Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Whirlpool

At the beginning of The Scarecrow of Oz, L. Frank Baum's Oz book for 1915, the characters Trot and Cap'n Bill are captured by a whirlpool while out boating. This incident starts their series of adventures, leading them to the land of Oz.

John R. Neill drew a vivid image of the whirlpool, complete with sea nymph rising from the foam. About a year and a half ago, I drew this up to be made into a stained glass window, and it has finally been produced.
Here are a series of photos showing the procedure for creating the window.
The first step is to draw the full size pattern, or cartoon, for the window. This obviously was based on Neill's illustration. We then color in the cartoon to help differentiate areas of the window - the color scheme isn't always what we intend for the final piece.
We cut and fit the glass, and the face and body pieces are painted and fired in a kiln. Glass paint is actually powdered minerals, mixed together with certain oils, or in this case with water and gum arabic. Each layer of paint is fired before applying the next. This picture shows 3 palettes of paint, and the glass muller which is used to grind and mix the pigment.
After cutting and fitting, each piece of glass is wrapped with a thin copper foil. This will hold the finished window together. 
The copper wrapped pieces are soldered together, the window is cleaned, the lead lines darkened and voila! - a finished window.

This makes a good companion piece to the Polychrome window we created a couple years ago!


Scott C. said...


Sheri said...

How beautiful! I have been wanting to recreate some of John McNeill's drawings in fabric. Thank you for sharing your amazing art and inspiring me.