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Foil Or Came?


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#1 beachbum

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 09:29 AM

There are many thoughts regarding foil vs came: depends on the project size, location of the finished product, design of the project (curves vs lines vs intricut lines). Some combine foil with came, some are adamant about one or the other. My question is: What are some of the opinions for or against foil, for or against lead, project type (suncatcher/panel/design) using one or the other. What are the "standards" you use?

#2 Mittens The Cat

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 09:50 AM

Lamps >>> foil
Suncatchers >>> IF I ever made one, it would be foil. We may never find out.
Panels >>> Came. UNLESS - unless it has the amount of detail, and style you'd find in a Tiffany shade.

#3 Marilyn

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 09:57 AM

. . .and with that being said, I so wish I had somewhere/someone to show me how to do lead.
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#4 Chantal

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 10:03 AM

I have some tutorials on ART OF STAINED GLASS that show every step of the assembly in detail, if that helps.

You can look at the beginner tutorial, to get an idea of how it's made generally, then you can do the "Intermediate Lead Came #1" project, it's very much on the easy side and a suitable first project.

http://art-of-stained-glass.com/1intermediateleadcame01.html

You can come to Montreal, too!

#5 Stephen Richard

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 03:45 AM

. . .and with that being said, I so wish I had somewhere/someone to show me how to do lead.
Marilyn
Kansas


Invite me back and I will do a course for all the midwesterners who want to learn leaded light windows.
steve

#6 Stacey

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 08:57 AM

Thanks for the tutorial link, Chantal. I love all the photos, very detailed. Just what I needed to help me.

#7 Rebecca

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:47 PM

I don't agree with ALL of it, but the Lazy Man says:

"Foil or Lead?
Neither is significantly better or worse than the other. It’s your choice to use whichever you prefer. The only exception is for lamps and 3D work that must carry any weight. Those should be foil. Lead is soft and will stretch if any weight is applied to it. Lamps made with lead will fall apart. That’s why Louis Comfort Tiffany introduced copper foil. Foiled panels or windows usually have more internal structural strength and need less reinforcement than those done in lead, but not always. It depends entirely on the design. Generally artisans prefer foil if it’s a very intricate design and lead for long smooth lines, but you can mix the two or use whichever you prefer to work with. Because solder oxidizes quickly when outdoors, lead is usually preferred to foil for windows exposed to the outdoors. Perhaps the best explanation for the difference between foil and lead was offered by Graham Muirhead of Cats Glass Studios when he said,

“Equate it to painting. Some people start with watercolour and some start with oils. At some point artists will try both, but prefer one to the other. Either method produces a pretty picture when done by a competent painter; and spectacular results when executed by a real artist.”

#8 Mittens The Cat

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 07:25 AM

No offense, Rebecca, but that quote is nonsense. NONSENSE, I say. The sort of nonsense that serves as an excuse for poor execution, if not downright mediocrity. It's saying that method does not matter. IT DOES. Method matters very much.

First it explains when you use came and when you use foil, then it concludes with a quote that basically says "who cares, we're making pretty pictures."

It totally obscures the core issues:

(1) will the work be exposed to elements? Yes? Came.
(2) how frikkin' large does a project have to be until you grab your britches and the bucket of putty and do the right thing?
(3) have you no shame to do a piece full of straight lines, that have wobbly widths because you didn't use came - not as a artistic choice, but because you don't know how?
(4) cabinet doors with straight lead lines in foil? Please, no!

It's not about "pretty pictures" - it's about the best method to achieve a structurally sound, and professional-looking end product, instead of weak and amateurish pieces that will break quickly and be all crooked when they should be nice and straight.

WE NEED TO DECLARE OCTOBER

LEARN LEAD CAME MONTH

#9 Boris_USA

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 07:24 PM

No offense, Rebecca, but that quote is nonsense.


(1) will the work be exposed to elements? Yes? Came.
(2) how frikkin' large does a project have to be until you grab your britches and the bucket of putty and do the right thing?
(3) have you no shame to do a piece full of straight lines, that have wobbly widths because you didn't use came - not as a artistic choice, but because you don't know how?
(4) cabinet doors with straight lead lines in foil? Please, no!

It's not about "pretty pictures" - it's about the best method to achieve a structurally sound, and professional-looking end product, instead of weak and amateurish pieces that will break quickly and be all crooked when they should be nice and straight.



The "quote" sounded pretty rght to me, in my opinion. Most folks I know do stained glass to make pretty things, which is the primary purpose. Neither foil nor lead have an advantage that supersedes the other. Both will weather the same outdoors, and both have structural integrity to a certain point or size, with no additional support. Both need additional support once a certain point is passed. Now, one or the other may look better, in certain projects, but in my opinion, it has nothing to do with stability. Even lead needs re-bar, re-strip, or saddle-bars, once you pass certain point, same as foil would need external support.

Lead looks better in windows and p[panels that are as large as an average window. If it gets to intricate, and you have a lot of "pointed" trailing swirls, foil may be a better choice. Foil looks better in panel doors or cabinet doors, since you view them at arms length, a lot. Up close, the mass of the lead came takes away from the the delicate look, if there is a lot of detail.

It is all about making "pretty things" first. Then figuring out the best materials and methods to use, that achieve what you see as the finished product, also being sound enough to fulfill the task you envision for it.

I can relate to it being the same as painting. What you want to achieve dictates the materials and methods used. In any kind of art, there are hundreds of opinions, and thousands of ideas. If a person is proficient in the basic skills in any hobby, then he/she can produce wonderful work, no matter what materials and methods are employed. If the person is lacking the skills, then any material or method is going to look bad. Same as in foil or lead. The makers capability dictates what the piece will look like, not the material or method they used. And thats just plain fact

In my opinion, I also think each glass worker should try to achieve equal expertise in both lead and foil, so one can try both ways in projects. Be diverse and adaptable.

#10 DP

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 08:12 AM

I'm in for the learn lead came month extravaganza.

#11 Rebecca

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 08:53 AM

No offense, Rebecca, but that quote is nonsense. NONSENSE, I say.


Don't kill the messenger! I'm just quoting Dennis.

Rebecca

#12 Dennis Brady

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 10:00 AM

No offense, Rebecca, but that quote is nonsense. NONSENSE, I say. The sort of nonsense that serves as an excuse for poor execution, if not downright mediocrity. It's saying that method does not matter. IT DOES. Method matters very much.

First it explains when you use came and when you use foil, then it concludes with a quote that basically says "who cares, we're making pretty pictures."

It totally obscures the core issues:

(1) will the work be exposed to elements? Yes? Came.
(2) how frikkin' large does a project have to be until you grab your britches and the bucket of putty and do the right thing?
(3) have you no shame to do a piece full of straight lines, that have wobbly widths because you didn't use came - not as a artistic choice, but because you don't know how?
(4) cabinet doors with straight lead lines in foil? Please, no!

It's not about "pretty pictures" - it's about the best method to achieve a structurally sound, and professional-looking end product, instead of weak and amateurish pieces that will break quickly and be all crooked when they should be nice and straight.

WE NEED TO DECLARE OCTOBER

LEARN LEAD CAME MONTH



#13 Dennis Brady

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 10:03 AM

All glass artisans have benefited by Tiffany having not adopted your presumption that lead is universally superior.

If you so strongly believe it should be the only choice, perhaps you can explain why Tiffany so frequently choose foil?

#14 Mittens The Cat

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 01:57 PM

NO NO NO

Came is not the only choice - I never, ever said that.

Of course there are plenty of times when foil is the way to go. I'm not suggesting that people use came for obv foil projects!!! That would be ABSURD.

My beef is that too many people use foil when they should have used came, not as an artistic decision... but because THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO LEAD CAME!!!

So you can harp from sunrise 'til sundown about glass being like a painting, but it's there's no artistic decision if you only know copper foil. You know the old saying, if your only tool is a hammer, every problem is a nail??? If you only know copper foil, you'll do all your projects in copper foil, even the ones that would be a million times better in came.

It's rare that people will do a foil project in came... that's why I'm not railing about that... but if it was the other way around, people consistently doing foil projects in came because they don't know copper foil... I guarantee you... I'd be ranting too!

QUOTE WAR!! QUOTE WAR!!! wink wink

"The primary benefit of practicing any art, whether well or badly, is that it enables one's soul to grow."

---Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

#15 Mittens The Cat

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 02:05 PM

Don't kill the messenger! I'm just quoting Dennis.

Rebecca


I agree with the beginning, that explains that there is a place for foil and a place for came, but the part about glass being like a painting... NO. That's just a fancy way to say "anything goes" that kinda nullifies the earlier part of the quote. I don't get why someone would say: "this is when you use came, this is when to use lead, it's a technical and artistic DECISION" then turn around and say "but it's like a painting so who cares, do what you PREFER to do."

I may prefer to do foil (I do, actually!!!), but if something needs came and putty, I tighten my suspenders, and fetch the came and putty. I don't go wah wah wah but it's less messy and more relaxing to do it in foil so I'll do it in foil, never mind that's it's not going to look as nice.

Maybe Dennis can explain why he goes through to the trouble of explaining when we need foil and when we need came, only to throw it all up in the air and end by "do whatever is more fun! Watercolor or oil! Lead or came, same difference!"

#16 Dennis Brady

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 05:15 PM

I agree with the beginning, that explains that there is a place for foil and a place for came, but the part about glass being like a painting... NO. That's just a fancy way to say "anything goes" that kinda nullifies the earlier part of the quote. I don't get why someone would say: "this is when you use came, this is when to use lead, it's a technical and artistic DECISION" then turn around and say "but it's like a painting so who cares, do what you PREFER to do."

I may prefer to do foil (I do, actually!!!), but if something needs came and putty, I tighten my suspenders, and fetch the came and putty. I don't go wah wah wah but it's less messy and more relaxing to do it in foil so I'll do it in foil, never mind that's it's not going to look as nice.

Maybe Dennis can explain why he goes through to the trouble of explaining when we need foil and when we need came, only to throw it all up in the air and end by "do whatever is more fun! Watercolor or oil! Lead or came, same difference!"


Maybe if you paused to control your presumptuous misplaced outrage, you'd read carefully enough to see that Dennis never made the comment about paintings?

Maybe if you had read a few of Dennis' postings you'd have noticed that Dennis has for years repeatedly suggested that foil work should be restricted to 3D and suncatchers?

Maybe if you had been paying attention you'd have noted that for just as many years Dennis has claimed that any instructor that teaches foil without also teaching lead is incompetent and shouldn't be teaching anything?

Maybe Dennis should just accept that you don't know WTF you're talking about?

#17 Mittens The Cat

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 05:21 PM

Oh wait

I get it

Rebecca was quoting two different persons... never mind.. I'm a dummy.

I agree with the first and disagree with the second.

#18 Rebecca

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 08:23 AM

Oh wait

I get it

Rebecca was quoting two different persons... never mind.. I'm a dummy.

I agree with the first and disagree with the second.



Actually, the quotes are both from Dennis's book, but Dennis is quoting Graham at the end. I agree that Mittens needs to read more carefully and not be so quick to jump down someone's throat.

Rebecca

#19 Boris_USA

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 10:52 PM

Actually, the quotes are both from Dennis's book, but Dennis is quoting Graham at the end. I agree that Mittens needs to read more carefully and not be so quick to jump down someone's throat.

Rebecca



Graham made a perfect observation. The other part is not entirely true. Tiffany chose foil for the obvious reason that lead came on any of his lamps would have looked like wrought iron barn door hinges on a jewelry box. Can you imagine a Tiffany Wisteria shade done in lead came? Oo..oO

And here is a "Fact." I have had a lot of shades made in lead came, as old as any shade made in foil. They where not falling apart. It was almost all damage from dropping, if it needed repair. I have had very, very, few made in lead came that did pull apart at the crown. That is the only place I have seen them come apart, which is where the bar is soldered across the crown and the chain hook/loop is secured. Solder failure was the culprit there, usually because it was inadequate, or soldered to the wrong place at the top.I have had many, many more done in foil, that failed at the crown, and did pull apart in different places because of the lack of strength foiled pieces have to support weight, and /or very thin lines with not enough solder thickness/poor bead . Thats FACT not conjecture or opinion. If the shade is big enough, and has no internal support structure, other than the lead or foil, it WILL come apart sooner or later, no matter which one it is. In fact, the foil one will be MORE likely to pull apart at the crown than the lead came one, since the lead lines are thinner, and thus weaker. Especially true with imports, where cheap vase caps are used, and the attachment bead is sloppy and the joints are "hit and miss."

#20 Rebecca

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 08:48 AM

Graham made a perfect observation. The other part is not entirely true. Tiffany chose foil for the obvious reason that lead came on any of his lamps would have looked like wrought iron barn door hinges on a jewelry box. Can you imagine a Tiffany Wisteria shade done in lead came? Oo..oO

And here is a "Fact." I have had a lot of shades made in lead came, as old as any shade made in foil. They where not falling apart. It was almost all damage from dropping, if it needed repair. I have had very, very, few made in lead came that did pull apart at the crown. That is the only place I have seen them come apart, which is where the bar is soldered across the crown and the chain hook/loop is secured. Solder failure was the culprit there, usually because it was inadequate, or soldered to the wrong place at the top.I have had many, many more done in foil, that failed at the crown, and did pull apart in different places because of the lack of strength foiled pieces have to support weight, and /or very thin lines with not enough solder thickness/poor bead . Thats FACT not conjecture or opinion. If the shade is big enough, and has no internal support structure, other than the lead or foil, it WILL come apart sooner or later, no matter which one it is. In fact, the foil one will be MORE likely to pull apart at the crown than the lead came one, since the lead lines are thinner, and thus weaker. Especially true with imports, where cheap vase caps are used, and the attachment bead is sloppy and the joints are "hit and miss."


I haven't done as many lamp repairs as you have, but I agree about how they fail.


Rebecca




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