3 Stained Glass Project Flashback

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

This is almost as far off-topic as this blog can get, but I was reminiscing about our stained glass project we undertook a few years ago when I was taking some 27 week belly pictures today in our bathroom.  I'm still so proud of the glass that I take guests in to take a gander!  So, I'm going to pretend you're my guests, and show you our master bathroom glass.

This project was two years in the planning. It hangs in our master bath picture window. It was a collaboration between my husband, (design) my mother-in-law K and my sister-in-law C (and I helped a bit, by doing the running around, and mostly being bossy, as I tend to be, and not in the least bit crafty.) I did actually do some of the cutting and grinding, coppering, and helping to place the pieces like a jigsaw puzzle, so anything that's wrong with it is generally my fault (haha.)

We ran into so many problems with the blue glass. Originally I had bought two full sheets, but we quickly figured out that that was only going to be enough for half the window, which measures 5' by 4'. We went back to Armstrong Glass for more, but they didn't have any more of that exact glass due to the production being moved to China. They had old sheets of glass, but they didn't totally match up, and it was extremely brittle and very hard to cut. We ruined so many pieces. Eventually we had to go back and buy smaller sheets for individual pieces because they just didn't look right color and pattern-wise.

When we finally were ready to install it, it didn't quite fit. So that required K to have to take it down on the floor of the bathroom and take the outer rails off and try to cut it down. She didn't have all the tools right then and there, so we were forced to put it back up for safety. I had about 12 inches of space between the glass window on the floor and the closed door/wall behind me. As we were getting ready to maneouver the window back into a safe place, I lost my balance and put my heel through the bottom! And as I was trying to get my balance back, I stepped onto it again, breaking another panel. In all, five pieces were broken and needed replacing. I wanted to pull my hair in frustration, but at least I didn't hurt myself.

We had to go back to the glass store yet again and search for pieces that not only matched in color, but were large enough to cut.  We found some, though not 100% perfect in color, and got the pieces cut, ground and leaded...again.  So, now for some in-progress pictures, in case you've never seen stained glass making before.

The original, bare window (before we painted the casing and the walls):

Original design line drawing taken from a design book (I have since lost the source, if anyone knows where it comes from, I'll link credit here):

My husband's Photoshop rendering of how we would eventually build the window:

Raw cut glass before grinding for smooth fitting:

Glass after grinding and leading:

Where I put my heel through and broke it!

Fixed and installed (nighttime picture)

Morning picture with overcast sky lighting:

Picture taken in stronger light:

Just look how closely the finished piece matches the rendering!

We have since painted all the walls in the master bathroom Behr Premium Plus Ultra in Deep Garnet, which complements the red in the glass beautifully.  I absolutely love this glass!  The colors change all day long depending on the weather and light, and stronger light coming through casts color onto our tiled floors.  Simply gorgeous and such a pleasure to look at every day. I'm so grateful to have such generous and talented family!

Thanks for looking!
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Katie said...

That is AMAZING!!

Anonymous said...

the window is beautiful...i must ask--why would you wear heels doing such a tricky task? :)

Emily @ Bentobloggy.com said...

Haha - it was actually my bare-footed heel! So clumsy!

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