19 February 2008

How to make Stained glass.

I work in London. I don't make Lightscapes for far-away places as the shipping cost is horrible. So, if you live outside the UK, sorry, you can't buy a lightscape. But, this is how you make a sort-of lightscape by yourself.

Chose your window. This method won't work for a site where there will be lots of condensation, like a bathroom or kitchen. It will be fine for a window on a staircase, or in a front door.

You will need:
an outside sheet of clear glass (I expect the window already has that)
Decorative glass to go against it
an inside sheet of clear glass to seal the decorative glass in, and hold it in position.

Plan your design. Keep It Simple; the more little bits you have the more work you make for yourself. Get paper the same size as the window. Draw your design on it. Leave 1-2mm space between each proposed panel of of glass. This is your template. Take it to your favourite glass shop and buy the fancy glass. The shop can cut it to shape. Squares and rectangles are easiest to cut, and with less waste, so are probably cheaper especially if the shop charges £1 a cut.

The existing window pane will soon be inside the lightscape and this is your last chance to clean it. Your panel of decorative glass, that you're going to make, will go hard up against it.

To make the panel up you need Milliput, a 2-part resin www.milliput.co.uk/home.htm sold by DIY shops. So, starting from the bottom edge, build up the decorative panel by placing the bits of glass in position. As you go, fill the gaps between the panels with milliput rolled into 'worms'. The idea is not to stick the glass panels onto the existing window glass, but to prop them against it; the panels will be joined with milliput. When you finish, and the milliput has set, clean off smears of milliput from the glass; this surface too will be inside the imitation-lightscape and you won't have access to it. Fix a 2nd sheet of clear glass, big enough to fill the whole window space, in front of the imitation lightscape, hard against the middle panel. This makes a sort of lightscape but without the clear spaces between the panels; instead, each panel of glass has a thin black outline of Milliput, attractive in its own way.

What about condensation forming inside the unit? If it's SMALL (30cm sq) as for a front door, then work on a dry day; run your de-humidifier, seal the edges of the inside facing glass onto the frame of the door making an airtight seal using either black or clear mastic sealant from a DIY shop. This will be a small unit with not much air in, so hope that not much moisture is in there, and there will be no condensation.

If it is a BIG unit, allow the flow of air by making the inside sheet perspex not glass (because perspex does not have sharp edges, and it's possible that because the edges of the inside sheet of glass are exposed -to allow the flow of air- people aka kids can touch them and cut themselves) and slightly smaller than the window by about 5mm all around; hold it in place for instance with small bits of wooden beading , or small nails, allowing space where there is no beading so there is an air gap. Condensation may form , but the free flow of air will remove it.

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I don't mend Stained Glass.

Sorry. It's a specialist job. Lead and Light in Camden North London http://www.leadandlight.co.uk/ DO mend leaded lights. It's expensive though. A lovely new camefix panel will be cheaper!
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10 February 2008

Stained Glass Colours

A light tattoo or projection, onto my shoulder. Magenta appears round the star but there's no magenta in the glass panel. I have noticed new colours appearing with projections from other camefix panels. I suppose the panel is not exactly flat, or the shards of glass are of different thickness, so maybe blue and red light arrive together on the same area, and mix. I used green 'Water glass' which has a texture that makes it look like rippled water, and light reflected through it looks like it's been relected off water.
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Writing on Glass

Glass looks pretty good with text written on it so I wrote this with my little drill. I didn't want to write anything trite or gloomy but as I dislike competitive games, this motto appeals to me. The text is covered with dichroric film, which is cheaper than dichroric glass but presumably less durable-but we will see how it lasts. Dichroric glass is really beautiful-it shows two contrasting colours depending on whether the main light source is in front of or behind you, the viewer. This is all state-of the art stuff; I am using new materials and technology here.
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