Monday, June 10, 2013

You Have 45 Seconds to Leave The Premises

Before we jump into things we're going to talk a little bit about taking your time to finish a project faster.  I know it sounds counter productive but you must trust me when I say that when it comes to stained glass, slowing down can actually save you time.  There are numerous examples and I'll name 3 of them just off the top of my head.  1) When you cut your glass it always pays to slow down and be as precise as you can.  Yes, the grinder can fix cutting errors but the grinder should not be used as a replacement for your cutter.  You can either spend 2 minutes cutting your piece of glass INSIDE the line and then 30 seconds at the grinder or you can leave the line on your glass and then spend 4 or 5 minutes trying to fit it into the correct shape.   2) Remember that your soldering will only be as good as your foiling.  There's no way to fix a badly wrapped piece once it's been tacked into place.  Take your time wrapping and you'll find that soldering is MUCH easier and quicker.  And finally we have example number 3) DON'T RUSH YOUR SOLDERING!  Having to re-melt solder while applying more from the spool takes FAR more time than it does to simply slow down and do it correctly on the first 2 or 3 passes.  I have re-soldered many  windows in my life it inevitably takes 4 or 5 times longer to re-solder a window than it does to just take your time on the first pass.  Remember that if the lead isn't completely melted you cannot press onward. I know that time is of the essence but if you can't bake a cake in a half hour no matter how much you rush it.

Those are the biggest tips I can give anyone when it comes to making stained glass.  Rushing to finish something only slows you down in the end.

So with that out of the way what will we start the Blog off with this week?  Let's start with Mary's first completed window with us-- Her Octagon-ish Iris.  Sadly, the wispy white sky has blended into the background so you can't see how perfectly the grain lines up on each piece but trust me when I tell you that if this picture were taken in the daylight you'd see one of the most perfectly cut skies that you could ever hope to do.  Even though it's not exactly visible in this picture you can't deny that the work that Mary did with this window is exceptional. 

Meanwhile, Linda completed her Classic Pattern stained glass window this week also.  She took her time to make sure that everything fit together with a little extra room for some foil between each piece and the end result is a project that anyone would be proud to hang in their window.

Next we look at 3 different shots of Susan's stained glass Fleur De Lis box.  Some readers haven't understood the concept in the past so rather than just posting one picture I've taken multiple pictures with the lid slightly ajar so you can see exactly why we call this a box.  Susan took her time and in the end this was a quick project that needed no touching up at all.  Way to go, Susan!


And Tim went hog wild this week and completed a Mini 3D Star, a Mini Beveled Snowflake, and a beautiful beveled cross.  Any of these three beveled pieces in a sunlit window will throw tiny rainbows of light into the room which is sure to catch anyone's eye.  Tim really has the hang of things as you can tell by his impressive work with us.

Cindy also made multiple suncatchers this week.  Her two flowers are a perfect size as well as her flying pig!  And her soldering is something that I have to sing praises about because in the end I didn't have to touch up anything on any of these 3 projects.  Even Cindy's edge work was perfect and that is the sign of a student who's learned her stained glass lessons.  Way to go Cindy!

Now we'll take a look at what we have that's still under construction.  Martha worked on her latest Fleur De Lis Window and now has her background all cut and ground.  She also has most of it wrapped so she'll be doing borders when she comes back in.  I don't know how Martha feels about borders but I always look at them as the light at the end of the tunnel!

Brenda decided to make another cross window but this will be slightly different from her past 2.  This window features the cross centered in the background without an oval surrounding it.  There will be 8 places where she'll need to use the small grinding wheel to get the cross to fit perfectly but the end result will be stunning.  Brenda will just take it 1 grind at a time and before she knows it she'll be ready to add the border to it!

Ann now has the front of her window soldered and only needs the back side to go before it's completed.  I'd say that this will be headed home when she comes back into class so expect a completed picture of this when she returns next week.

Mary Grace was certainly hard pressed to pick a color for the 4 corners of her Humming Bird Window.  She narrowed the choices down to 3 different colors and in the end used the luck of the draw to chose between them for a winner.  As you can see the Yellow/Amber glass came out the victor!  (She more or less flipped a coin to make the decision!)  And it looks GREAT!  She's brought it home with her to solder so I can't wait to see what this looks like when she comes back in for her next class with us.

Myrt's back to work on her balloon window and she's now got everything cut but the sky.  She managed to knock out both the land and the mountains this week which leaves only 5 pieces of glass left (plus a border).  That means that this is yet another window that we'll see tacked together next week just needing solder to finish it off.

And speaking of solder, Terry's bouquet of Flowers are now ready to be soldered!  She has the front  finished already and that means that with only the back side to go she'll most likely wrap this project up and put another notch in her lipstick case next week!  I have to admit that we've already looked at it held up to the light and it's definitely a keeper!  You'll get to see that view of this window in our next post.

Lastly, just when Shelley thought she has all of her glass cut out for her Dog Window she ended up dropping one of the large pieces of grass.  No big deal though-- at least it wasn't the incredibly complex water piece!  It will be easy enough to replace it and then I suspect that she'll be working at a grinder getting this to all fit all together and really start to take shape.


And that about does it this week.  I suspect that we're about to be overcome with completed projects over the next two weeks so look for our update notices and check out our posts to see the finished versions of the projects you read all about this week.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

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