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[Stained Glass Gems] Designing Tips
February 21, 2010

Issue #015 Designing Tips

Greetings to all of my stained glass friends, and a belated Happy Valentines Day. These Stained Glass Gems have been found during my frequent browsing and deep digging for helpful and or unusual stained glass web sites, as well as other information pertaining to stained glass. I have a long list that I will share with you over the months ahead. I do hope that there's a gem or two that will brighten your day and be helpful during your stained glass journey.

This month's ezine is going to be shorter than usual but I will be giving you some designing tips.

I Need Your help

I have started a new web site. Many people have asked me how they can learn to do stained glass, so I've started a site called You won't find much there yet, it's only 1 week old and I have a long way to go. Even the pages that are there aren't complete, so please don't judge it by what you see right now.

The help I need is for you to tell me what you would have liked to learn in a beginners class. The web site is going to be just like the beginners class I teach, but I'm sure there are things people would have liked to know right from the beginning...things that would have made life easier when they were learning. You can tell me what you'd like to see in a beginners class Here

Oh yes...I forgot to tell you that it will be about copper foil, at least for now. Who knows what will develop over the next few years.

I'll be using short videos for each technique to show the basics of how it's done. There will eventually be DVDs available for the entire course.

Web Site of the Month

Stained Glass Design Tutorial and Stained Glass Patterns Both of these web sites were created by Chantel Pare. She has a ton of web sites devoted to stained glass, many of them pattern sites. If you've been to my pattern search pages, you'll find that 75% of the patterns there were designed by her.

Some Things to keep In Mind When
You Design Your Own Patterns

Last week I got a Question about a design problem a lady was having. She was in a quandary about where to put the cut lines without making the panel look amateurish.

She said there would be bevels bordering the panel. Here's the design she sent me:


Here's what I did to it:


I grounded the letters by putting bevels in the middle of the design. Without the bevels, there would have been cut lines going every which way. I explained that she would need a saw to cut the larger pieces above each word. Also, if you'll notice, I removed the extra calligraphy line on the top S. Removing that line took away some excess lines that weren't necessary and it helped the S to stand out better. Then I colored in the top word just to show her how the cut lines will recede into the background.

There are other ways to ground an element in a design. If you have a single flower in the middle of a panel, you will have cut lines long cut lines going to the edge of the panel. If you break up the background into squares, rectangles or diamonds, the cut lines will have a much shorter distance to go. Put a simple border around the panel and it will look first class.

Here's and example of rectangles and borders used to ground the flowers:

Pansy Window

If you don't feel up to drawing a design from scratch, you can take various elements from ready made patterns, put them together and have an original design. For instance, take a flower from pattern #1 and a bird from pattern #2, place them on a background with rectangles or squares, add a border and you have your own unique pattern.

And, don't forget, if you use a pattern from a book, it is only a does not have to be made exactly like the picture in the book. Change it a bit and make it your own.

I've seen my students get so upset because they've been having a problem cutting a piece of glass from a pattern. When I tell them to change the pattern so it works for them, they say something like "I can't do that because the leaf is shaped this way in the pattern and if I change it will look different".

My response is "what difference will that make. Nobody will know but you and if it makes cutting the glass easier and doesn't make the design look terrible who cares. I'll bet nobody is going to find the book you took the pattern from and compare each piece of glass to see if it's exactly the same as the picture in the pattern book"!!

Miscellaneous Stuff!

Best deals in art glass suppliesDelphi Stained Glass Supplies is a place where I have bought supplies online and over the phone for many years. Some very helpful people work there, and I recommend Delphi as a reliable place to order your supplies.


"Make a Box With a Hinged Lid"
is an eBook that will walk you through making a stained glass box. Read about what is included in the book and how it will simplify box making. You'll get a free gift, Learning the Copper Foil Technique, when you buy this eBook.
Go here "Make a Box With a Hinged Lid" to buy now.

Since there is occasionally some confusion, I want to clarify that an eBook is an electronic book that is downloaded on your computer. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to be able to read it and/or print it out.

Have a look at How-To DVDs You're going to find hundreds of "How To" DVD's for rent. They have some very interesting stained glass tutorials that can be found at Glass

book My lead came tutorial is now available as an eBook.

It contains everything found in the Lead Tutorial as well as larger pictures and a practice pattern to use while learning the techniques. Use ordinary window glass while you're learning and save your colored glass for when you're ready to make some windows.

It only takes a minute to order, and you can download it right away, as an Adobe PDF document. Get it today for only $9.95
Buy Now If you're not completely satisfied, it comes with a 30 day, no questions asked, money back guarantee.

Do you need a pattern resizer or a design program? I can recommend Pattern Wizard and Rapid Resizer. They are reasonably priced and you get a fairly long free trial before you have to commit to paying for them. You have the option of buying one or the other or both.

Just in case you don't know, the Stained Glass Gems ezine is mailed out the third Sunday of every month. Be on the look out for [Stained Glass Gems] Issue 16 on Sunday, March 21th.

I want to encourage you to have fun and experiment with your glass. Try new things and different techniques. It's amazing what you can do when you "think outside the box."


Stained Glass Patterns and Tutorials

This is where you can Contact Me

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