Saturday, March 3, 2012

Almost there

I'm back!  Thank you all for the good wishes on my cold.  I'm happy to say the worst is definitely over and I'm almost back to what constitutes normal for me.  

I hope everyone held on through the violent weather of the last few days.  We were so lucky to only have snow; my heart goes out to those who have lost so much in the recent tornadoes and severe weather.

We're still hard at work on the Laburnum shade in the stained glass studio down in the basement.  This pattern is 1,986 pieces of teeny, tiny glass.   I tried to mix up the colors of the laburnum clusters a little to suggest shadows and depth, but I'm not sure I've got it right.  When it comes to color on these shades, I'm the only one to blame since the color scheme is my sole domain and responsibility.  Carl and Joel both say they're color-blind.  I might be, too, for all I know.  Oh, well, fake it til you make it, right? 
Unlit Laburnum on plexiglass waiting to see if it looks OK.

We're all done cutting and grinding and foiling each piece.  Now it comes down to whether the shading is right or not.  This is the worst part for me; I second-guess myself constantly.  For awhile this afternoon I was ready to dump one entire repeat (660 pieces) because I wasn't sure it was working.  Now I've calmed down a bit after Carl and I moved some darker and lighter flower clusters here and there in the design.  There's still some recutting to do, but I think we're getting closer to putting it on the mold.

 So much depends on the placement of light bulbs and the color temperature of the light source.  Daylight bulbs will light up one spectrum of the glass, and cool white yet another. 
 Here's just a bunch of random pictures of the shade, here and there while holding a lightbulb under the piece of plexiglass the pattern is mounted on.
 I'm not sure if the darker clusters are TOO dark or not.

The background glass is royal blue fading out to purples.  I hope it shows up well when the shade is soldered.
I emailed these pictures to Joel in a panic, I wanted to know what he thought about the difference in the shading.  He thought it looked good enough to go, his exact words were, "Get it on the form and let's start soldering."

One thing I've learned since we started making stained glass lamps is this, They Always Look Different Off the Form.  The problem with that fact is once they're off the form, they are soldered together.  Oh, you can still change pieces out if you really have a problem with the way they look, but it's a whole lot more work, involving breaking the glass and a sweat all at the same time.  Best case scenario is to do it right the first time before the glass is put on the form.
I'm off to obsess over this pattern some more.  This is the only shade we've worked on this winter, and we're looking forward to seeing it finished.

Stay of these days (hopefully) I'll be posting pictures of the completed project.


El Gaucho said...

So glad to hear that you're on the mend and feeling better. It's been a doozie of a cold and flu season and I don't think many folks have escaped unscathed. I'm finally getting over a nasty cold that's been with me for the better part of six weeks, and haven't interacted with anyone this winter that hasn't had one (or more) go around with various viruses.

I can't believe how many individual pieces go into one lamp, that's such an amazing project. Very impressive, I can't wait to see what it looks like when it's done.

Sandy said...

Good to hear your feeling better. It's not fun being sick!
I'm totally amazed at the work your both doing on this shade... it's like a 10,000 piece puzzle but your making the pieces.. it will be beautiful I'm sure.
We have had the tail end of the storms this past night and am sitting here listening to the winds.. wondering if the trees out back will come tumbling down?
I too have been sending prayers for all involved. The story of the little 2 year old girl found in a field is just amazing!
take care

FlowerLady said...

Dear Karen ~ So glad to hear you are feeling better.

Isn't it awful when we second guess ourselves with our projects. Your stained glass work is so daunting to me. I know that it is going to look lovely when you get it all together.

What a wonderful family project.

Have a lovely Sunday ~ FlowerLady

Junebug said...

Wow, that shade is beautiful and I can't imagine the hours you have into it. You certainly have an eye for color in my book!

I'm happy to hear you are feeling better. Tell that nasty cold to stay away! Got it!

Lona said...

It is amazing and beautiful to see all of those pieces come together. So glad to hear that you are on the mend Karen and feeling better. Take care.

Randy Emmitt said...


I think you picked all the right colors of glass. Glad you are feeling better, sucks to be out of commission. My first stained glass project it soldered up. Still need to clean up the solder and put a border around it. I ordered a stain glass in the garden book, waiting for it to arrive.

Charade said...

I can't imagine tackling such a detailed and daunting project, but I can imagine the satisfaction you surely feel when it's complete - so well-deserved!

Pamela Gordon said...

That is just amazing! And it's not even soldered yet. I had no idea all that work goes into the making of a shade. I can't wait to see it when it's finished and lit up!

Beth said...

Absolutely stunning, Karen! You are so very talented and you create things of beauty. In so doing, Karen, you make th eworld a better place!
God bless, Beth

Missy said...

I know nothing about stained glass, but it looks beautiful to me - so intricate, and i love the colour combination.

Glad to hear you're feeling better too!

africanaussie said...

t sounds as though you still worked through even though you were sick! Glad you are feeling better though. that is amazing, thank you so much for sharing the process. I love those little spots of brilliant blue - they really stand out! I would say it cant be improved upon!

HolleyGarden said...

I can't wait to see this masterpiece finished! It is gorgeous! So glad to hear you're feeling better.

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Glad you are feeling better!!
OMG!! What a magnificent piece!! I am in total awe!


xoxoxo said...

Well, if you mess it up I will totally take it off your hands :)
Also-do you really judge all the beautiful growing flowers in your yard as harsh as this lamp shade?
I say be done with it! There are seeds to be planted!

Mäntylän mummi said...

Hi Karen!

I'm dreaming and so I borrowed one of your wonderful photos to my blog with link. Is it ok ?
I really like everything you have in your lovely garden and I try to get, at least, something with me...
with best regards

Carol said...

I think it looks great too! I don't think I will ever be able to tackle such a job, I just don't get enough studio time in any more. But I do love all things glass.Carol

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to you (I'm singing) Happy Birthday to you Happy Birthday sweet lady Happy Birthday to you.
Love and Hugs
Sue and Steve x