A New Hobby with a Goal

In Farm Life by Laura CrossleyLeave a Comment

As if we don’t have nearly enough happening on the farm at any given moment, I’ve adopted a new hobby: creating stained glass art.

Like most of my projects, this one has a very specific goal.

When we designed our master bathroom, we placed two very large windows in the shower. They overlook the pastures, are private and allow an unreal amount of natural light into the bathroom. Still – they’re in the shower. So I started researching stained glass panels that stylistically would fit the look of the space.

I found some stunning modern designs online – however, most of the designers I love are located on the coasts. At the size we need, it would be nearly impossible (and financially bonkers) to have them custom-made and shipped cross-country without damage. Because of that, I decided I would try to build them myself.

I’m reasonably certain I established my love of stained glass at a young age. My mom had a stained glass panel that was made and gifted to her by a neighbor. It was yellow and clear with a flower in the middle. She cherished it. When we bought our house in Midtown Kansas City – it was loaded with stained glass in every room. It was instantly how I knew that house was ours. Aside from a few fixtures – we brought all of that stained glass to the farm with us when we left. None of those panels, though, are large enough for the bathroom.

So, here we are. I’ve been dancing around the idea of taking up a stained glass hobby or learning how to quilt for quite a while now. (I know, I know – moved to a farm, taking up a farm-hobby, I guess.) Knowing that I need to figure out these bathroom panels – the stained glass direction became very obvious. I embraced my love of geometric shapes, though, by incorporating quilt block patterns as the designs for my glass panels.

Honestly, I’m in love with the result. I’m still in the earliest stages of learning the ropes but I’m very proud of what I’ve created so far. I’m even learning techniques to improve the finished product at an insanely fast pace. Like:

  • The visual difference between 3/16″ copper tape and 7/32″ copper tape is dramatic
  • Attention to detail early in the process is obvious
  • Marking lines before scoring will severely improve how straight and square your cuts are
  • After tacking, it seems to work best if you work from the smallest lines in the piece to the largest – that way your longest lines are smooth without obvious joints at intersections

I’m sure the masters have many, many more suggestions. I’ll spend the next few months honing this craft before I get too out-of-control with our giant bathroom panels – but it’s a beautiful kick-off to a fun little side gig!