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How It's Made
Solder & Glaze

Once all the pieces are in place, and the border lead or zinc has been added, the panel is ready to be soldered together. All the joints between the pieces of lead are scrubbed to remove oxidation, fluxed..

..and then soldered.

The semi completed panel is then gently turned over, and the process repeated on the back.

At this stage, a small panel might be considered finished, but I ALWAYS choose to glaze my panels (with putty or cement), to ensure that they are weatherproof and solid, and to eliminate any rattling which can often occur when different thicknesses of glass are used within a panel.

The cement is mixed up, then painstakingly pushed under every piece of lead strip on both sides of the panel(I use a spatula, but a nail brush or fingers can be used).

Then whiting is scattered over the panel and brushed in, to absorb excess oil and help clean up. The putty is carefully trimmed along each strip to ensure a smooth invisible edge, and after a day's interval to dry, the panel receives its final scrub, trim and clean up.

Brushing the lead came with a bristle brush gives it a lovely natural dark grey patina. However, if a black finish is preferred then a chemical patina can be applied to achieve this.

The final stage is a thorough polish to seal everything and make the piece shine.

Then … the most exciting part of the whole process: holding the completed stained glass panel up to the light, and seeing it for the first time as a finished entity. It always surprises and delights!
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