Stained Glass Part I

This semester I am taking Sculpture II which gives me the opportunity to explore several different materials. For a while now I have been eyeing up glass, and this past week I took the leap and started my very first stained glass project.

Preliminary sketch and references

I am often inspired to make art based on what I am learning in my other classes. Alongside of my sculpture class, I am taking Sensations and Perceptions where I get to explore the physiology of the senses and the brain. Currently I am studying the eye, which can be broken down as a mechanism for the transduction of electromagnetic radiation (light energy) into neural impulses. I thought it would be fun to make an eye out of stained glass because of the way stained glass is brought to life by light.

To start this project, I had to draw an eye and then break it down into shapes I could cut in glass.

Breakdown of shapes

After I had the shapes I wanted, I made another sketch labeling all of the pieces so I could start selecting my colors in glass. I labeled each sheet of glass with the corresponding shape I would need for the eye. This proved to be a difficult process since most of the colors I have available to me are not conventional skin tones.

Labeled sketch and color selection

Before I could start cutting the glass, I had to create a copy from the master drawing which I could cut in order to trace the shapes onto the glass sheets. This way I can lay my cut pieces onto the main drawing and make more copies as needed.

Making the copy also allowed me to adjust the shapes so they would be easier to cut in glass.

Cutting and labeling shapes on paper

From here, I was finally able to start cutting glass. To do this, I laid my shape face down on the back of its corresponding color. I then traced it in either sharpie or crayon which I could then score and snap until I made a rough cut of the shape I needed.

Once I have enough pieces cut, I will use the glass cutting and grinding machines in order to fit them together.

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