I work with traditional stained glass techniques and materials in a modern context. I have worked as a conservator of historical stained glass for over 20 years, and enjoy finding ways to combine old techniques with new aesthetics. I begin by sketching, frequently using botanical imagery. After a sketch has been made it must be translated into a glass pattern called a cartoon, which determines how the pieces will fit together. The fabrication process begins with colored sheet glass, which I hand-cut to fit the pattern. Details and shading are added using vitreous paint, which is made from ground glass and requires kiln firing to permanently fuse it to the surface of the glass. Enamel and silver stain can also be added in additional firings to further enhance the base color of the glass. Each piece is typically fired at least 3-4 times to achieve the desired look. The fired pieces can then be assembled using the cartoon as a guide. Lead channels (cames) are fitted around each piece and soldered together, and finished off by sealing the edges with putty and burnishing the surface. Although I often create architectural installations, I enjoy the freedom of working in a smaller scale, where I can create autonomous pieces that can be displayed anywhere there is light to illuminate them!
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