Thursday, January 22, 2009

Foling a stained glass panel

Foiling is fun. Cutting the glass is probably my favorite step, foiling comes in a close second.

In creating a stained glass suncatcher or panel using the Tiffany method (copper foil method) each piece of glass involved is wrapped with a self-adhesive copper foil. This is one component needed in order to 'bond' all the pieces together. There are several makers of copper foil and it is available in a variety of different widths and color backings. The color backings available include copper back, silver back and black back. I use copper back foil on pieces that are either dark or dense and black back on pieces that are either light in color or clear. If copper back foil is used on clear glass you might actually see a copper 'shadow' on the edges of these pieces once the suncatcher/panel is soldered completely. The time when this would not matter is when using a copper patina to finish the project. The choice is up to the individual.

The trick to foiling is to apply the foil to the center of the edge of the piece so that both sides of the glass receive an equal amount of coverage. Once the edges and sides of the piece have been foiled a tool is used to burnish the foil, to smooth it out. Once all of the pieces have been foiled we can proceed to the next step which is to cut the frame and solder the panel together.

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