Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff

Field Trip to Eyecatchers Stained Glass Studio

22 Comments

The Wave

Susan creates custom stained glass windows.

While I’m busy crocheting Zs this week for the Sleepyz Blanket, I thought you might like to see what Hodge, Podge, and Deca Podge (Podge’s mom) have been up to. They had a blast learning how stained glass art is created thanks to Susan Welteroth of Eyecatchers Glass Originals in Yorktown, Virginia.

Longtime readers may recognize that name because Susan is my mom. I consider myself to be a pretty lucky gal. Growing up, my mom taught me just about every craft under the sun. Some of my fondest memories are of summer days filled with arts and crafts projects like painting animals on rocks, weaving potholders, and learning to knit. And, of course, she also taught my brother and me the ins and outs of stained glass. In addition to the usual chores around the house, we “copper-foiled” for a weekly allowance. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it! I became a champion copper-foiler.

Susan makes fused glass fish. Love the big lips!

Of all her gift items, I love Susan’s fused glass fish the most. Those big lips are adorable!

Eyecatchers Glass Originals was founded in 1983 when Susan was commissioned to design windows for a home builder. Today she continues to design and create custom windows, in addition to stained glass gifts, awards, and fine art. Wedding invitations custom framed in stained glass with pressed wildflowers are one of her most popular gift items. She is also frequently commissioned to create awards for several of the military divisions stationed in Hampton Roads. Over the years, she’s returned to her fine art roots with works in warm glass and painting on glass as well.

I asked her to talk a little about what inspires her and what she enjoys most about her work.

“All my life I’ve enjoyed creating with my hands. Also, I enjoy a challenge, which has led me to working with glass; it’s always a challenge. I particularly enjoy depicting nature in glass.

“What pleases me most is the success I’ve had in matching a client’s requests and tastes to the design that I create in glass. This process seems to come easy for me. It gives me a lot of pleasure to add beauty to their lives.

“(I also have to admit that I could be a bit ‘addicted’ to soldering! It’s mesmerizing!!)”

Read on to see Susan get her soldering fix as she shows the squirrels how to make a stained glass acorn sun catcher!

Trip to Eyecatchers Stained Glass

Hodge, Podge, and Deca Podge pick out the design for their acorn sun catcher.

Next they pick out the glass. Whoa, Hodge! Be careful up there.

Next they pick out the glass. Whoa, Hodge! Be careful up there.

Then the design is transferred to the glass with the help of a light box.

Then the design is transferred to the glass with the help of a light box.

The glass is cut out using a scoring pen and a pair of special glass breaking pliers.

The glass is cut out using a scoring pen and a pair of special glass-breaking pliers.

All the pieces are cut out and ready for grinding. Way to supervise, Hodge!

All the pieces are cut out and ready for grinding. Way to supervise, Hodge!

The edge of each glass piece is ground. We better let Susan do this part. Wow! How does your manicure stay so clean with all that grinding? That's the work of an expert right there, friends.

The edge of each glass piece is ground. We better let Susan do this part. Wow! How does your manicure stay so clean with all that grinding? That’s the work of an expert right there.

The edges are ground so that copper foil will adhere to it. Copper foil is kind of like a tape. It comes in a roll that fits into a dispense like tape. It's got one sticky side like tape. But it can be soldered, which is something tape cannot do. Here Hodge and Podge are attempting to help us wrap the edges of the glass pieces with copper foil. Good job, guys!

The edges are ground so that copper foil will adhere to them. Copper foil is kind of like tape. It comes in a roll that fits into a dispenser like tape. It’s got one sticky side like tape. But it can be soldered, which is something tape cannot do. Here Hodge and Podge are attempting to help us wrap the edges of the glass pieces with copper foil. Good job, guys!

Now it's time to solder the pieces together with a soldering iron. Wait a minute, Hodge and Podge. You should probably let Susan do this part. Soldering irons are notoriously... hot.

Now it’s time to solder the pieces together with a soldering iron. Wait a minute, Hodge and Podge. You should probably let Susan do this part. Soldering irons are notoriously… hot.

Soldering the Acorn

The soldering iron melts the solder, which clings to the copper foil (with the help of flux).

The soldering iron melts the solder, which clings to the copper foil (with the help of flux). By adding solder to the edges, the pieces are joined.

By adding solder to the edges, the pieces are joined.

Hodge and Podge watch intently as Susan solders the outer edge of the acorn.

Hodge and Podge watch intently as Susan solders the outer edge of the acorn.

And now we have an acorn sun catcher. Pretty cute!

Thanks, Susan, for teaching us about stained glass. You rock!

Thanks, Susan, for teaching us about stained glass. You rock!

About these ads

22 thoughts on “Field Trip to Eyecatchers Stained Glass Studio

  1. cool! loved the field trip!

  2. Brilliant, I would have loved that too ;) magic, absolutely :D

  3. How beautiful…I love stained glass. Was so happy to read your post and remember times when I was doing it (as hobby). Little things as jewlery and home decorations (little bowls, boxes…) It was so much fun. And I loved copper wrapping :D
    I enjoyed it from start to end. Making designs, picking glass, cutting (that is the hardest part of all, I think), copper wrapping, soldering…..
    Thank you so much for this beautiful post, I have enjoyed so much. Regards to your mom!

    • How awesome that you and I share yet another common bond, this time with stained glass! Isn’t copper wrapping the best? I could do it for hours. I think cutting is pretty hard too… and grinding it so that it fits just right. I never got soldering down. My mom is an expert at that. Did you notice that I let her do all the hard parts on the acorn? — what a daughter I am! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. I’ll be sure to tell my mom hi from you!

      • I agree, copper wrapping is fun :D I don’t have grinding machine, so every peace I had to cut to closest possible measure and grind it by hands a little (with files- think that’s right name for it)
        Will try to find some of my work and will send you few photos :)
        I still have one paper notes holder and few pendants I have made.
        Your mom is an expert and I am so happy you posted about her and her work.

  4. The stained glass acorn is awesome! Heck, stained glass anything is awesome!!! You have a very talented mother, and it’s easy to see where you got all of your creative gifts from!

  5. That was so interesting and the acorn turned out beautifully. I love stained glass and have two doors with it inside. One from 1930s and the other 1950s. Stained glass always has a calming effect on me. It is just so beautiful. Thank you Susan and gang! :-D

    • I bet your windows are lovely! My mom made me a lamp that I keep on the bookshelf next to my workspace, and now that I think of it, the light it provides does have a soothing effect. So glad you enjoyed the blog!

  6. This was great, I enjoyed every picture and your story!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,549 other followers