All my shop sun catchers are made using the copper foil technique, sometimes also called the 'Tiffany method'.
After deciding on the design layout and colours, I cut all glass pieces accurately so they fit together very tightly to ensure a strong solder joint.
I then individually wrap the edges of each piece of glass in copper foil and solder them together using lead. The thinness and flexibility of the foil is ideal for 3-dimensional pieces and intricate designs.
For some of my larger commissions, particularly door and window pieces, I use the sturdier thick lead came technique. Lead came requires fitting the glass pieces into lead channels called cames, which are then soldered at the joints and cemented together.
Many of my pieces are also hand painted using various layers and shades of lead paint. These are fixed to the glass in a kiln at around 660 degrees C. This is my favourite part of the process as it allows me to add more creative detail to each piece!
Minimal cleaning is recommended. Simply dust and when needed, wipe clean with a soft, damp cloth. Don't use scouring pads, steel wool or anything that contains ammonia or abrasive cleansers.
Waxing the piece helps preserve the original finish. Apply the wax onto both sides with a soft, lint free cloth. An old toothbrush can be used to apply the wax in corners and seams. Allow a moment or two of drying then wipe back off with a clean, non-abrasive cloth.
Prices for stained glass can vary enormously. As a general rule, you can expect to pay £150 - £800 per square foot / 30cm square, depending on the complexity of the design, the type of glass used and how much glass painting is involved, and there is a minimum order value of £150. Delivery and/or fitting costs are extra.
Click here for more details on the commissioning process.