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Stained Glass Panel: White Dove

We finally took the plunge recently and bought a ring saw that simultaneously cuts and grinds stained glass, making the whole process of working with glass much more enjoyable. We wanted to test it out on a small project and realized it would be the perfect time to finally get into making framed panels for suspension in windows—something we have talked about doing for about two years now. So, we got out our two boxes of ‘scrap’ glass pieces, figuring we might also be able to use up some of that, and poof! We created this bright, happy little piece! We began with a couple of pieces that were already interestingly shaped, things left over from other projects. We basically had three little pieces that nested together with minimal modification. Those became the starting point and from there, we just moved outward toward the edges (we had planned a 10x10 size), adding in interesting shapes and colors as we went, until about halfway through we looked down at the remaining gap areas and saw that we had made a ‘negative space’ bird! So, we got some pieces of white glass and filled in those gaps to create the dove. It is wonderful. Recognizable yet abstract. Who knows what else could be in this piece we didn’t see yet.

After the design was finished, we did the usual process—cleaned and dried all the pieces, foiled them, soldered them, and added a little patina to age the solder and avoid the shiny silver look. With the panel completed, we built the frame for it. We used quartersawn tulip poplar and put a rabbet along one edge, cut the sides and glued them up, with the rabbet now creating a bed for the panel to rest in. We added sycamore keys at the corners for support and decoration and then did a wash of bright yellow on the poplar with acrylic paint and finished it off with a satin polyurethane.

The glass panel is held in place with four screw-down rubbery holders. We elected not to install any hardware for hanging the piece because we realized we have no idea of your specific window situation. Some people like to stand these up in their windows (this will stand up on its own on a level surface). Sometimes people have little stands they like to place stained glass pieces like this on. Other times, people want to hang the piece in the window, but with this piece especially there is no single ‘top’ or ‘bottom’—it could be hung any which way. And we also have no way of knowing what kind of hanging hardware would match your look. So we are leaving it up to you. But tulip poplar is a relatively soft wood, so eye hooks and D rings are easy enough to install by hand, if you choose to hang it, and this piece is light enough that decorative chain or standard picture hanging wire will be fine to use.

This glass panel measures 10" x 10" and the total dimension, including frame, is 11 3/4” x 11 3/4”

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