I just got back from a week’s teaching at the fabulous Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in Gatlinburg Tennessee beside the Great Smoky Mountains of Appalachia.
I had three goals for my students: to explore the relationship between leadlines and paint; learn how to translate a drawing or photograph into stained glass; and to mix, thin, paint and print glasspaints using propylene glycol.
In our first exercise students created a design for a pre-cut panel that would integrate the leadline completely into the picture. I had drawn a random cutline (a pattern of leadlines) which students used as a sort of Rorschach test. Everyone drew over the same lines for about 20 minutes. We ended up with an owl, cityscape, fish, a bowl of fruit, trees, various abstractions and an elephant!
Students created new sketches in 2 layers. First, tracelines (solid, black, calligraphic lines) which we xeroxed before adding shading/texture. The goal was to integrate the lead into the design so that it no longer looked like grout between tiles.
A couple of days and kiln-firings later the glass is painted and ready to be assembled. There are two different colour combinations (gold or blue) both with the same cutlines. Within each set the colours, shades and types of glass are identical.
As the week progressed students began glasspainting using their own reference material. I will post more photos of their extraordinary work very shortly.