The most important and time consuming part of Bryony's process is colour and texture choice. Bryony has a note book filled with colour combinations in lists and pictures. Combinations that she dreamt, saw or thought of. Colours are what drives the pattern and the glass choice.
A design: Bryony's designs are drawn free-hand with a black Sharpie. Generally designs are drawn from life and a few may be discarded before a well laid out design catches her eye enough to start looking at glass colours.
Glass choice: There are many shades and textures of glass available to use and due to being in the South-West of the UK, not near a glass supplier, access to glass supplies can be a challenge. Bryony chooses glass from offcuts and stacks of hand-me-down odd shaped sheets. Some is mouth-blown artisan glass in pale mottled shades, some more vibrant Waterglass, to name a few favourites.
Cutting: Bryony uses a glass cutting hand tool and no rulers or guides. Bendy lines are preferred.
Grinding: A glass grinding machine, mask and goggles are used to take all the rough edges off each individual piece of the design. The aim is to get the pieces to fit together like a perfect, slightly loose jigsaw puzzle.
Wash: The process involves a lot of washing in hot soapy water. This part takes off the miniscule sands of glass ready for foil sticking.
Foiling: Sticking a reel of sticky backed copper sellotape around every edge of every piece. This has to be pressed into the glass so it is stuck tight, using a fid (a custom made plastic stick).
Flux and solder: wearing a respiration mask and using a soldering iron, Bryony solders each piece of the glass jigsaw together. A liquid flux allows the melted lead based metal to run where the copper foil is placed.
Final soldering: Wash. solder lead came around the edge. Make and solder on hanging rings.
Patina: Bryony likes strong black lines to make a more punchy final design and contrast with the colours. A metal oxide is painted along the silver solder.
To finish: wash. Hang with steel wire and copper crimpers using a vice.
If you have any questions about getting some glass commissioned, I'm always keen to listen and see where I can help.
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