Stained Glass Art: Tools and Techniques Used by Artisans
By [http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Collin_Davis/373526]Collin Davis
Stained glass artists are talented and knowledgeable craftspeople who specialize in bringing all types of designs to life. To produce art that is sturdy and aesthetically pleasing, artists employ a number of tools and techniques of the trade. Here is a brief (and simplified) summary of the process stained glass artists use to create the colorful designs seen in churches, government buildings, and private residences.
Creating a Template
Before an artist brings a work to life using small and large pieces of colored glass, he or she first produces a detailed drawing of the complete image. This drawing will need to be the same size as the window opening or other area where the art will be displayed. Pieces of glass will need to be joined with lead to create the final work, so lines to indicate where this leading will go also need to be included in the template. Compared to the final piece, this template is relatively simple in appearance.
Cutting the Glass Pieces Needed
Glass cutting is a technique that must be mastered by all stained glass artists. They may use a variety of tools to cut glass into the sizes and shapes needed for stained glass designs. A carbon steel glass cutter is an excellent choice when accuracy is important, while diamond glass cutters can be used on even extremely hard glass. There is also a specialized tool stained glass artists use when they need to cut glass into perfect circles. It works in much the same way as a compass in a math set. A suction cup is used to mark the middle of the circle and an arm is then rotated to score the glass.
Smoothing the Pieces
To ensure all pieces will fit together neatly and the design will be reproduced exactly as it is depicted in the template, the artist must smooth the edges on all pieces. The artist might polish the edges using a special type of sandpaper or an electric grinder. A brush is then used to remove any particles from the edges.
Inspecting the Cut and Sanded Pieces
This may be thought of as the quality control step of the process. The artist will inspect each and every piece to ensure it is the same size as indicated in the template and the right color.
Joining the Individual Pieces Together to Recreate the Template
This is the point at which the design is truly brought to life. All of the individual pieces are joined using copper foil or lead came to produce the final work of art.
Installing the Art
Finally, the work is installed in a window opening, ceiling area, or other location. The artist is not necessarily involved in this part of the process. Depending on the size and weight of the work, extra supports may need to be added to the opening.
Obviously, creating stained glass art is a complex and labor-intensive process. For the people who love the warm glow and classic beauty of stained glass art, however, the final result is well worth the effort and cost.
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Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Stained-Glass-Art:-Tools-and-Techniques-Used-by-Artisans&id=5284974] Stained Glass Art: Tools and Techniques Used by Artisans