Cleaning out my camera part 2 – the crafty post

November 5, 2009 at 12:16 am 2 comments

But first!  I took these at the zoo this summer:


This guy popped up out of nowhere when the zookeeper banged her bucket on the glass.


Elephant! I was actually pretty far away when I took this one.


The lions were quite good at ignoring everyone.

Ah!  You must be thinking.  You had such a wonderful day at the zoo!  Nope.  We got rained out by a massive storm and then came home to find my apartment had been flooded.  Arg.

Now on to the real reason for the post! 

I started my stained glass class a few weeks back and took some pictures of my first work in progress.  I made a suncatcher (we all did) which will be gifted to my mother at Christmas.  And she will like it because she is my mother and it was made by her only daughter.  :)

I forgot to bring my camera to the first two classes (of course), but I got to bring everything home to do some of it there. 

Glass pieces

These are all the glass pieces that make up my suncatcher. One of them has copper foil on it.

 It’s really important to have your pieces numbered according to the pattern.  They might all look the same here, but there were enough differences in shape that they wouldn’t have fit together properly if out of the right order.


The outside of the suncatcher!


The whole thing! I didn't really get to choose the colours I wanted, btw. The teacher brought in scrap glass and if you weren't fast you missed the really good colours. I'm not fast, and was too polite to grab all the blue colours, darnit!

 There are gaps between the pieces because the pattern is cut out with special scissors that don’t just cut along a line – a teeny strip of paper is removed along the inside lines.  That way you have room to add the copper foil, yet still have the finished piece end up the same size as the pattern.  My homework was to edge each part in copper foil, which is sticky on one side and can be folded around the edges of the glass.

copper foiled

I finished! Well, mostly. The yellow centerpiece had to be edged as well.


The pieces assembled! You can tell from this picture that I wasn't always the best at following the pattern lines. Some of those gaps are way too big!

tacked together

The first step in the soldering process is to tack your pieces together. My gaps weren't as bad as I thought they'd be, with the exception of #7. That one is practically floating in space...

You can also see where I dropped bits of solder on the glass.  They came off.  And this picture is blurry.  My camera continues to suck at close ups…

I got pretty caught up in the soldering process and didn’t get a chance to take any more pictures.  The next step was filling in all the holes with solder, which you can see I started around pieces 4, 5, 12 and 13.  It took me a while to do #7.  After that was bubble soldering, which meant running another layer around each glass piece, but trying to make it puffy and nice.  Decorative.  Unfortunately I discovered that I was not a natural at soldering.  It took me ages to do and the teacher had to fix a couple of places.  It didn’t help that I can be really anal about things like that.  Sigh.

I would also like to mention that I did NOT get burned by the soldering iron!  I managed to scratch up my thumb the first night on a glass sample, and got a glass chip embedded in a knuckle during class two so I was understandably concerned.  You have to hold a super hot iron in one hand and feed in the solder cable as it melted with the other.  I did get a headache from the fumes, though.  :)

After that we used a tarnishing solution to turn the solder to a colour that matched whichever foil we used.  I used copper, but was quite jealous of how the black foil suncatchers turned out!  After that there was much washing, and we had to rub wax into it and polish polish polish.

finished suncatcher

I'm done!

finished with light

Or maybe not. You can see the wax I missed in this picture. Guess I have more polishing to do!

That’s it!  I’m doing a floral panel for my second project, and have picked out a bunch of different glass colours and patterns.  Tonight I was supposed to start to cut the 63 (!) pieces I need, but I (for the first time in my personal history) got a fever from the flu shot and ruined most of what I cut.  Guess it’s hard to be accurate when your hands are shaking!  I’m hoping it was the fever and not me completely sucking at cutting curved lines, anyway…  I think I’m going to find a geometric pattern as a back up.  :)


Entry filed under: Random Stuff.

I cleared the pictures off of my camera, so you get this post Sadly, I bled for my art

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. badzphoto  |  November 5, 2009 at 1:38 am

    Wow, that is pretty awesome. The sun catcher is very pretty even though you didn’t get the blue color you wanted. I think the green works very well. I want one of that :)
    Where is the wax? I can’t find it.
    63 pieces? – I can’t wait to see the next report :)
    Very cool post – and the zoo photos are cool, too.
    “The lions were quite good at ignoring everyone.”
    They are kings after all :P

  • 2. pajcat  |  November 5, 2009 at 1:50 am

    Thank you!

    There’s a bunch of wax residue around the edges and cracks. I think I’m going to have to use a toothbrush on it or something. :)

    This one guy ended up taking 4 different shades of blue and I was quite jealous. I had planned on a green/blue mix, but I wanted more blue than green! It also ended up being really symmetrical which is fairly typical of me. :)

    The Toronto Zoo is awesome, but I made sure we avoided the Canadian animal display. Most of them are nocturnal, so you end up staring at a random wooded area where the wolves are hiding. :) The apes were amazing too, I just somehow managed to avoid taking pictures of any of them!


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