Maimed Glass

Another episode in my continued quest for a hobby...It has occurred to me my hobby quest reminds me of why I like to read all the Dan Brown books; The DaVinci Code and so forth. By the 80th one, you know exactly how this is going to end. But it's about the adventure, right?

A Finnish expat posted, 'All items needed to make stained glass for sale'. Without much thought, I committed to buying it. She also threw in an hours lesson because apparently there is a specific order to follow when you make stained glass stuff.  Should have been my first warning.

I packed Doug and two hundred recently earned francs in the car. We only got a little lost and only had one fight. But we hadn't seen the Alps before at the angle we were driving, so we settled down and enjoyed the rest of the drive.

She obviously does not know me at all as she was waiting for me outside her apartment. I had called her ten minutes prior to arriving to let her know we'd be there shortly but anyone who knows me also knows a lot can distract me in 10 minutes. Malls, sunflowers, bakeries, whatever. Anything at all. Except Doug was driving, so we arrived as scheduled.

We introduce ourselves.  Her English is great; originally from Finland, she speaks Finnish, English, High German, and Swiss German. We are approximately the same age; except she looks younger (she has no kids).  She looked at my husband slightly perplexed and asked if he was going to craft as well.   He is now, I thought, as I'd completely forgotten about the lesson part.

Off we went to her 'craft room'. It's filled with scuba gear.  She'd spent her morning scuba diving in the Lake of Four Forests (or something like that). I said, "What's to see?" (it is a lake in winter).  She explained as tall and magnificent as the Alps were above ground, they were equally large and magnificent in the lake. And some fish.  She also has a thing for sharks. Just to be clear there are no sharks in Switzerland, though there is a submarine in St. Moritz lake but that's another story.  She told us about scuba diving with great whites off the coast of South Africa with a great shark researcher (Rittler? Dittler? Was so sure I'd remember) and trying to convince the Chinese to find an alternative to shark fin soup.

Scuba chit chat exhausted, we began our lesson.  She only cut herself once- bleeding just a bit.  I also started bleeding just a bit, because I started to get anxious and peeled most of the skin off around my thumb worrying I was going to cut myself. Ironic, I know.  Doug was neither anxious, nor bleeding.  Instead, he sat and asked relevant questions like...where to buy replacement parts.

90 minutes later (she thought she could accomplish this in an hour), I had a very general idea on how to accomplish putting together a project and a recommendation to buy some lavender oil as it's good for burns. She also mentioned smelling the soldering was not healthy. I wondered why.  I also like the smell of gas. But I think the smell of coffee in the car is vile. Unless it's mine, then it smells delicious. Driving with me is problematic.

Doug picked up the heavy stuff and we walked to the car. I announced my intention to sell everything. I think I may have overestimated the connection between curiosity and a safe hobby for a klutz. To his credit, he said little.

I left it all for a week. Then I invited a friend to come experiment with me.  It worked. We figured out a few things.

Just a drop of blood.

I left it for another few days.  Then I made (I don't actually make the coffee on the weekends) took my cup of coffee and my banana out there to try again.

At the point the above photograph was taken, I was still hopeful. Eight hours later, I conceded defeat for the day.

My soldering looked like a toddler who had been given a crayon for the first time and just could not for the life of him make crayon and outline meet.

But during this time I drank my coffee, ate my banana and sandwich Caroline made for me- turkey and cucumber. This is like a 'Where's Waldo' game-see if you can spot all the unhealthy errors. And popped a few aspirin because I now had a whopper of a headache.  Ventilation.  Probably would have helped. 

I came in and started dinner.  Laid my lead filled, flux covered project on the kitchen table and left it there. It's still there. 

I am undecided about how to proceed.  Melt the solder off? Is that even possible? Flip it over and hope the reverse side is more successful?  Speaking of which, I am pretty sure there is a front and a back to stained glass but it's really hard to tell.

The only thing I do know for sure is who is getting it for Christmas. She is going to love it.


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