Recently, I found out my neighbor had discovered a new hobby in his retirement. He was making all sorts of stained glass windows and other small pieces that were just beautiful. On my long wish list for my house were stained glass windows around the front door, a wish I sometimes entertained by looking at artists at crafts fairs and online. But Jack said he would love to make me anything I wanted. ANYTHING I WANTED. He gave me a stack of books to look through, all of which were filled with gorgeous windows, but you don’t tell an artist anything you want and then expect a design from a book. Nope, I spent weeks designing stained glass windows and dropping them into a photo of my house with photoshop. What fun. I finally settled on a design that both my husband and I liked (I was willing to be more brave than he was) and then came the fun part–the glass store.
A glass store is not unlike a fabric store. There is a large room filled with glass pieces, different colors, different textures (not perceived textures like fabric, real textures), some look like batik fabric, some are old, some are imported. What fun pulling the samples out and looking at them together or holding them up in the window to see how they will look. Sound like anything familiar?
I picked out my glass, and the other supplies–what size lead strips did I want (like bias binding), Jack suggested beveled rectangles where I had planned on clear–and the amount of glass needed was figured just like fabric is–looking at the design and doing the math (but with no 1/4″ seam allowances to figure in).
My windows went together pretty fast and were installed last week. Wow. I had him make two sidelights and the arch over the door. The big surprise for me is that during the day it is really only visible inside and at night it is only really visible outside. But that is sort of a nice surprise. Here is Jack installing the first sidelight (I have discovered it is not easy to photograph stained glass installed in a house):
Here is a more dramatic shot:
and the whole enchilada:
I have often taught a stained glass quilt class, and designing the real thing was essentially no different. Cut like rotary strip cutting, pieced and when it all looked right, soldered together. Just like a quilt. Only see-through. Too cool.
On to the next thing on my wishlist–a real Moroccan fountain in the yard…….