About The Project

About The Project

Monday, January 30, 2017


Glass can do many things.  It can break, snap, glisten and glow.  When it comes to shaping it and "encouraging" one piece or another to fit into place, I have a large arsenal of tools at my disposal.

Pictured here is my beloved grinding wheel.  It's like spinning sandpaper that slowly wears away the glass with a rough surface.  The white mess you see is the ground glass "sand" piling up and also water which acts as a lubricant to keep the machinery from overheating.  Underneath, I've added a scrap of leather to slide the glass on as I gently rotate it across the face of the rotating wheel.  Without that leather, the glass "sand" would happily scratch my pretty Heisey pieces and I'd lose that magnificent lustre in about two minutes flat.

I'm sure you can imagine the mess this sort of machine makes in the rest of my workshop too - spraying water and glass "sand" with abandon.  Over the years I've developed a deep, cellular loathe for that mess, and so I built a taped-together "hood" or sorts to cover the workspace without interfering with my view.  It might not be perfect or expensive, but it does the job just fine and it has made my life a lot easier to just accept the fact that working with stained glass will always be messy; it's best to let the mess live in one place after all and not stress about it.

That spatter gets everywhere too, and is especially annoying when it gets onto my glasses!  Oh the sacrifices we artists must make for our work.  But OH! how we are rewarded.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A little before and after

By now, I'm getting quite a system in place.  Raw materials go on to the board and a basic cartoon/sketch of how I'm hoping everything will come together.  I start trimming and cutting and looking for symmetry.  Then things start to fall into place, everything changes around, decisions are made, plans are upended, magical little surprises pop up everywhere, and then WHAMMO I get to see how the finished panel is going to really hold together.

It's back breaking.  It's frustrating.  It's inspiring.  It's enchanting.

It's Heisey.  What else can I say?  I am so lucky to have this opportunity.  I think I am the luckiest person around, most days.  Just look at it.  I can't help myself.  Every cut, every bandaid, every burn and every ibuprofen is absolutely worth it when I get to see things like this come together before my very eyes.


Dedication panel thumbnail for the bottom half of one of the doors.


One of the dedication panels "completed" (not quite, but I can hold it up to the light!)

Just look at the changes I made!  Of course, there's still another panel to finish for the other door.  And OH what surprises await!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


I just finished working with this monster of a piece; the yellow one.  It's was a real pain in the neck, to be honest.  The color was perfect, the pattern was delicious, it was an irresistible piece to be sure.


Goodness gracious how was I going to put a thing like that into my lovely work?

Well, of course I found a way.  We're friends again and it's very happy in its new home.