Sunrise Glass Studio

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Art in the Garden...

Fun Fact! I'm a Master Gardener volunteer for the University of Idaho. So, it might go without saying that I spend a lot of time in my garden, and I'm very influenced by nature in my design creation. 

It's always exciting to tour a garden and see the small touches and art accents that someone adds to their garden space for a pop of color or whimsy. This glass & tile wall décor is part of a wall art series I've been working on for the past year. It doesn't take much to add life to your space!

Remember that your garden is an experience. Take time to select and add those special art pieces to your space and build on your theme.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Vintage Art Deco Window Panel Repairs

This is what happens to a beautiful window when it's poorly stored and badly treated over the years. 13 windows were salvaged by a local designer and brought to me for restoration.  8 of the 13 are being restored and installed in a home office divider wall. These panels had paint, dirt, tape glue, some sort of epoxy and several other types of corrosion on them. Was it worth the time and money? Yes!

Panel restoration is one of the most rewarding and exciting projects to take on. A job like this is very tedious and meticulous, but envisioning the final product is what inspires an artist (and designer) to take on a job like this. The first step was to cut the frame, so I could access the glass, using a rotary tool with a cut off wheel to get a clean cut on both sides of the came. The broken glass is indicated by the black sharpie line marks. I sourced glass pieces from some of the other panels that were not being used, and used new era glass that matched the aesthetic of the vintage glass. I scraped out the cement/putty, and replaced the glass. I used a rotary tool with a sanding bit to prepare the zinc for soldering. Once the panels were soldered in I washed the panels in a basin with a mild detergent and soft brush.

The next phase was to deep clean the glass. Hand held steam cleaners are helpful to work some of the debris out of the deep glass pores, but it's not always successful. I scraped off the paint and epoxy splatter using a flat razor blade, and on the porous side, I used lacquer thinner with a Q-tip. I followed up with a melamine sponge ("Magic Eraser"). I went over each panel and removed any other debris with a craft/hobby knife ("Exacto Blade"). I followed up with the cementing/puttying process, polished and let them cure. Yes, this is an arduous process and takes hours of commitment and focus.

The zinc came work was highly oxidized. I used steel wool and a rotary tool with abrasive buffing wheels to remove the oxidation. Then followed up with Birchwood Casey E & F Super Blue Liquid Gun Blue and Rutland Products Grill Liquid Stove Polish. This polish (I preferred the liquid over the paste) restored the zinc, filled any oxidation pores and gave it a dark bronze tone with a nice shine. I used Q-tips to apply, let it dry, then buffed with a clean microfiber cloth. This polish will dry onto the glass and it takes some effort to remove. Any residual polish on the glass can be removed right away, or if it dries on to the glass, scrape it off with a razor blade. If it dries on to glass that is porous, dip a Q-Tip in mineral oil (in a highly ventilated area) and go over the polish until it is removed. 

The bottom corners have beautiful detail with a frosted square that had imbedded dirt in the micro pores. Mineral spirits and lacquer thinner cleaned it, but it wasn't perfect, so re-frosted the glass with an Armour Etch glass acid etching cream. This made the pieces look new, which was rewarding as most vintage and antique glass never cleans up to a "new" look.

The final product of 8 repaired and restored vintage stained glass panels was completed in 2 months. So far they have not been installed by the contractor, but if I get a chance to see the final home project, I'll post a photo.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Heading into Fall!

 We're heading into the Fall season, which is a favorite time of year for many. Of course that means I'm gearing up to stock my Etsy shop with Autumn themed glass gifts and home décor. I'm working several new designs incorporating various squash, hops and all the Fall colors! Head over to my ETSY SHOP and check in often to see all the new listings. Thanks for your support! -Stephanie

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Colorful Stained Glass Gifts for Spring...

We're five days into Spring and it's still snowing a little here in the Treasure Valley.  Soon the trees will be budding and blossoming, making way to one of the best gift giving seasons, and I have several new listings for you to shop for Easter & Mother's Day. Click here to shop.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Happy Saint Patrick's Day...

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day everyone! Today we celebrate the patron saint of Ireland and all things Irish. Over the years I’ve created several beautiful glass pieces inspired by Irish culture and traditions. First, the trinity knot, an ancient Celtic symbol that represents the interconnectedness of all things. Next the hops flower, an essential ingredient in brewing beer, that which Ireland is known for. Finally, the shamrock, which is an iconic symbol of Ireland, said to have been used by Saint Patrick to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish people.  

The following glass photos are all designed and crafted in my studio and are available for purchase or custom order.

I wish you all a safe and happy day. Sláinte! 


Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Choosing the right light for your glass photos...

There's no way around it, glass photography takes practice. Before you spend money on expensive lighting, light boxes and backdrops, find what you have around your house or studio. Don't worry about creating catalog perfect photos. As long as the photo is clear, and highlights the colors and design, you'll have a great photo.  

This stained glass surf board features vibrant blue and yellow glass, so I used a wire rack shelf with two LED under cabinet light strips, with a white poster board clipped up to the shelf. I hung the surf board in the center of the shelf to allow the front and back light to illuminate the glass.

The photo was then cropped and posted to my Etsy shop. Sold! The features I liked most about this art piece were conveyed to the buyer, and that's what matters.

In the photo below, these whimsical stained glass butterflies seemed right at home in a natural sunlight setting. The wood backdrop and tools are a nice juxtaposition to the soft lines of the glass butterflies. With the white paper towels beneath the glass, the sunlight shines and illuminates the glass in some areas, but you also see what the glass looks like in other areas without light. This variation worked well for my Instagram feed.

If you're aiming for a vintage effect, use overhead incandescent lighting. It creates a warm, aged vibe in this "tools & materials" studio photo that I took in my workshop. Enjoy the process of experimenting with your artwork and lighting.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Eagle Saturday Market... I found glass art!

Every year I look forward to our local Saturday Market at Heritage Park.  Today I found a glass mosaic artist with a beautiful display.  "Mosaics Plus",, Caldwell, ID. I like their use of wood shelving to contrast and showcase the glass and stone materials.