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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sandra Creates Tiffany-style Irises with Gallery Glass

Once in a while, a reader will "blow me away" with her tenacity to figure out the Gallery Glass Technique on her own, although there are few instructional materials that survive in the marketplace (in spite of my ongoing efforts to preserve the GG body of knowledge). But Sandra has done it once again. I am over the top about her creative experience that she agreed to share with us. Here is her story--along with some wonderful step-by-step images. She really did this people--in only 3 projects! Unbelievable!
"I've been doing lots of painting; my 3 front door windows, the long transom glass over my French doors in the master bedroom (on Plexiglas); I drew/designed/created an underwater coral and tropical fish design over the living room transom and used some paint direct methods and created some on blanks and moved to the glass (it's a long 3 pane window) did the 6 pane glass window on a back door; and then started on this project, which I really love."
(comment from Carol) Many people start out with a small project before they do a window. 30 years ago, when I first started glass painting after taking leaded glass classes (cutting and soldering), I used one of my 8x10" frame-able art patterns that I had done in my leaded glass class--as my first project. I outlined the design and filled it in with similar colors of paint--having very little faith that it would be acceptable, since I was a newly born glass snob and was only looking for the "real thing". The next morning I got up and put the two projects side by side in the window--and could not believe my eyes. The painted glass and my leaded glass project looked almost identical from half way across the room! That's the day my passion for glass painting took root and it's been growing ever since.

Sandra continues: "Actually, I wanted to do the bathroom window so no curtains were needed; I started searching for a pattern and between the Tiffany peacock and this one, I choose the iris's. I didn't know about the kit, I just was so enthralled with your creation that I downloaded your picture and googled to find the template, I can't remember where I found it, either on the blog or somewhere on the Internet. I downloaded Carol's finished picture to compare it to and searched for the colors of paint to match the template after finding the index of colors on your site. I ordered those not found locally at Michael's, and guessed on the ones I couldn't read from the blown up template, I think there was one no longer manufactured; I did add a couple of new ones like the hologram paint."

"I had a piece of Plexiglas cut to the exact size of my bathroom window, and taped the template to the back. I made the template by downloading a software program that would blow up the standard letter sized template to any designated size, in this case 3 by 4 ft. It printed up one 8x11page at a time (4 pages wide and 6 pages vertically) and I painstakingly trimmed and taped all the pages together to make the 3'x4'print line up correctly. It wasn't until after it was done that I noticed some of the outside edges didn't quite come through in the end product, but you'd have to be as picky as I am, to notice."

"It took me a couple of weeks to complete this in the evenings and weekends, I took pictures of the process from beginning to end. I used the pre-made lead (Redi-Lead) lines since the project was so large and the leading so perfectly even in width; my hand leading is not nearly that good!"

And here's the finished piece in the window. Love it, love it, LOVE IT! Isn't her story amazing? One of the most admirable steps was figuring out how to make the blow the pattern  up to 3'x4'--incredible. I'm still not sure how she did it. I have a huge Cannon copier at my elbow that I can blow up patterns on, but patterns that are larger than one 11x17" sheet are tedious--to say the least. The next thing I can't imagine--is doing this huge, intricate design--with Redi-Lead strips. I used the Liquid Leading, which is so much faster (for me), but whatever it takes, to get the finished result.
Sandra, you are one smart cookie! Keep sending us photos of your fabulous work. I would love to follow your journey into our enchanted Gallery Glass world!

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