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For Gina and others interested in this project -
You can buy collored cellophane from any well-stocked art supply
store. It comes in rolls of several basic colors. Yes, you can use
paint inbetween the glue lines and don't need cellophane behind the
image as an extra, added step. I like the effect of the cellophane
behind the stained glass image, regardless of paint or not, because
the cellophane gives the image a different dimensionality when
the light passes through as it is hanging in a window. It also casts
rainbow patterns on the floor when an entire class' work is hung up.
The cellophane behind the transparency film can change the color,
sometimes not in pleasing ways if paint has been applied as well to
the clear film, but I generally use use the few instances where it is
not an improvement, to discuss the principles of color mixing. In
those cases, the cellophane can be removed and you can simply use the
colors the student has painted on for the effect.
I recently couldn't do this stained glass project with colored glue
because all my small elmer's glue containers disappeared from
storage, so I used black card and cut out the shapes instead of
drawing them with the glue.
Students used the theme of water animals - either salt or fresh
water. We drew the animals on a
piece of white paper, creating a thick, double outline around all the
shapes, and dividing the internal space with double lines as well.
The adults cut out the negative spaces with
a stanley knife (for first graders). A piece of transparency film was
placed on top of the image after it was cut, using permanent markers
to color in the clear spaces on the film. Afterwards, the image was
flipped over, so that the film was on the backside.
Students could choose to either color the clear film, attach a piece
of colored cellophane cut to the same size of the window frame, or
use a combination of the two behind the image. I haven't tried gluing
the tissue paper onto a piece of clear film as was recently
suggested, but I think that is a wonderful option, as well.
When I have done this project using small squeeze bottles of elmer's
glue to dispense the colored glue onto clear, overhead transparency
film, you need to allow time to let the glue dry. During this 15-30
minute wait, depending on the climate and weather, students can be
painting their initial pencil drawing which was placed underneath the
transparency film to trace the lines of the "stained glass window."
After the glue is dry, I let students color inside the shapes with
permanent markers or tempera mixed with glue. The paint mixture
covers better but once mounted in a window for the full stained glass
effect, the paint starts cracking and peeling off in a day or so. I
hope these directions help clarify the process.
We just displayed four classes of stained glass fish in our hall
windows done in these various styles and they were magnificent! Great
integration with environmental/habitat studies.