A glass lighthouse

For many years I wanted to try making stained glass, a wish that was rekindled a few months ago when I came across courses being advertised in a craft magazine.

I turned to trusty Google to search out my closest course, expecting to have to travel miles to attend as we are currently living in a pretty remote part of the country.

Imagine my delight to find that the local ‘Creative Café’ also offered stained glass workshops – I signed up immediately.

I think our tutor, Donna, was a little worried that I was being a smidgen ambitious when she saw the pictures of lighthouses I had taken along for potential designs! She very gently encouraged me to simplify the design so that a maximum of 20 pieces of glass would need to be cut – after all we only had the weekend!!

We learnt how to convert our design ideas into a ‘cartoon’, making sure the finished panel had lines of lead that would ensure its integrity, i.e. that the panel would not fall apart; how to score and cut the glass from this prepared cartoon, cut the lead and gradually build the design, slotting the glass into the grooves in the lead strips – this was like putting together a jigsaw where pieces needed to go into the design in a certain order.

We then soldered and cemented our pieces and each took home a unique panel of stained glass to display in our homes.

I think my husband was pleasantly surprised by my efforts as we have it standing in a window in one of our main rooms – not in a corner of my craft room collecting dust.

Stained Glass in situ

The piece is 18″ x  8½” (45cm x 21cm).

Below is the piece against a white background to give truer representation of the colours.

Colour detail

I love the effectiveness and impact of even the simplest stained glass designs, and can only marvel at the skill of those who create larger and more complex pieces.

I am also keen to experiment with the stained glass look in other disciplines – e.g. card-making and quilting – so watch this space!

So many treasures to discover, so little time!

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