Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Project update, movie review, etc.

Thursday November 17, 2016
Tonight I finally finished my stained glass panel. As predicted, there certainly was some blood, sweat, and tears (thankfully more sweat than the other two things). This week I learned how to properly frame my project by cutting edging pieces made out of zinc using a hack saw and a mitre box. That in itself wasn't difficult, but getting the pieces open (using a Fid) was a whole other story. So far I think that was probably the most difficult or certainly most labor-intensive part of the project. I'm definitely not eager to use zinc trim again and might stick to using lead, which was my other option (and what one of my classmates used).
Unlike when you buy plastic photo frames, remove the sides, slide in your poster and easily replace them, with the zinc trim you don't just fit the the trim pieces around the stained glass panel. You jimmy it a bit so it's slightly tucked in (I think), but how you secure them is by using solder. Honestly, it looks really messy in my opinion, and you need to do it on both the front and back, so it's not like you can just hide one side. It's too bad you can't use hot glue, or really any other clear drying adhesive, but I assume the experts have done ample experiments and determined solder is the way to go. Incidentally, you also solder your chain onto the zinc trim. The nice thing about soldering everything is how firm it holds, but can still be easily changed by just heating up a soldering iron and touching up the bits you're not happy with.
My criticism of the class/instructor is that it simply isn't long enough. Six two week sessions doesn't cut it as only two out of the four of us actually completed our project during that time period. Speaking for myself that's only because I did some work at home in between, as my classmate might have done as well. The one that was furthest behind didn't do that and is still several hours from completion on his. I also wish my teacher would have offered more constructive criticism along the way like, "Hey, I don't mean to be critical, but you might want to recut some of your pieces because you're going to have problems later on with them sticking out." Instead, she was like the eternal optimist, "It might work, but if not, we can always fix it later." It's true that you can keep cutting, sanding, foiling and soldering right up to the end, but it's easier if you can get it right the first time.
My instructor was kind enough to step in and try to fix my panel where a couple pieces stuck out (making it impossible to get the zinc trim flush with the panel), but she had to get rather rough with it, and one piece of glass broke in half (probably due to a heat fissure caused by the soldering iron). I winced every time I saw or heard a crack and almost told her to just leave it alone and I'd figure out another way to frame it or just leave it off altogether.
Two and a half hours later my piece was finally finished - imperfections (cracked glass and gaps) and all. I felt like just shoving it in my trunk (with all my other amateur art work), but some part of me softened and decided maybe I should display it after all, so it's currently leaning against the window in our home library, though I will probably hang it elsewhere.
Suffice it to say the class was certainly a learning experience, but not sure I plan to do stained glass again anytime soon!
Friday November 18, 2016
Tonight we went to a local movie theatre and saw "Arrival" with Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker. I can see why the critics liked it as it's definitely thought provoking and well thought out. Although you see the aliens (three words kept going through my head - elephant, spider, fingers), there's still quite a lot left to the imagination. However, the movie does jump around a bit between different moments in time, and this can get a little confusing (hence, the discussion in the car on the way home as I tried to make sense out of it all), but it's all part of the fun. Without giving away the ending, anyone hoping for another "War of the Worlds" or "Independence Day" type movie will be disappointed.  

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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