Crushing The Glass
Safety first! The fine dust will get into your lungs so make sure to wear a mask. Small shards of glass will fly so wear safety glasses. Clean your area frequently and do not let animals near you. If you have no control of where the animals go, then at the very least make sure you cover up your work area when done. One of our cats insist on watching me and sleeping on my pillow when I am not around. Even he knows about safety as he crawls under a box lid to watch and I always clean off my butt pillow when I leave as he likes to sleep on it. No eating or drinking – take breaks.
Organize! I crush only so much of the stained glass at a time so I number it along with the container for larger pieces. This way if I run out of shards I can match up the color and make more. I used to use baby jars but am now moving towards a new system which is more convenient but a bit riskier should the organizer fall over as it will spill all the shards. I am doing this because it is easier to place the organizer on the desk rather than having a bunch of containers.
Comfort! I have an area where I crush the glass and where I can watch movies so it isn’t so tedious. Do not hammer when watching the TV or risk an owie. I place a rug and a blanket down so it is soft, but also so I can carry the blanket and shake it off. I use a pillow to sit on and take breaks. Find a large flat rock or use an anvil to hammer on.
Cleaning! I do clean the area every few weeks or else it will spread and stepping or sitting on a shard is not fun. Especially the sitting because you will need help to get it out. Granted I do walk on my mess and also can put my hands into the shards without much risk but there is always one that will get you.
- Respect Copyright Laws! Not only because we know more about them now, but also because it is a lot more fun and rewarding to design it yourself.
- Work how you like. I now prefer to just draw the basic outlines, regardless of the mosaic I am doing, and let the piece speak to me for the details and colors.
- Place the image under the glass unless you are working with metal, clay, mirrors, etc. If the latter is the case then use a washable or erasable pen and clean off the pen as you get near to doing a tiny section. Placing the image under the glass is a lot easier and not as time consuming but you really don’t want to see any lines in your work.
- Use white and black dishes so you can see the sprinkled shards. Toothpicks for spreading glue, tweezers to place shards one-by-one, and a ceramic tool for further positioning are the tools.
- If your picture breaks then reuse it as I did with the tea pot. It doesn’t matter where you use it, but it is heart breaking if anything happens after putting so much time into it.
- Make sure you are comfortable, take breaks, and have great lighting.
- Only do a small dab of Weldbond glue at a time and watch the videos showing me at work.
- Use a large paint brush to dust off the shards and dab them with a slightly damp cloth.
- Take your ceramic tool to scrap off any glue on the outside of the image.
- Closely look at the picture with a magnifying glass to fill in any gaps where you missed putting glass. You can add a small dab of glue and another shard to fill it in.
- When a picture I prefer to place a white piece of paper behind it to emphasize the image.
- Pray a lot that the image doesn’t get broken when having the picture framed.