I go through periods when I am possessed by the urge to handle stones - we're not talking about diamonds here but stones can be used with a lot of success in stained glass. Just foil them up as if they are glass. Usually, because they are not straight edged like glass pieces, and not particularly sharp, there is no need to grind the edges.
How do I love stones? Let me count the ways:
- polished agate slices
- polished chunks of semi-precious stones
- raw (unpolished) semi-precious stones
- cool stones that I've picked up while hiking around
- polished and unpolished fossils
- stone beads like garnet, jade and carnelian
Tips for Glass Artists:
- Most rocks are not flat. (We all know that but when handling rocks with glass, we forget.) When you're setting chunks/nuggets/crystal spears into your work, consider saving the rock work for last, and centering them in their place. This means that the copper foil is wrapped around the center of rock, and you'll need to put supports under you panel to raise it to the height you want relative to the rock. The rock will stick out of both sides of your work.
- Flux can leach some colors out of the edges of dyed agates. I like the effect, myself.
- Patina acid can damage the polished finish on some stones, agates and fossils. If you want to patina your piece, consider applying a thin layer of oil or Vaseline on the stone's surface first. Be very careful not to get the Vaseline on the solder, as this can result in uneven patina cover.