Two weeks ago we had our first glass class. Most of the morning was a lecture about the history of glass right up to the current day. So interesting! Especially how glass was/is manufactured.
Then we went to the glass shop and started an exercise. You know the yin/yang symbol? With the two lobes rotating around a common centre? Our exercise was to draw a three-lobe version of the same thing. Then we were to cut the lobes out of glass. So check out this mess:
You can see the three middle pieces form an extremely rough circle with three lobes. The two extra pieces are even more rough so I re-did them. Well, even my best was poor and I left class that day incredibly frustrated.
Today was our second glass class. I tried not to think too much about how I felt at the end of our first class. We were told to have a small stained glass design in mind. I had a rough idea, and you can bet that it did not have nearly as many curves!
There’s my plan drawn on paper, surrounded by the pieces of glass I selected. You can see the circular centre … it was originally a square on a 45º angle but I suggested to my instructor that I could use a circle. He readily agreed. I thought I should be able to manage it, even though it meant cutting a complete circle, and four matching quarter-circles.
I got started and today was very much a different day, as compared to two weeks ago. I still don’t have the curve-cutting skills some of my classmates demonstrated, but I did a decent job. I made some mistakes of course, and it’s certainly not at a level one should aspire too, but I am very pleased with how it’s going. This is how I left it at the end of the afternoon:
It’s not as far along as it looks. Note the square yellow glass, with a quarter of the circle cut out of it. At the point where the yellow, the blue, and the circle meet, you can see the yellow glass has a larger gap than the lead covers. I am going to need to discard that yellow square and cut another, with a better curve.
Note also that the pieces that look black or dark-brown are actually a dark red. It only appears black because it’s a dark colour and no light is going through it. The other colours are much lighter.
I am so pleased. I can’t begin to describe how crestfallen I felt after the first class. I certainly don’t expect to walk into a class for the first time and produce expert results, but I do expect to understand why I broke piece after piece where they should not have broken. After some suggestions, and a completely different design, I think I’m on the right track.
I’m going to stay late some night and replace that yellow piece before the next class.