Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Right after New Years we tried to have classes again but our students were all sick with either colds or the flu.  Some classes cancelled in entirety while others only had had one or two students.   I was looking forward to having life return to normal but illness essentially gave us another classless week where only seven out of thirty students were able to come in!!!!  Since this update is late in posting I can tell you now that attendance was MUCH better the following week.   As the first week stood, here's a look at what our 7 students accomplished after the New Year began.

Mary Grace was able to completed her beautiful Tree of Life Window featuring an assortment of colorful leaves which are framed within a border made from the same colors in random shapes and sizes.  Together they make a lovely window that Mary Grace had a great time making.

Bonnie's  Santa Face was completed right after Christmas and the workmanship is as beautiful as the window itself.   On Russ' recommendation she left the most of the lead silver but colored the  frames of his eyeglasses in black to give them some contrast.   The effect is readily apparent and really 'sells' the spectacles.  Beautiful indeed.


Linda V's Mickey Mouse Lamp has disappeared for a while but it was completed this week and it really turned out stunning.  Featured two different poses alternating across four sides Mickey is instantly recognizable.   Someone else in class has taken Linda's pattern to this so we may very well see this done again before you know it.

Susan R has started a Mardi Gras Mask Panel and she's certainly not one to be afraid to make a window with a lot of pieces.   She not only shrugs her shoulders at large numbers-- she could also care less if those pieces are small or even tiny.   Let's face it, most of Susan's windows have been barely over a foot wide with close to a hundred pieces in them, this being no exception.   Still, I'm betting that she makes quick work of this.


Melissa started working on a Sunflower and Bee Window and WOW! has she made some incredible progress on it.  This is all ready to be wrapped in foil  and she only has one week of work in on it.  She told me that she thinks things have 'clicked' with her and I'm going to say that they certainly have.


After completing her Tree Of Life Mary Grace got right to work on this elegant 'B' Window.   There will be vines cutting through the letter that she'll cut AFTER everything is ground and fitting together.  This will ensure that both the vines and the 'B' line up perfectly thus completing the effect.  I'll tell you something-- those deep cuts into the 'B' didn't give Mary Grace any problem at all.

 Betty's Noel Window got tacked together and she got the front side of it soldered as well.  She's also begun working on a large Flag window that features three small Fleur De Lis'.   With the FDL's already cut and tacked together she'll be able to cut the background out after the next glass order arrives (and it is in the shop as I type this). 

Linda L has her own Mickey Mouse in the works and this one is an Easter Window which is all set to get a background cut out (which shouldn't take long at all).   After that she'll get the round outer border cut out (which will take a little longer than normal since it's round) and then this will be ready for solder.   Doing this early in the year ensures that this will be ready to hang when Easter arrives.

Our second Tree Of Life Window is being made by Shelley and she's just about  got everything ground now.  There are a few pieces that turned up missing that she will fill in after this is tacked together and once that's done (which certainly won't be long from now) she'll be able to work on a multi colored window if she wants to border it that way.

And that was what happened during our first week of classes for 2018.  Our next post will return to its normal size and should be up by the weekend.   See you then!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Sunday, January 14, 2018

It's Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Flu Season

It's been since before Christmas that we last had a post here but illness (yes, that flu was killer!) and the holiday season prevented a lot of people from being able to make it in for our last set of classes before Christmas.   Then, to make matters worse, I got sick and had to cancel 4 of the 6 last classes of the year.   Luckily, everything that needed to be finished before the 25th was completed on time so now I'm going to make a series of posts to bring us up to date and into the 2018's.  On your mark, get set, let's go!

Mary's Octagon Irises and Dragonfly Window was completed just in time for Christmas and that made someone VERY happy on Christmas day when they received this beautiful piece.   Mary always works on complex designs and her abilities are growing very quickly  because she's always pushing herself.  Just wait until you see her next pattern.

Terry's Flowing Angel looks stunning but there's been a last minute addition to it that Terry did not see coming.  The customer would like a name added to the bottom so we'll show you in our next post how we add a name to a large suncatcher that has already been completed.

Betty completed another of her Mary and Child Suncatchers which turned out equally as nice as the small panels do.  This is one of the most popular patterns we've seen here in class with so many of these having been made in the span of just four weeks.  Now that Christmas has passed we may see the run on these slow down but this design can certainly be used all year around so don't expect them to disappear!

I made a box just before Christmas that is a bit, well, 'out there'.   Many of the students where interested in the odd effect as it was being made so I'm including it among our completed works since our post is small this week.  All of the copper sections that run across the top and down the corners and middle of the box has been achieved with lead.   It's an odd effect but I rather like the flowing earthy design of it.  Below is a picture of the box both closed and opened.

Brenda put the finishing solder bead on her Iridised Bevel Cross Suncatcher and as you can see, you just can't lose with this design.

Carol's Alligator Window is as delightful as can be.  She's got it completely soldered (both front and back) and all this needs is a bath and some patina to finish it off.  Hopefully we'll get a picture of this when it's been cleaned up and it has a little light behind it.

Rowena began on of my favorite Bird Of Paradise Windows.   This small and unassuming project has always turned heads upon its completion and it looks as though Rowena's will do the same.   With the pieces all ground and fitting together perfectly this is already set to be foiled.

Jeannette has almost everything completed on her Christmas Joy Window but the back side still needs some solder.   Alas, we'll be seeing this completed after Christmas has past but next year this is going to be rocking Jeannette's house for the holidays.

Linda F resumed working on her Christmas Ornaments Panel and has all of the subject cut out, ground and wrapped.  Once this is tacked together she'll lay it on top of a single piece of background glass and trace around it all.   Doing it this way will waste a small amount of glass but the time savings that it affords us makes it well worth it.   Inside of one class she'll easily get the background tacked into place and the border cut out as well.

Martha's Oval Day Lilly has almost been completely foiled.  Once that's done the soldering should go easily.  The most important part of this design is that the points aren't cut short along the edges and Martha has achieved this goal.  Yes, this will indeed be an oval when completed.


Bonnie was hard at work on her Santa Face but with the 25th is looming there's still a lot of work to get done on this.   With her priorities in order Bonnie is NOT going to rush this and turn out a sub-par window and that says a lot about the work that Bonnie always does.


Betty's Noel Panel has been ground and she's now working on foiling all of the pieces that make up this wonderful window.  With the majority of it wrapped I'm sure we'll see the border get attached when she brings this back to class.


Myrt decided to make another Ribbon Border Fleur De Lis Window and even though she had to retrace a pattern for it she still managed to get the paper pattern cut out and the actual Fleur De Lis cut out of glass.  This will be a quick window for her to knock out since she just finished one and knows exactly how things should progress.

And this is the last post for classes that occurred in the year 2017.    How quickly time flies.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Paulitics Of Stained Glass

As I've been putting things together this week I've come to the realization that the grinding process is the most important skill to learn when it comes to making stained glass.   To make your grinding go smoothly you need to take your time while you are cutting.   If you take extra time during the cutting process you will discover that the grinding process goes far more easier.   When you rush through cutting you pieces you will invariably find yourself spending more time at the grinder.  Learning how to grind the line off in one pass is a VERY important skill that needs to be mastered if you want your glass work to look good.  Traveling back and forth, left and right, to grind up to the line is never a good idea.   The water washes your line away and you have to dry and re-mark your pieces constantly.  When grinding, you should move slowly in one direction while keeping the glass against the grinding wheel until the line is gone.  One pass on each side of the glass and you'll have it made!

Okay, here it is!  Beth's Dragonfly Window is really spectacular in every way.   As I mentioned last week her soldering was great and  she's already picking up on all the little tricks to make soldering go easier.  I'm not sure what's next for Beth but I have no doubt that it will be another wonderful work of art.  (This just in-- it will be a classic stained glass deign.)

Becky's large round Geometric Window was completed this week and to finish it off she went the extra mile and added some solder texture to the 1/2 inch zinc channel that surrounds her work of art.  As I always say, any extra work you do will lend itself to the overall attractiveness of the window and this is no exception.

As promised, here you can see a closeup of the center of Becky's Window complete with wire accent pieces to help give the solid lead sections an extra bit of flair.


Susan R finished her Christmas Present Light Display this week and although we didn't have any Christmas lights to put in it for its picture, we were able to light it up somewhat with  three smart phones inside of it with their flashlights on and some colored globs over the lights.   It gives a rough idea for how this will look with a full strand of lights balled up inside this beautiful 'box'.

Linda completed her Quilt Square Panel and it's a keeper.   I've always liked these mid size windows that are bigger than a suncatcher but smaller than a window.   They fit anywhere and as you can see they look great.


Betty finished her Mother Mary Window and wanted to know if she should leave it silver or color it copper.  I said, "Let it be, let it be, let it be, ohh, let it be, Speaking words of wisdom, Let it be."  But she colored it copper anyway.   And I'm just kidding anyway-- I would have colored this beautiful window copper as well. 

Barbara H finished her Madonna And Child Panel and like the others before it she's done a splendid job with it. We now have people making these in Suncatcher form as you will see in a minute if you just scroll down one more item. 

Here's Betty's rendition of the same Madonna and Child window sans the background glass and border.  These are lovely yet easy gifts when made this way and Betty will be good for a second one which you'll see later on.


Ann finished her newest Large Amber Cross suncatcher only to discover a piece that was cracked when she finished soldering it.  Luckily it was a simple repair and as you can't see it, no one will ever know that there was a 'problem'.  

Melissa has finished all of her Crosses in plenty of time for Christmas.  These final two bring her total to nine which she got better and better with as each one was completed.   She's ready to start a new project and yet again, we'll look at that a little further on down in this post.

Jan started working on a plate window which involves an actual plate being used as a center piece to the design.   She's going to skim its edges on the grinder and then wrap it as she would any other piece of glass.  She's decorating the perimeter of it with a combination of circular and teardrop accent pieces and when this is finished I'm sure it will turn some heads.  Interestingly enough Jan is making this upside down because the plate only lies flat when it is upside down.  

Carol was hard at work on a new Beveled Fleur De Lis Window that she had completely assembled and ready to be soldered by the time class ended.  This is essentially completed already.

Terry finished five name panels this week but I forgot to take pictures of them!   She also worked on this beautiful flowing Angel which she already has cut out.  With a lot of the grinding on this completed I'm thinking that she'll surely have this ready in time for Christmas.

Lara's Starry Starry Night Window is all wrapped and officially tacked together now.  She got her thin inner border cut and it's all ready to be ground and then tacked into place.   After that she 'll just need to add one more border before she can start soldering this large window. 

Linda F also worked on this Christmas Lights suncatcher.  She'll be adding a background and a border to this thus turning a suncatcher into a full fledged window.   

Jeannette has been working fast and furiously on her large Christmas Window.  After getting her Bell section wrapped and tacked together she worked on getting all of the background pieces cut and fitted into place.  Next up she's got and inner border that is a little more complicated than normal since so many central design pieces cut into it, and then there's the final outer border which will go on quickly enough.

Linda L has her Mickey Mouse all ground and looking fabulous.  The nose is a glob that has actually been ground into the center of a solid piece of glass which is something most people will look at without realizing how difficult it actually is to do.   Once this is tacked together the background and the border should be a piece of cheese cake.

Mary Grace is soldering her Tree Of Life Window and with the front side almost finished she'll be able to flip this over and work on the back side.   This really looks great!


Bonnie continued along with her Santa Face window knowing that she's in a race to finish him before Dec 25th. If by chance it's not completed it will surely be finished for next year! Let me tell you that the work on this is flawless.

Martha has all of her Daylily window ground and is ready to begin foiling now.   The soldering on this should go quickly for her and since it fits together beautifully I have no doubt that the finished window will turn out beautiful as well.

This week we saw Mary complete the soldering on the front side of her Irises and Dragonfly Octagon.   With just the back side to go I'm thinking that this will certainly be finished when she returns next week and that means that her Christmas deadline for finishing this will be achieved!  She's done a beautiful job soldering this and she sees that slow and steady not only wins the race but also makes your soldering look better.

Sheri got all of the borders cut for her Peacock Window and she'll be soldering this before you know it.  In fact, with just the final border to wrap and tack, she can begin soldering this while at home if she wants to.  That includes both the front side and the back since the channel can go on any time.  She just needs to not solder to the edge of the glass and she'll be fine.

Here's a look at the window that Melissa was dying to start work on.   There's not a Cross in sight in this Sunflower and Bee pattern and that's the way (uh huh, uh huh) she likes it. (Uh Huh, Uh Huh!)

Shelley has been busy grinding her Tree Of Life Window and she's missing a few pieces here and there in the background and the leaves but we aren't worried about that since they will be easy to add once everything is tacked together.   Shelley has also learned that sometimes numbering your pattern and glass pieces is a good thing.  I know she's really going to love this when it's completed because she's already in love with Mary Graces!

Susan D has most of the leaves and petals for her Holly Bouquet assembled and will be finishing this off at home.   She's about to become a grandmother (yet again) just before Christmas so we won't be seeing her for a few weeks.  We wish both her and Kaitlin all the best!

Brenda has a LARGE window that she's working on at home but she didn't want to haul it into class this week so she worked on grinding this Beveled Cross suncatcher that she had cut out months ago and then more or less abandoned.  Now that it all fits together I'm sure it will see the light of day.

Then we have Rowena who made another Stylized Angel suncatcher this week and only needs to solder it to finish it off.

Twofer Betty has all of a second Madonna and Child suncatcher all cut and ground so this will most likely be completed upon her return.

Finally, this is what Tracey worked on this week.   Yep, that's her spot on the table where she started tracing out a new Madonna and Child Window that I never got a picture of.   It was my bad but I promise to have a picture when she returns.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks