We’ve been working for several months on a technique to combine several of our interests into a single product. We believe our efforts have paid off and we can now offer these tiles made of porcelain clay and glass. The process that finally worked for us is:
- Roll out slabs of porcelain.
- Cut out the tiles and let them dry between two sheets of drywall This helps keep the tiles flat.
- Cut or carve out the designs and let the clay dry.
- Underglaze if desired.
- Bisque fire to cone 04.
- Glaze the tiles.
- This is where the process gets bifurcated. Apply cut glass or frit to tiles before firing. Skip this step if dichroic glass is planned for the tile.
- Fire to cone 05.
- Cross fingers. This has proven to be one of the most important steps.
- If more glass is needed or dichroic glass is being used, apply glass and do a deep fuse firing.
- Cross fingers. While this is a repeat step, again, it’s a very, very important step.
Hope you enjoy.
All panes cut, foiled, soldered and fitted to the frame. So it’s time to start glazing and final assembly. Woohoo! And then it happened. I was sliding a glazing point into the frame and I heard a sickening crreeeaaack! Sure enough, one of the glass pieces cracked. Early on in the design I had decided to make use of the original glass. Unfortunately that glass was thinner and old and brittle. There was a lot of cuts that didn’t make it to the window as this glass kept breaking on me. Fortunately, the piece that fractured was small and I was able to replace it and make the repair unnoticeable. Back to glazing!!
That is turning out to be much harder than I anticipated. I expected the goo used for glazing to be about the consistency of putty, but it is much thicker and you are not supposed to thin it out.
I have about a pane and a half glazed and hope to finish it out tomorrow. Pictures of the completed window will be in the next post. Stay tuned!! We’ll be needing on advice on what the next step with the window should be on this journey.
This week’s update continues the explanation of an individual pane. I left off on the last post with each piece of glass being foiled with copper. Then it is pinned with nails to stabilize and secure all the glass. After applying a coat of flux, all of the pieces are soldered together and you end up with the pane looking like this.
At this point, the pane is ready for application of a patina. For this project I am using a black patina on all the panes. I got sidetracked working on other panes and haven’t put the patina on this pane yet.
I did go back to the original frame and clean it up and get it prepared for insertion of the panes and glazing. I’ll need to do some minor (I hope) adjustments for the panes to fit exactly.
There are two more panes to cut, foil, solder and patina and then it will be ready for assembly.
Jen and I have been discussing whether the frame should be cleaned up and a fresh coat of paint applied or leave it looking weathered. What do you think?
Let me start this post with a correction. I had been calling this a “Barnhouse” window and Jen asked me why. These window frames are clearly not something that would be put in a barn. I think in my daze I meant to say “Farmhouse” window. Regardless, these are destined to become various forms of yard or garden art. So the work continues on it. I thought this week’s update should highlight one of the individual panes. By the way, this has been the easiest so far.
First you cut out the pattern and number all of the pieces (before you cut them out). A complicated pattern would be worse than a jigsaw puzzle on trying to reassemble.
Then you cut the glass to match the pattern.
Then you need to apply a metal to the edges of the glass to give the solder a base to adhere to and helps to hold the pane together. This can be lead caming or copper foil. In this case, I chose to copper foil the pieces of glass. I used two types of copper foil in this pane. For the transparent pieces I used a foil with black backing and the opaque pieces I used copper backing. On the transparent pieces this will provide a better view of the edges when looking through the glass. The “foil” will disappear.
While corny, I can’t help but say, “Curses, foiled again!” everytime I get to this stage. Do you have any silly things that are part of your routine in an art project?
After I measured the window, I drew out a pattern for how I wanted the window to look. The two panes on the bottom look different because I’ve already cut out the pattern and the glass. But I’ll save that for a future post.
We have these old beat up six-pane windows that we’ve been moving from here to there, storing, moving some more and trying to find a place to put them. We finally decided that we would use one of them for a stained glass project that would eventually find it’s way into our garden as a yard ornament.
We thought you might enjoy watching the progress of this from the beginning.
After measuring the window and all of the panes, we got a large piece of paper and drafted the image that we thought we would attempt to put in the window panes.
Then painstakingly and painfully attempted to remove all of the panes. We successfully kept one pane intact. Disappointing, but since we were just going to cut the panes up to use in the image not a crisis. That left the window at the state as shown here.
In the next update, we will probably show either the total image or some of the completed panes.
This is turning out to be a huge project and will take a long time to complete. Have you ever completed similar projects?