Making A Traditional Stained Glass Window

 

 

 

                      

                                  

1)   The first stage involves the making of a “cartoon”, a drawing which shows details of  colour, design and decorative painted features. Also a simplified working “cut line” drawing,  just showing glass shapes and lead to be used as pictured above.      

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2)  The glass is then selected whether coloured or “white” (clear transparent) and in turn placed over the cut line, scored with a glass cutter and broken to shape. Finer adjustments are made by nibbling with glazing "grozing" pliers or grinding to obtain the final shape required.

 

 
 
 
 
3)  The cut pieces of glass are then assembled ready for any painted detailing to be applied.

4)  Powdered paint pigmant (tracing paint) is then ground and prepared with a given liquid vehicle and gum arabic, to for a paint medium. Then or the outlines or "trace" lines are painted on the top surface of the glass. The glass pieces are then fired in a kiln.

 

 

   

 

 

 
5)  Trace lines being painted.
 
 
 
6)  A fine haze layer of "shading" or "matting" is applied with a soft haired brush. Then "blended" or "softened" with a blender brush This is then worked with stiff haired "scrub" brushes to achieve form and shading on the piece being painted. At this stage the stained glass artist is effectively "painting with light" by controlling the density of paint which in turn affects the amount and quality of the light passing through the stained glass panel. The painted pieces of glass are then re-fired in the kiln for each and every additional layer of shading.
7)  Applying layers of matting.

8)  "Silver Stain" (a yellow/amber
highlighting) is then appied to the reverse of the previously painted pieces and once more fired in the kiln. Once fired any residue of siver stain is removed.
9)  Loading the kiln.

10)  The finished painted and stained pieces of glass are then assembled prior to building thestained glass panel.

11) Each piece of glass is then "leaded up" one at a time, like building a glass jigsaw puzzle. "H" sectioned pices of lead are cut and bent to shape around the pieces of glass and held in place with horseshoe nails, the pieces of glass being slotted into the channels of the lead.
12)  "Leading Up"

 
13)  The fully built and assembled, leaded stained glass  panel is then soldered where each piece of lead joins. This forms an interlocking lead framework encapsulating all the glass pieces to obtain the final shape required.
14)  In order to consolidate the stained glass panel making it waterproof and to eliminating any rattles the panel is then cemented with lead light cement. This is worked into all the lead channels using a stiff brush. The subsequent excess is removed. When the lead light cement has hardened any further excess is removed or "picked out".
 
15)  Finally, the stained glass panel is then polished with a brush and quite often with grate lead black polish.


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