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 FRESH FROM THE INKWELL 

TOP TEN REASONS TO TAKE UP STAINED GLASS

1. It’s a CHALLENGE to transform an image (your own or from a pattern) into a new medium. Whether bumpy or smooth, translucent or frosted—glass has its own special look and feel.

2. Even if your design features one simple flower, you’ll be part of a TRADITION dating back to the cathedrals of Europe. Their rows of radiant windows depicted Bible stories for an illiterate population.

3. CHOOSING GLASS is an exciting step, if you know a supplier with a wide selection. A light table is useful in trying different combinations of colors and textures.

4. If you’re in a group or class, it’s fun to SHARE IDEAS and to see all the other projects come to life. (See link at left for a studio in SE Kansas.)

5. There’s nothing like the SNAP of glass, precisely along a line you have drawn and scored. If it breaks in the wrong place, be patient. Scoring curves and holding pliers correctly take practice. Allow enough glass for mistakes. Save leftovers for a mosaic stepping-stone!

6. The hum of the GRINDER, and the rhythm as your hands guide each piece against the head for a smooth, perfect shape, make this stage quite restful for a glass artist. Remember to wear goggles.

7. FITTING the pieces like a jigsaw, with just enough space for foiling, can be very rewarding. While it’s important to draw the pattern accurately in the early stages, you can still make adjustments, re-cutting and grinding if needed.

8. Wrapping COPPER FOIL around the pieces can be done at home, once you get used to adhering the strip evenly to front and back. For larger or more advanced projects, LEAD CAME will be used instead of copper.

9. You’ll love watching a shiny bead of liquid SOLDER form as you carefully move the iron tip along the seams. Next comes the BURNISHING stage, buffing the whole panel to a streak-free finish.

10. By the time you attach the chain you'll probably know where to hang your work – in a spot that catches lots of LIGHT. It will be a unique HEIRLOOM, to keep or to give, for years of enjoyment.

Through the windows of my home office, the afternoon sun throws rich blue and green jewel tones across the walls and carpet, as I plan my next stained glass project. It is addictive. You have been warned!

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KINDRED SPIRITS

Isn't it fun to meet people on the same wavelength, those who understand your craving for color, texture, and busy fingers? They can't just sit and watch TV but must keep the hands moving. They knit, crochet, or quilt for everyone in the family, passing on heirlooms like their grandmothers before them? Then there are those who share your faith, or your heritage (in my case, British), or your aspirations to write for publication.

After leaving behind a supportive network in the Dallas area, I was excited to find a venue for taking classes and rent studio space at Art Shares, just a short drive from my new home in SE Kansas. We're visiting local churches, praying about where God wants us to serve.

I've voted as a Kansan, joined Sedan Business Women, and eaten out with the Red Hatters of Oz! I'm also going to check out Prairie Writers in Independence. Read More 
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