Soldering. My mother taught me when I was four. I first made an owl out of three glass discs, one for the body, two for the eyes. She used to make these incredible stained glass panels all the time. We had a "stained glass workshop" in the basement and everything. She made my kindergarten classroom a panel of a panda bear on roller skates. My teacher hung it up and I was SOOO proud that my mom made it. Recently I went back to that old workshop, which is dusty and rusty now (my mother was somehow side-tracked by five kids, basket weaving, painting, quilting and writing a book). I pulled out some old soldering irons, and chose the least rusty.
This is my first attempt at soldering, again. So I suppose its my second. Or third, as I know how to MIG, TIG and arc weld steel and bronze. How different can this be?
I taught myself this time, I had some copper foil tape and the iron. I went to the hardware shop and found some flux and lead-free solder (pronounced sodder) from the plumbing department.
There were a lot of choices, I ended up going for the one that had the least amount of words on the package and NO LEAD.
I want a way to display my butterfly wings under glass. The blue ones get ruined with my resin, so I needed a better plan. This was my hope.
The first one came out GREAT! I smushed the wing a little, didnt add enough solder, and my foil wasn't wide enough. But it came out perfect (if you dont mind the glass eventually falling out)! The solder lines are smooth and clean. I realize now that I need a new iron. The heat stopped coming out of the tip, and I had to start using the upper part of the shaft. As you can see in the top photo, the iron is a mess.
But I'm learning. It always takes a few tries. Heres my next attempt:
This one has a bit too much solder on it, a little messy,as I was really excited from my blue ones success. I got flux all over it, and the wing got wet, as you can see. Looks good to me!
Overall, soldering and stained glass is a real artform. Its not hard, but its not easy. The craft and skill comes over time with practice. I think having the right tools might help. Something tells me the professionals dont use a rusty iron.