A couple of weeks ago I went on a workshop organised by a friend from WI. Rachel Poole was running the class and I’ve been to a few of her days and she’s an excellent tutor. This time we were making stained glass decorations.
I’ve done stained glass twice before, both with Rachel; the first time was a nativity set, we were amazed that we managed to get the whole nativity made in one day, including cutting all the glass, applying the lead and soldering it all together…
Last year we made Christmas decorations – holly, angels, trees etc, these were made by covering the edge of the glass with copper tape and then applying solder to the tape…
This time we were making a winter scene of trees and hills. Some of the trees were pre-cut just to save time, others we cut ourselves – it’s pretty scary cutting glass, you have to score it and then snap it – that’s the scary bit!! Once the shapes were cut we had to grind the edges both to smooth the outline and to ensure the copper tape had a surface it could stick to. You can see in the photo below that the clearer ‘cloud’ was still quite rough round the edge.
It took quite a long time to stick all the copper tape on. The aim was to have most of the copper tape applied by lunch. Then after our sandwiches we had the scary bit of dipping each piece in acid and then covering it in solder – those soldering irons are VERY hot!
Once everything was covered in solder we could arrange them and stick them together with blobs of solder, making sure each piece had enough soldered points to anchor it securely. I made twirly bits of wire to decorate the trees and make a star, all stuck on with a bit of solder. I must admit I got Rachel to solder the two rings on – that was just too close to the soldering iron!
I’m really pleased with my winter scene. It’s already hanging in the conservatory, I think it can stay up all year as although it’s wintery, it’s not too Christmassy.