The production of Tiffany stained glass is a little bit different from the production of classic stained glass we know from churches and cathedrals. Both techniques are seemingly similar but with the Tiffany technique can conjure up much finer and more detailed work – glazed windows, doors, jewelry, paintings and other decorations. They can be used wherever it’s necessary to let light in and refurbish the place of living.
Coloured glass makes the bases. It’s cut to small pieces with the help of a template made according to your own imagination. Glass of different colours and structures is used. However, glass is the material rather tricky. You can’t avoid small fragments which are made during cutting process and that can easily injure. In my experience I can say that the cathedral glass can hurt more than opalescent glass. So it’s good to be prepared and have a plaster and a brush for sweeping of the glass fragments from the table – especially of the smallest ones.
After subsequent grinding and small shape corrections of each glass piece they’re wrapped in a thin adhesive cooper foil to create frames around each piece. This foil is carefully smoothed and pressed to the glass. A wide range of cooper foil is offered – different colours (cooper, silver, black) and widths. The choice of a foil depends on a personal preference of the artist.
The thin cooper foil is much stronger than it might seem. But it will not help if there are larger gaps between each pieces created thanks to the low quality of glass cutting. Tin leaks out on the other side while using the solder. Thus, the closer the cooper strip edges are adjacent, the better and stronger are joints. Remember to fasten all the pieces before soldering them together.
It’s necessary to use a soldering fluid. But there’s no need to exaggerate it – too much liquid forms bubbles. Tin is sequentially applied to the individual joints and thus form a continuous layer which plastically stands out from the future work.
The tin joints can be covered by patina of different colours (cooper, black, brown…) or by antioxidant to remain beautifully silver.
The price of products made in Tiffany technique is quite high – thanks to expensive glass which is imported, the time of the artists and the quality of the work which is also very diverse.