Sunday, January 17, 2010
When I purchased my house in 1977, a few of the original items had been removed from the house by a previous owner. One of these items was the large stained glass window that overlooked the staircase. The opening had then been divided into four parts and fitted with amber colored plexiglass which was --no kidding--the ugliest thing in the house.
Then I discovered a product called Crystal Craze. It was a thin paint for glass that crystallized as it dried. I removed one panel at a time and used liquid lead to outline a pattern on each one. The design was then filled in with various colors of Crystal Craze. It takes a fair amount of pressure to squeeze liquid lead from a tube so it is not something you work at for long periods of time. The glass also has to be squeaky clean or the lead will not form a bond and the paint will seep under the lead to the ajoining section. What I'm pointing out here is that this took some time to complete.
As time went by, the colors started to fade and the paint began to flake from the heat and light of the sun. I had always planned to find an art glass window to replace this one but other things seemed to take priority. One day I came across a pattern in an old library book and it just clicked with me. I took the pattern to a glass artist who altered it slightly to fit the size of my window opening. Next came the fun part of selecting the glass in colors and textures of my choice.This was a little more difficult than you might think as there was not a good way to lay it out before making a decision. I had to trust the image in my head and just go for it!
I was very pleased with the finished product except for the fact that the reinforcing rods had been positioned horizontally on the back which detracted from the design of the window. With a little persuasion these were removed and replaced with vertical support bars that were "hidden" within the design. THEN IT WAS PERFECT.