I went on a Stained Glass workshop yesterday and it was brilliant! I love sun catchers and love trying my hand at anything new, so when I saw Creative Heartlands post about an Introduction to Stained Glass, I jumped at the chance.
The workshop was held at Rainer Girrman’s Crystal Palace in Cootehall, Roscommon. It was the first time I’d ever been to Cootehall and it’s a stunning location. As always I was early so I got to look over the river and watch the swans glide by and the fish jumping. I was just kicking myself that I didn’t bring my proper camera.
As soon as I arrived at the workshop I was offered tea – and Rainer also runs ‘The Irish Tea Company‘ so it was a real treat to get a delicious herbal tea and also homemade cake.
I arrived with all manor of ideas for sun catchers in my head – such as paw prints, cats, unicorns and even Benbulben, but after my test tries at glass cutting I soon realised that none of those would be possible for me. My hand-eye coordination is useless, so I stuck to something ‘easier’.
Rainer has a lot of different cardboard templates, so you trace it onto whatever colour glass you choose, and then cut it out. I found the glass cutting very difficult, you need to use quite a bit of pressure, as the glass it thick.
After cutting the glass, you smooth the edges with a special machine and make sure that the pieces fit together. The next step is adding copper to the edges so that the solder that ‘glues’ it all together will stick.
The soldering part was my favourite part, I love the smell of solder, and I love it when the metal melts and is pliable.
The final step is to add the hook and thread and polish the sun catcher. I was delighted with the two that I made, Rainer is a very good teacher and it was a very relaxing morning, although I’m quite fast and furious and this is a process that can’t be rushed.
The great news is that Rainer offers classes to anyone who is interested. You can learn how to create jewellery, mirrors, sun catchers and windows. Phone 086 8580034 to book. You can also find Rainer’s work at Strandhill People’s Market on Sunday, The Courtyard Market in Boyle on Saturday, and from Spirit of the West in Branley’s Yard, Rathcormac, Sligo.
You can also find out more about Creative Heartlands on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/joincreativeheartlands