The art of crafting a stained glass window
involves using small pieces of colored glass that
are arranged to form patterns much like the prismatic pieces of a puzzle.
The process begins with a small thumbnail sketch that is gradually
expanded to the desired dimensions of the completed design. Looking much like a
dress pattern, the areas of the finalized design are then numbered or color-coded.
Using a wheel-head cutting tool, the large squares of colored glass are then cut to shape.
The scored area is then tapped, creating a ‘run’ that allows the glass to break cleanly along the desired outline.
Once the piece is separated, a grinder is then used to smooth the edges.
Using horseshoe nails, the small glass piece is then placed in its corresponding
spot within the pattern and tapped along its edge to secure it in place.
To give the stained glass window structural support, the artist uses
long, pliable pieces of lead alloy. The metal is cut using spring-loaded pliers
and then curved around the shapes of the glass pieces. Once the pieces have all
been secured and placed in their color-coded areas of the pattern, the joints are then soldered.
To add rigidity and waterproofing of the final stained glass,
putty is then applied to both sides.