Friday, March 7, 2008


So I went up to the mountains again, and there's no need to brace yourself for another 8 pages of insane ramblings about what I think about when I'm locked in my car with myself. Instead, how about some pictures of what it is I'm actually doing up there?! YEAH!

The planning stage for this kind of window was simple. The objectives are:
1) cover the high window in my dining room so the cat won't go in there again
2) use only "leftover glass" that's in my mother's studio, no sneaky buying anything
3) use blue glass that will let lots of light in, and don't let it turn into some sixties psychadelic mess.

easy enough, right?

So we took those objectives, found some awesome blues and laid out the following plan on the dining room table.

You see there we have mostly dark blues and purples up at the top, and lots of wibbly glass, and then a kindof stripe of warmer yellows and earthy tones in a stripe down the middle. Good, now that we have a plan (and a size-range) we decide that insted of foiling each piece, it'll be leaded. Simpler to assemble but probably heavier at the end. No worries. Mmm. Lead. So then all that was left was to move it all to an assembly board in the studio. We started on the upper right hand corner and are building out right to left, top to bottom... roughly.

This is where we are now. You can see we have the pieces in the upper right cut and they all fit nicely into the lead. Notice the "ray of light" has a warmer toned metal to it, that is brass which is more sturdy than regular lead and will give the finished product an enormous amount of stability. The last thing we want is this thing to start sagging and come crashing down on us from 20 feet above our heads!

Also maybe you can see the marbles in the ray, there's a thin stripe across the whole top third up there that we are making purposefully uber-transparent. My mother used her glass kiln to melt some very clear pastelly marbles together for that triangle. Should be a pretty awesome effect when it's all finished.

Finally, you can see that the rest of it is still laid out and we're developing the look. It seems to be turning into a VERY loosely interpreted landscape, with darker swirly blues at the top and bluesy greensy colors at the bottom. Don't think I'm getting religious on you now, that streak of light in the middle can be whatever you want it to be. It could be a divine ray of inspiration coming to earth, or it could also be the pathway to the world of the gods, or it could be a very nice colorado beam of sunlight cutting through a lovely blue colorado day (rife with unpredictable weather patterns and junk). You make it what you want, it's stained glass so it's supposed to be that way. For me though, it changes every time I work on it so we'll have to see how it strikes me when it's done. Likely it will mean something entirely different each time I look at it depending on how much light is hitting it and when. Really that's the best thing to hope for with a window like this.

So anyway, this is what I do when I sneak away into the mountains trying to escape the house-crazies. It's awesomely theraputic, wildly slow and frustrating, and I just feel so so lucky to be able to do something like this with my mom. How cool is that? you know?

I'll leave you with some nifty details that I'm just in love with:

That spot where the silver pins are is a deliberately open space we're going to leave, I just love the dribbly edge of the glass and think it will look stunning with just empty air beneath it. The blue is a strong and deep cobalt, so the effect should be pretty dramatic. (the pins will hold it in place until we can stuff up the lead with solder on the ends there...)

I'm going to try to repeat that dribbly edge in at least two more places in the window - one will be a melting-candle-wax look inside the ray of light (in a super streaky white) and one will likely be a hilly-looking green toward the bottom left.

I'm sure you're just dying to see what this looks like finished and installed, and so am I. So stay tuned! Incidentally, yes, I have cut myself twice doing this and it's pretty funny to realize that I used to react with the standard inhaled "hhhhh" and panic and GAH!WOUNDED! but now I just go "oops, that's gonna bleed" and soldier off to clean/seal up the wound so that I can keep working. Funny how we get used to junk like that. And yet - slice my finger open on a manilla folder and I'm likely done for the day. bleargh.

1 comment:

m said...

Stumbled in and just wanted to say hi. Just want to say how lovely this glass is.

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