Friday, September 2, 2022

Following the Flow


Tracing your pattern accurately is a very important step in the stained glass making process. I often watch people rush through the tracing of their patterns and end up with clunky representations of what they are trying to make.   

The first important rule of tracing is that straight lines NEED to be made by using a straight edge.  I care don't how good you may be, your interpretation of a straight line will never be as accurate as a line made with a straight edge-- and trying to grind crooked line straight is one the the toughest things to do.

The second important rule is to place your hand inside of any curve you are tracing rather than outside the curve.  In the diagram below the hand rests incorrectly, outside of  the curve making it necessary for the entire hand and arm to move the complete length of the curve being traced.  There's an easier way.

By flipping the pattern upside down we can now place our hand inside the curve and even rest our wrist on the table.   Now when you trace the curve your hand and wrist acts as a compass and creates a smooth flowing curve.   You won't be able to get the entire curve in one pass-- for that you'll need to reposition the pattern to line up with the curve that your hand makes, but this is far easier than shifting your entire arm and body to follow the curve as shown above.

Simple tricks like this can make your patterns much more accurate and lead to far less time consuming grinding at the grinder.


Bayou Salé GlassWorks

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