Two Elven Effects: Stained Glass Window and Window Crystal
Stained Glass Window:
When remodeling at home a little while back, the one thing I was set on having was a stock gothic window with a stained glass inset. I wanted a design that would honor the exquisite Rivendell set done for the LOTR films, and after a lot of freeze-framing of the DVD and sketching, I came up with an homage to the White Tree pattern that I am very happy with.
I have a friend who works in stained glass, but it became quickly very clear that this piece would cost a fortune in real glass. I settled for creating it myself using high-grade UV-protected hobby plexiglass, found at the local home/builder’s warehouse store. I traced the shape and the pattern onto the plexi using a permanent marker. I then cut the gothic shape out using a jigsaw and then sanded the edges a bit. It is held into the window space with a few carefully placed small nails.
For the coloring, I purchased good quality “instant leading” in squeeze bottles and stained glass paints, which are available in a multitude of colors. (The picture unfortunately has dimmed the purple down a bit). I used translucent, but opaque are available. Once the pattern was squeezed out using the leading and this dried, the colors are applied with large eye-droppers (available with the paints). This should be done sparingly as the colors darken more easily than one would think. Also, the work surface must be balanced with a spirit level – you can see that mine was not quite perfect, as some edges are darker than their opposites.
Window Crystal 3″ x 6.25″
For this piece, I took my inspiration from the Evenstar necklace. Gold jewelry-making wire (16 gauge) obtained at the craft store was used. I traced the final design onto paper and then taped this to a thick, dense piece of cardboard. I placed ordinary push-pins at the turning points and wound the wire around the pushpins into the desired shape.
Try as I might, I couldn’t make the pendant design from one single piece of wire, so I broke it into two pieces. These two pieces were connected after being shaped – you can see where I have wrapped the ends of one piece around the wire of the other, about 1/3 of the way down from the top.
The crystal is made by Swarovski and was purchased through a beading catalog online. I happened to get a very nice deal for a dozen of them, so I made a dozen window pendants and have put some in other rooms of the house. These are 1″ faceted octagons but you could use any shape you like. The facets throw of a great deal of light, and in the morning there are about two or three dozen rainbows on the walls of my hallway.
I actually saved the tracings for both pieces, so if anyone is interested, I would be happy to scan the patterns.