June 24th, 2024

Course introduces students to the art of stained glass


By Justin Seward - Lethbridge Herald on February 16, 2023.

Herald photo by Justin Seward Instructor Kathy Schwarz helps Cheryl O'Day work on her Lotus Flower stained glass project at Casa on Saturday.

Kathy Schwarz taught an Introduction to Stain Glass course over the past weekend at Casa.

“Basically if you look at any church windows that are out there, that’s a good example of stained glass,” said Schwarz.

The key to making a successful stained glass project, according to Schwarz, is to create a pattern, cutting pieces to match the pattern, grinding the pieces until they fit, putting on copper foil and then soldering the piece together.

“Stained glass is about precision,” she said.

“So it’s really important that you take your time and that you do a good job cutting, that you make sure your pieces are fitting well. So that when you solder them, the solder doesn’t run through.”

Most of the projects from the participants were 8 x 10 in size and were 15 pieces or less.

“And that’s because people don’t understand how long it takes to get the pieces so that they fit like puzzle pieces,” said Schwarz.

The courses is 12 hours and lasted from Friday to Sunday.

“The advantage of taking a class like this is that all the tools and equipment are provided, so you can try it,” she said.

“And if you don’t like it then you haven’t wasted a bunch of money on equipment. The other thing is it gives you a sense of whether or not this is something you might be interested in. Some people fine stained glass very frustrating because it does require precision. If you’re not a detailed person, then this could be difficult for you.”

The Friday night session had discussions on how glass likes to break and cutting it so participants knew how to arrange their pieces to make the most use of the glass.

A sample project was done where students foil their glass and solder it together.

Saturday had them working on their actual projects.

Sunday saw the students still grinding their projects before foiling and lastly doing their soldering.

“They’re doing a fabulous job,” said Schwarz.

Cheryl O’Day was enjoying her Lotus Flower project.

“I like that you get to follow a pattern,” said O’Day.

“So you don’t have to be like a real good drawer to do it, you don’t have to be artistic because you cut out your pattern and that’s what you get to follow.”

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