Monday, April 19, 2021

I'm More Worried About Others Smelling It

One problem I see repeatedly are border pieces that aren't straight.   In our classes we cut borders with a strip cutter which means that all of our lines start off perfectly level.   Sometimes when these pieces come back from the grinder they look like the top edge of the top piece of glass pictured below.  This happens when you apply too much pressure against the grinder wheel.  The glass gets 'hung up' and creates ridges and ripple along what started out as a perfect straight edge.  Simply ease off on the amount of pressure and your piece will slide evenly and smoothly across the wheel all the way to the end. 

Another problem I see occurs when students stop putting pressure against the glass before the glass comes off of the grinding wheel.   This results in flaired corners as pointed to by the arrow below.  You must carry completely through on your pressure until the glass slides off of the grinding wheel to prevent these flairs.   It may not seem like much but little things mean a lot in relationships AND stained glass.


So then, first up we have Cindy who came in and washed and colored her Pelican window.  Alas,  it took a little longer than I expected it to but only because she colored it black .   That should tell you  that we let it sit with the black patina on it for 45 minutes before she washed it off.  One the 45 minute wait was over with she rinses the patina off with water, dried the window and then cleaned it good with vinegar and a toothbrush.  No wax required.


Susan D's Winter Window was completed and it fit perfectly in the wrought iron frame that she made it for.  With this being such a complete success I think we'll be seeing more of these seasonal panels being made by Susan over the months to come.

 
 
Shelley finished her Dolphin Window and doesn't it brighten your day?  She drew the pattern herself making a few adjustments here and there from a circular window that she'd seen online.   I have to say that she did a very good job in all aspects of making this large suncatcher.

 
 
Kerry completed his Unicorn Window and all of that iridized glass helps the viewer instantly recognize that this is no ordinary horse.   The eye on this Unicorn is the most important part of the project because if the eye(s) aren't perfect then the entire window just looks off.  In this case the eye is perfect because we left it blank and then adjusted it after everything else was tacked together.  This allows us to be absolutely certain that nothing will twist out of place and looked cockeyed.

 

Then we have Betty who put the finishing touches on her latest Sunflower Heart Suncatcher and can now essentially make these in her sleep.


Linda F's Bears Around A Campfire Window is all ground now and looking for a little foil action.  Every time I look at this I think of Yogi Bear and Boo Boo.   Even at this stage you can see that this is going to be one sweet window when it's finished.

  

 

Cindy has begun making our first Bicycle Wheel Spinner here in the shop and since she's in the second class of the week just about everyone saw this under the table and then told us that they have old wheels at home that they would like to add glass to.  Leave it to Cindy to start a trend.  

  

 

Kerry has begun work on a much smaller version of the American Flag and Eagle Window that has been so popular here in our classes over the years.   Although the pattern may lead you to believe that this will be made as a pentagon it actually will be set into a larger rectangular window.  Also, what you see below is only about 8" wide.

 

 

Annette got all but the background cut for her Falcons Skull Window.  This is gathering some severe reactions in our other classes due to the subject matter.  Everyone is horrified that she's making a Falcons Window!  (Long Live The Saints!)

 
 
Betty is nearing the end of her second Garden Gnome Window.  As you can see, the star is his hands makes this fitting for the fourth of July.   Betty was concerned that you couldn't see the star as she originally cut it but that was only because she used the same glass for the star as she did for the beard.   She replaced that small section of star with a wispy white glass and now the star is visible.   That said, once this is soldered the star will have much more definition.
 
  
 
 
Tracey has her newest Butterfly Lawn Ornament cut and ground.  All of those tight inside curves didn't bother her at all.  She's taken it along home with her so she can wrap it and hopefully (definitely if you ask me) finish this when she comes back in.
 
 
 
Lisa now has the first panel of her new set of Lantern Inserts pretty much ready to be soldered because it's all cut out with only 2 pieces left needing to be ground.  She's already begun panel number two and is well on her way to finishing the keys on that section.  One of the things we changed was the depth of the keys by reducing them by 1/3 of their originally drawn  height.  Also, this week I remembered not to cut off the fourth Treble Clef Panel so now you know what it looks like.
 
  
 
 
Melissa had her Cardinals all wrapped when she walked in the door and immediately began tacking them together so she could place them on top of her Fractures and Streamers background glass to trace around.   We wanted to maintain the flow of the lines in each of the streamers but the piece of glass we had just wasn't big enough.   We cut the largest connecting pieces first and ended up judiciously picking sections of glass so they would match up nicely.  In the end I don't think anyone would ever suspect that Melissa's background  wasn't actually cut from one contiguous piece since the streamers all connect beautifully.
 
  
 
 
Judy finished cutting out her Texas Cowboy Boots and then moved along to the grinder where she spent the rest of the night shoring things up by fitting everything together.   She's doing a great job and is picking up the ins and outs of grinding very quickly.

 
 
Bee's Cardinal is sooo very close to being completely cut out.  I'm not sure what she plans to do for a border on this but I think something that already looks this good should probably get a double border.  She certainly doesn't have to do that but the WOW factor of this window could go even higher withtwo borders.
 
  
 
 
Mary was a cutting machine this week as she managed to get most of her Red Fish cut.  She's very unsure about the orange she used but I don't want her changing it until she sees what it looks like with all of the background glass that surrounds it cut out.   Sometimes colors appear brighter when they are surround by the white pattern paper.

  
 
 
Barbara may have come in a little late but she still managed to wrap all of her Louisiana Iris Panel, tack it together, cut, a border for it, wrap those border pieces and tack everything together.   Whew!  This will be completed upon her return for sure! 
 
  
 
 
Here's the latest view of MiMi's Hexagonesque Window.   It actually resembles a field of Pins and glass from this angle.   Each piece is within the black lines of the pattern which means that this will maintain all of the straight lines that run rampant throughout this window even after it's been foiled.

  
 
 
Linda F also got a Sunflower Hoop Suncatcher all ground and halfway wrapped before she called it a day.   It won't be long until these beautiful orange toned Sunflowers see some sunlight.

  
 
 
Martha was busy grinding her Pelican Window and she's ready for some foil now.   The hardest part in grinding this was the bottom section that she ground last week.  That explains how she managed to get the rest of this fitted together so quickly this week-  the hard part was already done!

  
 
 
Lastly we look at the Scuba Diver Pattern that Shawn traced out  and will begin cutting glass for when she comes back in.

And that's it for this week.

Paul

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, April 12, 2021

A Goldendoodle and a Cockerpoo Walk Into A Bar...

 Lately I've had more than a handful of students tell me that their foil hasn't been sticking to their glass.   If this is happening the first thing you should do is to wash the problem piece of glass and then allowing it to thoroughly dry before re-wrapping it.   Sometimes glass picks up residue that you can't see which prevents the foil from sticking.   Most times washing the glass will fix the problem but if that doesn't do the trick then you might want to try a fresh roll of foil.   Here are four foil tips that every glass crafter should be aware of:

1) Foil that has been exposed to colder temperatures usually loses a lot of its stickiness whether it's sealed or not.

2) Silver backed foil, for whatever reason, is notorious for being considerably less sticky than other foils even when it's brand new.

3) If you have any rolls of foil that are infrequently used you should store them in a zip lock bag that you've squeezed as much air out of that you can.  This actually makes a big difference in keeping your foil sticky.

4) Foil can last a good 2 years even when left out in the open.  Unopened foil can last many years as long as the seal of the packaging hasn't been broken. (Alas, not silver backed foil.)


Okay then, with that out of the way we're going to look at something that hasn't been done here yet.  Lisa found an old Lantern, unscrewed four screws, removed the clear semi-textured panels that came with the lantern and replaced them with panels featuring a Bevel and some fancy stripes.  The end result goes far beyond charming and she even managed to sell this in under a week.  It's easy to see why!   

 
 
Jodie completed her Transom Window which utilized an old piece of blue glass that she had given to her.  In short, she's used an old window to create a new window which will look wonderful in the spot she made it for.  She was so worried about soldering this but she took her time and her solder bead looked, like the rest of her window, perfect!  See for yourself.

 
 
Betty's Easter Garden Gnome is as cute as can be.  She's got another one in the works and the new Gnome is holding a red, white, and blue star in his hands.  Does anyone have an idea of what holiday that panel is being made to celebrate?   More on that when we return next week.
 
 
 
When Shawn was last in class she wasn't sure what she wanted to do so she went through patterns and ended up deciding that it was time to make a window for her husband.   She didn't have a pattern in mind yet so she cut out this cute Double Flower Suncatcher design rather than wasting away the night.   This week she finished it and then picked up the pattern for her husband's window which we'll see at the end of this post.
 
 
 
Sheri made this beautiful two toned orange Sunflower Heart and it is the very definition of summer.   She did all of this at home with no help from me whatsoever and that's a VERY big deal. I do believe her confidence level is at an all time high after this project.
 

 
We also look at Sheri's first Sunflower Hoop.  She went over her lead with copper patina which means that she had previously sandpapered down her hoop and then applied solder to it before she attached the two sunflowers. It's a stunning pattern that we'll be seeing a lot of over the weeks to come.
 
 
 
Angie made two different yet similar Hummingbird Suncatchers.   At first glance it may look like the double wings on the one on the right are the only difference between these two birds (aside from the obvious fact that they are mirror images) but the truth is that  the wings and tail feathers are similar but completely different.
 
 
 
Next up we look at the Dragonfly Suncatcher that Annette made in one class.   I'll bet you can't even tell where the break occurred in this while she was grinding it.  Why?  Because she simply 'broke' the other piece on the other side the same way to even things out and make look wonderful again.
 
 

And we finish up our completed projects with another Sunflower Hoop done by Betty.  I think I definitely started a trend when I made mine out of two different yellows tones and then mixed the two colors between each Sunflower. 
 

Judy M has begun work on a new window this week and got pretty far on her red, white and blue cowboy boots.  That lone star on each boot sure gives the window a Texan feel to it.   These will be much clearer to see once the brown glass has been cut but if you ask me this window already looks very apparent even if it isn't ground already.  That's because Judy is taking her time cutting her glass which will save her time later on.

 
 
Jan's Victorian Window is all ground and ready to be wrapped.   I love the design and I love the colors that she picked for this.   Hopefully this will get a pair of borders attached to it when she comes back in since she removed a pair of something else in this design last week.  (Don't ask.)

  
 
 
A little history here:  Ann made this window years ago and then gave it away.  Alas, it was hanging outside and forgotten about during a huge storm which caused all four pieces of the clear background glass to break.  After I showed Ann how to knock out and replace one of the pieces she took to repair work like an old pro.  In one night she got all of the broken background glass replaced which means that she'll finish soldering and washing this when she comes back in.
 
  
 
 
Lanterns are Lisa's newest think and this Piano Key design will boldly light someone's way once Lisa installs these four small panels which she designed herself.  Yeah, I accidentally cropped out the fourth panel when I was snapping pictures of this but the last piece is of a Treble Clef which I guess you'll see when Lisa returns.
 
 
 
This Cardinal is beautiful and Bee is taking no short cuts nor is she skimping on the accuracy of her work on it.  This is very close to being ready to be wrapped and tacked together already.  That's because Bee has been working on this while at home as well as when she's in class with us.  This pattern is already making some of our 'Cardinal Ladies' take notice.

 

With her background all cut and ground Jeannette is ready to wrap the pieces of her Mardi Gras Fleur De Lis Window after which she'll tack everything and then work on a border.  That means that this will be all cut and tacked together by the time Jeannette leaves her next class with us because she doesn't waste any time at all.
 
  
 
 
Hoops are in and Mary Grace is all in Hoops!  This butterfly that she cut, ground and tacked together this week will go into it's hoop when she comes back in.   That means that she'll be starting something new when we see her again and I think it might even be another Hoop design.
 
 
 
Susan D has begun foiling all of the pieces for her Winter Window now that it is all ground and fitted together.  The end is near.  Spring is about to be sprung.  It's time to put away the snow shovels and get on the lawn mowers.  I just have wonder if she'll do an Autumn or a Summer scene next.
 
 

Martha worked on her sky and clouds this week and then she moved on over to the grinder where she did excellent work on this Pelican's tricky feet.  All those yellow dots you see are pin heads and you can only place pins between pieces of glass which means that there are a lot of pieces making that pylon that this bird is standing on.  Excellent work!
 
 
 
There aren't very many pieces left for Melissa to wrap so she's thinking that she's going to be able to tack this together and get some background glass cut for her Pair Of Cardinals Window.  I'm anxiously awaiting that background to be put into place so we can get a good idea of what this is going to look like.  That will certainly happen upon her return.

 
 
Last week MiMi finished grinding the first row of split hexagons for her newest Kitchen(!) Window and this week she got over 7 rows ground.  Once that first off-sized row gets completed things move at a faster pace for Mimi.  I just worry that traveling that fast will make her run out of juice while on that long and lonely highway to get to wherever she's going...  Say what you will about MiMi but know this: she lives dangerously.


Mr. Bingle is all tacked together and he even has three yards of Strong Line running throughout him for extra support.   When Cheryl returns we will add the first of two borders and add even more Strong Line there as well.   We're going to make this large window as solid as it can be!  An a big congrats to Cheryl for coming through what she did this week.  It wasn't easy for her but she did it with a smile on her face.

 

 

With the border attached and everything soldered Cindy's Pelican Window will be finished upon her return.  All she needs to do now is to attach some zinc channel and that won't take long at all.   After that Mr. Pelican will get a bath in some patina and then get washed and waxed.   

 

 

And here's the pattern that Shawn will begin working on next week for her husband.  He wanted a scuba diver and some sea life, but NOT a dolphin.   You can find plenty of inspiration online but almost everything underwater has dolphins or other ordinary fish.  This Manta Ray was exactly what Shawn was looking for and it was easy for me to draw!

 
 
Lastly, this is going to be three dimensional Flower 'Sculpture' made in glass.  Susan R decided to make this when she saw Susan D made two larger versions.   The only difference is that this one will be made on a  more manageable scale.   The pattern on the left shows what all the leaves will look like.   Once the leaves are completely soldered Susan will tack flowers and insects on top of the leaves to give it all a 3D effect.    Everything will be mounted on a copper pipe along with other wires to support this elaborate structure.   It's going to be fun indeed!

 
So there it is.  Everything that happened in our classes last week.  Come back and see us again!

Paul

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

 

Monday, April 5, 2021

A Somewhat Delicate Procedure

 Tip of the week:


First off this week, Judy completed her Scales Of Justice Window and now that it has some light behind it you can really appreciate the deep, rich color choices that she made along the way while making this piece.   Truly stunning.

 
 
Jeanette finished her Heron Window and her use of Baroque Glass for the background and her excellent piece placement allowed her to achieve a background whose texture flows seamlessly across the entire background from piece to piece.  Even that feat, however complex it may appear, becomes trivial when you take this window in its entirety because her work proves what constant practice can accomplish.
 
 
 
Susan R completed her spiraling Easter Egg Wreath in a wide assortment of pastel colors that really make this stand out.  Finished just in time for Easter I'll bet that this really stood out from among her other Easter decorations!

 
 
Mary's Heart House Panel can be interpreted in many different ways.  I believe that Mary's message is that although your heart may be heavy there are still ties that bind and love will reign again.  This piece has some very interesting wire work for sure.

 
 
Mary Grace finished the work on her Sunflower in a Hoop design and it's the most vibrant one yet.  Even the brown granite back brown glass appears to light up better than normal in this project.  Perhaps she used a lighter section of the brown glass or maybe it just all came together on it's own.  Either way, this shines.
 
 
 
This Heart and Dog Paws Suncatcher was also completed by Jeannette while in class and the colors of the paws (one black and one brown) represent the two dogs whose owner will receive this beautiful suncatcher.
 
 
 
Annette made another faux 3D Cross Suncatcher, along with a true 3D hanging Butterfly, as well as a Dragonfly suncatcher made from a seldom used pattern.  She's on fire!  And the thing is, there was even another Dragonfly that I didn't take a picture of.
 
 


Ann's latest Hand Mirror certainly went together quickly and efficiently.  I think she has these down to a 2 week job which translates to a hand mirror in under 6 hours.   That's great!


 

Let's now begin looking at projects which are still under construction starting with Angie's pair of Hummingbirds.  These multi colored beauties are actually made from two similar but different patterns.  The differences will be more apparent when these are completed upon Angie's return.

 
 
Jan has begun a Victorian design that she liked but the size of the original pattern was far to big to fit in the space requirements that she had picked for this window.   A little cutting here and there solved the problem while allowing us to maintain the overall design of the window.  We worked hard to include the best parts but sometimes the parts we cut can be brutal.
 
 
 
Lisa began a four piece project where she is replacing all of the clear glass in a four sided Lantern with colored glass featuring some accent cuts.  By the time she left class everything was cut and ground which means that this will be completed before you know it.

 
 
With almost all of the Cardinal itself cut out Bee is quickly nearing the end of this eye catching project.   Her color choices are spot on and I do believe this will be a tall, proud feather in her stained glass cap when she completes it.  (Did you see what I did there?)

 
 
Linda L has begun work on the Panel Lamp she's been wanting to make for a while now.   This will consist of 8 Panels each made flat and then tacked together to form a smooth curving round shade for a lamp base that she already has.  She wanted to go for something simple rather than flashy and I think she ended up designing a very elegant design that will look wonderful when it's finished.
 
 
 
Susan D's Winter Panel is moving right along and will be finished in PLENTY of time for her to decorate with it.  She told me that this was sort of a test piece to see how it would fit in the frame that she has picked out to house differently themed panels for the seasons and all I can say is that she sure picked a complicated project to test out her theory!

  
 
 
Jeannette also worked on a new Fleur De Lis window which incorporates Mardi Gras colors along with an unassuming Mardi Gras Mask in the center of the Fleur de Lis.  It's a gorgeous pattern and her colors, well, they're spot on as always!
 
  
 

Sheri has her two Sunflowers ground, wrapped and ready to be tacked together and she also has the Hoop that they will both reside in soldered as well.  The trick here is to coat the hoop evenly with solder without missing any areas .  It sounds easy but it can be tricky since the lead is silver and the hoop is silver as well.  You have to pay attention very closely or when you color your finished piece you will find silver areas showing through which are hard to fix at that late stage in the game.
 
 
 
Yep, I mistakenly called Cindy's Pelican a Heron last week!  I do know the difference but sometimes I have senior moments that I just can't seem to shake.  At any rate, Cindy got her background glass cut for her Pelican Window and then got everything ground before she called it a night.   I have a sneaking suspicion that this will get a border on it and an eye cut into place when Cindy returns for her next class.
 
  
 

With his Unicorn all ground and wrapped, Kerry is ready to tack this together and then get a border attached.   One of the pieces of mane was cut a bit short so we've left an opening there so Kerry can cut it by placing a piece of glass under his project.  This always gives us a perfect fit and is the best way to handle a situation like this.  Also, now that everything is wrapped Kerry will cut the horn into 3 or four pieces to give it the twisted look that all Unicorns sport.

 
 
With her Mr. Bingle Window nearly wrapped, Cheryl is just about ready to tack everything together and then work on her borders.  Before any of that happens we'll be running some strong-line throughout this window since it's so big and the pieces are large.  Below is a closeup of Mr. Bingle's face which was created by fusing the eyes, nose and mouth onto a piece of white glass so that the face won't be marred by lead lines.
 
  
 
 
Martha's back and she's been busy working on her own Pelican window.   With her water all cut out all she needs now is a little glass for the sky and clouds and then she can concentrate on a border color. 

 

 
With just one piece left to go and a little solder needed on the back side I'd say it's safe to assume that Shelley will be finishing her playful Dolphin Panel when she comes back in.  If this isn't a feel good window then I don't know what is.
 
 
 
MiMi has begun another Hexagon Window but I didn't get a picture of it before she left.  She was working on getting the first row (the tricky row) ground along the length of her new panel so it sizes correctly and by the time the night was over she got the smaller pieces all fitted into place perfectly.   Here's a look at an older version that she's done just to remind you of what she's creating here.

 
 
Tracey is shifting gears a bit by making another Butterfly Lawn Ornament albeit from a different pattern than the one she normally uses.  New pattern or not she's flying through this design as you can plainly see in the photo.
 
 
 
Lastly we sort of look at Lara's newest project.  She's decided to make this Four Flower Pot Window and traced out the pattern while in class.   I neglected to get a picture of the pattern but here's a look at the one that Linda F made a few years ago.   Lara still hasn't begun cutting any glass so expect those flower pots to change color when we see what she decides to go with upon her return to class next week.

 
 
 
 And there you have it-  An entire blog post of practice making perfect.
 
Paul