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Soldering & Glass

I love to take vintage postcards or pictures from old magazines and
make pendants out of them with 2 pieces of glass, but whenever it
gets to soldering them together, the heat creates moisture between
the glass and ruins the paper inside, even if I laminate it.

Also, with a torch, the glass breaks. While I like using the tip,
it’s so messy and breaks all the time. Any thoughts?

Thanks so much,

Hi Suzanna,

Err…you can’t get there from here. You can’t do anything hot
around glass or paper without either wrecking them, or investing in
multi- thousand dollar magic.

The traditional answers are cold connections: rivets, tabs, & screws.
You could use plexiglass instead, and rivet it.
You could use glass, drill it, and use micro bolts to hold it
You could use glass, and make giant bezels to hold it together.
You begin to see where I’m going?


The big style in our area right now is to make them like you would
stained glass. Wrap the two pieces of glass together with stained
glass foil and solder them with a stained glass soldering iron and
lead free solder.


This is exactly the kind of thing that is dealt with by the
techniques taught by Thomas Mann in his "Found Object Sandwich"
workshop. I took this class, and even though I am a teacher and, one
might say, in the “advanced” category as a metalsmith, I loved the
workshop (and Tom) and learned a lot.

If you cannot take his class, I know he sells kits, and there may
also be a book. Look him up-- you’ll get some ideas, at the very


What about making a bezel for it?

What about making a bezel for it? 

Never made a bezel. How would you do that?

Wire & Recycled Vintage Jewelry

Hi Suzanna,

I’m new on the forums, but I have been a glass artist for seven
years, so I thought maybe I can help with your question.

First, I’d suggest using a typical stained glass soldering technique
for this type of project: place the paper between two thin glass
sheets, wrap the edges with copper foil tape that is wide enough to
overlap the top and bottom pieces of glass slightly, then use
stained glass flux and lead-free solder and a soldering iron to
complete the finishing.

In my experience, as long as the glass is clean and dry, and you
don’t overdo it on the flux, you can do it without the condensation.
Also, using a soldering iron for stained glass work is easier, in my
opinion, but you do have to be very careful about getting too much
heat in one spot on the glass and solder seam. Thermal shock will
crack the glass every time. To avoid heat build-up, be sure you are
moving the iron along the edge and not holding it in any one place
for more than a few seconds. Sometimes, I have to do one round of
solder, let the work cool a little, and go back to finish up.

I hope this makes sense and helps you! Feel free to email me if you

Christine Brandel

Hi Suzanna,

Find someone with a laser and have them do the soldering part for
you. You could probably get several together to the point they are
ready for joining and have them welded all at once. If you do all
the prep work and the finishing, it shouldn’t cost that much either.
That’s the kind of job that the laser welder is designed to do.

Dave Phelps

I love to take vintage postcards or pictures from old magazines
and make pendants out of them with 2 pieces 

Suzanna, Make your frame from metal and set the glass & paper
section like it was a stone… bezel or prongs. This way, no heat
will ever be close to the glass / paper assembly. I don’t know your
finished thickness of that assembly but there is ready made step
bezel of all kinds out there that is decorative as well.

Good Luck. Dan.

Soldering and glass?

AND paper? I think you need to re-think how these go together. Make
your soldered setting first, fit the glass/paper/glass in place and
secure them in the setting with pre-soldered bezels or prongs. I
think you’ll have much more success and a cleaner finished piece.

Marianne Hunter

I have used transparent resin on this type of project. You could even
use 2-part epoxy glue. But you have to seal the cards or paper images
first. I made a bezel for a print, added the resin, burnished the
edges over the sealed print after it had completely cured, then
gradually added more resin until I got a dome or the effect I wanted.
Be sure not to touch the resin and let it cure under a lid or
something to protect from dust. You can test the curing process on
the left-over resin. If you want the back open, you would have to
seal that side too. Might get complicated; I haven’t tried.

Good luck and give us some pictures of the finished product.

This hits on a challenge I had with a student!

Her desire was to use the fortune slips from Fortune Cookies in
Pendants by having both sides appear through glass frames - both
sides were printed! She had a sack of them!

First, we took the glass cutter, used in Dichroic Glass, and cut the
exact size of the fortune slip from thin clear glass - each required
two pieces of glass. I teach Dichroic glass so that was a plus!

2nd, we fashioned frames from Fine Silver Bezel to fit the entire
outside of the glass with the fortune slip “sandwiched” between the
two layers of glass. The bezel had to be wide enough to go over the
edge of both sides of the “sandwich.” Soldered the join and soldered
on the bail.

3rd, TRICKY…we carefully spread down the short end of the
framework and slid the “sandwich” into the frame!!! Then we took the
bezel pusher and pressed all four sides against the frame to enclose
the “sandwich,” front and back side.

It worked…so you need to have some experience with soldering…or
maybe JBWeld would help hold the Bezel in place…the stuff does
leave a dark gray residue, but I have used it and am careful to use
just a small amount. There are two kinds of JBWeld…use the
Quik…shorter set up time.

Let use know if this would be an option, and how it could have
helped you.

Rose Marie Christison

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