Friday, March 28, 2008

Orange leaded glass door

Every client interaction is unique. Because my leaded glass doors and stained glass windows are custom made, it is not just a simple point, click and ship product. Often times glass samples need to be sent and details nailed down like door sizing and delivery. Once in awhile, though, a client wants to discuss design options. Normally, I am skeptically open to a clients ideas about customizing a design. 

Here was just such an order where the client was very involved in the design. The above photo came from the client, not me, and is a combination of two of my leaded glass door designs, the simple door and the 4 splatter door. Ultimately they went with the left design, 3 orange splatters and two clear rondels. Here is a case where I thought the client did a very nice custom design. The client went with the orange color to match their orange glass tile. I always like to see when the window can tie into the rest of the house.  

From the clients design I ordered the rondels from Kokomo Glass, my excellent rondel supplier in Indiana. I lay them out on a sheet of paper that I will use to create patterns for the rest of the glass. Using a heavy stock, 70# brown paper, I outline the actual size of the window used in the leaded glass door.

I trace the rondels and the reinforcing bars first. The reinforcing bars are the thick lines that go all the way across the panel. Once these are penciled in I draw in the rest of the lead lines. The lead lines outline the individual glass pieces.

I then cut out each piece that will be used ....

... as a pattern ...

to cut the glass.

After all the glass is cut I lay it out on the bench.

Do some leading, soldering, 


and cleaning. The cleaning is done with saw dust. Saw dust is great for absorbing all the oils from the flux used in soldering and the putty. After the cleaning all I need is the door and away it goes.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

leading a side lite

 Leading, that crucial first step in joining the individual glass pieces together. Here I am leading a simple leaded glass side lite, which is part of a bigger leaded glass entryway

After the glass has been cut, grossed and filed to the size of my paper patterns, I lay it all out according to where each piece goes in the final panel. The circles are clear hand blown rondels and do not need to be cut. Surrounding the circles is clear, heavy seedy glass. All the glass is handblown. 

This is a poor photo of the lead came profile. There are two techniques used in stained glass, the copper foil technique and the lead came technique. I use lead came in all my work for various reasons, mainly because that is what I was taught.  Many people who take a stained glass course learn the copper foil technique. Looking at the profile of the lead came you can see a grove on each side.

These grooves or slots is where the glass fits into. Again a poor photo but you should get the idea of how the glass fits snugly into the groves.

Starting at one end of the leaded glass side lite,

I secure the first piece of glass against the outer edge lead. The edge lead is what surrounds the whole leaded glass panel. It gets buried into the wood frame of the door or side lite and therefore is not visible after I install the glass panel.

Next I place a strip of came lead against one of the edges of the glass. I line up the next glass piece against the other side of the lead came and ...

measure and cut the lead came to the proper length.

The third piece is the rondel shown here already wrapped in lead came. Again it is secured against the two other pieces of glass.

Guess what comes next, right, the fourth piece.

I could go on like this for all 30+ pieces but I think you get the idea.

Finally the glass panel is assembled and ready for soldering.