My Dragonflies

emtnestSeptember 2, 2009

OK, bear with me here. I am brand spankin' new to stain glass. My solder is atrocious, but I am working on it. Practice makes perfect right? My blue one is made on a old square nail. I just love it... and the clear glass one is on a spoon...I am so happy to be learning all of this... opens up a whole new world... like I needed another art project...I bought some stain glass supplies a couple of years ago, grinder, scrap glass, foil, etc...and am just now learning what to do with all of it...

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cathyscache

EMT:::: These are way tooooooooo KOOOOLLLL GIRL!!!!!!!! I Love them!!!! Oh my hubby is gonna have a fit if I do all the cool things I want to!!!! HA HA!!!! LOL!!!!!!! Have not got into this YET!!! Want to though....someday....

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 9:52PM
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katishooked

Emt, you say bare with me, brand spankin new,atrocious??????? Geesh if only I could make one of these sweet lookin dragon flies. I absolutely say wow. Great job.

Kat

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 5:33AM
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smickerdoodle

EMT those are so adorable. I absolutely love the one on the spoon. This is another reason to look at teh silverware at the thrift stores and garage sales. I have been doing stained glass for several years and your solder lines aren't all that bad either. The clear one looks like the decorative soldering that some are doing on purpose. Keep up the great work! You are right...practice makes perfect!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 7:00AM
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texasfern

I'm lovin it!
Those are wonderful. I have never tried stained glass, but I really have a desire to.
Glass just facinates me.
Looking forward to more from you.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 8:44AM
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emtnest

Oh thank you all for such great feedback...here is a pic of a dragonfly that I took at camp. Would love to figure out how to replicate it.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 2:09PM
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chinatreasures

Love your dragonflies!!! I especially like the spoon one. Could you have soldered directly to the spoon instead of foiling the spoon? I love experimenting with different metals to solder directly to. I used to make dragonfly plant stakes using a piece of H lead came as the body; trimming the tail part to a rounded point; using a larger nugget and running a piece of foil down the center for the head/eyes; the wings were very similar in shape to the ones you used and I would solder them into the H came channel. I attached a small copper rod that was bent at the end for the stake. When I get home I'll take a quick pic and post it.

I'm currently working on some beaded birdies I think turned out really cute. I'm trying to come up with some VERY inexpensive sun danglers for some upcoming shows using just a single piece of glass and beads for embellishment. I'll post of pics of those also.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 2:33PM
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emtnest

China... I don't know if I could solder right onto to spoon. I did it that way cuz my friend who taught me how did it that way.. but now I will try it on my next one. Would love to see pics of your work. I am open to all suggestions... thanks so much

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 2:39PM
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silvamae

Those are gorgeous! Love them both.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 3:11PM
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chinatreasures

Ok, I only had one dragonfly and it wasn't quite like I described. I took the H came and twisted it for the body but you can see how I did the head/eyes:

I did have these butterflies that have the straight body. I textured some solder on top of the came to give it a little different look:

The purple butterfly with the china as bottom wings has a small crack in the glass (probably too much heat). But she has stayed out year round for the past 5 years and sometimes gets to fly a little (thanks to my 3yo grandson) and she still loves hanging around!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 6:56PM
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texaswild

Now see - y'all are making me go PAST crazy this morning on these stained glass thingys. I've NEVER had ANY desire to work w/solder, but - oh good grief - what's a body to DO??? The possibilities are endless. No - not doin' it - getting back to my lathe sculpture!!! and that's THAT!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 4:30AM
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chinatreasures

Hmmm, I'm wondering what a little dragonfly or butteryfly would look like mosaiced into one of your sculptures? I know, a collaboration ~ I'll make the pieces in stained glass and you mosaic them into your pieces!!! LOL

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 9:16AM
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little_dani

Emtnest, I love your dragonflies! How creative is all of this! I am a fairly new SG worker, and the wheels in my head are just spinning right now. I just found you all!

Emtnest, I don't think you soldering is atrocious at all. I have found that a little black patina hides a multitude of my soldering sins. There is the copper patina as well, but it does tend to show off all the offensive things I do.

I want to see more! I love the idea of using the H-came for the bodies. I use copper tubing on occasion, and you can solder right to it.

This is soooo much fun!

Janie, who thanks you all for sharing.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 1:17PM
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emtnest

China, your butterflies are darling... will have to see about getting some of that came... I'm so new to this I didn't even know what it was... duh..home now from the long weekend and ready to start back in....

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 1:30AM
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Calamity_J

I can't believe I didn't comment on this yet...I did in my head!!!lol! Anyhoo, I LOVE these and really love those old horseshoe nails, found a rusty old can of them and am saving them for some lightbulb moment idea!lol! And the spoon one is adorable too!!! I've experimented with different bodies for butterflies and dragonflies too, with glass and came, and even bought a already made dragonfly at a thriftstore and just glued glass to the body and wings, I have it in my GOG album. Ya, I just got an idea for a wiremesh vase and flowers(kinda what Slow is doing right now) and some butterflies on wire, buzzing around it...ya, up on a pedestal like Flag is making...oh ya...SHUT MY BRAIN OFF!!!!!heh heh!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 10:42AM
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emtnest

Oh Calamity,
Don't ever shut that brain off... FEED IT!!!! Those are not horseshoe nails... they are the old square nails they used to use in building. We collect them up at our camp in the high sierra. There used to be a sheep herders camp on our property and they had a building there.. when it rains it brings the nails to the surface and they go down the hill... we go on the hill and find them... they are hard to see as they blend in with the dirt, but we have a boxful of them that we've found over the years... knowing that sometime I would find something to use them on we saved them all...
I think it would be fun to see what kinds of bodies for dragonflies and butterflies that everyone can come up with...ok, now I've rambled on....

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 1:56PM
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fiddlekate

Wow! They are beautiful!!!
I've not done stained glass either... I'm so swamped with mosaic things to consider doing that I can't think about it much right now. But yours are sure an inspiration!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 8:57PM
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addiesue

Emtnest....I love 'em! Those would be adorable hanging from the ceiling of my covered patio!...lol. I've only tried to solder twice....the first time I gave myself a first degree burn and the second time around my flower fell apart and the glass broke. I don't think I really understand the whole came and flux thing. How long is the nail used for the first dragonfly? I love them both...my favorite is the one made out of the nail. Keep up the fun and thanks for sharing!

Addiesue

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 1:07AM
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emtnest

Addiesue, the nail is about 5 inches long, then I have a short nail soldered onto that, so it's about 8" total. I didn't understand it all either until I got a lesson from my friend in Canada. I was so happy to learn it. The flux has to be painted on before the solder will adhere. And, it has to be applied in fast sweeping movements or the heat will break the glass. Don't give up... read, read, read about it...

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 12:55PM
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emtnest

Today's dragonfly, washers for eyes...

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 8:53PM
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squirrellycanadian

I love the washers for eyes! I tried a few, saw them on the other site and thought they looked like fun. I flattened the spoon, copper foiled around the edge to solder the wings on, then did mosaic on the body. 2 are for gifts, 2 are for me.
From Mosaics

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 10:24PM
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chinatreasures

WOW! Y'all are so creative. Gotta go find some spoons. What type of surface and hammer did you use to flatten the spoons? Do I need to get a anvil also?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 9:25AM
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gardencrone

Squirrelly and MT....love your dragonflies. They are so beautiful in life, it is not strange that we are trying to capture them in our mosaics. Squirrelly...I have been trying to do what you did so perfectly! I did not have a lot of luck with grouting and I used GEII for glue and maybe on metal that is not a good idea. I had problems. MT...I do not have a soldering gun so I used what I had and I realize that it doesn't give me as much range. I need to know how to get the grout to stick and if I should use something else for glue since the silicone did not work so well. Got any advice?
http://i913.photobucket.com/albums/ac340/gardencrone/P1010022.jpg

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 3:20PM
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emtnest

Todays dragonfly is on a spoon. Still not happy with my soldering, especially where I attach it to the spoon...lumpy looking. Do I need a smaller bit? Experts, help....pretty please...

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 6:05PM
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emtnest

Gardencrone, I'm not sure what you can do, I would have thought that the ge11 would have worked fine. Maybe the grout doesn't have enough rough surface to grab onto...

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 9:28PM
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little_dani

emtnest, you look to be doing fine to me. You might try a narrower foil. I resisted the narrow foil at first, but it really does look nice when you are done.

Black patina would look nice on the nails, I don't know what it would do to the spoon. You could try it and see, maybe on an edge of a spoon. That way, you would be covering it with foil, and it could be covered up, if it didn't look right. You can check the black patina out at this site.

Janie

Here is a link that might be useful: Black patina from Delphi

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 10:09PM
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squirrellycanadian

Gardencrone, I used ge silicone for glue, and just regular sanded grout, everything seems to be holding up just fine. Emtnest, I think your soldering looks just great, I find it hard to make a perfect line of solder on something small, and maybe if there isn't enough solder the wings might be a little flimsy........I don't know, just guessing. I covered up my messy solder with glass!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 11:09PM
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chinatreasures

Emtnest, Let me know what type of flux, what size tip and what size iron you're using. Soldering takes so much practice and there are so many factors involved. Be sure you are using plenty of flux (I know you're not supposed to use so much that it spits at ya, but sometimes I do!).

Have you thought about using a u-came on the wings? You would still have the issue where the wings attach to the spoon. This butterfly was made using the u-came. As you can see, where the wings attach to each other, the solder's not completely smooth but the border around the wings are perfect due to the came. You can even now get lead free came.

Here is a link that might be useful: Butterfly with u-came

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 8:32AM
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emtnest

Oh thank you for your interest Chinatreasures...
Solder iron is 80 watt Weller
Solder tip is 5/8"
Solder is Cantfield Solder-mate 11

Will have to see if they carry the u-came where I get supplies. Yours looks so perfect around the wings. Is that u-came a solder? and, will it take a patina?

Someone else suggested doing a black patina, will be looking for that too.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 12:51PM
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artglass

I am enjoying all the dragonflies. Will definetly be on the look out for some spoons. I like to take something small to give to our "winter neighbors" in Texas. This should be perfect! Thanks for sharing the idea. The picture of the real dragonfly would be fun to make using the riana method. How about the tail being made with a "swim noodle" like flag was using. Then make the egg shape body with the Riana method and add a short piece of noodle crossway to hold the eyes. Rebar or brazing rods bent up thru body for the legs before concrete is put on. Make the wings from the wire mesh without concrete covering.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 3:17PM
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emtnest

Wow, Artglass, you're creative juices are flowing... go for it! And, here is today's. Sure makes a difference if sun is shining through the glass. It looks dull on this one.Took a hammer and flattened the spoon.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 3:40PM
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chinatreasures

Artglass, can't wait to see your dragonfly using Riana's method! Quite an idea you have brewing there!!

Emtnest, to try to answer your questions, here goes:

Here is a link to the u-came: http://www.glasscrafters.biz/Merchant2/graphics/en-US/gc/_6/6125l.jpg

It is a solid, very maleable material that's shaped (sorta) like a u. You would put your glass in the u part (very hard to describe). Traditionally, you would cut it to length with a lead cutter, but I just use wire cutters. Then after wrapping it around the edges of the glass (just as if it were foil) you would butt the edges to each other and solder together or, like my butterfly, I didn't wrap the glass entirely but rather put the edges of the glass into the H came that I used for the body and soldered the edges of the U came to the H came. OMG, this sounds sooooo confusing.

As far as your soldering tools and materials go, I use a 100 watt iron so you may not be getting enough heat to get a good bead. If possible, see if you can get a 800 deg tip to put in your iron. You also might get a thinner tip to have more control over your soldering. I use a 1/4" tip almost all the time, but that's because I also do decorative soldering with it and am too lazy to switch them out!

On this last dragonfly, did you solder directly to the spoon? It doesn't look like the spoon head is foiled.

Ok, I went to GW at lunch to search some spoons and there was very little to choose from, but, I was looking at the knives and picked up a couple to experiment with. I was thinking I could cut off the handle and use the handle as the body. Can't wait to get home and start sawing!!

I'll see if I have some time this weekend to take pics of using the U came. I think the leaded U came will take a patina, but I'm not sure about the hobby came, since it's lead free.

Oh, and about the patina, I love using the black patina on my pieces because it really does hide a multitude of imperfections!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 4:04PM
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emtnest

Chinatreasures,
Thanks for all the info. Boy that came is kind of expensive, but then I guess this artform is expensive. I do have several rolls of foil that I should probably use up first. I think I have some of the real thin as well.
The spoon is not foiled. Someone else suggested I try it that way and I guess since it is a silver spoon it works. I like it better that way.
Since I'm on a dragonfly frenzie that's what my fam is getting for Christmas. And, I'll learn as I go. Thanks again for all the good info.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 7:07PM
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little_dani

You could try some 60-40 solder, it is easy to use. I don't like any of the lead free things, unless you have a big problem with the fumes. I especially do not like lead free solder. Also, you could experiment with a 3/8" tip.

It is going to take awhile for you to get all comfortable with everything. I still am not comfy with everything. But I have fun messing around with it. You do a good job.

You can usually find patina at Hobby Lobby.

Janie

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 8:50PM
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emtnest

thanks for all the advise, keep it coming. I think I'm getting a little better at this now..the green one is done with the more narrow foil. And, a smaller tip made all the difference in the world!!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!
Do you have a fav of these three? I did them all last night. Think I've got it down to 2 hrs each.They are all on the old square nails. Used vintage buttons on the yellow and green.


    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 3:50PM
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texasfern

I'm going green.
These are wonderful!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 9:29PM
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chinatreasures

All I can say is WOW!!! You have mastered the art of spoon dragonflies! I spent the whole weekend (well not all of it, most of it I procrastinated due to a little hiccup in my plans) but I finally was able to finish this little guy:

I also posted about making this in my blog.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dragonfly Blog Post

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 9:11PM
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emtnest

Chinatreasures,
Your knife dragonfly is darling. Your tutorial is splendid! It so shows all about the came and how it works. Thanks for posting that. I'd like to chat with you. Will see if your email addy works on here....

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 10:46PM
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emtnest

Two more if you aren't tired of them yet...

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 6:42PM
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mermaidmosaics

Oh Em, sorry I missed these. I just l,ove all of them. I'm taking an intro stained glass class this weekend, it's just a day class to make a suncatcher and see if you like it. It's so much fun seeing your dragonflys progress. Hard to say which one i like best, but the last red glass spoonfly is to die for. You go girl!!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 10:47PM
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emtnest

I haven't any flies left...so had to make more. I think my soldering is improving.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 4:42PM
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texaswild

I missed these too. MY GOODNESS - they are sooooooo beautiful. The ones you posted on Sept. 12th look HUGE. What are the measurments? All these are just fabulous.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 6:13PM
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texasfern

Your soldering is getting better. These are adorable!
My cousin has got to teach me how to do this. She has all the stuff.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 7:17PM
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emtnest

ahhh thanks... the measurements are about 9"X9" give or take depending on spoon size, nail size or wing size. Today I made a butterfly on a nail. Check it out! It's really hard to photograph with the sun almost setting.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 8:56PM
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silvamae

Oh my goodness. They are all so gorgeous. I absolutely love the butterflies, especially the clear glass wings. You are getting better and better every day. I think the iced tea spoons make the best bodies because they are longer and slimmer. They are all wonderful!!!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 9:27AM
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cathyscache

I love all of these!! They are just too cool!! I got a whole box of stained glass STUFF @ an estate sale a few weeks ago, soldering iron and all!!! I think I may have to play tomorrow. This looks like it would be sooo much FUN!!!! Yeah guess I gotta play!! Won't have the slightest idea what to do but gotta try!!! LOL!!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 11:56PM
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emtnest

Cathy, come to Cali and I'll teach you what I know.... that would be dflies...lolol

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 12:22AM
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silvamae

What I Meant to say in my last post was that I really like the old square nails for bodies, especially on the butterflies. So innovative.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 10:29AM
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emtnest

Thanks Silvamae, I like them too and have a boxful! Would love more ice tea spoons as well... only had one, but I keep on the look out for silver spoons at yard sales. That's where I've found all of mine.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 1:12PM
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emtnest






Been busy since hitting the motherlode on silver spoons at an estate sale.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 6:09PM
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emtnest

and one more for today.Nailed the Nail...

    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 2:32AM
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silvamae

I just posted and it didn't show up, so trying again. I can't decide which I like the most, the ornate silver spoon body or the nails. Both are beautiful. Here's an interestingly shaped butterfly I saw on the internet; it would be more stable than four wings and I think it looks cool.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 11:37AM
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emtnest

That's nice Silvamae,
I might just try that.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 4:24PM
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