Big lead lines look bad…

Grinding is going well, and I’ll hopefully finish working on “side” 1 in the next couple of days. During this phase, I’m fitting the pieces to the pattern and making sure they all fit together relatively. Normally, I’m not too concerned with big gaps in copper foil projects, but this project is totally different from a flat panel.

With a copper foil piece, gaps between pieces create organic lines that vary in thickness.

With a copper foil piece, gaps between pieces create organic lines that vary in thickness.

In a copper foil piece, lead lines are created by melting solder onto the foil, and you get thinner lines where there is no gap between the pieces and thicker lines where there is a gap. This isn’t a problem either structurally or aesthetically, because the lines just look organic, more like drawn lines that vary in thickness as they go along. However, because these pieces will be soldered together on a domed form, the way they fit together flat on a board is not necessarily the way they’ll fit together on the form.

The instructions (which I really have read), talk about 32nds of inches in terms of foil overlap and no more than 1/8in gap, blah blah blah. I’m not a precision worker and I don’t know if I could read 1/32 in on a ruler if you gave me one. But one piece of information that stuck with me is “Big lead lines look bad.” Because the pieces on the lamp are so small, a suddenly fat lead line would look out of place. I agree, so I’m trying to fit the pieces well, in hopes that it will go smoothly during the building phase.

I had a piece that didn’t fit too well, the gap was too big, so I decided to re-cut. It was a background piece, and I have plenty of that glass left, so I went to town, and got a perfect piece!

Re-cut and looking fabulous!

Re-cut and looking fabulous!

About 20 minutes later, I was thinking and looking at the piece and then looking at the pile of glass that I had cut from, and I realize that I had cut the new piece going the wrong direction. Since my background glass has a “grain,” or the color is all wispy in one direction, I need to cut it all going the same direction. Since this is water, I have my grain going side to side, like the way water looks in a pond.

Piece on the left is going up-and-down, the piece on the right is going side-to-side.

Piece on the left is going up and down, the piece on the right is going side to side.

Had I left this one piece going up and down, it would look more like rain than like water, and it would be that thing that you see. You might not even realize that it’s wrong, but you would look at it and think, “Something is not right.” So, I re-cut the same piece. Again. The newest piece doesn’t fit quite as awesome, but I was done cutting that piece and ready to move on.

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