WHICH GLASS MEDIUM?
When Stained Glass Express Opened in 1988, we were literally a Stained Glass Store. We sold stained glass and the supplies that went with the copper foil method. We were a few years into it before we even brought any lead came in. It is quite a different story now. So much to choose from.
STAINED GLASS: We are still dancing with the one that brought us. We continually teach beginner stained glass classes and still provide lots of that product line. Copper foil, stained glass method is cutting the glass, grinding the glass, foiling the glass, soldering the pieces together.
LEADED GLASS: Leaded glass is more popular than ever. Not only do we do a lot of restoration of leaded church windows, we teach classes in lead came to students who have some knowledge of beginner stained glass. With the leaded method you cut the glass, grind the glass, cut lead came and fit it to the glass, grout the glass and clean the pieces.
FUSING: Fusing gives such immediate gratification. It is fast and fun. We use for Fun Nights Out and classes and provide lots of that product to fusers. To fuse on your own, you really need to know how to run a kiln. The process is to cut the glass to the shapes you want, maybe decorate or layer, fuse it and then possibly slump it into a mold. There are so many variations. It can also be very complex and artistic.
MOSAICS: Great for kid classes, great way to use up scraps and can be a very professional medium to create with. The process is to find a substrate. It could be a tile, a board, glass, a piece of furniture, a shoe and most anything. Let your imagination go wild. It does not have to be just glass. Add rocks, broken dishes, or other items. Again, the limit is your imagination. Then you glue. You can grout, or not grout.
HOT GLASS: An extremely exciting medium. It can be done with bench burners or with an oven. We use bench burners. You need something to create the flame, fuel and oxygen. You also need an annealing kiln. The process is to heat the glass in the flame. You can work on a mandrel or not. Shape the glass using gravity and tools and sometimes blowing into a tube of glass.
PAINT: An incredibly old process and a very new process. You see painted glass on church windows that are over 100 yrs old. These are enamel paints that get fused and become part of the glass. Still done today. Often this method is reversed painting and requires several firings in the kiln. Manufacturers are Reusche and others.
Then there are paints that you can put in the oven. They are not totally permanent. They are the type of thing that says hand painted, hand wash, like wine glasses. This would be paint like Vitrea paints.
Probably the most popular are the enamels that you paint head on. (Not Reverse). They are fused and become permanent. Like this plate done by Paula Mccoy, owner of Colors for Earth paints.
There is also paint that is not permanent. You might use it for an eye, or just a dot. It will wash off.