To the Stars: Making A Stained Glass Space Shuttle

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To the Stars: Making A Stained Glass Space Shuttle

Space. For most, it is the final frontier. For others, it remains a distant galaxy far, far away. But for some, like the creative team of Nicole and Thure of When Geeks Craft, it is a destination already reached. Their stained-glass, fully-lit replica of the space shuttle Discovery demonstrates a passion for making that’s truly otherworldly.

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The two makers behind the quirky YouTube channel spent almost a month and a half working on this project. While Nicole built the shuttle and booster tanks out of glass, her partner Thure modeled the base in Fusion 360, laser-cut the pieces, and added lighting for effect. Although Nicole has worked with glass before on When Geeks Craft, she says it’s not an easy material to get the hang of. She used a paper model kit version of the Discovery as a starting point, which gave her a stronger understanding for this build; “If you can start a project with some sort of reference,” she says, “it will always make your life easier.”

Cutting and grinding around 150 individual glass pieces into shape by hand took several days of hard work. Although it was difficult without the use of a waterjet machine or another precision cutter, Nicole remarks that having a basic crafting knowledge made working with glass pretty simple, especially when it came time to apply copper tape onto the pieces and solder them together. When asked if she had any advice for those inspired to try working with glass, she says that “if you are able to understand basic crafting functions like soldering and using a template, picking up a new skill like glass becomes a lot easier.”

The amazing teamwork between Nicole and Thure shines through the tutorial videos they make for all their projects. They think it’s awesome being makers and content creators, although figuring out how to make and film something simultaneously can be complex at times. Above all, though, they love the support they receive from their YouTube commenters and Patreon members. “Our community is full of very active makers that inspire us to keep creating.” Nicole and Thure have many future projects preparing for lift-off, and you can keep up with them at When Geeks Craft on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. 

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Marshall Piros

Marshall Piros is a freelance writer, upcoming college student, and lover of all things retro, pop-culture, and sci-fi. Despite not being a maker himself, he is always happy to showcase the creativity of others. Born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA, Marshall spends his spare time reading, drawing, playing video games, and practicing the piano.

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