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“Light My Fire” – Cutting the Glass

It’sssssssssssssssss Glass Cutting Time…. This is my cutting area – isn’t it precious?

A room for cutting stained glass with a work table, shelving with stained glass sections, and bins full of cut stained glass
Leia's glass cutting room

Allow me to introduce you to the Tools of the Trade and their descriptions before we get to the dangerous stuff, shall we?

An open work case filled with glass cutting tools
Glass cutting tools
  1. This is a screwdriver (insert shock here) a teeny screwdriver used to replace cutter heads.

  2. These are Grozier Pliers - the flat side is used to snap glass in half at a perpendicular angle and the rounded side is to scrape thin shards off your edges that would otherwise slice your fingers.

  3. This is a Pistol Grip Glass Cutter - the cutter head swivels and has a diamond-sharpened tungsten carbide wheel. There is a reservoir for cutter oil inside the handle, but if you fill it with oil, you just end up getting oil everywhere, so I just dip the tip in some oil instead. The screw on the back for filling the oil can be used as a breaking ball, but I usually have a straight glass cutter around that has a breaking ball on the end.

    1. This is a little bag with two extra cutter heads and an oil pipette for putting the oil in the cutter. There's an extra screw in there, too.

  4. These are Running Pliers - they have a rubber-coated concave/convex set of ends that allow you to center them on top of a score line in order to squeeze down with measured pressure to run a score line. These are wonderful tools that allow you to cut complex curves.

    1. These are extra running plier rubber ends... they get scratched and cut up with use, so you have to replace them from time to time.

  5. These are Mosaic Nippers - they are incredible for when you have a long thin strip of glass that you want to chop up really fast for mosaics. You just crunch down on the glass without even having to score it. Word of caution, this also can lead to uneven edges and what not, but most of the time, when people do mosaics, they kind of want that.

    1. Extra cutter wheels for the Mosaic Nippers

Also – this is my Apprentice Caitlin – she will ALSO be at LibertyCon. She lives in Manapalan, New Jersey (pronounced Joisey), but every few months she flies to Alabama to stay with us for two weeks where I put her through the ringer in the glass shop.

She apparently enjoys it, she keeps coming back, and she gets better and better every single time. I heart her so hard.

Master Stained Glass Artist Leia and Apprentice Caitlin
Master Stained Glass Artist Leia and Apprentice Caitlin

Now… Here’s a nice pile of patterned glass… let’s get to work.

Various plates of stained glass with drawn patterns ready to be cut
Stained glass waiting to be cut

Cutting glass takes hours, so we’re going to speed right through this… see that pile of gray, that’s about 100 pieces I’ve cut. Want to know how it’s done? I’ll be doing a demonstration AT LibertyCon – make sure to come to it. It’s loud and scary, you’ll love it!

A plastic container full of cut gray stained glass pieces
"Smoke on the water..."

See this fella? He almost went into my hand… Caitlin was equally concerned…

Leia looking concerned, the extremely sharp piece of glass in her palm, and Apprentice Caitlin looking concerned
Danger glass is dangerous

Oh, don’t worry… I donated some blood, I always do… but this time it was a rock, not part of the flame.

Content Warning: Juice de Leia Below

Leia's hand with a cut and drops of blood on a stained glass section
The dangers of glass exposed
"Light My Fire" with gray stained glass laid in

As I kept cutting and the pieces were laid on the pattern, I was quite pleased with how much it was looking like my mocked-up digital window until I started cutting Brandy’s gorgeous face and with each piece I put on the pattern, I laughed more and more at how it looked less and less like her…

"Light My Fire" close up on Brandy's face

"Light My Fire" with blue added

I mean …. Bahahhahahaha

"Light My Fire" with Brandy's face done

K – Plan B – I’m going to paint her face! I can’t do my girl like that!

"Light My Fire" with Brandy's face ready to be painted on

Stay Tuned for the next installment – Grinding, Copper foiling, and Soldering!!!

Stay Glassy!

Leia Powell

Artist Guest of Honor LibertyCon 36

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