I stopped into Cline Glass looking for a stained glass lampshade. Turns out they don’t sell those there, but they do sell glass to people who make stained glass lampshades and they do offer classes to people who might want to learn stained glass so that they can eventually make their own stained glass lampshades.


So I started the class in late June. 3 hours a night once a week where we learned to cut, grind, foil, flux, solder and, oh yes, bleed.

On the first night of class we just practiced cutting random pieces of glass, which sounds easy, but there’s a finesse to it that apparently you acquire over time…

art glass shards

Be careful! This stuff is sharp!

While I cut my finger three times that night, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience! At the end of the night I had successfully cut out glass using my practice pattern (note piece #5 in the pattern – it comes up again):
stained glass test patter

practice pattern

The next class was where we picked our projects. I picked a cute, but rather complicated squirrel pattern. It was 25 pieces, lots of curves, and not a realistic pick for a first project. But, my sweet, squirrel-loving dog had just passed the weekend before and when I saw that pattern I thought it a sign from BEYOND that I was meant to make the squirrel. My instructor, Becky, was probably reluctant to talk me out of using that pattern because I was a little weepy when I told her why I chose it.

Cut..cut…grind…grind… With laser focus I cut out my little squirrel parts. I did not cut my finger even once.

Here is a picture of all of the pieces after I cut them. Remember piece # 5 in my practice pattern? That’s a complicated cut (for a newbie) and similar to my squirrel arm. It took me SIX times to cut it out without breaking the arm off in the process!

squirrel pieces cut out

squirrel cuts

In the last class we took our foiled projects and soldered them. And I got to walk out of class with my first finished stained glass piece! Ta-dah!

stained glass squirrel