Saturday, September 4, 2010

Free Stained Glass Pattern : Blue Crab

Stained Glass Pattern : Blue Crab

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pattern Pieces

This tutorial is about pattern pieces,also called templates, how to make them and how to use them on your stained glass. However, before we start with making them, I want to talk about accuracy.

The key to success, when making a stained glass project, is accuracy. Plain and simple, it is either accurate, or it isn't.

"That's good enough" or "that will do" are not phrases we use when making anything out of stained glass, whether it's a window panel, lamp shade, suncatcher, box, or anything else you can think of.

It all starts with your pattern. If it isn't accurate, you'll have problems in every step from there on. You'll have to adjust pattern pieces, re-cut glass, fill in big gaps with solder, use wider or narrower lead or zinc around the outside to make it the right size, or worse yet, have to start over because it is too far off to fix.

stained glass window
One word here about photocopied patterns. Photocopiers distort patterns. It may not be enough to notice, and if your project is free form, it probably won't matter.

However, if your pattern is geometric or has to fit a specific measurement, check it before you start making pattern pieces to make sure it is accurate.

If it isn't accurate, now is the time to fix it. Make sure parallel lines are parallel corners are square, dimensions are exact, anything it takes to make the pattern accurate.

As a side note: even patterns from books can be off, so check them before you begin a project.

Making Pattern Pieces

When the pattern is correct you can start making pattern pieces. Use light weight cardboard, something like poster board or even file folders, if you have any spare ones laying around.

The cardboard pieces will need to hold up while going around them with a marking pen, and cutting and grinding around them. Cereal boxes, the backs from paper pads, cardboard inserts, etc don't hold up once they get damp. The shape distorts and you're back to square one with accuracy.

copying the pattern onto poster board Sandwich carbon paper between the pattern and the cardboard, making sure the carbon side is facing the cardboard. Hold the three pieces together with paper clips. Use a medium ball point pen to trace over the pattern lines.

Number each template piece as well as the pattern, and draw directional lines if you are using glass with a definite direction. Flower petals look funny with some of the lines going across and others going up and down.

Here is where you can chose how to cut them out. If you use pattern shears and they cut out a line exactly the same width as the medium ball point pen line, go ahead and use them. Make sure the lines are centered on the shears.

pattern traced on poster board, ready to be cut out If you don't use pattern shears, cut them out with sharp scissors (my preference), cutting on either side of the line. When you are done, you should have pattern pieces with no pencil or carbon paper lines on any of the edges.

pattern pieces cut and being checked for accuracy Lay the template pieces on the pattern/cartoon and make sure they fit perfectly inside the lines. You should be able to see the lines all around each piece. Don't forget the "A" word. Accuracy.....

Tracing Around The Pattern Pieces

tracing around pattern pieces Lay the pattern piece on the glass
and trace around it with a Sharpie.

traced on the glass The pattern is now
accurately traced on the glass.

checking for accuracy Cut the glass precisely on the inside edge of the line.
Then lay the cut glass on the template, or on
the pattern/cartoon to check it for accuracy.

If there are any places that need grinding, mark them with the sharpie and grind. You will find that there will be many pieces that do not need grinding. Yes, I'm an advocate of only grinding if needed. I do not grind every single piece.

Here's what I do if a piece doesn't need grinding to make it fit properly:

1. Swipe the glass edges with a carborundum stone, but only if the edges are sharp enough to damage the foil or cut fingers.

2. Give the edges a quick wipe with alcohol to get rid of the oil from the cutter. The alcohol evaporates quickly so you don't have to wipe it off.

3. Foil the glass. Yes, I usually foil as I go.

4. Get on to the next piece.

For lead, I do nothing unless a piece needs to be ground to fit properly.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hand Painted Fused Glass

Hand painted fused glass is bold and uniquely yours. There are several artists on the internet that hand paint glass in their warm glass art designs. Handmade glass paintings range from still life to abstract. These paintings will be done using patterns that I have found on the internet. Use free patterns of faces, animals or still life to make some and turn them into distinctive pendants or pins.

The longest part of the process is the waiting time involved. Using Vitrea paints to create this warm glass art entails a minimum of 24 hours waiting for the paint to cure. The vibrant colors give the piece a glass painting and staining appearance. Glass painting can be achieved with paints that can be fused inside the kiln or using Pebeo Vitrea 160 paints, which are cured and hardened inside the oven.

These are achieved through several steps. By using the Vitrea paints, you achieve the brilliant colors that you can’t seem to receive by using fusible paints.

hand painted fused glass, warm glass art, hand made glass paintings, glass painting and staining, glass painting Materials:

# Scrap glass
# Soap and water
# Lint free towel
# Permanent Marker
# Pattern
# Black Glassline paint
# Kiln
# Prepared kiln shelf
# Various colors of Vitrea paints
# Oven
# Plastic container
# Scrap piece of thin Styrofoam
# Water
# Dremel drill
# Diamond core bit
# Pinch bail or wire


1. These are made using scrap glass.

2. Clean glass using soap and water or glass cleaner.

3. Dry glass with lint free towel.

4. The details are drawn on the glass with a permanent marker.

5. Using black Glassline paint the outline is traced.

6. Place glass inside the kiln on a prepared kiln shelf. Remember to hold pieces by the edge to prevent fingerprints.

7. The piece is then brought to a full fuse to embed the paint.

8. Annealed the glass and bring to room temperature.

9. Remove glass from kiln.

10. Clean with soap and water to remove the excess kiln wash or kiln paper. Allow to air dry or use a lint free towel to dry.

11. Paint the details with various Vitrea paints. Shake paints before painting.

12. Using red for the lips, white for the outsides of the eyes, a color for the inside of the eye and various colors for the hair and background. Allow each layer to air dry before painting with the next color. This air drying will keep the individual colors sharp and not mix or blend the colors.

13. Allow then to dry for a minimum of 24 hours.

14. Place glass in the oven to set the colors and make them permanent. Fire them for 40-45 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

15. Place a piece of thin Styrofoam inside a container and fill with just enough water to barely cover the Styrofoam.

16. Place glass in container and using a dremel with a core bit drill for your desired size, drill a hole in glass.

17. Attach a pinch bail or wire wrap a bail.

These are hand painted fused glass ladies that I have chosen to make as my theme, but the concept can be designed with any figure or pattern you choose. Try constructing these hand painted fused glass designs yourself and make some exclusive pendants or pins. They are a little time consuming to create, but well worth the effort involved.

hand painted fused glass, warm glass art, hand made glass paintings, glass painting and staining

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Fused Glass Sculpture

Fused Glass Wall Sculpture

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