Saturday, March 2, 2013

Published work by Lawrence Benner my partner in life

The Schaubühne

1. I GOT THE JOB THROUGH Marius, who had gone to school with a mutual friend at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. I was supposed to write Zusammenfassungen for the theater where Marius worked. These were kind of like Cliff’s Notes. They were critical synopses that directors would consult before selecting which plays to stage, to see if they thought a script sounded interesting before reading the whole thing.
Unfortunately, I had no idea what I was doing, and it was only a matter of time before they found out.

2. Traveling Europe in the early nineties, I’d made it to Berlin just as my money ran out. The GDR had fallen and The Wall had been chipped into souvenirs for tourists and the people of East Berlin had fled to the West. There were hundreds of buildings left empty— power on, rent free—which were soon squatted by an influx of foreigners. I met some people who gave me a room in a squathouse, and I started busking on the U-Bahn. For most of the nineties I lived in the squathouse and played music on the trains for a couple of hours a day. I drank and did drugs.
Eventually I landed in Narcotics Anonymous.

Read more of this article here:

Interview With a Vampire Novelist

THERE’S A COUPLE STAYING at the hotel, they‘ve been here for more than a week, waiting for the deal to go through on the house they’re buying. They’re a married couple, white, in their mid-thirties. He looks like he could be a butcher- a squat, meaty guy with a New Jersey accent. He’s always breaking balls. She’s meek. She likes sweatshirts. She’s big-boned and self-conscious about it. They’re unpretentious and friendly, in contrast to some of the guests who stay at the hotel, people who seem to think if they drop a couple bills on their room they’re obligated to act like dicks.
I usually get dropped off at eleven by my girlfriend Jen because I can’t drive, and we always make out a little bit before I get out of the car. We’re affectionate- not in a sleazy attention seeking sort of way- just affectionate.

Read more of this article here:

Monday, February 25, 2013

Made this weekend - Fall Tree Stained Glass Free Hanging Panel

Leaves and border are painted and fired in the kiln. It is reinforced with thin brass rod on the back, built within the structure of the panel. All of the white spaces are absent of glass.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tallow as Flux - Does not work for stained glass

I recently ordered some tallow to use as flux for stained glass. I found that it did nothing. It made my room smell like a hamburger, which was nice, but it did not help the solder adhere. I am sad because I thought this would be a better non-toxic flux I could use. I'm not sure why people say it does work, I have seen it multiple places on the internet. I used a product I bought online and did not make my own.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Stained Glass Safety

I have been working with glass since 1995. I frequently cut and burn myself even after 18 years. In the beginning I didn't wear safety glasses when I cut or ground glass. I was in my twenties and invincible. Luckily the glass gods saw to it that I did not blind myself. Now that I am going on 40 things have changed. I no longer use that terrible flux that burns the inside of my nose, I made sure I wear latex gloves when I solder and I always wear glasses of some kind whether I am cutting glass or just soldering. Being older and being a starving artist without health insurance has made me a hypochondriac, always looking into the future to predict and or avoid my next injury.

Here are some stained glass safety basics :

FluxUse a flux that is smokeless. Try to avoid as much fumes as possible. Non-toxic flux does not work. I have tried it. If you want to ruin a piece then try it. For flux to work properly it will have to be somewhat bad for you and contains
zinc chloride. I use Flux - Classic 100 Gel Smokeless. It still smokes a little but not as much as other brands. I would like to try this flux but I'm afraid it will be too much like the safe flux I mentioned before.
If anyone finds a good flux that is non-toxic please let me know.

I always wash my face and hands after soldering. I also put some water up each nostril and rinse. You can wear a surgical or dust mask but it is usually uncomfortable and makes breathing difficult.

Fume ExtractorI love the fume extractors. They pull the fumes away from what you are soldering. In the warmer months I open windows and put the ceiling fan on high. Unfortunately in colder months you cannot open windows so the best thing you can do is at least pull the fumes away from your face.

Grinding Glass

I am going to start wearing a mask when I grind glass. I saw this article today that scares me to death. I know that small particles of glass fly up when I grind glass but I never thought about glass dust. Stay as far away from your grinder as you can, wear glasses and a mask.

Cuts and Burns

If you have worked with stained glass for a long time you know that it is impossible to not cut or burn yourself. Over time your hands will look very worn and tattered. I tell people starting out to expect some injuries.

"Lead soldering usually does not represent an inhalation risk since
controlling temperature of lead below 900 ºF(melting temperature = 621 ºF)
is effective in controlling lead fuming."

Here are some links to purchase tools and other articles that may be helpful.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Stained Glass Soldering Basics - Soldering and Tinning : Video

Demonstrating the basics of soldering and tinning a stained glass piece.

Repairing Stained Glass Without Breaking Pieces : Video

I needed to remove the painted face in the center of this sun without damaging it. I sold this to a customer last Fall who had reasons they needed it removed. They wanted it replaced with a solid piece of glass. I wanted to keep the painted face because it took me so long to create. After 20 minutes I managed to pop out the face and did not break any of the pieces surrounding it.
To get the face loose enough to remove I used an X-acto blade and the soldering iron. I had to get all the excess solder off first and then scratch away the copper foil and the rest of the solder.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Newest Stained Glass Bee

I made this one for a local customer in Asheville. I have gotten the process down pretty well.

Vending - Craft Show February 9th, 2013

I will be vending at my first craft show of 2013 on February 9th, 2013.
It will be held in West Asheville at the Francine Delany New School for Children.
119, Brevard Rd, Asheville, NC 28806

 10 am - 3 pm

75% of all booth fees goes to the Francine Delany New School for Children Building Fund

Here are some examples of what I will be selling.


See this link for more information.