Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 186 - Stained Glass and the Wild Woman

Lynn and Mike, Great Teachers!

Rainbow VisioW
When I was visiting at my mother's house, an opportunity presented itself.  Another one of those bucket list things that I always wanted to do.  I saw a groupon offered by a company Rainbow Vision to introduce a small class of ten or so students to the art of making stained glass windows.  You can click here to see their website.  I have always wanted to do this.  I had just finished reading a book by Nicholas Sparks The Last Song (they just made the movie last year) and it told the story of a son and his sister and her boyfriend helping their father finished the stained glass window to put at the church while he was terminally ill so that he could see it before he passed.  It was a heart warming story.

I imagined the sun hitting the colors of the stained glass making dancing prisms on the wall inside the church.  There is something magical about stained glass.  I saw a story once on the making of the glass and how to get a color just right.  One might think that yellow added to the glass makes yellow but there are all sorts of secrets that Egyptians and Romans stained glass makers have had for centuries about what substance makes which color.  Then the second common problem was that some of the color changed over time with the direct sunlight hitting it.  The suns rays faded some colors and darkened others. In the eighth century, an Arab chemist known as "Gerber" recorded dozens of formulas for the production of glass in specific colors. Gerber is often known as the "father of chemistry" and he realized that the oxides of metals were the key ingredients for coloring glass.

Different color of glass

The church glass is beautiful!
Metals Used to Color Glass:

The recipe for producing colored glass usually involves the addion of a metal to the glass. This is often accomplished by adding some powdererd oxide, sulfide or other compound of that metal to the glass while it is molten. The table below lists some of the coloring agents of glass and the colors that they produce. Manganese dioxide and sodium nitrate are also listed. They are decoloring agents - materials that neutralize the coloring impact of impurities in the glass.

Metals Used to Impart Color to Glass
Cadmium Sulfide Yellow
Gold Chloride Red
Cobalt Oxide Blue-Violet
Manganese Dioxide Purple
Nickel Oxide Violet
Sulfur Yellow-Amber
Chromic Oxide Emerald Green
Uranium Oxide Fluorescent Yellow, Green
Iron Oxide Greens and Browns
Selenium Oxide Reds
Carbon Oxides Amber Brown
Antimony Oxides White
Copper Compounds Blue, Green, Red
Tin Compounds White
Lead Compounds Yellow
Manganese Dioxide A "decoloring" agent
Sodium Nitrate A "decoloring" agent 

Mike and Lynn were our instructors.  We were introduced to all the things we could make with glass: lamps, jewelry boxes, windows, kaleidoscopes, the possibilities are really endless.  For some more ideas click here: 

As I did with the pottery class, I will leave you with the photos and know that we all made the same thing.  We learned the basic three ways to cut and break glass, we used new tools and learned new words like homasote (the product on which we cut the glass), fid (we used this to flatten the foil; comes from the words "fiddlin' around"), and flux (the oil we spread on the foil before we solder it).  We were first instructed as a precaution to know where the sink and the bandaids were, after all we WERE working with glass.  As pretty as it was, it still is very dangerous, like a Beautiful wild woman.

My piece was just textured, beveled and plain glass with no color, after all it was a groupon.  So the right thing to do would be to pursue this art. It is relaxing, rewarding, colorful and most of all like life, different colors do different things over time to the glass.  God has refreshed me, drained me, livened me, and held me.  There is a season for everything and right now its all about adding color to the life of a white girl, not wild and as beautiful on the outside but just as beautiful and sharp on the inside.

The Pattern and the Solder gun in the background

The tools: Cutter, breaker, plyers, scissors, and marker

A Fid to press the foil flat

Bottle of Flux with brush

All the inside glass wrapped in copper foil strips

Solder Gun 700 degrees HOT!
Solder Gun in action
Pin pieces in place
My Finished Piece

Lynn, wrapped the outside and put the hook on it to hang from.

Find a class near you

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