15 December 2007

Stained glass in sealed units

As Camefix panels are inside a sealed unit there is no need to make the sharp cut glass edges safe. This has implications on the design: there’s no need to cover each cut edge with came to make it safe, so less came is used to make the framework. When sunlight hits the glass panel, bright light runs along its edges outlining it, giving a very different effect from leaded lights where the panels are outlined with black.
The top window has a central panel of etched glass for privacy. On the lower window I engraved a drawing on the glass panel to the right above the triangle, of two ram-headed serpents, associates of Cernunnos the Celtic deity.
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11 December 2007

Stained glass

Stained glass can defined as a technical term meaning glass that has been painted with an oxide, then heated so the oxide fuses with the glass; but it has also come to mean any decorative panels of glass held together in a framework.
So here are two panels I made for the same window. The one with green squares exists now only as a photo as I have dismantled it. I chose green because it's restful and purple looks nice with green; but the effect was too dark, like a Victorian living room. Having lots of black came didn't help.

I replaced it with the window with stars in the corners. I chose green (restful) red and pink(warm) manganese blue (comforting) and yellow (cheerful) and used less came, only enough to hold the glass in place. Our reaction to colours has been studied (to see more visit http://www.colour-affects.co.uk/psyprop.html) so green can make us feel peaceful and reassured but maybe sometimes it is boring- perhaps the response is subjective, or it depends on context. Also colours look more intense when next to a complementary colour, so I put little bits of orange in with the green.
This new window has prisms top and bottom, which catch the afternoon and evening sun, and make rainbows. It has a clear panel in the centre where I drew a SANKOFA ="return and get it" a symbol of importance of learning from the past. Here's a link for sankofa: http://www.welltempered.net/adinkra/htmls/adinkra/sank.htm . In my mind, this makes it a symbol for existensialism, a philososophy which appeals to me. It says that we take choices throughout life and must take responsibility for having made them. This puts the locus of control within ourself, so we take control of our own destiny. Sounds good to me.
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Leaded lights? no thanks!

Traditional leaded lights are glass panels held together in a lead framework (called came), soldered, and sealed using lead-based putty, Lead dusts into lead oxide, making it hard to clean. It is not healthy to introduce lead dust into a place where we live.

CAMEFIX is an innovative, lead-free approach to making stained glass. It uses long-life plastics and adhesives, making a strong, light framework, which won’t distort or oxidise over time. CAMEFIX units can be used to make sun-catchers or can be sealed into double-glazed or secondary glazed units ideal for thermal insulation. They are easy to clean (so they can be used in bathrooms).

The lightweight nature of Camefix coupled with the sealed units allows for designs to be more innovative than is possible with traditional leaded lights.
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