Sunday, November 05, 2006

S is for Stepping Stone

When my relatives came for a visit in September, my grandfather brought some of the materials he used to make stained glass stepping stones for his yard. He wasn't going to make anymore and figured I'd be interested in another project. So, I've given it a shot.

The supplies included two molds, one was a small brick shaped stone and the other was a 14 inch round stone. I selected my patterns and the glass was cut out according to the patterns. My mom volunteered to cut the glass from pieces she had left over in her shop.

Once I had all the pieces, I laid them out on the pattern with the front side up. You cover the face of the pieces with contact paper and lay them front side down in the mold. The mold was coated with vaseline before putting the glass in to help ease the stone out once the concrete set up.

Then you mix up some concrete mix and pour it over the glass to fill up the mold. For the concrete mix that I had, you let it set for about an hour then turn the mold over and press the stone out of the mold.

Once the stone is out of the mold, you have to peel off the contact paper and clean up the stone. There is always a little excess cement that spills out onto the glass and needs to be scraped off. And sometime you end up with little spots between the glass that have to be filled in with a little extra concrete mix.

This first brick is in a fish scale pattern. The glass used was some my mom had left over from a frame she made for one of my wedding invitations. I love the look of the spots in the pattern of the glass. I will place this one on my porch steps that lead to the front door.

This brick has a daisy pattern and it will end up on our back porch steps that lead out into the backyard.

The bricks are about 8x4 inches. All the stones are supposed to cure 28 days before being placed outside and then it is recommend that you seal the cement with sealer to help prevent cracks and crumbling.

I think the idea is that you bring these inside during the winter to avoid the extreme cold and freezing temperatures. But we'll see how that goes. I'm not sure where to store them over the winter. I guess I'll have to find a spot for them in the garage.

I plan on placing the larger round stones in the flower beds around the yard. That way when the deer eat all my flowers again, I will still have something colorful.

This is the first of three 14 inch stones that I made and features a dragonfly and a big orange flower. There is a lot of iridized glass including the blue background. You can see a little of that color in the bottom part of the stone. It is kind of hard to get a photo to show it all, but you can get an idea. I'm sure it will really sparkle in the sun.

I also made a crescent moon out of white iridized glass and a deep blue background. There is a star in the same white glass too. And the moon has bright red lips.

And where there is a moon, you need a sun. It is hard to see in the picture, but the yellow glass is iridized. I bought the sheet of yellow glass to use in my kiln, but the high heat took away all the color the iridized coating creates. So it was nice to be able to use the glass in something that would keep the coating intact.

13 comments:

Margot said...

Those are stunningly gorgeous!

Storing them in the garage? If those were mine. I'd be showing them off inside! :-)

The Fluffy Ewe said...

You said it, Margot!! You could make a MINT off of those at a craft bazaar. I really like the sun and the moon stepping stones. Great job!!

Bezzie said...

WOW! Where those patterns predrawn or did come up with them yourself and freehand cut the glass for them?

Regardless--they're beautiful!!!

mintyfresh said...

Those are AMAZING!! I love the moon and star especially. i'm going to have to tell my mom about these--she has a whole room full of shees of glass for stained glass, but have lost our normal old stained glass mojo.

Monika said...

Just absolutely wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Those are stunning! You have a great eye for color. It's impossible for me to decide which is my favorite, they're all so neat!

Sarah said...

Those are just beautiful. Great patterns - in each case they really show off the glass.

I'm sitting here wondering what I can go home and paint fish scales on.

Stephanie (aka qdgirl) said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes! I love those stepping stones - they'll be beautiful out in the sun.

Mom said...

Great job kiddo!! More to come I'm sure....

Suzie said...

Those are beautiful!

Zonda said...

Those are amazing! You captured the colors well!! WOW!!!

PURLPOWER said...

you're so talented at this! I had no idea that you worked big with glass as well as small, thanks for showing them to us.

Angela said...

Oh my gosh! Those are absolutely gorgeous! My Mom would love them! Where do you buy supplies for these things? Think we may want to give it a try. Must we have a kiln?

Ang