The first thing I need is a design — either I create one of my own or I create one for you. When working with you, I will meet with you either personally at your convenience or over the telephone. I have often use email to send drawings and ideas for clients to look at and determine what they want specifically in a design. I will create any design that you are looking for, including size, color, etc. Once I come up with the final design and you approve it, we would discuss color and glass choices. If it is for a specific window, I will come to your home to take exact measurements and create a template for the window.
Once I have a full-size drawing of the design, I will begin cutting glass.
There are two methods of construction for stained glass — the Lead Came method or the Copper Foil method, also known as the “Tiffany” method. I have used both. My choice of method is usually determined by the actual design of any particular piece of work. Sometimes I’ve used both methods in one design.
Lead came involves inserting each piece of glass into a piece of channeled lead came. Copper foil involves wrapping the edges of each cut piece of glass and then soldered together to create a whole.
When using lead came in construction, it always begins in a 90 degree corner and builds out from there.
These steps are completed on both sides of the work — front and back:
Soldering the joints:
- If a design is leaded, I'll brush a “glazing” mixture into all the edges of the lead came to fill in the channels where the glass pieces are sitting.
- The whole piece then gets covered with “Plaster of Paris” powder and sits for a while to absorb moisture out of the glazing.
- I use a stiff bristle brush to scrub off all the powder and glazing material, clean up all the edges and then apply a wax that seals the lead came and shines up all the glass for a sparkling finish.
- This process prevents the glass pieces from rattling and gives solid strength to the structure of the whole design.
The completed project: