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George’s Artistic Adventure: Starting Stained Glass

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Today was my first class of Stained Glass with Jimmy Powers, which I’ll be taking Thursday mornings in addition to my Wednesday class in Basic Drawing.

We haven’t started in earnest yet, but I think our heads are swimming with possibilities. (I am one of three new students in the Thursday morning section; we also have some returning students working on projects.) Jimmy showed us what other students are working on to give us an idea of what we should expect — people make small and large panels, lamp shades, boxes, and lots of other things. Some students have been working for a long time on labors of love, but I’ll be starting with something more basic in hopes of finishing in nine weeks.

He also explained the difference between using copper foil and lead came. Lead is the classic look, and necessary for outdoor pieces so they can expand and contract in the weather. Copper foil is better for anything three-dimensional, like a Tiffany lamp (in fact, Jimmy told us that Tiffany invented the technique).

You can get a sense of the different kinds of projects people do in the class in this video with Jimmy from last winter:

At the end of class, we got practice cutting glass. We made long rectangles, little squares, and some squiggles — you can see the results below. I feel pretty good about it, and nobody got hurt. Does anybody else like the sound of scoring glass?

Next week I need to have a pattern to get started on my project. It shouldn’t be too big or require too many pieces (probably 30 or 40). Any suggestions for what I should make?

— George

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