Leaded Window [Project 3]

Surrounded by translucent yellow glass, a red-centred 4-petal flower, in an opalescent orange & white glass, is then bordered by a textured, goldish-orange glass with square red corners in the same glass as the flower centre.

My raison-d’être is lead came.  I love the sturdiness & weight it gives to a window.  I love the medieval look of it with soldered meeting points.  I love that it allows me to combine all sorts of colours of glass to produce a window.

It took about 8 hours of messing up a little & giggling a lot, but it was quite an exciting course for me.  All of the students had a little experience in making stained glass projects using the copperfoil method — items like suncatchers, lamps, small indoor ‘windows’, etc.  So, we had cut glass to a pattern & soldered the copperfoil edges — a couple of us [including me, hee hee] also had a little experience using a grinder to perfect the glass edges.

But fabricating a full-fledged window that can withstand the weather takes the knowledge of medieval methods from Europe — my university major!  Now that I’ve finished all the History & English & Latin & Art courses, I finally had the time to take the lead came course at Glass-Smith & Co., my favourite stained glass supplier on the Isle.

Under the professional guidance & wise wit of Aaron Grayson, we all learned the key to a successful lead came window — Stay within the black lines! Aaron repeated this constantly as we tried to cut & grind our pieces to fit the pattern — within the black lines, of course!

His wise words returned to us when fitting those pieces into the lead came on the black lines — even more grinding of a few glass pieces to fit within the black lines!

And, poor Aaron, even though we were all constantly working on our projects, we were in the middle of constructing the lead cames when the 6-hr course should have ended — he generously offered another 2 hrs for us to finish soldering & puttying.  A big thank-you to Tim Smith for generously allowing us to use the workshop for another evening!

Hmmm, was there something slow about us?  Perhaps our glass-cutting skills weren’t up to par?  Perhaps we took longer to learn to cut the lead?  Can we blame it on the pattern?

That was an important lesson I learned –> Be sure the copies of the pattern are accurate!  A couple of us found that even though we had two copies of the same pattern [one for cutting & fitting; the other for constructing], they were not exactly the same!  So we found the pieces we cut for one didn’t fit the other!  Eeek — but no problem — simply use the first pattern for everything.

Each day was exciting for me — closer & closer to finishing a real window; closer & closer to fulfilling a 20-yr goal; closer & closer to a new career.

I’m sure I can speak for all of us from the course –> Thank-you so very much Aaron, you are a great teacher!  I hope I can learn much more from you.

🙂  Now, I just need to finish the cleaning using whiting — a powder that I brush all over both sides to remove the grease of the putty.  Then rub & rub to make the glass sparkling clean!

The window is being installed in a small wooden frame & although it’s been prepared for the outdoors, I’m using it as a cabinet door for a shelving unit in my closet [pics to follow when completed].  I want to place a light behind it — that’ll be really cool at night in my bedroom.

🙂  Everything is moving along tickety-boo.

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