Although stained glass can be purchased today, stain glass supplies are available for those who are interested in creating their own. Stained Glass utilizes particular materials due to a rather complex and involved process of creation. Common stain glass supplies are described below.
1. Glass—the most obvious stain glass supply. The glass should be thin enough to be easily cut without shattering or cracking, but should also be heavy enough to withstand the element. Glass is sold according to weight and in square-foot sheets. Various textures are available, such as wavy, smooth, rippled, etc. These present a challenge, especially when coloring and cutting, but the process is fun, and the end result is awesome!
2. Metallic Salts and Oxides—these create color when the glass is fired in a kiln. Copper should be included for green, and blue glass or gold oxides for red and orange.
3. White Glass–-this might be necessary, should the colors come out too dark. Lumping white glass on a blow pipe and then blowing onto red glass lightens the resulting color.
4. Blow Pipe–-Necessary to blow white glass, if necessary. This process, described above, serves to lighten dark-colored glass.
5. Grozing Iron—this is for cutting glass in predetermined shapes according to the particular designs of the stained glass project.
6. Lead—this is stripped into predetermined shapes so that they can be fitted between then the pieces of glass. Since lead poisoning has become a real threat, Copper Foil serves as a viable substitute for lead. The latter just might even be more economical to use in the long run.
7. Soldering Iron—this is needed to reconnecting the glass pieces with the lead strips or Copper Foil along the edges.
8. Frames—since these are to be watertight, the use of wooden frames are not advised. Metal or lead frames, or some other solid but not-too-heavy material should be considered for stained glass.
9. Oily Cement—this is applied by filling the joints to make the frame water tight all the way around.
Stained Glass is made pretty much the same way as it was during the Middle Ages, but the advance in technology has simplified the process. It requires tremendous skill, so those who are interested are advised to read up on it thoroughly. It is important to know which stain glass supplies are needed and why.
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