07 Mar

Beginning Glass Art

Stained glass came out of no where for me. It all started at a bachelor auction…

But that’s another story. 😉 My main art focus this last year has been improving my glass craft. This post involves me doing some product/ website reviews to acquire the necessary tools to make stained glass. You can check out my Glass Portfolio to see what I have really been getting into.

To get started, I want to show you my favorite piece:Stained Glass Dinosaur Spews RainbowRecent winter shot:

Stained Glass Dinosaur Spews Rainbow

In the next 9 months I am going to be working on a series of tutorials on aspects of stained glass. Foiling method.  (Tiffany Style.) If this is something you’ve ever been interested in, I am going to recommend a beginner kit.

Stained Glass BEGINNER Kit: GRYPHON Grinder, all Tools PLUS Stained Glass to make suncatchers!

Stained Glass BEGINNER Kit: GRYPHON Grinder, all Tools PLUS Stained Glass to make Suncatchers! $136.55

This is pretty much exactly what I started with and worked my way up on a few items. GlassSupplies41.com is a safe website too, so that’s always nice. Her prices are AWe-SOME! And she is super nice; if you ever have questions about her products or how-tos on a project, she is always helpful.

I have had my Gryphette for over a year and she is still purring like a kitten. For someone doing big panels, this is probably too small, but for a beginner or someone not in need of a large surface area, the Gryphette is a great buy. GlassSupplies41 also has an upgraded version of this beginner kit with a different grinder with a bigger motor. The Glastar Diamond Star. I’ve heard good things and have used them a couple times. Bigger motor, bigger surface area. (Bigger price.)

GLASS GRINDER - Glastar Diamond Star with 3/4 inch Diamond Grinder Bit - 5 Year Warranty - Water Cooling Reservoir

My preference for flux has changed from Liquid to Paste. My favorite is Nokorode Paste Flux. ($2.99) You can apply it with a Q Tip. I find it doesn’t bubble and sputter as much. She also carries a bigger size that comes with a brush. Oo lala.

Paste Flux - Odorless Nokorode - 1.7 oz

My Choice Iron still works great. My first upgrade was to get a Temperature Control Rheostat.($20.10) This improved my soldering ability. I found my ideal working temperature and everything just got so honed in from there. This is just an extra though! You don’t neeeeed it.

But then I upgraded again! I got a Hakko FX – 601 Soldering Iron ($61.75) Yes, this was a splurge. But it was like New Car Smell. Or Brand New Vaccum Cleaned Floor. Glorious. It is still Glorious! Temperature control dial right in the handle. The only thing better would be cordless. And it blinks to remind me that it’s on. I may or may not have a habit of forgetting to turn my iron off. That is bad. Good thing the Beginner Kit comes with a SAFE holster for your iron!

Hakko FX-601 - Temperature Control Soldering Iron

Another tool I use that is not in the kit is a Running Pliers. ($7.45) Another breaking tool that I find more effective when breaking a big piece of glass.

Choice - Spring Loaded - Metal 6-1/2" Mini Running Pliers - Glass Breaking Tool

Also you will need some sort of light weight oil to cut glass with. I use Novacan Non-Toxic Glass Cutter Oil. ($5.85) And gosh, that will last you awhile. I’ve heard Lamp Oil works fine, but be careful breathing it if you are doing a lot of cutting.

CUTTING OIL for Glass Cutter by Novacan 8 ounce (237ml) bottle


Here is a picture of my work station:

I will tell you more about some of these strange tools on another day. The Beginner Kit also comes with a great set of instructions and patterns. Plus you have glass to get started right away!

You will hear from me again soon. I am thinking about starting video tutorials.. hmm. I like the lack of loading time for pictures, but sometimes a video would make things more clear. You may see them in the future.