~Laurie's Cat~

Under normal lighting and backlit

...it took a few months, but I eventually came up with a project that I was really interested in trying to make, and this was the first piece of stained glass in which I did all of the work, from selecting glass, cutting it out, grinding and finishing edges, copper foiling, soldering, cleaning and polishing, adding copper patina, etc.. pretty much everything that goes into this type of glass work. It was also the first piece I made outside of my normal working hours, taking advantage of our deal about being able to use the shop for my own projects during my off-hours.

A couple closeups. There's something I was trying to do with the design of the frame and the design of branches in the glass.. though I am not sure how to explain it. I did not want the designs in the glass to stop where the glass met the frame and I did not want the design of the frame to stop where it met the glass. The branches (and surface the cat is sitting on) in the glass are part of the frame, and in the same way the enameled leaves are part of the glass. I gave the solder lines around the glass branches a copper patina to bring the glass and the frame closer together in this way, which also worked to create some feeling of depth in the glass.

Picture of the original cat pattern from Glass Rhapsody. It's a lot different than my version. The cat in this one has something wrong with her belly, where lines don't really match up. I enlarged a small sliver of glass that makes up part of one ear, otherwise the sliver of glass would have been covered with solder. I took out the butterflies. I added an extra line in the background so that the two different colors of glass could alternate the way I wanted them to. I added in some branches and turned whatever flat surface the cat was sitting on into a log (with knotholes added in too), or maybe she's sitting on the ground in a garden or something and those things I just said are knotholes are really rocks or clods of dirt.

Collection of progress pictures of the glass, and the first section of pipe I worked on for the frame. The blue in the background is supposed to be the night sky.. maybe the swirly stuff is clouds or fog. I'm not sure why else the night sky would be swirly. The clear glass is moonlight filtering through the branches.

Scan of part of the frame without glass. the whole thing wouldn't fit in my scanner. The green leaves are made from hot enameled copper sheet. The frame is made from old copper plumbing pipe and 16 gauge copper electrical wire. Hammering the design into the pipe was much easier than most people would imagine it to be. I used a somewhat broadheaded, rounded "V" shaped hammer head and just hammered in lines. Some of them I marked out with a pen, others I just let them go where they wanted to go.

Picture of it from the back.

the ivy.. this was made from 16 gauge copper electrical wire that was twisted together into a bundle of six or eight wires (it actually comes like that). I cut off a section of it, stuck one end in a vise and the other end in a drill to wind it up tighter. I then heated to redish hot and quenched to bring it back to dead soft. Once I had my bit of twisted up wire, I went over it with hammer on the anvil to smooth it into more of a roundish shape than a bundle of tightly twisted up wire would be. I anealed it again, then unwrapped some sections so I could twist them back up into smaller branches consisting of only three or four wires, then the ends of those branches were unwrapped and retwisted into smaller branches. I made one of these vine sections and brazed it in place on the frame, then made one for the other side. More just sort of grew as I went along adding on where I thought there should be a branch. The larger ivy sections consist of six of these branch sections, most of them were worked into the other branches so they seem to be one.

hanging in the window of her new home.