Anywho, I am getting near the end of my stained glass project! It's been fun, and I really don't want it to end. But I am also glad this last class is over. It gave me major hand cramps that lasted until well into the next day. The good news is, I am done with all my foiling (see below). The bad news is I didn't get to start soldering, so there aren't any fun stories about third degree burns. Darn.
(Does soldering really have an "l" in it? Seriously, who decided these spellings?)
Before I get going on a tangent about the nonsensical spellings of the English language, let me run you past how my hand cramp class went...
Step 1: I finished all my cutting and grinding last week and got everything laid out. I had hoped to start soldering this week, but I completely forgot about the step in between: foiling. Each piece of glass must be wrapped in a sticky, thin tape made of copper foil. The foil will give the solder something to melt onto so the pieces stick together. So the entire night this week was spent foiling my glass. That's it. Step 1. That's all there was.
I'll break it down for you a little bit, though, so you can see how foiling works.
Part 1 of Step 1: Gather the tools. Tools for this week included a roll of 7/16" copper foil with a black back (I guess there are different colors on the back of the foil tape which affect your final product in some way I could not discern from the description the teacher gave me.), a FID (yes, that's its actual name, and it might be my new favorite word. I am certainly going to remember it for scrabble.), and a tiny pair of scissors.
Part 2 of Step 1: Windex and wipe off all the white residue from the edges of the glass that was created by grinding it. The tape won't stick if the glass has residue on it. I probably should have worn gloves for this step because I kept forgetting that running your finger along the edges of glass might not be wise. The cloth wasn't enough of a barrier, evidently, and I ended up with quite a few neat little slashes on my finger tips. Not as impressive as third degree solder burns, I know, but at least it's something.
Part 4 of Step 1: Wrap the entire piece in tape then cut the tape (or rip it since picking up the scissors was entirely too much effort).
Part 5 of Step 1: Now use the fid to smooth down the tape onto the edge, and the flat front and back, of the glass piece. You have to rub quite hard and make sure it sticks in the dips and ripples. Although you'd think this becomes monotonous, wrapping and smoothing the tape on piece after piece of glass, I found it very soothing and catharctic. However, you have to grasp this tiny pencil-like fid quite firmly and exhert quite a lot of pressure, and after a while my knuckles got sore and I got a hand cramp in that meaty part of my palm. I can still feel it 2 days later.
(Does exhert have an "h" too? What the heck?!)
Here's how it looks all foiled:
And now for an entire discourse on the absurdity of the English language, starting with the word "trough" ......