make room for the copper foil).

There are many different ways of doing this next step.

The way we do it, is to glue the pieces to the glass and then cut the glass pieces out with a special glass-cutting tool.

This bit is tricky!

NEXT, GRIND THE GLASS TO FIT THE PATTERN EXACTLY

After cutting the stained glass crystal pieces, there will often be bits and pieces that you weren’t able to get cut right to the pattern.

The extra glass is then ground away.

This is done to make the edges a little less sharp and also so the pieces will fit together like a puzzle.

All those little bits you see poking out from the pattern pieces in the photo will be ground away in this step.
 
After grinding, we reassemble the glass pieces onto the pattern to see how the pieces fit.
 
As you might imagine, glass is hard! It requires a diamond bit wheel to grind.
grinding the glass
Cut, ready to grind

CLEAN THE PATTERN OFF THE GLASS AND MAKE SURE IT FITS

Cut and ground, ready for foiling

After grinding and cleaning, we place all the pieces on a master copy of the pattern.

This will ensure there is a good fit between each piece of glass for soldering together.

If the fit is not good, we go back and grind some more until the fit is perfect.

This step can be fiddly!

WRAP EACH PIECE WITH COPPER FOIL

For the stained glass crystal pieces to “stick” to each other when soldered, first the edges have to be wrapped in copper foil.

The foil is like tape. We wrap it carefully around the edge of each piece in the pattern and burnish it so it sticks.

There are different backings on the foil. How we will patina the finished piece determines which copper foil to use.

For instance, on a clear piece that will not have patina, we would choose a silver or copper-backed foil (because you can see the backing through the glass). Sometimes this is what we want for design purposes. There are lots of variations and possibilities!

For one that we will patina black, we use black-backed foil.

This photo is of the finished foiled pieces, pinned to a board and ready to solder together. The back of this looks the same as the front (only in reverse).

At this stage, the pieces are all still loose.

Foiled and pinned, ready to solder

SOLDER THE GLASS PIECES TOGETHER

Soldered and ready to patina

The next step is soldering. The solder is made of tin and lead (60/40) and it melts easily with a soldering iron.

We solder together all the pieces, front and back, and also the edges.

This is also when we attach a jump ring or other hanging implement on the stained glass crystal suncatchers.

We send yours out with heavy fishing monofilament for hanging.

You might want to change it out for ribbon or something else, depending on where you’re going to hang it and the length you need.

The corner pieces like the one pictured aren’t designed to hang. They fit in a wooden stand so you don’t have to mar your window sill for hanging.

The stained glass is free-floating and fits into slots in the wooden base and is removable to make cleaning easier.

CLEAN, PATINA (or not) and WAX

The final step in creating these stained glass crystal suncatchers and corner pieces is cleaning, applying patina (or not) and waxing.

Photographing the piece in the window made all the soldered lines look like they were coated in black patina.

This is why in some of the photos (of the stained glass for sale) I have my hand in the photo. This shows size as well as (hopefully) the patina color.

This corner piece was done with copper patina because the copper looked so good against the blue-green. You can see the difference between the plain solder in the photo above (silver-colored) and the finished piece, with the copper patina. The copper patina will darken over time.

This piece will probably be living with us because there were a few errors that I can live with but would rather not pass on. I’ve got another similar in the works.

Finished - cleaned, waxed and set in stand

These will go fast, so if you see one you like, act now! Here’s a link to the page where you can find these lovelies for sale.

Right now, there are two sizes of suncatchers (small and large), a cluster hanging sun catcher and the free-standing corner pieces.

We’re doing our best to get our inventory up, but as you can see, it is quite a process, start to finish. Bear with us as we work to keep the page as full of new items as possible!

A FEW MORE EXAMPLES OF THE PROCESS

EXAMPLES OF FINISHED STAINED GLASS CRYSTALS

6 thoughts on “Stained Glass Crystal – NEW OFFERING!”

  1. Beautiful crafting! Love this yellow one, so cheery for looking out to the summer garden! Thanks so much Genn!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.