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Creating works of art in stained glass in an immensely satisfying and interesting hobby. To get started you might decide to take a class or grab a couple of how-to books and prepare for a little trial and error. Either way, your first few projects will probably be made either from a pre-made kit or with a pattern from a book or printed from a website. You may soon decide that you are ready to create your own stained glass design and bring it to life. Although the idea may seem daunting at first, you will soon find the challenge inspiring and realize that designing your own stained glass is not as difficult as you first thought.

All stained glass art projects, big and small begin with a cartoon. The cartoon is a drawing on paper of what you would like your stained glass artwork to look like. The fact that you are translating your artwork into a stained glass piece provides some extra challenges. You will have to take into consideration the strength and integrity that the different sized pieces of stained glass will create. You will need to keep in mind the copper or lead “skeleton” that is created by your came. This skeleton needs to be thought of as not only a strength or support to the stained glass, but an integral part of the design itself. This can be an advantage as you are forced to stretch your creativity and add extra lines where you might not have initially considered, unexpectedly adding more depth to your design.

If you base what you do on inaccurate information, you might be unpleasantly surprised by the consequences. Make sure you get the whole Stained Glass story from informed sources.

There are many places you can and should look for inspiration for your stained glass design. You will find many books and websites about stained glass from which you may find ideas. Paintings, magazines, your home furnishings or any interesting pattern you see may provide insight. Your stained glass art may be a scene from a family photo, a familiar landscape or a completely abstract design.

Once you have decided on a design for your stained glass it is time to draw it out on paper. Think of the size your finished piece will be and draw the perimeter and begin planning the stained glass design within it. Once you have made the initial drawing, look it over and think about whether any of the pieces will be too difficult to cut and consider changing the lines slightly to avoid difficult cuts. Remember that smaller pieces with more leading between them will make the stained glass stronger, so consider adding lines in areas that are too large. When working on your first design, keep it simple so you can gain experience and build your confidence before moving on to more difficult pieces. Remember that even the great American stained glass artists like Tiffany and La Farge started with small jobs before they adorned America’s great churches!

Once you are satisfied with your pencil drawing, ink it in and make several copies. You will need one for cutting the stained glass design out and at least one other for checking that the pieces fit together. When placing your pattern pieces to cut your glass take into consideration any irregularities or streaks in the glass and consider how to use them to your advantage such as a streaky blue being used for a cloudy sky. Most importantly, relax and trust you intuition. Your stained glass will be a one-of-a-kind and an expression of your unique personality.

I hope that reading the above information was both enjoyable and educational for you. Your learning process should be ongoing–the more you understand about any subject, the more you will be able to share with others.

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