Easter Weekend

The studio will be closed this weekend on Friday, April 18th and Saturday, April 19th for the Easter Holiday.  We will re-open at our usual time (10:00 AM) on Tuesday, April 22nd.

Tinning Your Tips

Tin Your Tips!

Probably the most neglected things for hobbyists are their tools. I would take a guess that a higher percentage don’t do regular maintenance on their tools even though it is one of the major purchases for the hobby. On a regular basis students come to me upset and can’t believe how bad the tip of their soldering iron looks, especially after they look at our irons. The conversation usually begins with, “I got this soldering iron a month ago and the tip looks horrible.” Then they reveal their irons from behind their backs and sure enough the tips are solid black.

Tin Your Tips!

Tin Your Tips!

So here are a couple of tips for keeping your soldering in top shape:

1. The sponge that all of you are wiping your iron on should not be soaking wet. When you take a modern soldering iron and go back and forth between hot and cooling it off on the sponge the metal in the iron tip expands and contracts and it can actually age the iron tip prematurely. We do wipe the iron on the sponge; however, the sponge is only damp and it is a quick one time swipe. Don’t fuss over that little dot of solder that is left on the end, ignore it and move on.
2. If you look in the picture to the right you will see a metal tin (Its the lid from a can of cookies. We cut one edge off with tin snips). In that tin I throw small left over solder and a very small amount of flux. Every now and then as the tip appears to get gummed up with black I heat up the iron, then take the tip and lay it in the metal tin. While the tip is in the tin I move it around and you will see an amazing thing happen. The black on the tip comes off and the tip gets a nice fine layer of solder on it making the tip all clean and looking new again.
3.  One big DON’T that we have found with today’s soldering irons is Sal Amoniac.  We never use Sal Amoniac on pre-tinned iron tips, which is what most soldering irons have today. We have found that it actually pits and removes the pre-tinned area and destroys the tip.

Most of the time when I am done soldering for the day I will do the same procedure placing the tip in the tin until it is clean. Once it is clean I turn off the soldering iron and leave it alone. The next day when I come back the tip is nice and clean and ready for another day of use. Try this and I know you will be amazed.

2014 Summer/Fall Calendar is Posted

Class schedules have been posted through the end of the year including several new Introduction to Stained Glass Classes.  Please note that we will no longer be posting the Introductory level classes on the calendar after June, 2014.  However, we will still offer the classes for private groups of five or more.  Please contact the studio for more information.  All of our four week “Quick and Easy” classes will usually begin the first week of the month, in some cases they begin on the second week of the month.  We are working on developing a “Quick and Easy” Bead-making/Lamp-working class, and will post that as soon as we have worked out the details.

We have always tried to limit the number of days we close the shop for personal reasons.  However, this coming year is our twin sons’ final year in college and both of them have several events that our family will be attending (including two graduation ceremonies–on the same day–in two different cities–three hours apart!!)  Since most of these events fall on a weekend, we will, of necessity need to close the studio on Friday/Saturday to attend.  Whenever possible, we will limit how many days we are closed and try to provide our customers, students and clients with advanced notice.  We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause–but hope you will celebrate with us the accomplishment of these two young men, of whom we are so proud, as they move to the next stage in their lives!

Introduction to Stained Glass Class Added to Calendar

In an effort to help our Groupon, LivingSocial and Amazon Local customers redeem their vouchers, we have added one new Introduction to Stained Glass Classes to the calendar.  The new added date is: Saturday, May 3rd at 10:00 AM.  If you are still holding a voucher for the introductory level class and wish to sign up for a stained glass class, here’s your opportunity.  We still have availability in most of our Wednesday morning stained glass classes as well.  Mosaic and Fusing classes still have space on most dates.

Just a reminder that after June, 2014 we will no longer be posting class times for the Introductory level classes on the calendar.  After June, voucher values may be applied to the cost of a longer class.  If you have questions or concerns regarding the redemption of your voucher please contact the studio and speak to either Markay or Eric.



Structural fins were attached to the exterior of the window to not just add structure, but to add support to the areas that exhibited deflection. Here in a close up you can see the arrow pointing to a fin we have added to this window due to the deflection.

Adding fins to a leaded stained glass window

Stained Glass Fins

Double House Window

Working had to keep pace with all our custom and repair work. After Saturday Markay got the double house leaded stained glass transom down to the final nitty-gritty.  All that is left is to add the cement and give it a good cleaning; so, it should be done this week!

Leaded Stained Glass Transom Under Construction

Under construction

Leaded Stained Glass Double House Transom

Almost Done

Intro to Glass Bead Making (Lampworking)


photo (1)Next Saturday, April 5th we still have two openings in our Introduction to Glass Bead-making class.  Students will have the opportunity to learn some basic lamp-working techniques and create some unique glass beads.  The class is from 10 AM until 12 PM, costs just $60.00 and includes all of the materials and tools except for a canister of MAP/Propane fuel which individuals will need to purchase at a home improvement store prior to coming to class.  Call today to save your spot in this “hot” class!

Thank You

Wanted to take a moment and thank the Latin School of Chicago for spending the week at the studio learning about glass art. We had a great time with a great group of young adults. It was a pleasure and come back again!

Last Day

Fusing Club – Thursday, March 27

Join us on Thursday, March 27th at 10 AM or at 6 PM for our monthly Fusing Club Meeting.  Last month, those attending asked if we could break down the mysteries of the kiln.  We will be discussing the pros and cons and ins and outs of kilns.  Brands, large or small, glass vs ceramic, how the kilns get programmed, pretty much Everything You Have Ever Wanted to Know About Kilns But Were Afraid to Ask!!  Cost for the club meeting is $5.00.  Students may stay after for studio time (10 – 1 or 6 -9)  for $20.00 which includes the firing of pieces completed during studio time.  Please call and make a reservation to attend.