I had a great time at my Art Center class yesterday!! And what would this jewelry artist take at the Art Center? In the past I've taken a bezel class, lampworking and a reactive metals class. This time It's not a jewelry class, though I have no doubt I will be able to apply some of it to jewelry making. I'm taking a stain glass class. It's a shorter class ( only 5 weeks for me, as I'm out of town for one of them) but I already love the teacher! He's a retired high school art teacher named Jerry who has a fantastic dry sense of humor! He's very flexible, and he's like I'm showing you how I cut glass, lay out designs etc, but you do what works for you. I love teachers like that! I've taken one class where the teacher wasn't so generous on different styles, and well, that didn't work for me. I always seem to take that path less traveled, for good or ill.
The first class he walked us though a simple project from start to finish: design the pattern, how to transfer the pattern ( or cartoon in stain glass lingo) to glass, how to cut the glass, how to finish the ends of the glass, foiling the glass, adding flux and then soldering it all together. He would do the first couple pieces at each stage ( the pattern only had 6 pieces of glass in it in - 6 different colors) and then he would announce he was "tired" and needed a rest and invited us students to try our hand at it. It took to the grinding stage for most of the students to figure out he wasn't really tired, he was trying to help us all work through our fears of failure! He did all of the soldering but only because we were running out of time.
It was utterly fascinating how different soldering stain glass is compared to silver soldering!
Next glass he will demonstrate leaded stain glass soldering and we will work on our first project, a stain glass cement stepping stone. This isn't stain glass per say (it's not soldered) , but it's made using stain glass pieces, and it's excellent practice on cutting glass, which judging from my fellow class mates is the "scary" part of working w/ stain glass. Since I've been cutting glass for over a year, not so much a problem for me.. but still , watching him cut glass gave me some ideas to try to improve my cutting.
We have homework.. make our pattern (cartoon) for the stepping stone...
I can't wait til Next Weds!