One of my hobbies is to build pieces of furniture that reflect my geeky interests. My most recent project is a lamp with a stained glass panel. The design reflects a symbol from Exosquad, a science fiction cartoon from the early 90s.
Exosquad lasted for only two seasons and struggled through both of them. It was, sadly, too good to last because it was a cartoon, but definitely not for young children. Exosquad was a miilitary science fiction story with richly-developed worldbuilding and thoughtful narrative development. It was a war story with heroism, treachery, and tragedy. The writers and producers expressed their artistry in a grand, tightly-woven epic.
When I watched it as a young man, it struck me as a brilliant work of storytelling. I remain a devoted fan and decided to express my appreciation for it in a crafting project. The subject would be the logo of the Exofleet, the military body of which most of the main characters belong.
When I develop crafting projects, I establish design paramaters that require that I learn new skills. For this project, I decided to learn how to make stained glass.
To do so, I found an stained glass artist in my city who teaches classes on her craft. I spent an afternoon with her, then gradually acquired the tools and materials necessary for it. The most expensive of these was a glass grinder. Thankfully, I was able to buy a used one for only $50.
The frame is made of maple plywood. I used a hand router to cut grooves into 4 wood pieces. Each is about 3/8" deep. The square glass panel, which 16" on an edge, slips inside. The 4 pieces are held together with heavy-duty corner braces.
I added a back door to the lamp. It's held in place with 2 hinges on the bottom and a magnetic clasp at the top.
The illumination comes from a total of 108 LEDs on 4 lightbars. These were very easy to install and I highly recommend this system for lamp projects like this one.
The power cable feeds out a hole in the bottom. I spliced a cord switch into it so that I can turn it on and off easily.
I'm very pleased with how well it turned out. It lights up my bedroom beautifully.
The lamp hangs on the wall next to my Pinkie Pie cabinet and Ninja High School lamp. My patient wife indulges me in my eccentric decorating ideas, but it helps that I keep them confined to certain areas of our home.
Stained glass is a labor-intensive craft, but it's also a fun way to create something beautiful and functional. I'm glad that I got to learn this new skill.