Friday, 15 March 2013

Stained Glass - Labour of Love

My first ever glass piece was a pretty epic journey. I used to attend an arts group regularly and we were given an amazing opportuninty to create a stained glass piece for Caerphilly Castle. As naive as I was at the time to the long and sometimes tedious process of tiffany work, I designed quite a complex A2 sized piece with about 100 awkwardly shaped fiddly pieces of glass.

Stained Glass Art - Firework Inspired piece by Designs by Neelie
The assembled piece after designing and cutting
  As time went on I began to realise the enormity of the challenge i'd set myself. Glass cutting didn't come naturally to me so I often found myself getting very frustrated from the beginning. There were times when I worried I wouldn't finish the piece and many members of the group thought I wouldn't do it.

Stained Glass Grinding in the Workshop - Designs by Neelie
As I found, grinding individual pieces is time consuming!
Copper Foiling Designs by Neelie
The copper foiling process
But (somehow) amongst the frustration, doubts, cuts and splinters I managed to finish the piece (just) on time and was really pleased with the result. Seeing it proudly hanging in Caerphilly Castle made all my efforts worth it. I had an excellent teacher along the way who I still keep in contact with and who was actually the person who encouraged me to pursue glass as a career.

Stained Glass Art - Needs sunlight - Designs by Neelie
Stained Glass needs light to show it true beauty!
The framed and completed stained glass art
The completed stained glass piece
 I'll always have a soft spot in my mind for the labour of love that was my introduction into glass artistry.

I'd love to know what you think of my piece, let me know!

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