Diane Winiecki

Posted on September 29, 2009 by Sawdust Art Festival

I’ve been making and selling stained glass for more than 6 years now. I began creating panels using lead came, mostly small pieces that were intended to be framed and hung in a window to catch the light shining through it.

Soon I was expanding my horizons when I taught myself the ‘copper foil’, or Tiffany method, which has become the main focus of my attention and creativity. Using this method allows me to create a variety of shapes, sizes and forms, including 3-dimensional freestanding art such as candle holders, business card holders, and vases.

I started selling my pieces at small local craft fairs, gradually trying many different venues. Within the first year I was accepted at the Laguna Beach Sawdust Festival Winter Fantasy, which I’ve participated in each year since. 2010 has been my most prolific year by far, and I have mainly focused on several art fairs in Orange County & San Diego County.

My goal has always been to create a variety of art that is accessible to many people. I enjoy exploring new ideas, and experimenting with how light reacts through the various colors and textures of stained glass.

My process:
I buy sheets of glass in a variety of colors and textures, and am more often than not inspired by the glass itself. I sometimes draw a pattern on paper to transfer onto the glass, or if it’s a small 2-D item I will often simply mark it directly onto the glass prior to cutting. In this way I can keep much of my work one-of-a-kind and avoid the cookie-cutter look.

After cutting the desired shapes I grind the edges of the glass, and then will carefully clean any marks and/or cutting oil from all pieces before proceeding to the next step.

Each piece is then edged with copper foil; this is carefully burnished onto the glass to adhere fully to the edges.

The pieces are soldered together to form the final piece. For instance, wings, body, and antennae are soldered together to form a dragonfly. I add a jump ring or small piece of thin wire to use as a hanger. After soldering, all finished pieces are carefully cleaned then buffed using a quality carnuba wax.

I can now add hangers, or add ‘feet’ onto the bottoms of 3-D items like candle holders. I sometimes create handmade filigree wire to enhance an item, or embellish my finished pieces with glass beads.

Associate’s Degree in Science, Riverside Community College
B.A. Art History, California State University, Fullerton