Working in Stained Glass – Part 2: Grinding and Foiling

This is my second post on the process of working in stained glass. Click here to read Part 1.

Once all the glass pieces have been cut, I use a grinder to smooth out the edges and correct any minor cutting errors. A glass grinder has a bit that is coated in diamond dust and a water reservoir that keeps the bit and glass from getting hot. Grinding is very, very messy as little pieces of glass get everywhere and it’s probably my least favorite part of the process.

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Once all the edges are ground, I rinse the glass to get rid of any bits of glass or felt pen marks and then it’s time to foil the pieces. All of my stained glass pieces are made using the copper foil technique. This technique, which was made popular by Louis Comfort Tiffany, uses pieces of very thin copper tape to cover the edges of each pieces of glass. The copper tape that I use has an adhesive on the back, in Tiffany’s time, they used beeswax to attach the copper to the glass.

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Copper foil comes in a variety of widths. I use 1/4″ wide foil for most pieces and 1/2″ for pieces where I am plating two pieces of glass together. Once the foil has been wrapped around the edge of the pieces of glass, I burnish the foil so that there are no air pockets and that the foil is well adhered to the glass.

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The copper foil acts as an interface between the glass and the solder (which we will get to in Part 3) and gives the solder a substrate to stick to. Next step: soldering the pieces together!

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Coasters and Trivets

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Coasters in brown, gold and green.

Coasters in brown, gold and green.

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If you’re looking for a unique way to protect your furniture, you’ll love these colourful coasters and trivets. Made by sandwiching threads and fibres between a piece of coloured glass on the bottom and a piece of clear glass on the top, these coasters are durable and beautiful. Each coaster has felt bumpers to prevent scratching of furniture and can easily withstand the heat of a teapot of cup of tea. Enjoy a set of 4 coasters (3.75″ square) for $37.50 or a 6″ trivet for $22.50.

Pyramids

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3" Pyramid - Dark Blue

3″ Pyramid – Dark Blue

 

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These pyramids are meant to be played with. Each one is filled with sand, beads and small treasures. Each time you pick it up, the contents change and shift, creating a new scene with new items to search for. Perfect for a desk or coffee table. Sizes include 1.5″ ($15) , 3″ ($20) or 6″ ($45).

Girls with Curls

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Girls with Curls

Girls with Curls

Full of fun and whimsy, Girls with Curls make perfect gifts for girls of all ages. Each figure features a unique combination of decorative buttons and beads. These delightful suncatchers will look great in a bathroom or bedroom window.¬†Each Girl is approximately 7″ high. $20 each.