Monday, November 12, 2012

Best Stained Glass Shop EVER!

So I was moving right along in the Mario stained glass piece.  In my spare time, I was already designing my next piece, and I knew I needed some new colors of glass.  Last Wednesday, I did some research and found a stained glass shop in Frederick, MD, and I went up there to buy glass.  I walked into Anything In Stained Glass and was immediately impressed by their selection.  This place was a WAREHOUSE of different types of glass.

I probably spent two hours just wandering the store and trying to pick just what I needed.  I had some difficulty finding the exact color I wanted, but the staff were incredibly helpful and after scouring the store, I chose a bunch of pieces and headed to check out.  I happened to mention that I had no crates to store my glass in and the staff threw one in for free. ("We were just going to throw it out anyway.")  While checking out, I spoke to the staff about my foil issues on the Mario piece.  They had some suggestions, but the thing that really stuck in my mind was that they asked what type of foil I was using.  Evidently, the sticky on the foil can age and easily lose its adhesive properties, especially for certain brands of foil.  I had no clue what foil I was using, but once I got home I began really looking at the foil.

After doing some research, I determined that I should probably remove the pieces where the foil was coming off.  This led to a complete disaster and a lot of tears.  As I would remove one piece, foil from the next piece would come off and one piece of glass broke.  By the end of the night, I was certain that I would have to take the entire piece apart, buy new foil, refoil everything and in essence, start over.  Needless to say, I was in tears and almost determined that I would quit stained glass.

Pieces removed due to bad foil

More foil coming off!

The foil came off the Tanuki leaf when I pulled out the piece below it!
More foil came off!

So Thursday, I packed up my sorry piece of stained glass and a package of the suspect foil, and made my way back to Anything in Stained Glass to buy new foil.  I walked in the door, and was immediately greeted by staff who remembered me from the day before.  I quickly learned that Anything in Stained Glass is a family-owned store, and they really treat their customers like members of the family.  Jack, the patriarch of the family, came over as I explained the problem and asked to see the Mario piece.  As I talked with him, we determined that my suspicion that the foil was bad was completely correct.  Jack immediately took me under his wing and led me over to a stained glass station and began helping me repair and solder my piece.  He patiently stayed with me as I nervously worked, and I could see everything coming back together.  Unfortunately, I had left at home the pieces of glass I had pulled out the night before, so he couldn't help me put them back in, yet.  After a few hours, I realized that I needed to leave before rush hour traffic hit, and Jack graciously invited me back the next day, not only to work on my piece, but also to review my supplies and make sure there is nothing else that would cause major issues like the bad foil.

The next day, I loaded up EVERYTHING I owned related to stained glass and made my way back to Anything in Stained Glass.  Again, I was incredibly impressed with the staff.  Even though Jack was the one primarily assisting me with reviewing my tools and repairing my glass, other members of staff dropped by to observe my progress, learn from Jack, and add their own knowledge and experience.  Even though the store closed at 5:00, Jack continued to work with me well after closing.  All in all, Jack and his family have gone above and beyond - in ways that you just don't often see anymore. 

Jack and his daughter, Paula.  Paula is the proprietor of this incredible store.

As you can see, the piece is actually moving forward!!! I actually have a shot at getting it completed!

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