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Design and Technology: Light Design Folio

Richard Caines - UC Home - University of Canberra · Web viewLong term exposure to this could lead to occupational asthma Chronic Bronchitis, Chemical Hypersensitivity, Chest Pain,

Feb 05, 2021



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Design and Technology:Light Design FolioRichard Caines

Date Due: 30th of May, 2018

Weighting: 20%

Design Brief

Initially my original design was the Honeycomb design but there had to be changes to what materials or shape of what it had looked like. The design was mainly a cylindrical light, made up of triangular pieces of glass or perspex to create hexagons that are positioned inwards to create a honeycomb like hex. How I decided to change this design was to keep the materials, which is stained glass and make four panels of a stained glass piece which is made up of all different pieces of glass to create an art piece. For the base I am using a piece of wood which is 20cm x 20cm, this is because I need to make slots in the wood for the panels of stained glass to fit into the wood.

As for the design of what the glass will look like, I’m unsure as there are many possible things I could do such as a natural theme and/or involve animals.

For my light, I have a 5.5W frosted light placed in the centre of the wood which will have the wiring run through a housing in the wood for it to be hidden and to have it come out a side of the wood and have it capable of being plugged into a powerpoint.

Design Situation

The purpose of this light was to create an artistic light of which uses glass to create a spectacular bedside lamp which brings a moody feel to the room as it lights up the room.This product is directed towards a mature audience of which enjoys a moody and calming light. The age of the people intended is not specific but it is towards creative people who enjoy an artistic feel to their house that stands out and is different from other peoples.

I chose to make this light design as it incorporates glass and I found it interesting to make something different aside from other projects. I also wanted to learn the art of how to work with stained glass and how to solder it.


In creating this design, I will need to go to glass cutting and soldering courses to learn how to make a panel of stained glass stay together. As I have experience in using a soldering iron and soldering, I will mainly be focussing on how I should cut my glass and how it will suit the glass artwork.

As I have already cut my piece of wood for the base, I have drilled into the wood to create a housing for the wiring of the light which will be hidden within the wood. I have chosen a 5.5w frosted glass light to be placed in the centre of the wood and to have a square, stained glass surrounding case on the outside of the light. However I will not have a cover on top, this is because I wish to let the heat flow out of the top and to also allow for the light to shine upwards and allow for more light.

In the process of building the glass surrounding, I had to cut glass using a hand glass cutter which creates an indent into the glass surface of which then can be split using a pair of pliers. For glass purposes, there are specific pliers for breaking glass in a straight line. These pliers have an indent with two wedges facing inwards to allow for the glass to split in a straight line. In splitting the glass, I was unable to obtain these pliers. However I had made this groove in the pliers using electrical tape and I was able to split the glass more efficiently. After successfully cutting the glass, it was then time to solder the pieces of glass together through the copper foiling and solder technique.

This is where you round the edges of glass with a copper foiling and then spread flux on top of the copper foiling and then add solder with a soldering iron to the individual pieces. After this process, you then clean the soldered glass pieces of all the flux and then place the pieces in their panel of glass formation in a squared off point to which the glass can be held together as it is soldered to create a square panel of glass. After placing the glass in a solid formation, it can then be soldered together but again flux must be added to the edges of which are being soldered. After flux has been added, then you may begin to solder.

As all of the four panels of glass have been successfully soldered together in a squared off manner, I had again to clean the panels of solder and then begin to solder two panels of glass together at a 90 degree angle using a previously built, squared off piece of wood. Then again I added flux to the side of where I was soldering and soldered the two pieces of glass together to create a half of my glass surrounding. I repeated this process and then cleaned the panels and was onto the process of soldering the whole surrounding panels together to create an open box. In soldering the box together I had to use a different soldering iron which had a pencil tip and soldered the inside of the box. After the box was soldered from the inside it was stuck together and it was then safe for me to solder and clean up the outside of the box.

After cleaning the glass box surrounding, I had then to router out the shape of the glass bottom for the glass case to sit in. As some sides were taller than others, I had to also router lower in some parts to house the glass in a strong and squared off fashion. After that I had then sprayed a clear, transparent coat on the glass to give it a glossy finish.

After setting up the wiring within the wooden base and having the light turn on, it was right for me to place the glass surrounding case inside of the routed out trench in the wood and to keep it stuck inside the wood with silicone.


In building this lamp, I have chosen the materials of stained glass, Merbau wood and an already tested and tagged light cable. All of which have been put together using silicon, copper foiling, flux and solder. The tools I had used also were a glass cutter, router, chisel, soldering iron, pliers, sand paper and a drill which included a forstner bit and a normal drill bit.

As described in the process, the router was used to create a trench in the wooden base, the chisel and sand paper were used to sand off the edges of the wood to make it smooth and to make the trench also big enough for the glass to fit in. The drill was also used to drill into the side of the wood to create a housing for the wiring so that it is hidden and a housing for the light. As for the glass cutter and pliers were used to cut and break glass into their pieces. The pliers were used to split the glass whilst the glass cutter was used to create an indent in the glass of which the glass could be split upon. The soldering iron was used to solder the copper foiling to the glass using solder and flux. Silicon was then used after the surrounding was finished to hold the glass case into the trench cut out.

Problems and Solutions

The design that I had chosen to do for my assignment was the “Honeycomb” which was mainly a cylindrical light, made up of triangular pieces of glass or perspex to create hexagons that are positioned inwards to create a honeycomb like hex. This initially was a great idea yet to perform this would be almost impossible. I have asked opinions of glass makers and glass craftsmen of how I could possibly assemble this design and it was was virtually impossible to manoeuvre glass to how I had planned. Therefore my original design had been scrapped and I had to change my original design to flat panels of glass.

To improve upon my design and make it a much more interesting design, I have decided to create 4 flat panels of stained glass and my main “Wow” factor will be how the glass is positioned to look like a piece of art. There has been a lot of different designs that I’ve thought of that would be suitable or interesting to make on the panels of glass and they have been a continue on from the previous and have a beehive theme. I have also thought of other ideas such as creating other natural features like a fish in the sea and other animals.

As a base, I have already cut a piece of wood 20cm x 20cm of which it better than my original idea which was a marble base which I found had already had a place cut out for the cords and wiring. It is better to have a piece of wood as it is more manoeuvrable as I will need to cut out slots for the panels of glass to slide into the wood to create a square, box-like shape for the light in the middle.

Background and Research

As I have chosen to create a light using stained glass and making four panels, I have researched and asked many influential people how I could possibly make my original design as a circular, stained glass light. How I would have to perform this task would have to be with a circular backing and as well as that I would have to create divots in the circular piece as the hexagonal piece goes inwards and this just makes it near impossible for me to perform that particular design. In performing a lead lighting stained glass panel, you must have a flat surface to do this on, as if the soldered joints are curved, the glass could crack or point out and cut someone. Therefore this would be an unsafe task and is not how the glass could properly be done. In also creating a metal frame and soldering all the pieces of glass to the metal frame is also a painful task and as it is a circular shape it is difficult to solder both sides of the glass to hold it in place and this could lead to glass falling out and breaking. Then again it doesn’t have a backing board to solder the glass on a flat surface.

In creating this light, the main focus is the design of the stained glass and that it presents an amazing picture as it is lit up from the light.


The safety involved for this project was mainly in the soldering of the glass and cutting of the glass. In cutting the glass, it was important to wear safety glasses and it is also possible to wear gloves to avoid cuts to your hands. In soldering the glass it was important to avoid from the fumes protruding from the point of soldering as they are harmful. However I avoided this issue with having a mask, but I managed to avoid the fumes in having a clear and constant flow of wind blowing the fumes away from my project outside.

Manufacturing and Marketing

In manufacturing this light, it was a timely process and for it to be marketed it would need to be priced a lot as the process of soldering and cleaning the glass panels take a large amount of time in the project as cleaning and soldering must all be done in stages. However a skilled glass cutter and glass maker would probably be able to form many panels if supplied the glass. As the teacher I had learned from was capable of making hundreds of glass panels and objects in a matter of weeks. In marketing a stained glass product, it is a timely process and for that matter in marketing this product it would be difficult as it is not a very common lamp for people to have. However is meant to be a piece to gaze upon with all the different colours mixed and lit up to create an artistic look.


The colours of glass I have chosen for my project were opaque and clear glass. The theme was meant to be a soothing light which was calming as the colours of blue and purple are calming colours. The marketing of this lamp was to be directed towards people looking for a bedside lamp to switch on to create a calming mood in your bedroom. The use of opaque colours was to hide the light and only highlight certain parts and the clear colours to show the light in certain parts of which would create an artistic look in the room.

The manufacturing of the glass was a simple design but appealing for a modernized look, the simplicity of the glass case in a square shape is due to only having panels of glass soldered. In the choice of colour for the wood, I had chosen a matte finish which would make the glass panels shine and be the ‘wow’ factor to my project. In doing this I had added linseed oil by rubbing it with steel wool.

Environmental Impact

As for the impact in creating this project, the materials used were wood and glass. The use of wood I had used was merbau wood which was pieced together to create one large plank of wood but I had cut the wood to a size of 200mm x 200mm. Merbau is a versatile wood which is generally used for larger products such as construction, the common use for Merbau wood is for outdoor settings such as decks and barbeque areas. Merbau wood is resistant to insects and is durable towards rotting. It comes from the Ipil plant which is found in Australia, East Africa and South-East Asia. The soldering of the glass does not create as much of an effect on the environment as it does to humans. As the common chemical in flux is colophony and it comes from the resin in pine trees. Symptoms that can lead from inhaling this can be irritation to nose, throat and respiratory organs. Long term exposure to this could lead to occupational asthma Chronic Bronchitis, Chemical Hypersensitivity, Chest Pain, Headaches & Dizziness, Eye and Nose Irritation and Skin diseases. A lot of these symptoms are found in electrical soldering areas of which do not have proper ventilation and are exposed to these harmful chemicals and should therefore have a form of ventilation when soldering.


In manufacturing this product, I had many costs in being able to gain access to certain materials. In getting the Merbau wood, it was originally a wood deck and I had cut it off of a long plank. As my father is apart of Tuggeranong Men’s shed, I was able to gain access to getting this wood for only a price of $20.

And since my father was also friends with some of the men at the men’s shed, there was a man there named Geoff Pearson which had helped me with my project by referring me to glass cutting lessons and also being given the tools and glass required for my project for free.

He had also given me books of how to cut and form interesting patterns for glass panels (Australian Leadlighting, Stained glass designs).

In being referred to the glass cutting lessons, I had to pay $80 an hour at the lessons of which took a total of two hours. These lessons had given me a great deal of the craftsmanship which is put into putting together glass. It gave me a first hand experience to cutting and operating with glass safely as it was my first time to work with glass.I had also been given a glass cutter just for the one-off project for the day.

In obtaining a light source, I had been to Salvos and bought a small wall light of which had a small casing for a lightbulb and a tagged and tested cord. All of which I paid $5 for and just needed to remove the wall casing and keep the light bulb holder and wiring. A bonus to the light was that it had a switch of which added to the effect of being able to use the light as a bedside lamp.


The main purpose of the lamp is to be a calming and soothing themed lamp through the use of moody colours such as blue and purple. It is to act as bedside lamp which is meant to be an artistic feature in the room and is meant to bring that moody feel in the room.


The quality of this lamp within the due time is done to a standard but if it would be done with more time, the quality of the lamp could be perfected to a better standard. Yet as it was built within the given time and cannot be buffed up anymore as it will ruin the copper foiling. However the process of building it together could have been more perfected with the silicon and cleaning of the glass. The quality of this project can be determined with the time given and the skill needed. As this project needed a lot of skill when working with the glass, I spent a lot of time working on the glass from day to night on the weekends.

If this project would to be given time and the experience needed, I believe anyone could build their own lamp similar to mine. However I do believe the quality of my lamp may not be up to what professionals can do but I do believe with the materials I have made a good quality lamp which would not need to be replaced if not damaged such as dropping or cracking the glass. If it would need to be entirely replaced if even one panel would to be broken, so it must be taken care of.

Shape & Size

Originally the design I had voted upon was the “HoneyComb” Design of which was much more difficult but had the original design of many triangles to create a dimple looking hexagon, hence much like a Honeycomb in a circular shape. But now knowing it is impossible for me, yet even an experienced glass maker couldn’t. I chose to do four panels of which form a square surrounding case and doesn’t have a top to allow for more light to come out. As the base is also square, it is to create a modernised look of simplicity. As for the size of the lamp, I had chosen to make the base 200mm x 200mm x 40mm of which would be heavy enough to not be pushed over and held to the ground due to the weight and surface area. The glass panels are 200mm x 100mm of which are meant to be tall but not too tall for the base as some of it will be held into the base. The size of the lamp is meant to be a bedside lamp of which can be turned off and on through a switch.

The size and shape of this lamp can be distributed to all ages, but it requires a lot of maturity to take care of.

Maintenance and Storage

In maintaining this lamp, all that is needed is that the glass is cleaned of dust and possibly to change the light globe time to time. But since there is a frosted LED light, it is not needed to be maintained as it is a strong, powerful light which has a long life. It also needs to not be damaged such as dropped or hit as this can damage the glass and will need to have a full repair. In packaging or moving this item, it is very fragile and would need to be packaged safely so that the glass wouldn’t be cracked or break. This product all has materials which can be recycled if it would to break, but it is a disposable item of which cannot be repaired easily.

This product is quite reliable but it must be handled well and maintained well to be a reliable light as for the glass will keep its shape unless tampered with.


Since this lamp has an easy switch which can be connected to any powerpoint, I believe this lamp is quite easy to use as changing the lightbulb is easy as the top is open to remove the lightbulb. The light is safe unless it would to be dropped and glass would to go everywhere, but the wiring of the light is tested and tagged and is safe to be used.

Market Research

As the production of this lamp can be different and the panels can be made differently, this lamp is a one-off production and can only be made one at a time by one person. However if there are multiple, talented glass cutters and people soldering, this could be made quicker. As technology develops the inclusion of a machine which could solder the panels into a glass case could possibly make the lamp into a mass production.

However this kind of light is not meant for mass production but to be more of a one-off production as it is not one of the most wanted lights, but it is a light of which some people would like and would buy.


In my original design, it was the Honeycomb design of which was a complex, circular formation of which used small triangle pieces which faced inwards to create a hexagon. Hence giving it the name of ‘Honeycomb’. When I had discussed this with expert glass makers and craftsmen. They had said that to do such a task could not be done with my level of experience and yet was debated if they were even capable to create such an item. Therefore I came to the conclusion of making flat individual panels of glass of which could be made in an artistic form to interest buyers. I decided upon 4 panels of glass as my base was originally a square and I wanted to have a comparison yet have the focus on the glass because it is the main centre point of interest as it incorporates a wide range of different glass and colours. Therefore I made the wood a dull, matte finish to not reflect the light from the glass but to act as if the wood wasn’t there and apart of the table/ground.This design was chosen as it I was capable to perform the task and in building the original model, I would need to be perfect with everything I do as some panels of glass could poke out and hurt people who handle the glass surrounding. As for materials I could have used perspex and other transparent materials yet I believe glass has a better effect. Problems with my the new design is that it has a simple glass design for both sides yet the use of the colours have improved this as when it is lit up it has two sides of purple and blue.

Time Management

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12

Week 13

Week 14

Week 15

Week 16

Design Brief

Measurement and planning


Obtaining materials

Glass lessons

Producing product

Finishing and handing in product

Portfolio handed in

In preparing my time wisely for this assignment, the main thing that kept me back was the time of the lesson for glass making of which could not be an earlier date, so straight after that day, I went straight into building my project and putting it together and managed to get it done on the weekend. As for the previous days I had just set out what I was going to do so I was ready straight after the lesson to build my lamp.


· Brock, S. and Brock, D. (1992). Stained glass designs. Largs, N.S.W.: Almost Art.

· Danaher, P. and Jackson, D. (1998). Australian leadlighting. Ringwood, Vic.: Viking.

· Electronic Component News. (2018). Was Lead-Free Solder Worth the Effort?. [Accessed 6 Jun. 2018].

· (2018). Health Issues with Soldering. [Accessed 6 Jun. 2018].

· (2018). Merbau | The Wood Database - Lumber Identification (Hardwood). [Accessed 6 Jun. 2018].