Frequently Asked Questions
Does stained glass take a lot of time?
Not necessarily. Small pieces can take a short amount of time once you know how to do it. However, as with any other hobby, there is always the risk that you’ll find stained glass addictive! As you become more comfortable working with the medium, you’ll probably want to choose more challenging projects that require more time.
Is working with stained glass expensive?
No, our beginning class fees are quite reasonable, and include many of the tools that you need to work in stained glass on your own. As with any hobby, you may eventually want to acquire more tools and machines to better equip your home workshop. No room for one? We have some customers that prefer to work in our studio on projects instead of their own home. We have regular open studio hours available every week for a nominal fee.
Are there health hazards associated with stained glass?
There are some hazards, but these are well known and can be minimized or eliminated by taking some simple precautions.
What are some of the risks and how do I avoid them?
Anyone who has ever worked with stained glass knows that small cuts to the hands and fingers are the most common occurrence. You are more likely to get a small slit on your fingers when handling the glass as opposed to actually working with it, so being careful when picking out your glass can almost eliminate this hazard.
Another potential health hazard is probably exposure to lead, mainly through the soldering of pieces. This is avoided by using good ventilation and/or a fume trap to avoid exposure to fumes.
There is also a possibility of heat burns while soldering if you’re not careful. The way to avoid these hazards is simply by paying attention to what you are doing during this phase of the process. Finally, some of the cleaning agents and patinas can be corrosive to the skin, so simple use of protective gloves helps assure that this is not a problem.
Isn't the glass itself very expensive to buy?
Most stained glass is reasonably priced. More expensive, specialty stained glass is also available, but most people only use these for very special projects, or for a small component of a piece they’re creating.
Isn't there a lot of wasted glass?
Careful planning of how you cut the glass and working to improve your cutting skills will help you maximize your glass. Also, most scrap glass can easily be repurposed into mosaic or fused projects, making the art of stained glass incredibly resourceful!
Do I have to be artistic to succeed at the art of stained glass?
Definitely not. Many people with very little artistic talent have made beautiful pieces. There are literally hundreds, maybe thousands, of pattern books that cover almost every imaginable subject. We offer a very large selection of these pattern books, and if we don't have a book with a pattern that you like, we will help you look for one. Finally, there are many good computer programs that will help you design your pieces. Some of them will also let you fill in the piece with actual samples of stained glass so you can see how your finished piece will look.
Can I teach myself how to work in stained glass?
It is possible to do that – we will put together a kit for you to purchase that is designed to help you. However, there is simply no substitute for the kind of instruction that’s available in our classes. As you work on your project, we provide help and guidance customized to your chosen project and to your learning curve.
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