Foil versus Lead: Which Stained-Glass Technique Do You Choose?
Part of the Stained Glass For Dummies Cheat Sheet
When constructing a stained-glass project, you use either copper foil or lead to hold the glass pieces together. How do you know which one to choose? Keep the following factors in mind as you determine which construction technique to use for a particular stained-glass design:
Geometric designs lend themselves to lead-came techniques. Making a lot of straight lines meet up nicely (often a key in geometric designs) is difficult when you’re using copper foil. On the other hand, using lead came allows you to hide the small imperfections between glass pieces and keep everything on pattern.
Designs with a lot of small pieces work best with copper foil. Copper foil is easier to wrap around small pieces, and it keeps the project from looking bulky.
Sun catchers are naturals for copper foil. Because lead stretches, it needs the support of a rigid frame. Sun catchers don’t work well in rigid frames, and if you construct a sun catcher out of lead, it’ll stretch over time and pull apart.