Dragonfly Garden Stakes
SKILL LEVEL: 3 (1 being the easiest, 5 being most difficult)
TIME TO COMPLETE: 4 hours
• Work in a well-ventilated area.
• Clean glass the natural way with a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water
• Precision 2000 or Precision 2000 Deluxe Band Saw
• 2 small repurposed olive oil, wine or liquor bottles
• 1 Package Jennifer’s Mosaics ½” Gems • 7/32” Copper Foil
• Studio Pro Lead-Free Solder
• Studio Pro Soldering Iron
• Fid or pencil
• Flux and Flux Brush
• 3 Plant Stakes
1. Clean all five bevels and four glass gems with glass cleaner or rubbing alcohol. Dry with a lint-free cloth.
2. Read and carefully follow the instructions contained within the Precision 2000 operations manual.
3. Start with two small, varying sized glass bottles. We used olive oil bottles with a decorative relief surface. However, miniature wine and liquor bottles will work perfectly too!
4. Set the Precision 2000 up for wet cuts, using the diamond blade. Raise the blade guide arm up as high as it will go so it will clear the bottle. To do so loosen the hex nut on the water nozzle arm and move the water nozzle out of the way, raise the blade block as far up as it will go and lock into position with the thumb screw in the back of the saw. Adjust the water nozzle so that is sprays on the front of the blade and tighten the hex nut to hold nozzle into position while you cut.
5. Place one bottle at a time on the saw’s cutting table and cut it lengthwise in half, from the neck to the base.
6. Repeat with the second bottle.
7. Cut each half into halves or thirds depending on the size of your bottle and how small you want your wings.
8. Once each section is cut, use the saw to round off each wing by cutting off the corners of the glass to achieve a nice rounded curve.
9. Dry wings thoroughly.
10. Select and clean 5-8 similarly colored ½” gems for each dragonfly body.
11. Use sandpaper or a scythe stone to rough up the edges of each gem.
12. Foil the outside edge of the wings and the gems. Start with 7/32”, 1.5 ml thick copper foil. Peel back 2”-3” of backing from the foil, hold glass with the edge toward you, and apply foil to the edge of the glass so that it extends evenly over both sides of the glass.
13. Fold or crimp foil over edges making sure to fold corners neat and flat. Burnish foil using fid or a wooden craft stick. Press foil flat against glass on the outside edge first, then both sides of the glass. Don’t scrub as you may rip the foil. 14. Tin the edges of each piece by applying flux to the copper foil and lightly coating them with solder.
15. Next using the pattern, arrange the pieces in the shape of a dragonfly. Gems should be positioned, flat-side down and the bottle pieces, curved-side down. Apply flux to all the joints where the glass pieces meet, tack solder in place.
16. Apply more flux to the glass edges and solder all seams. Puddle solder in-between the wings and the body to fill in open areas. When the seams have all been soldered, use the long tweezers to flip the piece over. Apply flux and solder over seams on the backside. 17. If your garden stakes are coated with a protective coating, use a craft knife to peel coating away.
18. Plant stakes from the garden center may have a coiled tip. Use pliers to uncoil the stake. Now bend the stake into a curve matching line of the dragonfly’s body. Wrap foil around the stake starting at the base of the curve and working your way to the tip. Use a fid to burnish the foil to the stake.
19. Align the stake to underside of the dragonfly body, either to the left or right of the gems. This will hide the stake from view.
20. Place dragonfly upside-down on your work surface; apply painters or masking tape at the center of the dragonfly to secure the stake into position. Apply flux to the upper and lower portions of the stake and solder in place. Remove the tape and continue to flux and solder the stake into place on the dragonfly.
21. Repeat with remaining dragonflies.
22. When cool, wash with warm soapy water and place in your garden!