Frequently Asked Questions

Workshops:

Glass cutting looks like magic and in a way it is. Glass is chemically a liquid, which means it can’t be cut like fabric or paper for example. With the proper tools and straighforward know how everybody is able to cut glass within half an hour or so. And cutting and handling glass, once you follow a few simple rules, is not a problem. In my long years of teaching people I never had any serious injuries. Using a cutter knife or a sharp kitchen knife is more dangerous.
My workshops have always been in small groups of 3 or 4 students. This makes it possible for everybody to work at their own level and speed. Some students like to work with existing designs of which I have many to choose from. Or somebody likes something particular like a certain flower, an animal or abstract shapes. Some students come up with completely new ideas for designs. I am there to teach, support.
Everybody doing a workshop with me has learned how to work with glass, I never had anybody give up. Some people are more used to work with their hands and might pick it up faster. Some students start slow and once they are going they learn fast. We are all different, there is no competition here. Everybody works to their own ability. The main thing is: to have fun and the fulfilment of having made a beautiful piece with your own hands.
From October to April I offer weekly two hour workshops for local students. During the year there are several full day or weekend workshops on given dates or to arranged for groups of three or four to book. With the small number of students in my workshops there are no beginners or advanced levels, everybody works at their own skill level and students enjoy seeing and often being inspired by what the others in the workshop are doing.

General glass questions:

I am mainly using two techniques to join the glass pieces of the design together. One is to use adhesive copper foil, used first by Louis Comfort Tiffany in the early 1900s in America. The copper foil is wrapped around the edge of the glass and then later joined together with solder using a hot iron. The other technique, used since the middle ages, is using lead cames, which are cut to size, placed between the glass pieces, entertwining. Later the joints are fixed with soldering. This is the same technique used in church windows

I also teach and work with glass paints made from powder paints and gum arabic, vinegar or water. They are fired in a kiln at around 600 Degrees Celsius. The paint is part of the glass after the firing and will last as long as the glass basically. It can not be scraped off or wiped off with any solutions.

To commission a glass panel, free standing, to be inserted into a window or door (insertion inside double glazing is often used) I need to know what you have on your mind. Have you seen something that you liked? The internet is great for ideas. Or maybe you and/or you family have a special connection to certain places, history, wildlife, legends? Stained glass has always been used to present certain people or families. Many stories are told in church windows or castles. Coming up with a design for a commission is always a process of finding out what you want and what is possible in stained glass. So it starts with a chat or two, some ideas, some sketches until we find the right one for you. Some customers find what they are looking for amongst the pieces I have on offer at my studio and on my website.

My work is occasionally on offer at art galleries or special exhibitions. Customers can visit me at my studio to view glass designs or arrange for a commission (by appointment only). I am setting up a new website for CAIMILEON. My glass designs and my artwork on paper/canvas will be available through a shop on the website.

As the name Lead came suggests, it contains lead and also does the solder. Again some simple rules apply. No food or drink while working in the studio. For the soldering I use an electric…. which filters any fumes.

There are no glass suppliers in the West of Ireland. I have to go to Dublin to have the widest variety of glasses and materials. Since glass is fragile and lead heavy I go to Dublin a few times a year for glass material shopping. Some smaller items or special tools which I can not get in Ireland I order from companies in Germany.

I trained three years as an art glazier at a specialist school in Germany from 1990 to 1993. Training implied glass painting, leading, glass construction, carpentry and picture framing. I am teaching framing and stained glass since 1993.

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