1-24  The First Twenty-Four
25-48  The Second Twenty-Four
49-72  The Third Twenty-Four
73-96  The Fourth Twenty-Four
97-120  The Fifth Twenty-Four
121-144  The Sixth Twenty-Four
145-168  The Seventh Twenty-Four
169-on  The Eighth Twenty-Four

73  Wunderkammer II
74  Wunderkammer III
75  Wunderkammer IV
76  Wunderkammer V
77  Wunderkammer VI
78  What Is Teaching?
79  A Gathering
80  Wunderkammer VII
81  Wunderkammer VIII
82  My Gluten-Free Test
83  Grandpa and FDR
84  Atomic Energy by a 12yo
85  Genealogy Quilts
86  Per Nilsson Västgöte
87  Hawaiiana 7
88  Wunderkammer IX
89  Maui First Class
90  Genealogy Kicks
91  Glass Art
92  Hawaiiana 8
93  Outlines of Paradise
94  Wunderkammer X
95  Aunt Rubie
96  A Family Visit, part 1




Judy Sandin, my son Kim’s wife, occasionally posts pictures of stained glass items that I find intriguing.  I finally got around to asking her about them and got introduced to her complex and fascinating hobby.  Here is a set of pictures illustrating the tools used and the process followed in assembling a representative sample of Judy’s work.


      Glass art tools   The goal

Some of the tools

The goal

Tools of the trade include glass cutters (scoring tools), running pliers (breaking tools), grozer pliers (nipping tools), soldering iron, brushes, pens, fids (for applying foil and realigning came), and of course gloves.  Not shown are safety glasses, grinder, and saws.  Materials include patterns, solder, flux, lead came, copper foil, and of course glass.  (Came is H and C [or U] cross section lead strips used to connect adjacent pieces of glass and cap end pieces.)

The next pics illustrate the construction of the poppy in the upper right picture.  Judy uses the copper foil and solder method for connectivity, not the lead came method.


Pattern with plans   Cutting, fitting  

Pattern with plans

Cutting, fitting

A beginner might purchase a kit with pattern and full directions including precut glass and simply assemble the final item.  The other end of the spectrum for an advanced artist is to create the pattern from imagination, assign colors, patterns, textures and other details and then assemble the item from raw materials.

As you can imagine, the process requires patience, trial and error, and a degree of precision not common to the general population.


   More cutting, fitting   Fine tuning

More cutting, fitting

Fine tuning

Sometimes paint is applied to the glass and baked on to achieve detail (see dots on the tail fins of the first fish below).  The cutting and fitting goes on and eventually gets to the point where the glass pieces need to be constrained prior to connectivity.


   Adding foil, soldering, connecting   Ready to frame

Adding foil, soldering, connecting

Ready to frame

Once the pieces are all fitted, they are connected with foil and solder to hold together as a single unit.  The pattern is removed, the joints may be artificially aged by the application of a patina, the glass is thoroughly cleaned, hangars may be added, and/or the piece may be incorporated in a window frame or other method of display, and voila!

Pattern sizes range widely, but as they get larger the copper foil and solder or the came and solder techniques do not provide sufficient support and reinforcing must be added.  Judy has made 24” circular pieces, 17” x 24” rectangular pieces, and odd-size pieces as seen below.  She says these pieces take her between 30 and 50 hours each.

The craft is not cheap – one can spend lots of money on tools.  Glass prices range widely and can be as much as $50 for a 12” x 12” piece.  Even the came and copper foil are pricey.

Judy is not in the business – most of her work is gifted to family and friends.  In fact, it seems like it would be difficult to make a living at this.  Think of it – you’d have to get $500 for one of these pieces to make minimum wage.






   Dragonfly   Moon Sun


Moon Sun


Pileated woodpecker pair   Three trees  

Pileated woodpecker pair

Three trees





   Scarlet Macaw   Three fish

Scarlet Macaw

Three fish


   Lotus   Loons





In case you’d like to learn more about this activity, or just want to see more examples of the craft, go to Delphi Glass Corp., a leading purveyor of glass art supplies, or visit one of the many web sites of Chantal Paré to see lots of such work.