inspired by a class in Scotland.....

Travelling is wonderful and having the opportunity to learn, create and participate in classes not available at home raises the experience to another level. While on my 1/2 gap year to Europe in 2015 I participated in a masterclass in Newburgh just north of Edinburgh with American artist Larry Thomas.

My first view of Scotland

So much laughter with these 2 lovely ladies,

Hannele and Joan The many moods of Newburgh

Now this is something very different and totally out of my comfort zone - and just what I wanted and needed

Colour, line, negative spaces - I was seeing negative spaces for weeks after......

It was just like doing a jigsaw puzzle - drawing, cutting, re-positioning

Playing with the pieces

Make a square

Make a line

Duplicate it

Turn it around

Shade it

And then......

You know what?

That looks like a leadlight design



The choice of glass for the leadlight came from the visual textures in the landscape, particularly the water

And so it begins.......

Officeworks were able to print the pattern at the correct size

2 copies - one copy as a pattern on which to cut, the other as a template

To keep the surface clear of glass shards you must sweep often - it is particularly important when cutting mirror. A glass shard can scratch the back of the mirror and make the piece unusable

The original design will need more lines added to make it work in glass

Care must be taken when using mirror in your leadlight

Unlike clear glass cutting lines can not be seen when cutting mirror

Using a pencil extend the pattern lines beyond the piece of mirror being cut

I prefer to then draw the lines on the mirror using a felt pen

Adding a touch of colour and texture enhance the line

Laying the glass on the template

Everything has a story:

  • Red glass came from the old front door from mum house when she lived in North Hobart

  • The mirror was from mums house in Lindisfarne

  • The heavily textured 100+ year old glass was from an old window rescued from the front lawn of a house in North Hobart

By cutting and laying the glass on the template there is an opportunity to change colours or textures to enhance the design. You will note in the photos above that the bottom 2 squares are all glass. Laying the cut pieces in place gives an overview and a snapshot of the finished I changed some of the textured glass to mirror.....happy with the result.

Lead is held in place with horse shoe nails

Soldering the front adds strength to the framework and the piece can be turned with care

Back is soldered

Time to stand it in place to see if it is all I hoped it would be.............interesting.........

Putty time..........then chalking........

Glass cut





.....and now.......

blackening and polishing........

this is the fun bit....the final step.....

so.....a little blackening applied to the lead and then it is time to get out the old fashioned polisher and dance it lightly across the surface........

......and now to decide where it will go and how it will be framed.....

My original thought was to use it as the cupboard door in the main bathroom above the vanity.

No. Won't work and the reason is that it opens quite a distance beyond the tile corner so it intrudes into the standing space in front of the vanity.

Where to from here....find a wall.....

Not quite sure if my use of the level actually worked in the end but....I tried!!

I drilled holes in the beautiful new frame.........why? The best way to display this heavy piece was to screw it to the wall.


locate the stud as this is the strongest place to support the weight...centre top and centre bottom

To help affix it to the wall there are also 2 cavity screws on each side and 2 on the base

Screws countersunk

Holes filled on the surface of the frame

It ain't going nowhere!!

Living room wall is the chosen spot

My goal in the design:

To have the line flow using mirror and the textured glass

Did I achieve it?

I am happy with the outcome....mostly.... :-)


#leadlight #glassart

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