Class is over and we finished our projects with much incredulity. We went to the last 2 hour class having no idea of how to solder our pieces and based on how long it took to cut and foil the pieces, expecting the foiling process to be long and complicated. Instead, once we understood how to proceed, progress went quickly. Of course, while our projects are masterpieces to us, none of them will win the soldering award and so perhaps the professionals do things a little slower and more precise. But we had a lot of fun.
My piece turned out as expected – not really square so I am having a hard time figuring out how to frame it. I knew before soldering because my pieces didn’t quite fit together well and the overall project was not square, that I was hoping for too much for it to magically become square after soldering.
There is a process called caning where you add a U-channel piece of metal (called a “came” or “cane”) around the outside that gives it a finished look and holds it all together. However, I discovered this process is part of a second stage class and so no caning. There is almost a 1/2″ difference in width from top to bottom and in between of my piece. So if my wonderful readers have any suggestions on how I can hang it or feel confident setting it on a window ledge, I would love to hear your ideas. Maybe a visit to a local glass place for some caming instructions!
Lessons learned – Observations:
- Stained glass is a lot more fun than I anticipated, so I plan to do more!
- Spend more time getting your glass pieces fitting nicely first even if it involves cutting pieces several time (probably goes without saying, but I said it anyway)
- When nailing your pieces together, I used the horseshoe nails around the outside to hold the pieces together. Another person actually used push pins and did some pinning in between the piece and that actually seemed to work better at holding her tiny pieces together. I might try that next time.
- You don’t need to add much solder on the foil on the outside. I tried soldering the outside just like I did the other foiled seams and made a big mess. Basically your iron already has some solder residue on it and just dabbing the iron on a small area and then spreading it down the outside seam is enough to solder the outside edge.
- We were all surprised at how much solder we went through. I was pretty heavy-handed and will try to be less so next time, but even so, it took quite a bit of solder.
It was a great class and a great group of classmates with many varied talents and interests. Good luck to everyone and thanks for the stained glass memories!