Category Archives: Stained Glass

Black or Copper Patina?

How do you photograph a mirror without getting your own reflection in it??? The mirrored tulips are finally ready for patina and now I can’t decide on black or copper. David, my stained glass instructor, mentioned I should think about copper patina. I hadn’t even considered it, but am thinking that would really add to this piece.


All the soldered lines will be patinaed and I intend to have this piece framed in a wood frame for hanging on a wall instead of in a window. What do you think? Black or copper?

Soldering by Generator

At home today, but with no electricity after the storms from Tropical Storm Lee passed through yesterday. Have the generator running, so decided to move my little stained glass project out of the dark studio and into the garage so I could at least get her flat soldering done. Nice and cool out here, but not too cool for the iron to keep up since I’m out of the wind.



Stained Glass Project #2

Was SO nice not to have to set the alarm last night! Happy Labor Day to all of you! A very wet holiday for us here in the Deep South, especially for my family & friends in Rankin County MS, near Jackson. Tropical Storm Lee is bringing in buckets of water and tornadoes are forming here and there. Danny says our little crooked creek that usually is pretty dry in summer is now full.

After a bit of breakfast and another cup of coffee, I’ll be headed down to the studio to clean up my 2nd project, Lily Reflections, for my stained glass class. This is a mirrored piece, meant to hang on the wall rather than in a window. Because mirrored glass is “silvered”, it requires special handling before it can be used in stained glass projects. It must be carefully cut to avoid peeling away the silver and a special extra-fine grinding bit will keep the silver from chipping away on the edges. Because cutting and grinding “opens” the edges of the mirror, each piece must be sprayed with a product that seals the edges and prevents flux from seeping in. Failure to do this will result in a “black rot” look on the mirrored pieces. This could be interesting in certain instances, but not when you don’t plan it that way.

By the way, thank you to Danny, my Grinder Guy, for his help with the grinding on this project. 🙂


Finished the copper foiling and flat soldering. This was homework for this week. The next step will be to run a pretty bead of solder on all the lines. As you can see, it’s still covered in flux and instead of cleaning it after I finished the flat soldering , as I should have, I moved on to assembling the angel I still had not finished for a friend. Initially, I had cut the angel out as a lead project, meaning I would assemble it using channeled lead, but then I got busy with other projects and had never gotten around to putting her together. Something about her didn’t sit right with me and I couldn’t figure out what that was.

Hubby decided he would try assembling the angel while I was working on my class project. Mind you, he’s new to all this arty/crafty stuff, but he’s a great student. However, he didn’t at all like leading around those tiny pieces of glass and thought copper foil would work much better.

Now you can’t just switch an intended lead project to a copper foil project after the glass is cut because the lead requires larger spaces between the individual pieces than does the foil. The only thing to do was make another pattern and re-cut and grind the whole project. A good thing, actually, because I had figured out what bothered me about the original – the robe was too dark and the face and hand were too light. She looked DULL. Angels cannot look dull; they must be RADIANT!

Finally got her re-cut and Danny ground the pieces, but then he had to head to MS to stay a few days. I decided while I was in foiling mode with my class project, I would go ahead and foil Ms Angel, so I spent some time on the couch wrapping sticky copper foil around big and tiny pieces of glass, in preparation for soldering.

I like this angel much better than the other one. Still haven’t decided what to put around the exterior edges. Whatever it is, it must be pliable enough to wrap around all the curves. This could get interesting as I’ve never done a freeform piece. We shall see!

Stained Glass Tulips Done!

Every spare minute over the last couple weeks has been spent completing this newest stained glass project.  I posted about the beginnings of this project here and here.  This was the first of 2 required projects in my Intermediate Copper Foil class.

This piece measures about 21″ x 29″ and is polished and ready to find a new home.  Feel free to email me at for more information on this piece or for additional photos. The photo below was taken by my instructor, David, who owns Buck Creek Stained Glass in Helena AL.  It will give you an idea of scale.

Check out my sweet Grinder Guy who has been helping me grind glass.  Looks like the studio may be morphing from a one-artist studio into a two-artist studio!


Fun With New Stained Glass Class

Back in March/April of this year I took a great 5-week Introduction to Copper Foil class at Buck Creek Stained Glass in beautiful Helena AL.  Here you can see the post and the photo of the project I completed.  In the Intro class, we were all given the same design and, basically, the same glass to work with. We were introduced to lots of new techniques and had fun learning together.

The Intro class was so much fun that I decided to move on to the Intermediate Copper Foil class that started last week.  For this class we were allowed to choose the patterns for our 2 projects, one of which will have a mirrored background.  These pieces will be significantly larger than the Intro project, around 2′ x 3′ or thereabouts.

For my first project, I chose these tulips (with some minor changes) from one of my pattern books

and added some borders, like so.

 Danny was here in AL this past weekend and helped with the grinding.  He had carpal tunnel surgery on his left hand (and he’s a lefty) last week, so he had to be careful not to overdo it.  So far, we’ve progressed on to this

and then to this.

With instructor David’s approval, I’m moving on now to cleaning the pieces in preparation for foiling.  Hopefully, tomorrow night when I come in from work, the pieces will be all dry and ready to foil.  Excited to get moving!

Stained Glass Happenings

Last Saturday, I wrapped up a 5-week copper foil class at Buck Creek Stained Glass in Helena, AL.  You can see a couple photos from the class here.  From the looks of those photos, we were REALLY concentrating on learning some new techniques.  A big shoutout to my classmates Peggy, Dana, Jerri, and Kat (sorry if I misspelled any names) and to Buck Creek owner/artist/instructor David.

Anyone interested in taking stained glass classes should absolutely sign up soon at Buck Creek.  Classes will fill quickly!

This was the neat class project we all completed.

This is one of my earlier pieces (not from this class), using lead instead of copper foil.

And now, I have it in my mind that I’ll attempt this beautiful angel project next, at the request of a dear, sweet friend who brought this photo and asked if I’d make her one like her sister’s.  (Receiving no compensation for this, so no problems with using someone else’s design.)

She brought the photo several months ago and I kept putting it off because

(1)  I had never really set up my stained glass tools since moving to Alabama 4 years ago;

(2)  Having never done a free-form stained glass piece, I had no idea how to finish off the edges nor how to ensure it would hang properly without pulling apart;

(3)  I had been crazy busy trying to get my pottery “out there” for folks to buy and had precious little time to do even that.

But, the time is now and I’m ready to tackle the angel.  I’ve drawn off the pattern, prepped the pattern pieces,

and have begun cutting out her beautiful glass robe.

We shall see where this will end.  Hoping, hoping, hoping it will end with a lovely stained glass angel, ready to hang in my friend’s home.