One of the oldest examples of stained glass in a window was found at St
Paul’s Monastery in Jarrow, England, founded in 686 AD. Stained glass is still made today and can be seen displayed in church windows, on some lamps, on specially-made fireplace screens,and, most commonly,on suncatchers which are hung in a bright, sunny window. The sunlight makes the colors shiny and vibrant.
Making your own stained glass is a time-consuming project which requires much skill and patience. But, the results will be absolutely breathtaking. The first step is to make your own pattern. Use a piece of cardboard which is large enough to accomodate the entire picture. Since you are a beginner, it would be wise to draw a simple design by using diamonds, squares, or other straight-lined shapes. Decide what colors you want to use too. Keep in mind that the main designs need to be a different color than the background so that they will stand out. Now, you will need to obtain the glass, solder, a glass cutter, thin cooper foil, a soldering gun, liquid flux, rubber cement, and a pair of pliers.
Number each piece on your pattern and cut it apart on the lines. Cement each pattern piece to the color of glass that you want that piece to have. Carefully–it would be a good idea to wear a good pair of protective gloves to handle the glass pieces with, along with a good pair of protective eye goggles–use the glass cutter to cut each piece out of the glass. You might need the pliers to do this too. If the cut edges are rough, then you will need to grind them down so they are smooth. Clean any debris off of each glass piece, then clean them well with glass cleaner. Then, fit the pieces together into your pattern shape. Make sure the pieces fit together well.
The next step is to use the copper foil. The foil needs to be applied to every edge of the glass pieces. The solder won’t stick to the glass, but it will stick to the foil. Make sure that the foil is flat in all places, especially around the corners of the glass. Now, you will use the flux to clean off the foil so the solder will stick better. Do not use too much, though, and follow the directions on the container.
Now,you will begin to solder together the pieces of glass. Place the glass pieces on a sturdy piece of wood so it can be moved without breaking the soldered pieces. Solder together one side, then carefully turn your project over. You might need a second person to help move it. Solder the other side. Make sure that all of the pieces are soldered together well as you do not want them to fall out.
Finally, you will need to let the solder cool completely. Then, you will need to clean your entire masterpiece with a good glass cleaner. Add a strong wire hanger to the top and display it where the colors can be seen. A good place, is, of course, in a sunny window.Finally,