February 2014: I found a panel on the internet that I simply had to make. The original is a series of six large (six foot) windows in the Schiffer Villa in Budapest, Hungary which was built in the early 1900s.
The panels are Art Nouveau in genre and depict sunflowers and birds. All six panels are identical in the original so I decided to make just one panel for my living room and down size it to four feet. There aren’t many close ups on the internet so I essentially had to draw the pattern from scratch…532 pieces. This was really fun as I love the creativity of designing and drawing.
At the writing of this sentence, I am one week into this project and still in the early stages (pattern cutting). Already have about 10 hours invested so this promises to be a nice long project.
Had to build a small workbench on which to construct the panel. Made it 2′ x 4′ by 44″ high. Perfect height for assembly and soldering. Why didn’t I do this years ago?
Broke out the background pieces the last weekend of March Break (March 8-9, 2014). With the “break” over, it was time to grind glass. Went to Kent’s and bought a sheet of 0.5″ sheet rock for framing the panel on – cut to 52″ long so it would overhang the table top. This is what I will fasten the frame jig to later on. Monica helped me slide the pattern and pieces onto it the sheet rock. Helping hands are appreciated.
Grinding glass is fun but grinding work, oh, yes! Just keep grinding away. Loving it and losing count of the hours …. How fortunate I am in this life to get to do this. You can’t imagine what good therapy it is … or maybe you can.
Once the clear background was ground to fit, next came the Horns. The glass used was a clear hammered. This was a great exercise in cutting curves and grinding to a fine point. I worked away at this phase the weekend of March 22 in between spending time with Ryan and Sarah who were both home together – wonder family time… lots of photos.
The project progressed through March and one of the worst storms we had all winter. We just want to see the sun and green grass and hear the birds. If not for this project, I think I would have gone mad this winter.
Mid April now and the snow is melting and I’m still grinding away. Got the thorns done April 13th. The small stems and leaves are next. Used a seedy clear for both thorns and small stems. The birds are next, so still a long ways away yet.
April 17 – Delberta’s birthday. Starting the birds. Using an iridescent Urobos glass with multiple colors. Such a beautiful glass. Birds would be thankful I used such a glass.
As mid April turns into late April, I am into the washing and foiling phase. Doing this in small sections and keeping the pieces in Ziploc bags once foiled. Will have to do the entire panel this way and then reassemble later. This is good so that if I have to take a break during the project, no problem. The foiled pieces will be zip-locked and protected from the air. Might need a break before this is finished since my Dad is not well these days. We travel to see him as much as possible. He is going to spend some time at his home with 24/7 care after being in the hospital for nearly 3 weeks.
Finally finished the panel the last weekend of May. Soldering took several days on and off but I ran the final soldering marathon on Sunday morning (June 1) and then washed, patinaed and polished in the afternoon just before Happy Hour on the deck. Such a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. Below is the entire photo journey from start to finish. I estimate 80 hours (maybe more).