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Glass Heart Art

Liz Barton

Tel; 07504486677

Email: glassheartart@gmail.com

Here's how! - Leaded light


This is a traditional method and is used in the making of stained glass windows.

It is a time consuming process that requires patience, precision and skill.




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1) A design is drawn up and then one or two exact duplicates are made providing one to work from and one to lay cut glass onto. All cartoons are numbered.

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2) The glass pieces are then cut to size. This is achieved by laying the glass over the cartoon. If the glass is dark and the cartoon cannot be seen through it, a lightbox is used./

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3)All glass pieces are ground at the edges using a glass grinder. This smoothes any jagged edges allowing the glass to fit snugly into the lead came. One of the cartoons is glued onto a wooden board and 2 wooden butts are nailed in place. This allows a strong corner to work out from.

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4) Lead came is then stretched in a lead vice, this strengthens it. Then two edges (side and top) are put in place against the wooden butts. Now working from this corner, the glass can be put in place and the lead is fitted around the seperate pieces. This is firmly pushed into the corner and held in place with horseshoe nails to prevent it slipping and becoming loose.

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5) Once all glass and lead is securely pinned into place, all joints (where lead cames meet) are rubbed in tallow wax. This is a natural flux and lets the lead solder flow smoothly onto the lead creating a strong, smooth, neat solder joint. Every joint is soldered in this way on the up facing side. The whole panel is then unpinned and very carefully flipped over and the process is repeated.

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6)At this stage, even though all the glass is secured in it's place, the panel is wobbly and fragile. Lead cement is applied by scrubbing it under the cames with a stiff brush. It is then turned over and the process is repeated on the other side.

7) Both sides of the panel (which is now wet and gooey in black cement) is then covered librally with whiteing (powdered chalk). This helps to soak up the linseed oil within the cement, and help the cement to set.

8) After a while, before the cement sets, all the excess of cement and whiteing must be removed. Taking care not to drag the cement out from under the cames, all leaded edges of glass are cleaned. This is easily done with a tool called a fid.

9) The panel is led flat over a period of 24 hours to allow the cement to set. The glass can then be picked (with a sharp horseshoe nail) to remove all excess cement and neaten all the lead edges.

10) The lead is then polished using black grate polish. This protects the lead and also polishes up the glass too. The panel is now complete.

Here's how - Copper foil method


Copper foil method is used to create glass hangings, sun catchers, panels and tiffany style lampshades.

This method is less messy but also requires time, patience, precision and skill.

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1) A design is drawn up and 1 or 2 exact copies are made. The glass is then cut and the sharp edges ground so that the pieces fit snugly side by side.

2) The glass is then cleaned and copper foil (which is a self adhesive copper tape) is then carefully stuck around the edge of the glass. This copper foil has a silver backing so that it is less visable in the mirrored sections.

3) The foil is then rubbed firmly with the use of a fid. This ensures that the foil is firmly stuck to the glass. It also smooths out any creases which helps the solder to flow smoothly.

4) Now that all pieces are foiled, it can be soldered.

5) Chemical flux is brushed onto all copper. This helps the solder to flow smoothly. The solder is the 'glue' that sticks all the pieces together.

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6) Once the copper is fluxed, small drops of solder are used to pin the pieces together. This stops any movement.

7) The whole piece is then carefully soldered with a smooth and flowing action.

8) This is then repeated on the other side.

9) Once both sides are complete, a patina can be used (if desired) to change the colour of the silver solder.

Here I have used a black patina.

10) To complete the piece, a thin adhesive cork backing is used to protect the mirror from becoming scratched on the back. It is now ready to be hung.