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       "So, you want to create
something with Stained Glass?

             basic instruction
Maureen Bloesch, Artist"

Stained glass is an expensive [hobby?] investment, but I would not trade all the hours I have spent, designing, cutting and creating for anything. When the finished piece is completed, and the light shines through…all is worth the blood and sweat

I purchase my glass and glass supplies from Hudson Glass on North Division Street in Peekskill, New York. I usually know what I want before I go in, till I get into the store and am overwhelmed with such beautiful glass, I usually purchase more than I had planned but nothing goes to waste, there is always something to make.

The Basic Tools Needed:

  • Stained glass [I recommend 11"x14" pieces as a starter]
  • Light box [a box with frosted glass and florescent light underneath it]
  • Fiber face masks
  • Rubber cement
  • 2 rolls of Bounty paper towels [leaves no lint]
  • Windex
  • Foil presser
  • #B pencil, pencil charcoal
  • Fine line black magic marker
  • Cork back ruler
  • Stencil scissors
  • Regular scissors
  • Small wire cutters
  • Small pliers
  • 100watt soldering iron
  • Soldering iron stand
  • Cellulose sponges [for cleaning iron]
  • 60/40 solder [safer and better than 50/50] or lead free solder [much more difficult to melt and control]
  • Tinned wire [any size]
  • Re-enforcing foil [optional]
  • Oil filled glasscutter [much better for clean cuts]
  • Copper foil 7/32 [good standard size for beginners] start with 2 rolls
  • Large grousers [this is for removing excess little pieces from the edges of the glass]
  • Plastic handle glass separator pliers
  • Squaring kit [optional is you have a great eye]
  • Glass grinding machine and Cooling oil for grinding machine [optional]
  • Glass flux
  • Flux brushes [at least 6]
  • Flux cleaner
  • Glass polish
  • Tracing paper
  • Heavy weight paper [for cutting patterns]
  • Solder stain…comes in Black, Copper or Brass [optional]
  • ˝ gallon fresh water

And last but not least…….glass!
You can use any kind of glass.


THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR THE FOIL TO ADHERE TO THE EDGES OF THE GLASS, IT MUST BE SQUEEKIE CLEAN!!! If the foil does not adhere, the pieces will fall apart, no matter how much solder is applied!

Now we need a design. Your first project should not be more than 10 pieces. To start, the pieces should not be smaller than 1 ˝ " to 2".

Find a simple picture, lay it on the light box and trace the outline, using the tracing paper. Looking at the inside of the design, create only 10 sections. (If you think you can handle more - do it !)

When completed, remove the original picture and turn the tracing paper over onto the light box. Using the #B pencil, charcoal pencil, trace the picture again. Lay your heavy paper down and place the charcoal side of your pattern onto the heavy paper and rub all the lines till it is visible on the heavy paper. Number each piece.

Using the pattern scissors, cut directly on the lines of the heavy paper. The reason for the pattern scissors…they cut out the exact amount of space necessary for the two pieces of glass with foil to fit perfectly together in the Squaring Kit. Number each piece to match the pattern on the tracing paper.

Take each piece, place on the glass of your choice. Put rubber cement on the back of the piece you want to trace and place on top of the top side of the glass [give it a minute to dry] and trace the outline, using the fine line magic marker. Peel of the pattern piece.

Now, you're ready to cut!!! To cut, hold glasscutter securely in hand like a pencil, press down firmly on line and move in a smooth motion to score the glass. Lift up scored glass, use glass separator pliers by placing white line on line you just scored and squeeze and glass will separate.

After each piece is cut, use the file or sandpaper to smooth the edges. You may have to use the grosser for bigger pieces that hang over the line. If they are straight lines, use the cork back ruler [press down on ruler holding firmly in place, to insure a nice straight cut]. Write the number on the piece and place in its corresponding spot on main pattern. Now that all the pieces are cut, and in their places, each one has to be Windexed and wiped thoroughly with a Bounty for the foil to adhere.

The foil will have paper on the back to protect the glue from getting dirty. Peel back a small amount of the paper and center the foil on the edge of the clean glass and press into place…keep moving along the entire outer edge, then overlap the beginning by an inch. Cut with scissors. Using your foil presser, go all around the other edge. Turn, and press the foil on the inner edges till there are no wrinkles. [Must lay nice and smooth] Put the number back on the piece and place it back onto its space on the main pattern. Continue till all the pieces are done and fit into the squaring kit. [Looks great, doesn't it!]

Turn on your soldering iron. Wet the sponge. Flux one section at a time. Put on mask.

Wipe the hot tip of the iron on the sponge, this removes dust so the solder will flow easier. After each application, wipe iron, and then wipe again before using.

Unravel about 4" of solder. Place hot iron on foil with solder next to tip so it will flow. Moving slowly down the fluxed area of foil. Do one section at a time till all the pieces are together. Cut a piece of tinned wire about 1 ˝ " long, bend for a hook for each top corner. Flux the wire and solder into place.

Turn the soldered sections over and flux and solder this side. When everything is soldered and holding together, use flux remover, then Windex on both sides. When thoroughly clean, [if you opted to buy solder stain, use it now] apply glass wax to solder seams, wait a few minutes and wipe clean.

Use rope or chain or ribbon to hang your masterpiece!!!!!

Almost anything can be made with stained glass: Boxes, lamps, panels, water fountains, mechanical items, and lots of abstracts.

My studio is filled with boxes that are filled to overflowing with pieces of different types of glass and every color you can imagine. I also have sections for large sheets of glass, as they have to stand on end. The expensive glass, due to the vibrant colors and wonderful patterns has spoiled me.

Maureen LR Bloesch

The Artist
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