Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Made for Climbing" glass on glass mosaic window

This is a new multilayer tree window.  It is 24 x 24 inches in size and is framed in cedar.  It will be shown at Artisans of Rocky Hill Gallery in Frederickburg, Texas.

I am trying to show the dimensional quality of the tree with this photo.  There is actually 3 different layers of foliage.

I will be out of town for several days and will resume my "How To" blogs when I return.  Until then have fun playing with glass!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mosaic Techniques - the use of rhinestones and beads in glass on glass mosaic windows

This morning I thought that I would take a few mins. to show in more detail how I incorporate both rhinestones and beads in my windows.
This window is titled "Floral Delight" and is a good example of the use of many rhinestones and beads.

The border was created using glass tiles, strings of large seed beads, blue moonstones, coral glass flatback rhinestones, and round mother of pearl jewelry findings.  As you experiment with different materials it is amazing how many will actually transmit llight!

The background was filled in with triangles nipped from Iridescent clear stained glass and iridescent rhinestones were added randomly.

Note how the sunflowers have rhinestone centers surrounded with large seed beads and navette rhinestones in complermentary colors were added to the stained glass petals.

You can see the use of rhinestones in the creation of the Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush flowers.  All rhinestones are always applied flat surface down which makes many of them upside down.  You still get the sparkle effect of the facets! 

Lastly, note the use of nipped stained glass and rows of large seed beads in the groundwork.
I hope this series of photos helps show my use of both the rhinestones and beads.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mosaic Technique - Grouting

Today I am adding a few suggestions about the grouting processs.  I use poly sanded grout on most of my work.  I purchase it at Home Depot and I prefer the Pewter color.  I find this color works best for windows because it most closely resembles the color of leading in traditional stained glass windows.  Mix the grout very thick - almost too stiff to stir.  Do this in a plastic glass with a plastic spoon and you can just throw out the left overs. 
Before I grout I use painter's tape to block off the areas that I don't want to get grout on.

This photo shows the "Oak Beauty" back layer taped off so I can grout just the tree trunk and the ground area.

This photo shows the front (border) glass masked off with painter's tape and ready for grouting.
Here is the border area with the grout applied. ( Before wiping down).  Be sure to rub the grout into all of the spaces.  Let it sit for 10 or 15 mins. and then just wipe down with dry paper towels.  I never use a wet sponge - just introduces more water and can cause problems.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mosaic Techniques - borders

Because I just posted the Oak Tree piece I thought this might be a good time to demonstrate borders.  The glass layer in the frame contains the border and then a second layer was created for the tree.  After both pieces are mounted together additional leaves are also added to the border layer to create the 3D effect.

Here is the border of the "Oak Beauty piece
before it was grouted.

Back tree layer before grouting.

The border layer before grouting.

Oak Beauty - New Glass on Glass Mosaic Stained Glass Window

This is another Oak Tree window.  The central image area has two layers.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

More Mosaic Supplies

Notice the use of vitreous glass tiles and rhinestones in this window!

Vitreous glass tiles - useful for borders.  These are often used in traditional mosaics when no light will be transmitted but most colors are also beautiful when light shines through them. 

All types of beads make wonderful additions to mosaic windows.  I usually also put these in borders but they also work well incorporated into the image area.  Look at some of the windows I have posted and see if you can identify beads.

Metal jewelry findings can also be used in mosaics.  Remember when using them in glass on glass projects they are completely opaque.

Rhinestones - These are one of my favorite types of supplies to use.  You can salvage them from old jewelry or buy them online.  If the rhinestones have gold or silver backing they can be soaked overnight in Liquid Plumber to remove the backing.  When attaching them to your glass be sure to glue them flat side down.  Most of the time that will mean to use them upside down.  If they are flat backs then you glue them right side up.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mosaic Supplies

Photo of a class working on their first project.

Photo of one of my windows installed in a permanent location.

There are many different types of material that I use for my mosaics.  Because most of my work is displayed like stained glass windows, the pieces used must transmit light.  There are a few exceptions to that which I will discuss in a later post.

Stained glass pieces- This can be purchsed in bulk by the pound at many Stained Glass stores as well as online.  This is the main material that I use for my creations.  It can be cut to size for design elements, cut into uniform pieces to fill in images or backgrounds, or just used in random pieces.  Stained glass is what gives my windows their brilliant colors!!!

 Glass Globs - these come in various sizes and colors and can be purchased at hobby stores or online.  They work especially well for borders.

Glitter tiles - These tiles are pretty much opaque but are small and also make wonderful borders.

Gravel - can be either opaque or translucent.  I use gravel in some of my pieces to represent rocks.

More supplies will be shown tomorrow.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

More Mosaic Techniques

When I begin a mosaic I start with a framed piece of clear glass.  If I want to usse a pattern it is attached to the back of the glass and then my mosaic pieces are applied to the front of the glass using a couple of types of adhesive.

This is the completed glass on glass mosaic window created from the pattern above.

Today I am showing the types of adhesives that I use for my glass on glass mosaic technique.  The first type is GE clear silicone.  The advantages for this adhesive is that the pieces stay in place when positioned.  I put adhesive on the back of each piece as I attach it.  Two hints:  always use enough adhesive to get a complete seal between the two pieces of glass.  If you don't - when you grout the piece grout will creep under the pieces and you will see it when the window is held up to the light.

The second type of adhesive that I use Is Mac Glue.  You can purchase it from mosaic supply stores or online.  This glue is thin, clear, and extremely strong and I use it to attach beads and rhinestones to my pieces.  I don't use it under large pieces because it takes too long to dry and leaves bubbles etc.

 OK - log on tomorrow for more of my techniques!  Have a great Father's Day!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mosaic Techniques continued

Glass cutting surface - this is a rigid grid that supports your stianed glass while you are scoring and breaking it.  The use of this allows the small chips of glass to fall into the grid and not sit on your surface to possibly cut you.  It can then be vacuumed or rinsed out.

Miscellaneous tools such as straight edges (razor blades, exacto tools with different blades, etc.), popsicle sticks, toothpicks.  These are all used to remove excess glue, straighten pieces, remove pieces that you have added but don't like.  They are also helpful for cleanup during the grouting proces
Tomorrow I will add glues and some of the supplies that I use.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mosaic How To - my techniques for making glass on glass mosaics

I sometimes receive requests for mosaic techniques and instructions and since I no longer offer classes I decided to post "How To" info here on my blog every few days.  This information is just about the techniques and materials that I have found to be useful.  I am sure that others of you have had different experiences so use what is helpful and make it your own!

Lesson 1 - Tools                                                                                                                                                                                  
Glass cutter - a stained glass tool that I use to cut stained glass.  These can be purchased at any stained glass store, online, Hobby Lobby, Mosaic Suppliers, etc.

Mosaic nippers - specifically designed to nip glass and tile - available in stores or online

Running Pliers - used to break the glass after you have scored it with the glass cutter

Tomorrow I will add more tools and techniques.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Commission Wildflower Window

This is a small window featuring Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush, Indian Blanket, Purple Cone Flowers, and Sun Flowers.  It is very colorful with the yellow border!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

"Addicted to Red" Multilayer glass on glass mosaic stained glass window

This window is actually two layers.  It measures 24 x 24 inches in size and is framed in cedar.  The front layer is the border including all the beige area with the flowering vines.  The second layer is recessed about a third of an inch and is the triangular image with the flowering vine, humming bird, and the background.  The entire background was filled in using vintage rhinestones and beads.