Sunday, October 9, 2016

Artsy Fartsy

Thursday October 6, 2016
Tonight I had my first stained glass class at the Dublin Recreation Center. Stained glass art is something I’ve gained an appreciation for since that was the hobby of my late Grandpa Goff. He gave my brother, sister, and me each a handmade Tiffany stained glass lamp as a wedding present, which is something we’ll always treasure.

I certainly won’t be learning how to do something that complicated, but it should give me a taste of how a few multi-colored shards of glass can come together to create something beautiful.

We’re still several weeks from that result. First we had to learn how to score our glass and then get it to actually break on the line where we scored it. I had a bit of previous experience scoring glass when a couple summers ago I took up the hobby of wine bottle art. The idea was you were supposed to score your bottle (after removing the labels, which, in itself, is quite an undertaking), plunge it into boiling water and then an ice bath, and viola, the bottle would magically split on the line you scored. Except, that never happened, at least not until several dozen plunges. After which, sometimes it split along the line, but most times not. Suffice it to say there’s a very low success rate with such a project. Expect that only a tiny fraction of your bottles will actually split where you want them to. This is why wine bottle art is so expensive, because it’s very labor intensive. Anyway, I digress…
the only wine bottle I got to break where I wanted it to
I wouldn’t say I was exactly an expert on scoring, but I was familiar enough with the sound to listen for when you drag the blade across the glass. Just like with the wine bottles, every time I scored my piece of (cheap picture frame) glass and used the pliers to break it, inevitably it would make a horizontal break where I wanted a vertical break. The only thing that seemed to work was using a pair of plastic lightweight running pliers. Without fail I was able to get an even break with it every time. In fact, it will probably be the only tool I use since the pattern I selected for my project requires that I cut larger, rather than smaller, tiny pieces, so it will be important for the glass to break in the correct spot each time.
running pliers
Luckily the only supplies I need to buy are the glass for my project (which I hadn’t really thought about, so suddenly this class got more expensive than I anticipated). Our instructor has offered to loan us her tools so we can get a feel for this hobby before laying down some serious dosh at the craft store. She also said she’d be happy to buy any unused tools and supplies off of us if we did buy and then change our mind.

Saturday October 8, 2016
Today I spent probably best part of an hour comparing squares of stained glass and trying to decide which colors to use for my project. I picked up a book with some interesting patterns, so I debated whether to go with one of those patterns (that had mostly squares and rectangles). In case you’re wondering, at Hobby Lobby, 12” x 12” squares of stained glass start at about $8 on up to about $16 depending on the color. I decided to stick with mostly primary colors and selected a sheet of red (which was the most expensive color), (2) yellows, an orange, a green, and a blue. It was recommended we visit Franklin Art Glass Studios in German Village since they have a scrap bin where they sell remnants rather cheaply (which is ideal for clumsy newbies like us).
my rainbow selection of glass

Now that I’ve bought my glass, I just need to get my pattern all drawn out for Thursday, so that’s my homework. Andrew talked me into sticking with my original plan since that pattern has a lot fewer pieces to cut as opposed to the pattern in the book with probably three dozen or more rectangles and squares.

a sneak peak of my pattern (I plan to carry the design all the way around 360 degrees)

Have a good week everyone! 

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