Stain Glass Table Top

May 25, 2009

The crooked eye

I have been contemplating this project for over a year when I found the table at a second hand store but the top was severely distressed. I immediately envisioned a smooth top in colored glass.  Several months ago, I finally began line drawings with watercolor then marker drawings for the colored composition. Once I was somewhat satisfied, I transferred the design to sketch paper and positioned it on the tabletop.  I let the design age for several weeks while I mentally pondered details and refinement of the design and color placement.  I changed several sections before cutting the glass, then, performed a dry run (see photos).  Once satisfied I transferred design to an adhesive paper called Contact paper even though it is not paper but a sort of plastic.  The paper back is removed and each piece of glass is placed onto the sticky design. I worked in reversewhich facilitated  the front to be level and smooth, therefore the irregularities of the glass thickness are forgiven by a substantial thickness of tile adhesive.  Usually each tile is “buttered” with adhesive, then, placed individually on the object.  Working in the reverse is not terribly complicated but it is for those with dyslectic challenges. Since designs and objects in Western Culture are read from left to right it affected my composition and over all color positioning which I found not only challenging but frustrating.

Theoretically, the adhesive paper keeps the glass from shifting until it is anchored with the adhesive. I buttered the entire tabletop with tile adhesive, in a nice even coat.  I gingerly flipped the contact paper covered with stain-glass and placed it atop the tile adhesive.  This was not an easy task, I lost several sections in the process, and if I ever tackle a similar project, I have several revisions to my approach.  I gently pressed the contact papered glass into the adhesive and set it aside to dry.

Twenty-four hours later I peeled the contact paper off and began the formidable task of cleaning the glass of accidental smudges of adhesive otherwise the grout will stick to the smudges.  This task takes hours. This is the final call for tweaking of the design. The grout I use is a dark charcoal gray.  The walnut tabletop dimensions are  20” x 16″

I appreciated this medium, and even more since I have dabbled with mosaicing but I prefer the sumptuousness of textiles though the pure color and reflective light is seductive.

The crooked eye

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