ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Stained Glass As a Hobby

Updated on November 11, 2013

Is Stained Glass an expensive hobby?

Like many crafts or businessess you will probably find that people who are actively engaged in it will have a workshop full of tools and equipment and in the case of stained glass, whole shelves of glass waiting to be turned into exquisite works of art. But if you ask them you will find that many if not most of them started with next to no equipment. Maybe they were on a tight budget and most of us can sympathise with that. Or perhaps they weren’t even aware of all the marvellous tools and gadgets that were available to help in producing stained glass panels or windows, because they were self taught and managed as best they could with limited knowledge. I’m positive you will find stained glass craftsmen/women or artists that started in their business or hobby when many of today’s tools and gadgets were simply not even heard of. They’ll probably also tell you that you still don’t need most of them.


My first stained glass soldering tools
My first stained glass soldering tools

Stained Glass and Lead Came.

So what do you need to start with stained glass as a hobby? First thing would be glass right? Well not necessarily, first you should be aware of the two main types of “stained glass”. The oldest and traditional method of turning stained glass into windows or panels or lampshades is by using lead came, hence the term leaded windows or leaded lights. Lead came is a channel made of lead, not surprisingly. It may have an open channel on both sides into which glass pieces can be inserted or it may have a channel only on one side so this sort of lead came will be used to form edges or borders to your window or panel. The lead came has to be cut to size and then once laid out on the work bench, with all the glass and lead strips in place the lead pieces are soldered together to hold everything in place.


Copper Foil

Copper foil or the “Tiffany method” as it is sometimes known is the other method used to make objects with stained glass. Narrow strips of thin copper foil are used to wrap the edges of the glass pieces for this reason one side of the copper foil is coated with glue. The foil is then rubbed down hard onto the glass “burnished”. All the pieces are laid out on the pattern atop the workbench and as with the lead came, soldered together. Unlike with lead cane not just the joints are soldered but the whole of the copper foil which is visible is soldered to give the piece sufficient strength.


Minimum tool requirements.

Both methods have advantages and disadvantages. Leaded windows or panels can be much larger than copper foil before the need extra reinforcing. Copper foil enables one to make smaller more delicate pieces such as jewellery boxes, kaleidoscopes or Tiffany lampshades.

For both methods the minimum tools required are a quality glass cutter and a soldering iron which is designed for the job, not the sort used for electrical repairs. A diamond file or carborundum stone is invaluable to smooth the edges of the cut pieces of glass and remove the small “blades” which are dangerously sharp. Fancy electric grinders can come later. You will obviously have to find a stained glass supplier for your glass and equipment, if there is one near where you live you can buy quite small pieces of glass even off cuts while you are still learning. As you can see from the picture above I started with an old copper soldering iron which I found in the shed when we moved house and a blow lamp to heat it. As they say, where there's a will there's a way.

If you're still worried about things like the cost of stained glass, and learning to cut it (some of it is a little tricky)  you could maybe try making a terrarium, using horticultural glass (for greenhouse) It's often quite low in price.

Have a go.

If you have ever thought about stained glass as a hobby and been put off, think again. It needn’t be expensive and who knows, you may love it. If you don't feel up to the whole deal of cutting stained glass to patterns and so on, you could try starting with some ready cut stained glass kits. You may also find you're really good at it, if so you may be able to sell some of your work. At least you’ll have some very special gifts to give to your friends and family.



Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)