Koi Pond Stained Glass Mobile
This creative mom converts colorful glass into everything from jewelry and wind chimes to mobiles and magical dream fairies.
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Jennifer Daggs has a history of making crafts and earning money from them. This crafty entrepreneur started out in the 3rd grade making soft sculpture dolls from her mother's panty hose. She sold them for $3.50 each and saved up enough money to buy herself a 10-speed bike. In college she moved on to marbleizing silk scarves, which she sold to buy her own textbooks. Later in life, her husband challenged her to try stained glass, which she did and loved. This full time mom and part time crafter converts colorful glass into everything from jewelry and wind chimes to mobiles and magical dream fairies.
Materials and Tools:
2 small glass nuggets for eyes/head of the dragonfly
ring saw for detail cuts
general cleaning agent (Simple Green)
lead free solder
fid or bone folder
flux and brush
copper ground wire
16-gauge stainless steel wire
heavy stock paper
stained glass pattern
stained glass cleaner
stained glass polish
grade 0000 steel wool
yellow glass beads for inside the flower
*Use a work board that won't catch fire and that allows pushpins to be inserted.
1. Draw designs for the fish, lily pads and dragonfly either by tracing from existing art or freehand.
2. Transfer designs onto heavy stock paper to make an actual size pattern, number each piece of the design to keep track of each piece and its placement in the design. Using carbon paper, make a second copy of each design.
3. Cut the pattern apart. Keep the second copy of the design intact for laying out the cut glass.
4. Using a permanent marker, trace each pattern piece onto the glass, paying attention to the "grain" or design of the glass. Write the number of the pattern piece onto each glass piece.
5. Wearing safety glasses, cut out each glass piece using a glasscutter.
6. Grind the edges of each glass piece on the grinder to smooth. Make any final adjustments as to how the pieces fit together, especially the fish if it has been cut free hand.
7. Clean each piece of glass to remove oil, dirt or remaining glass dust. You may need to re-number each piece of glass after cleaning and drying. Make sure you remember which side is up.
8. Place the dry pieces on top of the uncut pattern page to make sure that everything matches up and fits together properly. If they don't fit, use the glasscutter or grinder to reshape as needed.
9. Wrap the edges of each glass piece in copper foil. Rub all the bubbles out of the foil with the fid (or bone folder) and cut excess edges off with a razor blade. Put the pieces back onto the pattern page.
10. Plug in the soldering iron to warm up.
11. Slide the pieces onto a work board. For the fish use push pins to push all the pieces together so that they are tight against one another and properly aligned.
13. Using the soldering iron and solder, spot solder the pieces together where the pieces touch and at intersections. Cover all of the copper lines and build up a nice, smooth bead of solder. If necessary, brush on more flux to help the solder flow better.