First Time Here...

ntt_houDecember 23, 2008

Hello everyone! This is my first time here at this forum.

I want to learn to do stained glass. I was planning to take a beginner class but it is expensive and healthwise, it's not easy to keep up the class schedule.

I was wondering if you could share how you come about to learn "how to" do stained glass? I mean did you take a class, learn from others, self-taught, or used video/DVD classes?

So far, most of my crafty projects, I learned by myself from books, internet, etc. Do you think learning stained glass can be accomplished the same way?

Do you have a beginners book that helped you? If you do, would you mind sharing the title & author?

Thanks in advance and I appreciate any feedback you have.


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Welcome Natalie! I can't help you with stained glass per se. I've been learning to do mosaics for about 2 years now. My best help has been at this and other forums.
I would go to your local library and check out every book you can find and that would be a great place to start!
Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2008 at 3:39AM
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Welcome to the forum! I would suggest a visit to the local stained glass store or a community coarse, as it can cost at least $400 in equitment to get started with it and glass can usually run $10/sqft from there on, so taking a course so you learn the best ways to get the best results, and if it is something you wanna spend that kind of investment on(usually the courses provide the tools) or ask someone to give you a private lessons, as hands on is always so much better than just learning out of a book...I think that people who know how to sew, have an advantage over us who don't, as they already know how to cut out a pattern!!!lol! But there is so much to learn about the way glass breaks, that it is best to start with a course is my 2 cents worth! I tried the cheap way and it cost me a lot of frustration!!! It's better to start off with the right tools and instruction!!! It is a very wonderful hobby, and I think it has totally changed my life for the better!!! Even if I can't leave a stained glass store with less than $100 worth of glass per visit!!lol! Here is a pic of my glass obsession...far front right: lightbox, grinder, glass saw, and a couple grand worth of glass....(spoken like Golem: ahhh, my pretties...!!!)lol!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 24, 2008 at 10:49AM
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WELCOME! Glad you found us!

I agree with calamity-she gave great advice. I started 30 years ago with a class and it changed my life too! Then I let all I learned "sit" for about 20 years while my family was young. After they "flew the coop" I took a refresher class and again, it energized me. Because I had so much scrap stained glass, I discovered mosaics, and due to having learned the basics through classes, I could then use "how to books" & the "internet" which has a wealth of info.

Classes/courses are part of the investment and well worth the cost and effort. I am still learning, every new class I take...I don't regret for one minute the time and money spent there.


    Bookmark   December 24, 2008 at 11:14AM
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I got started like this in 2000. I found how-to guides / beginner's guides on the internet--8 years later there are many more online. Here's an example: Getting Started

Then I found a local stained glass supply store. There isn't one where I live now but Hobby Lobby has a decent selection.

I bought the bare minimum as follows:
- Glass tools: Pistol-grip glass cutter, Grozier pliers, Running pliers -- approx $50
- Copper foil stuff (instead of lead came): a roll of adhesive copper foil 3/16" to 1/4", an application tool, soldering iron & stand, solder, flux, solder patina, cheap small brushes -- approx $60
- Grinder: I used a Dremel tool to start out, because I already owned one. I just got a low-end grinder from Hobby Lobby for $80 with their 40%-off coupon.
- Sheets of glass... basic colors start at $5 retail for 1/8" thick 1'x1'

So that's about $200 just to get started on your own, and that works for some people. However if you can find a class that provides tools and supplies, you might get off to a better and less expensive start.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2008 at 12:45PM
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It is possible to get started on your own if that is hwat you choose to do...but I would agree with the advice to take a class. I tried on my own first and was very frustrated and gave up for many years. Then a friend was scheduled to take a class and because of travel for his job he couldn't attend it. He offered to let me take it in his place. I learned the basics and have loved every minute of it since. Stained Glass in an expensive hobby to get started in. I would hate to see you invest in the equipment and then get frustrated with it and decide to toss it aside. It is my way to release stress and frustration from the rest of life rather than being the source of it. I wish you the best of luck with glass. I think it is the best art around....and I think I have tried everything else that there is out there.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2008 at 5:37PM
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Thanks all for your feedbacks.

Actually, yes, I do know how to sew and learned it by myself too. I mean, how hard can it be just to follow instructions in a pattern? This is where I learned patience can take you further than you can imagine. And... it's also a must if you want to complete a project. But, you all already knew that, right?

As you all advised, taking a basic class helps to grasp the basic technique. I have checked the closest colleges and don't see the class listed in the Spring semester. I will keep looking then.

As for the cost, most of my hobbies, I've spent that much anyway. I mean, to sew, you have to spend just about that much on a sewing machine & fabrics. Hey, I even spent that much on just crochet... ha-ha... please don't ask me on what.

I must admit, I have more hobbies than have time to do them but still want to make time learning stained glass. I had a friend that knew it well and she created simple yet, beautiful things. She had moved years ago to her husband's hometown. Well... in the mean time, I have ordered some beginner books to read on it.

Again, thanks all.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2008 at 10:48PM
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I haven't done any stained glass yet, but started mosaic in the past couple of years, and totally enjoy the friends I've made here on this forum!

Welcome! And we'll look forward to your projects!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2008 at 1:35PM
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Oh yes this is one of the sites that I lurk in almost's FUN...and the folks are awesome!!!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 8:45PM
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Another thing that you could do is order a DVD about doing stained glass, they sometimes have them at the local libraries.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 8:51PM
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Welcome to the group - you'll enjoy playing w/glass here. There are some fantastic artists to help you w/questions along your new journey.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2008 at 9:02AM
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