Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A special stained glass tribute to Tono

This is going to be a rather long post, so brace yourselves!

I was in Ann Arbor for about a week to start this daunting stained glass project (I think I might have mentioned it). Due to my absent-mindedness, I forgot the USB cable for the camera, so couldn't upload progress shots. But here's the story:

My mom is a fantastic stained glass artist. She's been at it since as long as I can remember, and has created some fabulous pieces. Since I had this talented teacher and resources, I wanted to make a special urn for our beloved cat, Tono. I created the design myself, though in hindsight that might have been a mistake since I really didn't understand the fine art of glass cutting. Not to give a stained glass online workshop, but you start off by cutting the glass pieces to the approximate shape of your design, then finely grinding it down. Basically you're making glass puzzle pieces to put together.

From the (top left) - that's me using the grinder to shape the glass. (top right) Loose jagged edged glass pieces pre-grind. (bottom left) The smallest glass piece I used for the project. (bottom right) The progress of grinding all the glass pieces.

Now as a post, that took a paragraph, but the whole cutting/grinding ordeal took four almost 10-hour days of hard work. I know that seems like a long time for so little, but we're talking about cutting glass!

(top left) - After the cutting and grinding, you wrap each piece with a thin copper foil tape. You put the melted metal ontop of it and solder the glasses together. (top right) - The five panels of the box soldered together and complete! (bottom left) - putting the box together. That's me using the soldering iron. And voila! (bottom right) The box put together!

At this point, we ran out of time to finish the box, and I went back to Chicago with my mom. There's tons of more steps in between (which was another whole day of work), but finally, after a week of hard work, Tono's urn was complete!

It's just as I imagined. Maybe better. It looks beautiful with the sunlight through the glass. The angel wings sticking out from the left side of the box lid and the little green feet at the bottom of the box were my mom's clever ideas. That really completed the look. ♥

And so, a fine chapter closes in the adventures of stained glass making. Thanks to my mom for her guidance and support!! Tono's gonna love it.

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