Making Stained Glass and Beveled Glass Wind Chimes
Beveled Glass Wind Chimes
Getting Started with Foiled Glass
I started doing stained glass foiling many many years ago. When I was doing Real Estate, I would make specialized gifts for my clients when they bought a house from me. I started buying personalized small items when I started in Real Estate, but I was always a crafter, so I would add something that I had handmade, maybe a cross-stitched dishtowel, or framed cross stitched item, sometimes a blanket or whatever I thought suited the person. Since I did so many crafts and loved color I decided to try my hand at glass working.
1. Take a small class or get some how to books so you know how to do things correctly.
2. Tools- to cut the glass, smooth the sharp edges and clean the glass.
3. Foil to wrap the edges- comes in different widths and edges straight or fancy. It sticks like contact paper, but the backing of the foil can be different colors. Black or silver because it shows at different angles when looking at the glass. Foil cutters.
4. Chemicals to paint on the foil so the solder will stick when you melt it on the foil.
5. Cleaner to clean the foil after soldering and patina to change the color of the solder to whatever enhances your item. You can make all the soldered parts silver, shiny, dull, or copper, or brass.... there are many chemicals....
6. An open air space or space with an exhaust fan over your work area so you are not inhaling the fumes. Do not do in your kitchen as the chemicals and fumes may adhere to your food preparation area and your food.
7. Many items can be ordered directly from companies, stores or online auction. Some pre-cut kits are available and beveled edged glass comes in assorted combinations.
8. to make chimes you can order various chime kits, chime already together, or make your own chimes out of glass of different sizes to get different tones, or silveware of different sizes and tones....Shells.... The world of creation is waiting for you even if only on the musical chime end.
9. Be sure to use non-rusting parts, i.e. any additional wiring or rings. Things may appear strong and beautiful, but when exposed to the outside elements rust will deteriorate many metal parts and then everything will fall apart.
10. So if you are cutting the glass yourself as in my blue flower chime, you will need a glass cutter, hand oiled wheel cutter is fine. Keep your oil tube full so eveything works smoothly.
11. After you cut the shapes you need to smooth the edges... you can use a hand file, but if you go crazy over things like I do, you will end up needing a grinder. The wheel on the grinder will smooth your edges so easily and make everything go much faster. Then you can do five pieces in the time you would do one by hand.
12. After you have smoothed the edges you will need to clean off the glass powder from the filing or grinding. There are glass rinses for this. Again, use the right facilities... these are tiny glass particles that you do not want on other things or yourself... Aprons and goggles are good, some use gloves, although I like to feel what I am doing.
13. Your glass pieces are now dry so you can wrap the foil on the pieces. There is a foil scissors that has a smoother on the edge that once you put the foil on you want to smooth it so it is sticking totally and you have no crinkles in the foil. These will show when you put the solder on, so smoothing is important.
14. Your pieces are all wrapped in foil, cleaned and then.. you put the chemical on the edges with a paintbrushe to make the solder adhere. You paint them with the chemical and then lay them on your work area in the pattern the flower or bird... or whatever piecework you chose.
15. There are many grades of solder, so you will need to read up on this. I am only giving you elementals. Solder can be made up of may components... I like the really shiny solder. So, you need at least a roll of solder, depending on the size of your piece and a soldering iron. These come with on off, or temperature control... sort of like your curling irons ladies... so get the one that will be the easiest to work with. You might want to make your temperature lower for softer solder so it doesn't overheat and run or burn. You unroll your solder and gently melt the sodder along the outline and joints of the piece.
16. It is all soldered and cooled, now clean the chemicals off again with the rinse and then apply whatever patina you want and then shine or just apply shining - cleaning creme to the solder and have plain silver solder edges. You will do a final rinse of your glass with your stained glass rinse cleaner after shining your solder.... and you will hold it up to the light and be tickled pink with yourself.... and then you can add chimes of your choice or making and listen to them tinkle in your garden and love the sounds and the look.
Have fun with another KittyCraft.
**I also used solder with more lead in it when I started and now I tend to go for as little as possible. You don't want to breath lead, or the glass powder. Your body cannot eliminate lead and glass particles are invisible but that doesn't mean they can't accumulate in your nostrils or lungs. I did many things as I was growing up that had toxic elements in them. I appear to be very healthy, so I don't want to contaminate myself. I taught classes in hazardous elements in your home, so I know even without doing extra hobbies with hazards, you are always exposed to elements that can hurt your health, so read before you do your hobbies so you are in appropriate surroundings.
***IDEAS****You can draw your diagram yourself, or use something from a coloring book. Before I did chimes I did musical themes for children and used ballerinas from coloring books, or Bears etc. There are so many things you can use. The same as with quilting. You can take one simple picture and make a stained glass window suncatcher, with dishtowels with the same thing appliqued, and a wallhanging and a quilt throw and bring your whole kitchen together.... and then in the garden outside the kitchen have a wind chime of the same theme.....