Water Prism Questions

by BJ Moore
(Maryville, TN)

Do you lay wire on the seams between the trianges and also between the joins of the top and bottom or just between the top and bottom pieces.

I also had the hardest time with getting my solder lines on the top and bottom pieces (soldering the trianges).
My lines are not smooth and some of my edges of foil lifted up on the outside surface.

Any suggestions. I'm kind of new to stained glass, but when I came upon your webpage I couldn't wait to try my hand at the water prism. I'm not giving up, its only my third foil project. All my other projects I could solder flat.

I wanted some feed back before I started another one.

Do you think if I put a little silicone on the outside
(a very little) like we did before soldering it will keep the foil that lifted a little from leaking?

BJ Moore


You only need the wire between the top and bottom sections of the water prism.

As for the foil lifting, make sure the edges of the bevels are absolutely clean before you apply the foil. Wipe the edges with alcohol to get them clean.

After you apply the foil, burnish the foil well, on both the front and back of each bevel. If the foil isn't burnished well, flux will get under the edges of the foil and cause it to lift.

Silicone on the outside totally destroys the beauty of the water prism. Don't put it on the outside. My suggestions above should keep the foil from lifting.

Keep the seams level as you solder. You can balance the sections on wadded up newspaper, a brick, a carton, anything you can find that will work to keep them level. If they aren't level the solder will run downhill and your seams will never be smooth.

Here are my instructions for soldering copper foil. They might help you.

If you continue to have problems, ask again, and attach a picture with your submission so we can see the problem areas.

Comments for Water Prism Questions

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Mar 10, 2012
newbie doing water prism
by: em

Hey, you are very brave to be new at S.G and starting on a water prism. It took me years to try this. It is one of those jobs that need 3 hands to keep things together.I will tell you how I do mine. I use 2x4 diamond bevels(5) and one diamond shaped piece of irid glass.I foil them all,keeping a narrower line of foil on the inside of the bevel, then I tin them all and clean them before I start to put them together.That way(I used black backed foil)it is silver inside when sldered. I used a q-tip dipped lightly in flux(so as not to have flux running into the centre)Tack all the prism together then solder all around. Don't keep going over the solder line too much as it will run into the middle and spoils the look.
I have never used colored irid ,but am about to try it. I sell these by the bunch, at my vendor corner once a month at our local hospital. People love them. I have not got overly creative as you folks do. They are gorgeous. Thanks for your great website.

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