Tuesday, 20 March 2012

A story with a sad ending

Morning ladies.  I think I mentioned before that last Saturday I went to a stained glass making workshop at Artworks in Beeston, Nottingham. It was amazing!  If you have a class like this nearby, I'd really advise going.  And if the equipment wasn't so expensive, I'd be doing this at home.  I took a few pictures (of the piece I made, not the other people) along the way to show you what I did.

It all starts with some lovely stained glass and one of these:

This is a glass cutter.  It has oil in it to help it move and it scores the glass, you then gently tap the glass and it breaks along your line.  The weird thing is, it can't hurt you as it's got a ball type thing rather than a blade.  Magic!

We were given a template to make a sunburst, I selected glass in shades of purple, blue and aqua and got cutting.

Once the pieces are cut, you make the edges safe with a sandpaper block-type thing, then move on to the grinder.  This is the first expensive part about this hobby.

The grinder smooths down your edges and can be used for shaping glass, though that would be an expensive way to do it as the head wears down with use, the head contains diamonds so isn't cheap to replace.  Once all your pieces are nice and smooth, you wrap the copper tape round the edges. 

I really enjoyed that part and was quite quick at it so ended up wrapping pieces for some of the other ladies too.  Here's my sunburst all wrapped up and ready to solder.

Expensive piece of equipment number 2 is the soldering iron.  It's a special high-temperature / temperature regulated piece of kit.

0W101+0FS80 -  100 Watt iron + Heavy duty iron stand

Using the soldering iron was great fun, I loved the little shapes made when the solder fell from the stick (accidentally!).  There are a few stages to this process.  First you "tin" the front of the copper foil.  This means you add a layer of solder. Once this is done the joins are soldered.  Then the edges are tinned and rounded, I can't remember the technical term for this!  It took ages to get that process right, but once it's mastered, you're away.

So here's my sunburst in all its glory.

I love the way it looks with the sun shining through.  I was SO proud.

My soldering isn't fantastic, it is a bit messy, but hey, I MADE this!

Stained glass work is fab and I do intend to go to a few more classes to make some other objects.  If I enjoy it as much as I enjoyed this, I think I might just splash out (and by splash out I mean save up for months, then find a bargain) on the grinder and soldering iron to do some of this hobby at home.  I also have an urge to try glass fusing, glass slumping and lampwork, but can't find any classes nearby.  The tutor from this class is doing a glass applique course at some point which I will go on.

So, you're wondering what's so sad about this?  That I can't afford to take this hobby up right now?  Nope, it's worse than that.  Mr CA decided to hang it in the window and, ignoring my advice about a drawing pin, started to wrap it round the curtain pole.  That's when it fell.  And smashed.  I was gutted, I still am gutted, that's why there's no photo, I still can't bring myself to look at it and it's the reason it took me so long to post about this.

If I had the equipment, I could mend it.  But I don't.  So I can't. 


Pootle said...

Thats gorgeous hunny (I should say was shouldnt I :( ) Im so sorry your hubby smashed it. I watched a series about stained glass making a while ago and it was fascinating. Not for me as it was a bit too precise and I dont think Id have the patience but I loved watching all the techniques and the end results are always beautiful. Well done you!! xx

cauchy09 said...

oh, no!! well, it was beautiful and had a sweet short life of admiration. great photos!

Kandi said...

Oh no!!! I'm so gutted for you, it was stunning! I hope you can have it mended what a shame.
I would put him in the doghouse for a good week or so.
Beautiful creation though and you can do it again, and I bet you learned loads not not a total loss.
Kandi x

Celtic Thistle said...

Oh dear, I bet your hubby felt awful! Have never tried stained glass, but your star looked stunning. Great that you had some photos of it in all its glory to reflect on, and I am sure there will be more stunning glassworks in your future!

Sandra :) said...

OMG I didn't see that ending coming n- I'm so sorry! RIP beautiful sunburst!!!

Mindy said...

OH no!!! I'm so sorry. That's SO gut-wrenching--just the worst. You did wonderful work.

Jillayne said...

Your stained glass piece was gorgeous, and hopefully it will be again. It looks like such a beautiful hobby, but an expensive one as you say - perhaps the place where you took the class would let you bring it in and mend it?

Allie said...

IS HE STILL BREATHING???? I think I would have strangled him...oh Wendy....it' so so gorgeous. I say let hubby splash out the cash for you, he owes you big time!!!

Pradeepa said...

Oh no! Your sunburst looked wonderful, Wendy.

Lisa Leggett said...

Oh, I'm gutted for you! It was beautiful while it lasted though, I'm glad you at least got some pictures.

Fiona said...

oh no... that is the worst ending to the story.. I was not expecting that... great work to you.... not so much to hubby.... hmmmm

Nancy Lee said...

It was lovely. Try not to mourn its passing too much. Save up for fabric. If it falls to the floor nothing happens.
I know Mr CA felt awful :-(

Hands Sew Full said...

Oh no! Men! I wonder if you contacted the teacher and told him of the situation if he would let you visit the next cleass he taught just so you could repair your piece? Worth a try maybe? It really is beautiful.

Little Treasures said...

It is a gorgeous piece you made and so sorry to hear it smashed. I am sure there is a way you could mend this. For consolation you have also made fantastic pictures of it!!
P.S. Thank you for dropping by at my place.

Truly Myrtle said...

Oh Wendy!!!! Oh dear - it was so lovely : (

Sarah said...

This is amazing!!! You did a great job!

I am your newest follower. I would love for you to follow my craft blog too so that we can continue to share ideas!


Stitchin' time said...

Big hugs! It was gorgeous and hope you have the opportunity to repair it as making another isn't quite the same as the first one.

Claire Jain said...

What a pretty project! I love the colors :-) I'll have to see if someone does stained glass classes near me!

The Dotty One said...

Just cathcing up on your blog posts having being AWOL for a while and I am so excited that you tried stained glass Wendy! I am really impressed with what you made as well - it looks amazing. I find copper foiling much harder than lead work to make it look neat and I am so impressed at how fab your piece is.

In terms of equipment I would say you can manage without a grinder at home - once your cutting gets good you don't really need it. the soldering iron is expensive though.

I'm so sad your piece broke :( I have all the equipment so if you are ever in London you can come and fix it here! Or send it to me and I will fix it for you - although I suspect you'd like to do it yourself.

I hope you manage to do more classes - stained glass is such a fun hobby!

Sorry for the essay - its rare to find someone else who has done glass stuff so I got over excited! If you have any questions about it/ever want to chat about it then let me know!

artclubblog.com said...

That's so sad! It really did look lovely. I hope one day you'll be able to make another one, and hang it up yourself!