We have a very ordinary looking staircase rail and I have long pondered a solution to it. My husband did a "creative welding" course one year and I'd hoped he might translate that to the stairs but he never felt the inspiration to do more than the one piece that sits by our front door. So the stairs have been on hold for the five years we've lived here...... until I started looking around for my next stained glass piece.
|The staircase railing before and after the templates were designed and made|
With some help from my arty/computery husband, we figured out that we could take out every second stair rail and replace them with three panels of calla lilies (one of my favourite plants and a little art nouveau-ish - which I also love). It took a while to get everything proportioned in a way that we were happy with (we also discovered that the stair railings weren't as perfectly even and straight as we'd first thought!) But the end result is pictured above and stayed up for a couple of months with visitors giving it the thumbs up and with me itching to get started.
Once Christmas and the holiday break was over it was off to my stained glass teacher/guru - Nigel, to see if what I wanted to do was a possibility or whether I'd bitten off more than I could chew. He was very positive and jumped on board with the idea, so we leapt straight into choosing glass colours and textures and making a date to begin. I liked the idea of being able to call upon his expertise when I hit tricky bits - it saves a lot of messing around if you don't cut something at the wrong angle and then have to re-cut it or start again!
DAY 1 - IT BEGINS:
It's a long and involved process cutting the different coloured pieces of glass and fitting them together with the lead - that took up my first session and I had to leave it half assembled.
DAY 2 - IN PROGRESS
This is half way through with the pieces in place and the lead ready for the outer frame. Then all those little joints get soldered - then you turn it over and solder all the joints again on the other side! Finally you fill it all in with cement to hold the seams together, clean off the excess, buff it up and the finished product is ready to take home.
THE FINISHED PRODUCT
This is the smallest panel and I'm hoping to get faster as I progress through the other two bigger ones. Next week I get stuck into panel number 2 with two lilies in it. I can't wait to see how it turns out and to see them in situ once the third one is finished. We're talking about having the stair rails powder coated to turn them black to tie it all together. I'll be back next week with my phase 2 report.