Construction / Molds
Scoring / Breaking Glass
Fitting The Glass
Solder / Soldering
Releasing a Shade
Ring and Rim
Tools, Aids etc.
Health & Safety Concerns
Selling Your Artwork
HINTS ON PATTERN PREPARATION
Paul Crist: It’s a good idea to color your paper pattern with colored
pencils so, when cutting your glass, you can quickly identify what all
the shapes represent. Before coloring, take some time to study the pattern
and decide how all the shapes would appear in real life. Use this mental
picture of what you are trying to represent and use the qualities of the
glass to make that picture come alive in your lamp.
Lynn Perry: Sometimes the easiest way to remove numbers and pattern outlines
made by a marking pen on the glass is with a pencil eraser. Be careful,
though since some Bullseye glass can be permanently stained by the ink
of a marking pen. Sometimes it can be removed by whiting compound.
Mike Barnes: To those of you who use the “windows” method
to choose glass, you will be able to cut out the pattern pieces (that
you’ve covered with clear contact paper) more smoothly and easily
if you put a piece of regular window glass under the pattern and use an
X-acto knife to make your cuts.
Bobby Pedersen: To reinforce “windows” so they will stand
up better to all the use they get, place Contact paper on the backside
of the photo copy of the pattern before cutting and spraying with black
Joan Bengtson: Instead of spraying the back of the “window”
with black spray paint, cover the backside of the copy with black Contac®
paper before you cut the “window”.
Bill Callow: I use Carol’s “windows and easels” technique
to build lamps, but have clear mylar transparencies made of all repeats
of the pattern. Clear copies are glued to the backside of the easels so
I don’t need to use reference copies.
Lynn Perry: When using clear Contact paper (or any plastic material that
comes on a roll), apply the protectant to both sides of the pattern in
the same direction. If the protectant is only applied to one side, the
pattern will curl rather than lay flat.
Mike Barnes: Peter Grotepass uses a specially cut black background to
view and assemble his cut glass pieces on his light table. This special
background is quite expensive, so I used a modified approach. I took a
sheet of black poster board - whose size completely covered my light table
- and cut a hole in it that followed the perimeter of my pattern repeat.
I assembled my cut out glass pieces on the clear piece of window glass
(easel) and placed the easel on the light table. I then put the cut out
poster board over the assembled glass pieces. This gave me a more concentrated
view by obscuring the surrounding light source.”
Larry Cartales: I have done something similar...a take off from Carol’s
“windows method”...use a full size pattern cut out painted
black to cover the white paper!
Doug Hohenstein uses latex mastic instead of a glue stick to hold the
mylar pattern pieces to the glass. After applying the patterns to the
glass with mastic, let them set 19
up for a few hours. With this adhesive, there is no possibility that the
mylar will slip away from the glass when you grind. After grinding the
pieces, place them in a bowl of water and soon the patterns will easily
slip away from the glass - ready to be used for the next repeat. This
product can be purchased from a hardware store that sells multipurpose
ceramic floor and wall tile latex mastic.
Eric Scott appeared on his sister’s show (Martha Stewart) and demonstrated
preparation and assembly of the Fish pattern for our Quilt. He has developed
a method designed to eliminate a great deal of prep work. His method:
make a copy of the pattern, reduce it in size by 3 - 5%. Copy the reduced
pattern onto Strip-Tac Plus® or Crack & Peel®. (These products
are heavy-weight adhesive-back label paper, available in sizes up to 28”
x 35”.) Now the pattern pieces can be cut apart without having to
eliminate any part of the black line and you end up with pattern pieces
that really stick to the glass while you cut and grind.
J. Barton: For those of you wanting to make exact pattern copies and don’t
have access to a blueprint shop, here’s my method. I scan the pattern
into the computer (I use Presto PageManager) and print it out on transparency
film. If you have an acetate copy, reverse it on the scanner so that the
numbers are readable when you place
it on the scanner. This places the ink on the bottom of the scanned sheet.
If you have a paper pattern, then you’ll have to flip the pattern,
save it and then print from the saved copy. For a large pattern, you will
have to scan in sections and then tape the sections together to form the
whole. I apply the transparency to clear contact paper - this seals the
ink lines and makes it waterproof. I also find that the contact paper
glues to the glass better than the slick transparency stock. I do one
clear copy to lay under the glass easel. For my windows, I put contact
paper on both sides and then spray it black. I have all my patterns saved
to a zip disk so whenever I have need of a pattern, it’s simple
to print one out.
Deb Bowen: To have exact copies of a pattern made, I take the pattern
that I want to be duplicated to a blueprint shop. After the copy has been
made, I lay the original over the copy to check for accuracy. They have
always matched up perfectly in size.
Emily Klaczak: Instead of covering paper patterns with contact paper,
I recommend a laminating plastic (Cleer-Adheer) that resists water better
than contact paper does. Another option is to try quilter’s template
plastic. It is translucent and much thicker than mylar. You can purchase
this plastic at quilt shops.
Ross Lynch: I cut a Worden paper pattern and trace it onto 2mm clear acrylic.
On a small bandsaw, I cut out the acrylic pattern pieces to the correct
size. (Any fuzziness that occurs at the edges can be trimmed with a knife.)
This gives me a pattern that will transmit light when placed over glass.
If you plan to make several shades of one pattern, this is not a bad idea.
Vic Seested: I do the easels a little differently. I have clear glass
cut for the number of repeats, but I have clear copies made of the pattern
(lines of course are in black!) and use a 3m clear spray adhesive on each
clear pattern and place them under their glass easels. (If you are careful,
you won’t need to use Tacky Wax to hold the cut pieces in place.)
When all the repeats are done, I lay the easels out on the light box in
a circle so that I can get a good idea about how the lamp will look when
it’s completed. When I’m satisfied, I remove each piece from
its easel and attach it to the mold with Tacky Wax - starting at the top
of each repeat and working down to the bottom.
Bill Callow: To cut down on the time it takes to wax glass pieces to the
glass easels, melt wax in a container and, by following the reference
copy, use a glass eye-dropper to apply a drop of the melted wax to every
area of the glass easel that will hold a cut glass piece. This method
can also be used directly on the mold to hold the glass in place.
Genevieve Berthet: I wax the whole glass easel with a bar of Tacky Wax
rather than using individual balls of wax to hold glass pieces in place.
Ray Goodenough: To keep the wax off my hands while cutting and grinding
lamp pieces, I have a little electric potpouri pot plugged in containing
Tacky Wax. I use a small brush to apply just a dab of melted wax to the
back of each piece to hold it to the easel. (The pot cost $1.00 at a garage
Bill Callow: Clear transparencies, rather than paper reference copies,
can be attached to the glass easels and left in place during trips to
the light table to check the lamp’s progress. This eliminates the
need of adjusting the easel to the reference copy every time it is moved.
Mitch Garner: My glass easel is really a sandwich with the transparency
between two clear glass easels of the same size. This arrangement keeps
the transparency in place.
Carol Conti: I usually do lay-outs at night since a dark studio allows
only the light table to illuminate the glass. A bonus is that the glue
dries overnight so that by the next day I can proceed with cutting and
Brian Hitchcock: I’m trying to work on lamps in a very small space
that I share with many other hobbies and kids, so I needed a way to store
my Pony Wisteria project as I worked on it. First of all, I copied the
pattern onto acetate sheets. I then cut out around the overall pattern.
Since there are three repeats of this pattern, I bought 3 pieces of clear
and 3 pieces of black plexiglass - about an inch or so larger all around
than the actual pattern. I traced around the pattern onto the paper of
the black plexiglass, then used my Rotozip power tool to cut out inside
the pattern outline. I then glued this to the clear piece. Now, as I cut
and grind, I can place each piece in its “tray” and carry
the tray to my light box. I keep the three trays in a drawer of my workbench
- now, kids can’t hurt it, it stays clean, and it’s out of