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Behold my first stained glass panel, being leaded successfully.  Only a few pieces to go, along the top there.  Well. There is that slight problem at the top left on the watery-looking glass where there is a largish hole which somehow I thought the stained glass pixies would pop by and fill in for me.  Many in my stained glass class (try saying that in a hurry) tried to reassure me that the cement would cover a multitude of sins, but my teacher and glass artist, Suzanne Raffellini and I slowly became painfully aware that this gap wasn’t going to fill itself.  Having nearly finished the leading:

Leaded stained glass lotus flower

I came to the end of Term 2 at Highcrest Adult Learning Centre, run by Bucks County Council.  I took my work of Art home, fully intending to “just take it apart, solve the problem and “pop” it back together again.  I sought the advice of Ernest Riall (he of the Wooburn Crafts School) who offered to provide moral support and a workbench space in the holidays.

Fast forward 8 weeks to find me sobbing “this is supposed to be en-JOY-able”, feeling like an eight-year-old who’d just dropped her lollipop down the loo.  You guessed it, when I dismantled the lead work and glass pieces, not only had I forgotten to place them on a pattern, so that I remembered where they replaced, but I also decided “while I was at it” to “correct” an ugly (to me) centre piece of leading around the fulcrum of the flower, with lead of a narrower gauge.  Big mistake.  BIG mistake.  Whilst I did, proudly, solve the corner issue by splicing in a narrow piece of lead and re-cutting the watery glass into two separate pieces, I created a huge problem as I came to reassemble the panel.  I ground down piece labelled “J” so that it fit against the new central piece better, but the hole I created in piece 4, was so big, I had to cut a tiny fill-in crescent, which I now have to lead with even thinner gauge lead, when I have the strength and have recovered the will to live!

Glass disaster
Left hand top corner solved, the rest gone TU!

After reassuring me that it wasn’t quite the disaster I thought, Ernest and Phil Lyons – a furniture restorer who works next door – gave me some really good advice:  “Finish the piece.  Extract all the learning from it you can.  Then, if it still doesn’t meet your exacting standards, you can throw it in the trash!”

I’m seriously considering soldering the bottom left hand corner next stage, so that at least the B*****d doesn’t keep squirming around under my fingers.  Any reason why I shouldn’t?  Any advice from less than novice glass artist readers accepted by this novice with grace and gratitude.

The Worst Type of Glass Jigsaw

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