This is it! The 6′ x 3′ window I’ve been working on since 2010 is finally done.
The pictures speak for themselves, so you can stop reading if you don’t want to know any more, but below I’ve put a few thoughts on the process.
Finished piece waiting on the table in the garage.
Why did it take so long? Life gets in the way. Given the amount of time I have to work on this type of project, had I done it straight through (meaning, had I not gotten pregnant had a small baby, and taken a couple of years off of glass crafting because it takes time and concentration, both of which I didn’t have), I think it would have taken a couple of months. But it’s that much sweeter to see it hanging in our morning room knowing that it’s been waiting for me for a while now.
This has been my largest piece to date, and one that I did every step entirely on my own (other than installation; my wonderful husband and father did that for me) — all my own cutting, foiling, soldering, etc. Feels really good to have accomplished it!
One of the boys working on installing the window.
A few lessons I learned along the way:
1) Making your own design is fun, and doesn’t have to be hard. I don’t think of myself as an artist, but I couldn’t find a design that quite did what I needed it to do (i.e. covering the strips that were already between the glass in the window this went in front of). Turns out, you don’t have to be a great artist to make your own design — just try it and see what you get. Plus, unless you go crazy on colors and textures, just about any glass looks nice together.
2) It’s always good to consult with professionals. The advice I got from the glass shop (Leaded Glass Design over in Cuyahoga Falls) was invaluable. For example, I did not know the value of an exact cardboard template until the people at the glass shop mentioned it. I actually ended up taking a “large panel” class there to make sure I did everything right, and it was very helpful.
Finished window, installed. Cardboard template is resting on the scaffolding below.
3) Don’t be afraid of the glass. I also got great advice from a professional installer (who ended up telling us we didn’t need to pay him to do it, but instead told us how to do it on our own). There’s so much fear when you’ve put this much effort into something. Mostly fear that it will break. The installer told us to be careful, take precaution, but he said that if you’re afraid of the glass you’re much more likely to drop it than if you lift and carry it as if you’re not afraid.
All in all, it’s been a great journey. Now I get to decide what my next glass project will be!