I see students often break glass because they shoot for too much at once. Remember that glass wants to break in a straight line and the more you make your score line wobble back and forth, the better the chance of it breaking incorrectly. I see this happen all the time when students make our popular hand mirror pattern. I've simplified the problematic piece for this example but I still think that many students will recognize where this piece came from.
The image on the left is what we are trying to cut and the red line on the right shows the score line that most students try to make. It's a bad choice. All of those compound curves are bound to send the break careening off in an undesired direction. Instead of making it all in one cut we need to break it down into smaller, easier sections.
In the image below the red line on the leftmost image is the first cut that you should make. It's still one long cut but there's nothing sudden about the curves and when you really look at it you'll see that it's essentially two straight lines with a slight curve in the center. How did we come up with the shape for this cut? Well, the first rule to cutting an inside curve is cutting point to point. That's what the long red line on the left does. We are simply cutting from one outside curve to the next outside curve in a long single continuous line. This gets rid of a lot of excess glass and helps to ensure that all of the scallops we cut next will break on the score lines we are about to make.
The next step actually consists of eight separate cuts. I call this 'scalloping' and it's amazing how many times you see this series of cuts appear in different windows. Each scallop is its own inside curve so we want to take them one at a time. You can either score all of the lines at once or break each score line as you make it. Just follow the red and green lines and numbers on the right. The big trick here is to recognize when you should break cuts up into smaller, simpler score lines.
Now let's take a look at Susan's Spring Window which is an amazingly detailed piece of stained glass. Measuring a mere 14 by 7 inches, the straight lines in the pieces that spell out the word 'Spring' are not even a quarter inch wide. There are just so many flowers to look at in this pattern that I never even noticed the cardinal that resides in it until last week. What a wonderful job Susan did on this!
I've been saying for a while how nice Tracey's Hummingbird and Morning Glories window was going to turn out and, as always, I'm right again! The crooked lines that make up the breaks in the background glass are, to me, the thing that make this look most like a classic L.C. Tiffany Window. Tracey did marvelous work on this and her choice of colors are spot on!
This week saw Annette get her Crow and Moon Window wrapped and ready to be tacked together. The border for this only partially wraps around the subject matter which makes it a tad bit trickier to grind this window (which explains the pinned down yard sticks) but the end result will be well worth it.
Betty also has two pairs of Cardinals cut out, ground, and tacked together. She's going to mount these into hoops but wants them to reside mainly inside the hoops. The previous version we saw of these Cardinals had the birds literally perched on the bottom of the hoop so in this application we're going to add a branch within the hoop so that the birds don't appear to be floating in mid air. You can see how we've drawn in the branch on the left pair of Cardinals.