Monday, August 10, 2020

Why Don't We Call It A Day

There's more than one way to skin a cat and there's more than one way to number your pattern pieces.   The most important tip I can give you is to NOT jump around the pattern while numbering.   New students tend to number all the leafs, then all of the flower petals, then all of the background, etc. etc. which is a VERY bad idea.   You should never put a number on one piece and then jump across the pattern to pencil in the next number.  If you find piece #45 on your pattern then #46 should be within one or two pieces of it.   Jumping to and fro with your numbers only makes things harder to locate.   In the picture below pick any random number and you'll find that the next number will be somewhere near it.   Now count out all the pieces starting with #1 and you'll see that although we move somewhat erratically around the pattern we never really move more than two or three  pieces away from the piece we're last numbered.  This is how to number a pattern correctly.  If you discover you've skipped a piece or two (like I purposefully did below)  label it with the same number to the left of it and add a 'B' to it.   This is by far the easiest method to number your patterns so you can easily find where your piece of glass goes.

Linda L's Celtic Window is finished and it is a very professional job indeed.  I defy you to find a stained glass Celtics window that looks better that this.  It can't be done, period.

Jeannette's the winner this week when it comes down to getting the most amount of work done in a single class. She started working on this three pane window when she walked in the door and by the time she left all three panes were completed, mounted into a beautifully distressed frame, and then taken home to hang. Gorgeous!

 Linda F's Black Pumpkin Yard Post Panel is all mouth and eyes but you immediately know what it is. I regret that the lead lines in all of that black glass didn't show up in the picture because it helps define the round shape of the pumpkin which is hard (impossible) to see here.

Betty's on a roll as you can easily see with her latest trio of Yard Post Ornaments.  I'm unsure if she tried for the effect on the wing of the bottom Pelican but doesn't it look like the wing is made of two different pieces of glass?  That's some really excellent placement there!  

Susan R completed her Monogram Sign for her Yard Post and the two blue glasses that she used match perfectly while still managing to give some variance between the border and the background.  It's a nice subtle distinction.
 Linda L put the finishing touches on her 3 Suncatchers as well as her Celtics Window. Two Beveled Hearts and a new Feather design were also taken home with her ready to be gifted.


Ann  got three more crosses completed and then we retooled the patterns for these just a bit to eliminate some straight lines which had crept into the original pattern.   The differences are small but they'll make a big difference structurally and add some extra stability to the design.

Sheri saw this Broken Window Rose on the internet and is running with it. It's hard to believe but the majority of the window is all cut out already and Sheri is ready to begin grinding at this point. Once the broken borders are attached she'll fill in the two empty areas with a piece of glass to finish it all off with a look I've never seen before.

Belinda knocked my socks off when she walked into class with her Church all ground and her slats all cut!  She's begun wrapping all of those slats so this is getting close to being completed already.  I told you the second window always goes faster!
Cindy's Cross Window looks fantastic.  When you see this lit up from behind you will surely be impressed with the glass she's used for the sky and the glass that she used for the ground.  This is ready to be foiled so it won't be too long before this is hanging up.

Betty started making a Pumpkin Panel for her yard post but liked the pattern so much that she added two borders to it and turned it into a full fledged window.  It still needs to be soldered but that won't take her long at all. 

Cheryl had a VERY productive night with us as she wrapped her final border, tacked it into place, added a zinc channel and then began soldering her Address Window.  We won't see this finished for a few weeks though as Cheryl will be some classes, but when she returns I expect this to be finished fairly quickly.

Angie is making a similar window to what Betty made but with more pumpkins and in a much larger format.  With all of the glass cut she's ready to begin grinding and since Angie works at home as well as in class she could finish this up pretty quickly.

Jan  almost completely finished cutting out the glass for her Poodle Window but then moved along to a small Bird Panel so she could work on it at home (since it's smaller and easier to transport).  Look to see the Bird completed upon her return and even more of her Poodle ground.

Barbara H not only got the glass for her purple shadowing cut out but she also got the clear textured background cut as well.   Next Barbara moved over to the grinder and began fitting her pieces perfectly into place.  It won't be long now.

Mary Grace has her Praying Hands Window all tacked together and ready for solder!  That was some fast work on her part and people are already praying that they are the one to get the pattern next!

In keeping with a religious motif we next look at Roxane's Angel Window.  She got not one but TWO borders cut and attached and then moved along to soldering this beautiful Window.  With the front almost completely soldered (exquisitely I might add) she'll be finishing this very quickly.

Martha's moving full steam ahead on her third Franklin Street Lamp Window.  Now get this-- she's planning a fourth as well!   After that I think it's time to take a break and do  something else though she's becoming rich making these and selling them!

Beth B has finished up with all of the grinding on her Cardinal Window and moved along to the wrapping phase of her project. Her foiling is wonderful and she's taken it home with her to wrap so there's a good possibility that she could begin working on border(s) when she comes back in.

Shelley's Address Window got halfway ground while she was in class and she's already decided that her border will be a mix of colors featuring irregular cuts at varying angles.  We've seen this  effect before in a handful of Tree Of Life Windows and I think it will really make this window stand out without distracting from the numbers at all.

And to wrap things up we take a look at four Lily Pads and four Cattails that Susan D cut, ground and began wrapping.   She started these when she walked in the door and all of the heavy lifting has already been done in just one single class.

And there you have it.   This new version of Blogger seems be be even worse than it was last week.   Any formatting errors  you see in this post were things that I simply couldn't fix.  Highlighting text and trying to format it usually doesn't work and even worse, text and pictures above and below the highlighted text can become permanently linked to the text resulting in bizarre effects.  I hope they fix this soon.  (I just found a way to revert to the old version but since this post was created in the 'improved' version it still doesn't want to do exactly what I want it to.)

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, August 3, 2020

You Think I'm Hostile Now??

What is the Rule of Thirds?  It's one of the fundamental rules of composition that helps place your subject within a frame to insure that the subject matter stands out.  It's human nature to want to center things but over the years artists with an 'eye' for composition realized that by dividing your frame into nine equal rectangles (3 x 3) you can move your subject to one of the intersecting lines or along one of the lines to gave the shot a more dramatic effect.  Look at the following pictures to see what I mean.

Interestingly enough, almost any digital camera will allow you to display Rule of Thirds grid lines as you are framing your shot.  On an iPhone or Android phone you can go into your cameras settings and turn on GRID to have lines appear on your screen to help compose your shots.

Below is a more dramatic example of how the rule of thirds can make your art appear more interesting.  Yes, the bowl is bigger in the second shot but that's only because zooming in closer was the only way to get the cup, the spoon, and the bowl to align on the intersections.   What a difference, don't you agree?

So the next time you are making a window or even just taking a picture consider the Rule of Thirds.  Sure, there are times when you can't use it, but when you can it really gives you an edge over someone who doesn't know about it.  Composition is 90% of the picture.

First up on our completed projects is  Jeannette's Heron Window which has an incredible sky.  She made sure that each piece lined up as she placed her pattern pieces on the glass to give the background a nice soft, flowing effect.  As you can see, she succeeded and the Heron itself lies on one of the vertical lines of the Rule of Thirds. 

Cindy ripped apart her old Mosaic Bird Window and rebuilt it into this much more colorful window.  She was not only able to re-use the 3 birds she'd made but the border and zinc framework as well!  It was a lot of work but you have to admit that it was certainly worth it.

Here's Linda F's latest Yard Pane.  The Rabbit and the colored eggs give this a distinct Easter theme.  It's certainly colorful and it will surely draw a lot of glances as people pass by her house.

Martha's second Franklin Street Light Window is officially completed and is another perfect example of a window that beautifully utilizes the Rule Of Thirds.  The off centered look is done purposefully to draw your eye to the window.  And speaking of thirds, Martha is about to make a third one of these!

Ann has been as busy as a beaver knocking out Cross Suncatchers as she got two more completed this week with a third one ever so close to being finished as well.  As you'll see later on Ann will have more of these completed upon her return.

Angie has started this Pumpkin themed window and got all of the glass that you see cut out in just one class.  I think a lot of people are going to ask about making this pattern but keep this is mind:  It's 3 feet wide!

Barbara H started an LSU Window and decided to forgo the tiger paws in the corners that she was originally going to include.  We've seen these 3D LSU's made before and I think they look great on their own.  Barbara will be cutting out the purple glass which will form the shadow of the letters when she returns next week.

Tracey got all of the glass attached to her Cardinal Window and even got some channel on it as well.  Her double border is stunning and all she needs to do now is add some solder for this to be completed.

Susan R started and completely cut, ground, and wrapped her Initial Window that she's making as a yard decoration.   The glare of the light on the right side of the 'R' reveals the texture of the dark blue water glass that she's used for the background.

Melissa's Fleur De Lis Window has completely taken shape now that her inner borders have been cut.  This has a great look about it and many students have asked to see the actual piece already!  When she comes back in she'll begin working on the clear baroque background glass.

Here's a look at Betty's three newest Decorative Lawn Post Panels.  She's changed up the pattern a bit for the Pelican and that's the first step to making your own patterns.   You might not think so, but it surely is.

Susan D has another HUGE Lawn Ornament under construction, this one based on a large Heron that's over 24 inches tall.  This will be attached to another Copper Framework along with some other smaller pieces of stained glass and like her first one, it should be stunning.

Cheryl H wrapped all of her background pieces while she was at home throughout the week and then after she tacked them together while in class she worked on her two borders.   With the inner clear textured border attached and one final border to go, Cheryl will most likely be soldering this when she returns.

Linda F has started another Decorative Lawn Post Panel and this one features a black pumpkin.  This will never be confused with a Thanksgiving scene because the black makes it scream HALLOWEEN!  You may question the color choice but when this is finished I think you'll agree that it's a pleasant surprise.

Helen's LSU Window got tacked together this week and then she saw how the strip cutter works and how easy that tool makes cutting borders.   With everything cut, ground, wrapped, and tacked together this may be finished next week!

Address Window are the current rage and Shelley decided to put her 3830 into the mix!  Of all the Address Windows made so far, this is the most vibrant and colorful one to date.

When Belinda got an offer she couldn't resist on her Church Window a few months ago she just had to let the window go.  Alas, she missed it so much that she's making another to replace the one she sold.  As you can see it's moving right along!  She's begun grinding and once that's completed she'll cut the slats into the white glass.

Jan has resumed work on her Poodle Window that she's making for her daughter and only has a few pieces left to go before she starts grinding this for a perfect fit. The end is near and I know that Jan has this under control.

Jeanne L's Fruit Bowl Window is all ground and almost entirely wrapped.  There are only two borders left to go on this before she starts soldering.  Her inner border color is still under consideration but I have no doubt that whatever color she chooses will be perfect..

Linda L's Celtics Window is all soldered and just awaiting channel and some black patina to finish it all off. There is NO doubt that will happen when she returns because the channel has already been rounded which means that this is just 15 minutes away from being patinaed.

Linda L also worked on this blue feather when she realized that she didn't have enough time to patina her Celtics Window.  That's the problem when you use black patina-- you have to set aside an hour for it to be colored and then rewashed.

Mary Grace is going to go with three borders on her Praying Hands Window.  The first border is made out of bevels, the second border was cut from pink glass, and the final border with be another textured clear that you'll see when Mary Grace comes back in.

Roxane's Angle looks incredible now that the background has been cut, ground and tacked.  Roxane plans on finishing this off with a double border and I can't wait to see what colors she chooses.  More on that when she returns.

Am I re-posting the same window twice?  Nope-- Tracey's Cardinal hasn't been completed but you can see how inspirational  it was to Beth who is making one of her own using the same basic color scheme.  Beth B has her Cardinal all cut out and has officially begun grinding it from the bottom on upward.

Finally we take a look at two more Crosses that Ann is working on.   They've been wrapped and I suspect she'll have these completed when she returns.

And there you go--  All the news that was fit to print this week!


Monday, July 27, 2020

It's Shake 'n Bake, And I Helped!

Let's start with a SIMPLE tip that I know people will thank me for.  As you grind, glass particles get thrown against your grinder shield and a lot of them stick to it.   After a while it feels like you're trying to looks out of a car windshield in the middle of a blizzard!   The solution is to clean the shield but there's a trick to it.   Almost everyone grabs a paper towel, wets it, and then wipes away at the shield which can make a bigger mess requiring more paper towels and time to clean up.  There's a way around that though.   Use a dry paper towel on the under side of the grinding shield and the glass particles wipe off cleanly and quickly.  Within 10 seconds you're back to grinding!

Okay then, this Angel Wing/Heart Window that Angie made is stunning and her background glass is perfection.  Since the final border matches the background we made sure that the grain went left to right whether the border pieces were on the sides or on the top and bottom.   Aligning the grain in that mannor carries the background through the entire piece perfectly.

Now beveled windows don't get a lot of respect in the stained glass world but I've seen enough of them screwed up pretty badly to know that they aren't as easily made as some people would like you to believe.  Barbara gets two thumbs way up on this beautiful window though because she DID make it look simple!  This is pure elegance.

Betty made her own version of a Curved Birds On A Branch Suncatcher and what can I say?  It's perfect.   Her colors, her cutting, her soldering, all the way down to the way she attached the bird's eyes was just flawless on this piece.

Susan D's Address Window was completed in just three weeks and that's really saying something because she had the bare minimum of help from me (I only helped by grinding three pieces of glass).  Susan has proven that she can take any project and then cross the finish line with it entirely on her own.

Betty not only finished her Birds On A Branch but also finished the work on her American Flag Insert Panel leaving her with this patriotic work of art.  You have to love it!

And Angie is another student who got two pieces completed in one class when she put the final bead around this Butterfly Lawn Ornament.  It's always been a popular piece but it's been awhile since we've seen this made so who knows--  perhaps this will start another trend.

Susan R's second Mixed Drink Lawn Ornament is festive indeed.  I love that piece of lime on top.  What can I say, practice makes perfect!

Melissa tacked together her four Fleur De Lis' and then we sat down and worked out how we could tie them together in one window.  She had two different ideas that both involved a repeating diamond background and in the end we settled on this design with a double border running throughout the window.  I think the colors are going to make this VERY interesting but you won't get to see what they are until next week.

Mary Grace started a pair of Praying Hands and in just one class she's got them cut out and ground!  She'll be wrapping these upon her return to class and then she'll tack them and decide if she wants another border surrounded the beveled border.

Jeannette has her Heron Window all ready to be soldered. That means that she ground everything and wrapped it all before calling it a day with us. That's what I call progress and this window looks great.

Beth decided to make a Cardinal Window and after tracing out her pattern pieces she began cutting actual glass. With the bird and flower petals all cut out she only has 5 pieces of background glass, 2 branches, and 2 flower centers to cut before moving on over to the grinding phase of this window.

Meanwhile Cheryl did a fantastic job grinding the pieces that make up her Address Window.  I showed her what she was doing on the first number and then she ran with it and finished it all off before taking her pieces home where she hopes to get them wrapped with copper foil.

Helen, like Cheryl, took to grinding like a fish to water. I showed her what to do and she fitted her LSU letter pieces together like she's been grinding for years.  She'll easily be adding a border to this upon her return and that will go quickly.

I always say that things go much faster the second time you do a pattern you've already made and Belinda's Church Window is proof of that just one week into its creation.  She'll be cutting some thin pieces next week and that will involve the strip cutter.

And Cindy is ready to wash and color her new variation of her Mosaic Birds Window.  She fought to get the soldering done in one night and in the end she succeeded.   We'll hang this up and call it completed when she returns to class.

It's official--  all of the glass has been cut for Linda L's Celtics Window.  She only needs to grind and attach the final clear border and then she'll be able to move onto soldering it.  Round windows are becoming popular here in the shop.

Ann actually got 4 Modern Crosses (3 large and one small) ground as I redrew her patterns which have seen better days due to 'overuse'.  She even started wrapping one of them but she still has a way to go before she can begin soldering these. Perhaps next week though...

Martha's new Franklin Street Lamp Window is all tacked together and awaiting solder.  People still ask why this isn't centered and all I can say is to look up the meaning of  the 'Rule of Thirds' in art. Pieces lose their interest when EVERYTHING is perfectly symmetrical.  This has personality.

And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.  Wait a minute, I meant to say that in the end we look at MiMi's Combat Vet Window whose feathery wings are set to fly!  MiMi only has to grind out the lettering that goes above the paratrooper logo before she starts wrapping all her pieces in copper foil.

So that's it for this week.   Blogger has updated their interface which gave me fits while typing this up.   They call it an improvement but they've yet to fix the selection issue when uploading pictures, and the new auto indention function has me ripping out what little hair I have.  I'm sure I'll get used to it but  until then I'll find solace in complaining.