Monday, September 17, 2018

A Volunteer Cucumber

Our tip of the week deals with how I work.   That doesn't necessarily make it the 'correct' way to work, but here's my thought process and in the end what works best for me.  After I trace out my pattern onto poster board I only cut out the sections that I will be working on there and then.  In other words, I don't cut up my paper pattern all at once.  I find that pinning down all of those freed up pattern pieces onto my pattern slows me down immensely since I have to weed through my cut pieces of glass for the pattern pieces that needs to be cut next.   Instead I work one color at a time which also saves me time by allowing me to not number things.  By working with just a few pieces at a time I move quicker and much more efficiently.   Patrice is trying out this system with the window that you see below and you can see that she's cut out two of the flowers from her poster board pattern.   We'll ask her what she thinks when she's finished it and let you know the results.

Rowina's Fish Window is truly a work of art.   I'm usually not a fan of realism in stained glass but this is one of those windows that's the exception to the rule.   Everything about this is top notch and Rowena should be very proud of it.  It's even inspired me to make a fish of my own.

Well now, just look at this Crab Window!  MiMi made this as a gift and I can't imagine anyone being anything other than thrilled to receive it.  MiMi's work is outstanding and her glass choices are impeccable!  And just wait until you see what she's starting when she returns next week...


Becky has two out of three of her Frank Lloyd Wright Styled Windows completed this week and they are marvelous!  She's been so concerned about how everything lines up and that  solicitousness has paid off in spades.  Below is the window that will be repeated on both ends of her set of three windows.

And here is the solo window in Becky's set of three.  This one will be placed in between the other two windows.   When Becky completes the third window I'll post the entire set so everyone can see the full effect.

Shelley's Buxom Wine Ladies Window is finished and it's as charming as you could ever hope for it to be!   Now that it's been washed you can easily see these two women in all of their glory.   I will admit that they were hard to make out when Shelley started this project but now there's no mistaking them!  They look like fun.   If they have a third glass I might join them for a drink or two...


You've got to have Faith or at least that's what Carol is saying in her latest word window.  She's got a series of these inspirational windows in the works and although this week it's Faith while next week's will be.... well, I'm not letting the cat out of the bag.  Come back next week and you'll get to see what her newest window says. 

Next we have Rowena's Duck in Flight Suncatcher and it's another winner for sure.   This pattern is catching on as a third student asked for a copy of it this week.  Rowena's excellent work on it surely helps sell this pattern, that's for sure.

Flight School is almost officially over for Tuesday night class as Cindy, Martha, Myrt, and Terry each completed their Airplane Kaleidoscopes.   Martha made two of these so that explains the extra Aeroscope in the picture, but what about Brenda?   Well, when she returns we'll see what we can do to get hers off of the runway.   She's got a lot going on at home and we're sending both she and Donald our very best.

Sheri's Coffee Window is really coming together quickly as she now only has the background left to cut.  Once that's done she can begin grinding.   Now that there's glass on the pattern you can really see the word 'coffee' in the window.


With her hair all cut out, ground and tacked into place this Lady Emerging is looking better than ever.  Susan R has traced out a new background pattern for this and will begin cutting out the glass for it when she returns next week.  With no border on this window her cutting will need to be exact for this to fit in the opening that Susan designed it for.  That said, I have no doubt that it will work out perfectly,


Patrice has the first flower of her Humming Bird and Morning Glories Window cut out and she'll soon start a second flower.   By keeping her paper pattern basically intact, she won't have pattern pieces hogging all of her pattern as she's laying out her glass.  She also won't have too many pattern pieces to keep track of. 


Jan saw this Mary and Child Panel on the internet and after tracing out the pattern last week she got to cut some glass for it this week.  With all of her glass cut she's ready to move along to the grinding process which (as you can tell from the pins) has already begun.

As you may already know, Barbara has decided to make the same Mary and Child Panel that Jan is making and she's got 6 more pieces fitted together than Jan does so it's a little easier to see just what this looks like here.   Be sure of one thing though:  THIS IS NOT A RACE!!!!

With her final border cut out and ready to be ground, Beth's Sand Dollar Window is just about nearing completion.   I have no doubt that the final border will be attached when she comes back in and she'll surely get to soldering this as well.  How far along will she get?? come back next week and see!  

Look out because Linda L got the front side of her Underwater Scene soldered in just one class.  And when I say soldered, I mean soldered beautifully!  Because of the amount of time it will take to wash and color this it won't be completed next week but I'm fairly sure it will be the following week.  The bottom of this window really looks alive with each of those  different colors of sand.   All of those colors help add some realistic looking depth to the sea floor.

Well now, this may look familiar and that's because it's the third panel of Becky's set of three Frank Lloyd Wright Styled Windows.  It just so happens that this one perfectly matches one of the windows that she's already completed.   Everything on this has been ground and Becky is ready to start her foiling now!

Susan D has her tree of life all tacked together now and is ready to begin working on a double border for it.   She wants to go with an amber glass for the thin, inner border but what we had in the shop was either too dark of too light so Susan will be bringing in a piece of glass that she has at home next week.   Hopefully it will be right in between the shades that we have here in the shop.

Jeannette's J Window has its front side all soldered and now she's working on getting solder on the back side of her window (as you can plainly tell by the backwards J in the picture) .   I have little doubt that this window will be posted as a completed project when we next return.

Next we look at Roxane's Compass Rose Window which she was soldering this week.   Like Jeannette, Roxane has the front of her window completed which means that she'll be flipping this over and soldering the back side when she comes back in.

Last week Melissa discovered a small trick that helps to keep the marker line on the glass longer while she is grinding.  This week she moved quickly through her pieces getting far more accomplished than she did the week before.   This Autumn Leaves Window is really coming together now!

Mary came in and wrapped the final four pieces of background for her Dream Catcher Window and then worked on tacking everything together.   Once that was squared away (literally) she picked a color for her first border and got that tacked into place as well.   She's moving along quickly and I have no doubt that her second border will be attached when she comes back in.

Betty's doing a second Noel Window and she officially got it all ground and ready for foil.   She's a little unsure if she'll make it in next week but if she does I'm thinking that this will be completed.

And this is Tracey's second Cardinal Window.   It looks like she's just about got this all cut out so she'll be able to start grinding before you know it.  I know she's upset that it doesn't fit together better but this is par for the course when you cut out a window-- it NEVER fits together nicely until you hit each piece on the grinder.


Lastly we look at the next Butterfly Lawn Ornament that Rowena is working on.   She was grinding it when she came in but as you can see she's past that now and well into the wrapping phase of this Butterfly. 

When you realize that we had 11 finished projects this week you realize that things were hopping in our classes!  And things don't look like they'll be settling down soon either. Come back next week and be prepared for even MORE beautiful work done by our students. 

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, September 10, 2018

Is This Really The Hill You Want To Die On?

A big problem that I see people ignoring deals with foiling.  One of the most important things to remember is that solder will not conceal bad foiling.   In fact, bad soldering will always happen wherever there is bad foiling.  When you overlap the foil at the end of your piece you should never go much further than 1/4 of an inch.  Any more is just asking for trouble.   Next, burnish the side edge of the glass with your burnishing tool of choice followed by the top and then the underside of your piece.   If your foil doesn't line up perfectly (as in the image below) you MUST trim the overhang with a razor knife or an Exacto blade.  Start with your blade at the large end of the overhang (the red arrow) and then pull downward while applying a light pressure.   With a  little practice the blade with follow the edge of the foil underneath the overhang giving you a clean straight edge.  Eliminating these 'stair steps' will make your soldering look less like a beginner's work and more like a professionals.

Ok then, take a look at this Cardinal Window that Tracey made-- It's gorgeous!  Everything from the colors, to the graceful curves and perfectly fitting pieces make this a window to be proud of.   And I didn't even mention Tracey's excellent soldering because it really speaks for itself.   Tracey has come a LONG way from her first class with us.

Martha completed her Lighthouse and Sailboat Window this week and now that it's all cleaned up you can easily see each of textures that she used in this transparent piece.  I have to say that the picture doesn't really do this any justice because in the sunlight, this SPARKLES!!!!


Next up we just say 'NO' to Fleur De Lis'!   Actually, this is Angie's New Orleans Window and it's another sparkler.   Angie did a wonderful job on this and I can't believe how quickly she knocks a window out these days!   Her workmanship just gets better and better with each passing window.


Barbara finished her Humming Bird and Fuchsia Window and as expected, when it is lit up it's even more beautiful  The green/pink inner border was a perfect choice for this very elegant design.   Barbara has been making complex windows and her skills get better and better with each project because of that.


What started out as a Lawn Ornament has turned into a full fledged window.   This is Jeannette's Flamingo that she added a background and some water to.   You'd never know that this window started out life as anything else other than a window.   Jeannette can create a window in no time flat, that's for sure.

Is it Christmas?   Maybe not but it's about time to start all of those Christmas projects because it will be here before you know it.   Betty certainly has the right idea having completed her Noel Window this week.   Is there another in the works?   Betty is well known for making two or more of the same window but I'll be honest and say that I have no idea.  We'll see next week what she decides to do next.

Love is in the air and in Carol's latest stained glass piece as well.   She likes the idea of this design so much that she's making a series of them with different phrases which we'll see in the weeks to come.

Our last finished project is Patrice's large Duck Suncatcher.   She's used multiple color s in this piece which gives it a nice colorful look.   Her cutting, grinding and wrapping are top notch as you can see by the way this fits together.   For essentially being a new student, Patrice is showing everyone that she more than has what it takes to make a quality piece of art!

Jeannette's newest window is already coming together both beautifully and quickly.  Using soft pastel colors has really given this window a unique look that we normally don't see.   I love it!   It's a new spin on things that I hope to see more of in the future.

Jan's working on a new Mother and Child Panel and Barbara likes it so much she'll be starting one next week.  I must say that Jan's cutting on this is phenomenal.   The curves all flow beautifully and the the outer curves appear to have been taken in just one cut which means less flaring and less grinding for Jan.   This is going to go together so easily for her!

Now here's something I haven't seen in a while.   When I was in PA in the 80's one of my lamps lost in a 'Best Of Show' contest to a variation of this window.  I was told that my lamp (an original design) looked too much like a Tiffany reproduction and the award went to the window you see below with one minor exception-- The artist left off the horn and called it her own design.  TANJ!  That said, Angie is doing a great job on her Unicorn and it even has a horn.  You know what?  This has a very good chance of being completed upon her return.

Carol's also got a little Faith going on along with her Love but I see an issue.  It will be a simple fix but I need her to bring in the glass she used for her hearts as well as the glass she used for her background.   Sadly, I think I steered her wrong with my pattern!!!  Can you see the issue?

Lara's African Woman Window is closer to completion than you might think when you look at its picture.   The white background glass on the right hand side has been cut out (but you can't see it on the white pattern) leaving just three pieces left to cut next week.   After that it will be time to pick out border(s)!

With just five pieces left be be wrapped, Mary's Dream Catcher Window is just about ready to get a border attached.   All of her hard work is already paying off because as you can see, this window is beautiful. Will she chose a single or double border, well I really don't know but either way will look good.

Melissa is making steady progress grinding her Autumn Leaves Window.  This week she discovered that moving your glass from left to right across the grinder wheel can help keep your marker line on the glass longer.  Pay attention to which way your grinder spinds and make sure that the water sprays onto the glass where you've already ground and you won't have to re-mark your pieces as often.

Roy stopped in only for a minute so he could pick up some more glass but he shared a picture with us as to where he stands with his large Transom Window.  It's really taking shape now and we hope he feels better so he can join us for a full class next week.

Susan is missing a few pieces of hair for her Woman Emerges Window but she isn't letting that slow her down!   She's wrapping what she has ground at this point and will tack all of it together next week.  Once that's done she'll be able to fill in those missing pieces far easier than she could if she did it now.  We'll show you what she ends up with when we return next week.

Well, it's officially tacked together which means that MiMi has begun the soldering on her Crab Window.   With the front side basically completed I have little doubt that this will be finished upon her return.   It's looking great if I do say so myself! She's already got her next project picked out and it's going to be a wild one!

Beth's Sand Dollar Window is all wrapped and ready to be tacked together.  Once that's done she'll re-cut two pieces that just don't fit now that things have shifted due to the foil.   The interesting thing is that a piece we thought she might have to re-cut didn't need to after things started shifting on her pattern.  Foil-- it may be thin but it makes a big difference.

Rowena got the double border cut out, ground and wrapped for her gorgeous Fish Window this week.   She also replaced the piece of clear glass that she originally placed in the center of the fish when she was sure that she was going to use clear glass as a background.   This window is almost finished and I can't wait to see how it looks when Rowena walks in the door with it upon her return.

This week we also got to see two of Becky's Geometric Windows get fully tacked together and also get a channel added to both of them.   Size wise they match the wooden template for the opening perfectly so I have no doubt that they will fit into place without a hitch.  She's working on soldering the back sides of these two windows and will start grinding the third to complete this set when she returns next week.


Next up we see that Tracey has already begun cutting out her second Cardinal Window.   Since she handled the first one so effortlessly I'm betting that this one gets done even faster than the first one that we saw at the start of this post.

We had a parade of Bi-Planes almost on the runway here on Tuesday night.   There's even a 6th plane but I forgot to include it in the picture and I'm too lazy to go out and take another so you'll just have to deal with it.  lol   Brenda, Cindy, Martha, Myrt and Terry got their plane bodies all tacked together with the wire work all attached.   They will color these when they come back in and hopefully get some color wheels attached to finish them off.


And in the end, Sheri has resized her Coffee Window, traced out her pattern and is now cutting out the paper pattern pieces so she can start cutting glass when she comes back in.  Look to see some big time progress on this when she returns.


When I saw that we only had two completed projects last week I knew that we'd be overwhelmed this week.   With eight finished works in this post I guess I can say that  I was right!  Next week looks to be shaping up to be a more 'normal' work week if there is such a thing as normal here.   Be sure to come back and see what we have to offer in just 7 short days!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

(TANJ= There Ain't No Justice)