Monday, October 14, 2019

My First, My Last, My Everything

We're going to jump right in this week as I don't have a single tip idea written down to go over.   I thought of plenty of them during the week but if I don't write them down they are completely out of my head within seconds!

So Martha completed her Rose Window and the end result is elegant indeed.  What's hard to see here in the picture is the iridised pink glass that she used throughout her project.   Still, now that I've pointed it out I believe you can spot it if you look closely enough because there's a yellowish tint to the pieces.   In real life it adds so much to this beautiful window, I just wish it would photograph better.

Patrice finished her Umbrella Lady Window and I like her variation of the pattern even better than the original design.   I think this window will always have Patrice's spin on it from here on out because that trim just adds that extra bit of pizazz!

Linda F is back in class and she started things off by wrapping up her Double Sunflower Window which she then took home with her.  These walk out the door pretty quickly for her now.

Rose is our newest student and this is her Butterfly.  She's worried about her abilities but from what I've seen she has absolutely nothing to worry about.  She'll be starting a colorful flower window when she comes in again next week and she'll hopefully get it all cut out before she leaves.

Susan D finished the last of her spider webs and even constructed another beaded spider, this one in a striking position.   Happy Halloween!

Tracey came in with her latest Butterfly Lawn Ornament almost completely soldered.   She finished soldering it quickly enough and then moved on to another familiar project that you'll see a little further on.

Jeanne M started a new project this week and got almost all of her Treble Clef Cross Window cut out.  She's already begun cutting the smaller background pieces out and with just 4 or 5 larger pieces to go I know that she'll start grinding this when she comes back in.

Melissa's Peacock Tail Feathers Window is going to be stunning for sure.   She has most of it cut out and you can see that her colors are perfection.  She's using textured cathedral glass for all of this so it's going to light up in a really spectacular way. 

Belinda's Sun window is fitting together nicely now that she's begun grinding.   Her attention to detail is what's going to make this look even better than what the pattern shows (and the pattern itself already looks great.)

MiMi's already got her newest project well under way.  This duck is small and detailed but Mimi not only has it all cut out but basically ground as well.  With only a few pieces left to go MiMi will be wrapping this before you know it.   Once it's tacked together she'll place it in the center of a squared off window.


Jan's Dragonfly Window is very close to being completed now.   There's a small missing piece that we didn't have the glass to replace but Jan has more at home and will fill that in when she returns next week.   She'll also get her border attached as well (she's got most of it wrapped already) so this is just about completed.

Jeannette made major progress with her LARGE Transom Window as she's now got all of the left hand side ground.   We aren't adding the top border until this is all tacked together because she'll be running Re-Strip Copper Reinforcing Strip between the borders which will add an undetermined amount to the height of the window that she'll need to account for.

Kerry's Tractor is tacked together and now he's filling in the tiny pieces that make up the steering wheel, lights, seat and gear shift.   Hopefully he'll get these squared away next week but it's slow going since he now needs to wrap and tack each piece into place before he can move along to the next piece.  I think that once the steering wheel is done the rest will be a piece of cake.

As you know Linda is back and she was able to cut, grind, wrap and tack together this H L B Suncatcher panel.   It's  smaller than you might initially think since it measures just under 8 inches wide.  It may be small but it's jam packed with Linda's excellent work.

Susan R has started her Seafood Window and cut out 3 of her crabs.   He colors are slightly different from the colors that were used in the last seafood window we featured here but they easily look just as good.   This is a complex design that will take some time to complete but Susan is certainly up to the task at hand (and claw).


Angie got the left side of her Nativity Window tacked together and then moved along to grinding her center portion.  I like that Angie is working in sections on this large window because that's exactly what I would do especially when the window is so distinctly divided out into 3 areas.

Mary, try as she might, didn't get her window completely ground but with only a handful of pieces left to go I hope she isn't too hard on herself.   I miss the goals I set for myself all the time when it comes to glass work but that's because it always seems to go quicker in your head rather than when you're actually in front of the grinder.   I know she'll be wrapping this when she returns.


Becky B cut out all of the clear glass for her Springfield Fish window and then began grinding those pieces.  Hopefully we can get them tacked into place upon her return and then work out what kind of  borders she wants for this exotic window!

Barbara H wrapped and tacked her Fleur De Lis Window and then got her final border cut as well.  the pieces to the border have been ground so with a little luck she'll have this all tacked together and ready for a finishing solder bead when we next see it.


Becky S resumed wrapping foil onto the pieces that make up her Egret Window and hopes to get it tacked together upon her return so that her border pieces can be cut.   Becky loves to solder so I know she can't wait to get to the relaxing part of the building of her window.

Tasha's Cat is ready to be tacked together so she can keep things from shifting while she works on the face which cannot get twisted at all.  This is a technique that I employ whenever a face is involved and it hasn't failed me yet.


Annette soldered the front side of her Psychedelic Dog Window and is now ready to flip it over and do the same to the back side.   I have a sneaking suspicion that this will be completed next week because she handled the front of this window almost effortlessly.

Cindy's got the top of her Baby Box completed and the bottom as well.  We were going to attach the two pieces with a hinge but then Cindy decided that she wanted to put feet on the four bottom corners of the box.   That will happen when she returns and that won't take long at all meaning that she'll have this completed and then move along to a wedding box.

 Mary Grace got the last of her glass cut out for her Louisiana Rifle and Arrow Window and then started working on grinding all of her pieces into shape.  Slow and steady winds the race and Mary Grace is already winning on this window.

Shawn worked quickly and proficiently through her class and by the time it was over she had all but one piece of her Autumn Leaves Window wrapped.  This window doesn't get a border so she'll certainly tack this and then start soldering it when she comes back in.

Tracey is working on another Grinch Window which is probably going to become her signature piece because students are still talking about her first one!  The second one always goes faster and as you can see she's wasting no time whatsoever getting her cutting done.

Once Martha completed her Rose Window she resumed work on her Wedding Invitation box.   You can easily see that her top flower is under way towards fitting together.

Lastly,  Jeanne L is about to embark on making a beveled cross suncatcher.  This is the pattern she's using and we'll see what glass she's picked out for the cross when we next return.

I promise that we'll have a tip next week along with other completed works by our students!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, October 7, 2019

Strung Out On Spiders

Precision is a major component towards giving your finished windows a professional look.  It starts from the moment you trace out your pattern all the way until you lay down your soldering iron.   One trap that many people fall into is badly cut pattern pieces.   If you want your pieces to fit your pattern then your pattern pieces need to match the pattern perfectly.   Taking your time while cutting out your paper pattern pieces will help greatly to make your cutting and grinding go that much easier.

Below you can see two paper pattern pieces.  The one on the left was cut without care while the one on the right follows the original pattern perfectly.  Curves should be smooth and fluid-- they shouldn't have points or resemble a stop sign.  If you want your finished window to look good then you need to make sure that the pattern pieces you are tracing onto your glass truly resembles the pattern and not just resemble them somewhat.  Take your time and your work will look MUCH better.  Trust me.

So here's my problem.  We have two windows this week that just go above and beyond what we normally see.  The order in which they are presented here was picked by a toss of a coin because I I just couldn't decide which one deserved pole position.

The coin was flipped and now I present to you Lara's Peacock Window which was completed this week.  Just the size of it alone makes this one impressive window indeed.  Her craftsmanship and her colors are perfection and this window will be a feather in Lara's stained glass cap for a very long time.  I've always loved making these and I know for a fact that Lara did as well.

Next we have MiMi's Seafood Window which proved that MiMi is capable of dealing with the tiniest of pieces with the utmost precision.  If she hadn't stayed within her lines this window would easily have twisted all out of shape but it is absolutely perfect.   The newsprint background and the fact that a lot of the pattern matches perfectly across pieces helps give it an even more realistic look.  Top that all off with a wood grain border that even resembles a table and you have one magnificent window.

In a slightly smaller scale we have Belinda's Wine Cats Window.  Everything lined up wonderfully and Belinda is learning more and more each week that she's with us.   At the rate she's going she'll be teaching classes soon!

Carol never fails to impress and her 'Beer Is A Solution' Window makes a fun statement indeed.  This project started out with a 3x3 bevel that had the phrase, 'Technically speaking, Beer is a solution' etched into it along with a small scene showing two drinks and assorted scientific type containers.   We drew out the scene, added a place for the bevel and then Carol went the distance and even etched small bubble into the glass.  A solution indeed!

Jeanne M cut out her Halloween Bat Suncatcher when she was last in and this week she ground, wrapped, and soldered it.   The original design didn't have the moon behind it but by adding it we've made sure that this suncatcher will NOT fall apart.  Boo!

Susan D finished another corner Spider Web and would have finished the last (4th) one as well but she really wanted to assemble the Spider that hooks onto it.  Here's what it looks like when it was completed with the spider attached.

And here's a close-up of the spider itself.  It's put together with five pieces of thin copper wire, a Teardrop Crystal from a lamp, and two packs of glass beads both large and small.  In the sunlight this lights up like it's on fire!

Next Susan R put the finishing touches on her 3D standing Bird.  These are cute, but like Jeanne's bat we've made adjustments to the pattern to make it unlikely to fall apart.  Remember that just because you see something made on the internet it doesn't mean that it's been well designed.   Part of stained glass is learning about 'hinge sections' in glass and how to avoid/fix them.  Susan's Bird is as solid as can be due to the fact that we added two more lead lines to the leaf/base.

In the last of our completed projects this week we have one of Angie's two Macaw Flower Pot Decorations.  She decided to go with something small this week so she can ease into her next window which will be a biggie!


Belinda began this Sunset (Sunrise?) Window while at home during the week and it looks like she has yet another winner on her hands. She's already grinding this so who knows what it will look like when she comes back in.  The woman, like her sun,  is on fire!


Barbara got her Fleur De Lis tacked together and then wrapped the beveled border that surrounds it.  Once that was done she cut a piece of background glass to fit the rectangle and then traced the FDL and 2 accent bevels onto it.  After cutting up the rectangle into 9 separate pieces Barbara had an almost perfect fit before she began to grind.

Melissa has begun work on this half circle Peacock Tail Window which I think is going to be stunning indeed.  I love her colors and as you can see she's making excellent headway into this project just one class in on it.


It's hard to see what's going on here but this is one half of a VERY large circular Transom Window that Jeannette has begun working on.  The pieces are so large that we can't fit the end pieces onto a standard sheet of glass so we have managed to come up with a work around for the problem which we'll reveal next week when we implement it.  Because this is so large Jeannette will be working on this in two sections.   This week she worked on the first (left) side section.


Lara's begun work on a pair of Scissors Suncatcher and she's using the shading of the glass to work for her.   We normally do the blades in grey glass but Lara was able to cut them from the same piece of glass that she used for the handles, jut out of a much lighter section of the glass. 

Becky S now has all of the glass cut for her Egret Window and only has a few more pieces to grind before she begins foiling and then then assembling this large window.  The end is getting near as you can surely see from the picture below.

With all of her glass ground, Shawn is working on foiling her pieces after which this window will be soldered.   There won't be a border on this which won't be a problem because there are many lines leading out to the edge of the piece which means that the channel will be secured just as firmly as if it were attached to a border.  I've complimented Shawn's grinding on this project and now I have to say that her wrapping has also hit a new high.

Carol started this LSU Window after finishing the work on her Beer Is A Solution Window.  In less than three hours she got all of the bottom panel cut out (including the background).  She also has some of it ground already as well!

With her border now firmly tacked into place and her front side soldered, Patrice is just about ready to finish her Umbrella Lady Window.  I have no doubt that this woman will be completed upon Patrice's return because her soldering skills have really taken off on this!

Mary has begun the grinding process on her Heron Window and with just about half of it ground she really hopes that the rest of it will be all fitted into place before she walks out the door next week.  Me, I think she'll surely do it and then move on to wrapping.

The top of Cindy's Skylar Box only needs its border to be foiled and then she'll be able to add a hinge across the top and then finish soldering it.   Once that's done she'll make the box bottom and this will be completed.

Mary Grace only needs to cut out the Blue ribbon and white number and then she'll hit the grinder with all of the pieces that she's worked so hard to cut out.  Her window is already taking shape but we still need to add the year to the design and you won't believe how that's going to fit in!

Kerry made short work in the wrapping of his Tractor Window this week.  It looks like he'll tack this together when he returns and then he'll be able to fill in the tedious small pieces that may be somewhat problematic.  Since the rest of the tractor will be tacked together he won't have to deal with pieces shifting all over the place while he's working with all of those tiny pieces.


Just in case you weren't sure, Martha indeed does have two projects in the works that she's been jumping between.   Here they are together.  On the left we look at her Wedding Invitation Box, and on the right we have her Rose Window.

With her two borders firmly attached Annette is now ready to rest a bit by beginning to solder her Psychedelic Poodle Window.   She picked a heavily textured glass for the outer border and although it's harder to wrap it wasn't that much more time consuming.   Besides, the look of it is incredible (especially when it has light behind it) so all of her efforts will prove to be well, well worth the time.

Finally we have Tracey's latest Butterfly Lawn Ornament.  I may be wrong but I think she got this all cut, ground, wrapped, and tacked in one night.  She's got these flying right of the door!

And there you have it- another weeks worth of work in one easy to digest Blog post.