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Old 07-18-2015, 04:28 PM
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Default Stained Glass mosaic tile over the fireplace (DIY project)

Our home was designed in 1912 by an architect named Walter Burley Griffin. It existed only as a pen and ink drawing until we found the drawing in a library and had blueprints drawn up based on the drawing, finally building the house in 1995. Griffin was, at the time, working with Frank Lloyd Wright, who is still hearlded as one of America's most famous/prominent architects. Griffen moved on to Australia and become that one of that nations most famous/prominent architects. He is known for designing Canberra, Australia's capital city. He has been credited with the development of the L-shaped floor plan, the carport, and an innovative use of reinforced concrete. Many of his Australian homes have a 'sleeping porch' and my house is one of the few in the USA to have been designed with this feature.

Anyway, we tend to add things to the home, bit by bit, trying to keep in the style of what Frank Lloyd Wright or Walter Burley Griffin would have done. One focal point of our home is the fireplace, it had 8 pieces of art hanging over it, each about 16" by 16" for the past dozen or more years. Always been a spot we wanted to work on. And then we found original mosaics in Frank Lloyd Wright's MARTIN HOUSE and also in his ENNIS HOUSE and decided that a moasic inspired by those would be perfect for our home.

Below is a photo of our fireplace, roughly 12' tall, floor to ceiling, just shy of 8' wide. Mantle is roughly 6' wide. The central area above the fireplace is a bit over 40" wide and 77" tall.

Sorry the photo is sideways, posting from an iPad, having some issues!
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Old 07-18-2015, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: Stained Glass mosaic tile over the fireplace (DIY project)

Here is the mosaic over the ENNIS HOUSE fireplace, its the basis for our design....
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Old 07-18-2015, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Stained Glass mosaic tile over the fireplace (DIY project)

Here is the MARTIN HOUSE fireplace, you can see this is much more extensive of a mosaic. It is the inspiration for our mosaic, in that it extends beyond the width of the firebox, unlike the ENNIS HOUSE fireplace.

Our goal, is to fill in the entire central column above our fireplace, then extend it in a "T" shape at the top following the wood trim around the corners of the fireplace and back to the wall on either side of the fireplace.

So we will not be as extensive as the MARTIN HOUSE mosaic, but will be more involved and expansive than the ENNIS HOUSE fireplace.
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Old 07-18-2015, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: Stained Glass mosaic tile over the fireplace (DIY project)

We made a template of the central area above our fireplace out of heavy kraft paper. Melen and one of her friends spent the better part of a full day drawing out the design on the kraft paper.

I've been mostly cutting stained glass, Melen has helped somewhat. But I'd say I've cut the vast majority of it. Right now we are just cutting 1.5" by 1.5" squares out of various types of brown glass. I'd estimate it takes about 1 minute per square. I start with a sheet of glass, true up one side, then cut it into strips, each 1.5" wide. Then cut the squares out of the strips. I expect that we will need about 500 squares for the background. All along the tree trunk and where the leaves at the top of the mosaic meet the squares we will have to cut the squares to fit with the adjoining pieces.

The leaves will be about 1" wide and perhaps 3.5" long. Some will be single pieces of glass, some will be made up of 2 or even 3 pieces. I figure those will take much longer to cut since each will be tapered to a point.
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Old 07-18-2015, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: Stained Glass mosaic tile over the fireplace (DIY project)

In the prior photo you can see quite of bit of very light glass, that will mostly be removed. We are not happy with the wide variation in color between the deeper ambers and the light tan colors so we are taking out some of the light tan and adding in more of the amber/brown glass.

At this point we are concentrating on the brown/tan/amber squares. Once ALL of those are cut then we will work on the trunk of the willow tree and the wisteria vine. The plan is to then progress to the leaves, and finally to the wisteria flowers.

The majority of the cutting is using a ceramic type wet-saw with a glass cutting blade. Obviously other tools like glass nippers will be used too.

Background = amber/brown/tan squares
Trunk & vine = very dark greens/almost black
Willow leaves = various greens
Wisteria flowers = light purples/blues
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Old 07-28-2015, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: Stained Glass mosaic tile over the fireplace (DIY project)

Still cutting.

And cutting.

But I put a new blade in the saw today and its cutting much faster, amazing how much easier it is to get the job done when the tools are in prime shape!

This is my second batch of stained glass leaves. Probably about 500 more leaves to go

After they are cut into 2 or 3 pieces each then they will be ready to be washed. Twice. The wet saw leaves such a fine mud made of glass dust that it takes 2 hand washing and wipings to get it clean.
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Old 07-29-2015, 12:38 AM
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Default Re: Stained Glass mosaic tile over the fireplace (DIY project)

Looks like lots of work but worth it to have something that is nice.
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Old 07-29-2015, 12:48 AM
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Default Re: Stained Glass mosaic tile over the fireplace (DIY project)

OH, look, a jigsaw puzzle.......
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Old 07-29-2015, 01:15 AM
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Default Re: Stained Glass mosaic tile over the fireplace (DIY project)

Oh please Lord, don't let my wife see this thread!!!!
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Old 07-29-2015, 04:12 AM
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Default Re: Stained Glass mosaic tile over the fireplace (DIY project)

OK, so now we know what you'll be doing for the rest of your life. These projects seem like good ideas until you're about half way through... :) Good luck, it's sure going to be nice when it's finished.
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Old 07-29-2015, 08:26 AM
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Default Re: Stained Glass mosaic tile over the fireplace (DIY project)

At this point all of the brown glass squares are cut.

The trunk of the tree/vine is NOT started.

The flowers are NOT started.

The leaves are 10% done.

The leaves cut pretty quickly and easily. I knocked out the leaves in the above picture out in about an hour.

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Originally Posted by EastTexFrank View Post
Oh please Lord, don't let my wife see this thread!!!!
I sent her the Polaroids in the mail. Maybe I should have sent them UPS or FedEx because we know the mail is iffy.



Quote:
Originally Posted by squerly View Post
OK, so now we know what you'll be doing for the rest of your life. These projects seem like good ideas until you're about half way through... :) Good luck, it's sure going to be nice when it's finished.
OH NO. These projects NEVER seem like a good idea ... but as the lone man in a house run by women I have to choose my battle wisely and this is not the hill upon which I want to die
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- Ayn Rand
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