Monday, November 25, 2013

Short People and The Solder Police

It's a big post this week.  With 18 students (some with multiple projects) we ended up with a grand total of twenty pictures to present to you.  Let's jump right in starting with our finished projects.

Okay, it's official-- I love Brenda's Tulip Window!  Everything about it-- the colors, the glass textures, the design, and the skill involved lining everything up is spot on.  I couldn't take a bad picture of this if I wanted to.  And Brenda did most of this at home since she didn't want to keep transporting the large board it was on back and forth from her house to the shop.  What a wonderful job! (And it's bigger than you might think.)

They fly!  They FLY!!  Myrt's completed Hot Air Balloon Window is not only picture perfect but is also the project that Myrt says she's had the most fun making.  (That's exactly what Cheryl had said when she made this window a few years back!)  And I must comment on Mryt's soldering:  She took her time and didn't try to rush the soldering process so when I looked over her finished work all I had to go over were a few small run throughs.  Since it's a large window I told her I'd wash and color it for her since I would be able to use the hose outside in the daylight the following day.  I scrubbed it a bit with a brush and everything cleaned up perfectly.  To myrt's credit there are no thick lead lines in this window and all of her curves are symmetrical, making this Myrt's best work yet.

And just look at this.  Janet was having nightmares (literally) about soldering her Cross Window and it was all for naught because she's done wonderfully!  Learning how to solder takes practice-- a lot of it.  The most common problem that people have is moving too fast (and worrying too much).  Once I get a student to slow down and relax things go much more smoothly.  And that's what's happened here.  In the end Janet was re-soldering and straightening out her lines herself.  I can't wait to see what she makes next.

Here's a look at our first completed LSU Tiger Claw window.  Or at least the first one completed in a few years now.  Betty handled all the work herself and I'm proud of her for being able to fill in the missing pieces of her LSU window all by herself.  This week she brought it in for me to look over her soldering but all I really did was add some hooks so she could hang it and then 'tin' the brass channel so everything would match when it got washed in patina.  All in all, another job well done!

We have more purple and gold up next, just in lighter hues.  Cindy's Circular Fleur De Lis Window has a few minor changes in it from the first time that Cindy made it.  What she did was break up four pieces that had deep inside curves which, in the end,  made them MUCH easier to cut out.  Did it hurt the design of the window?  Nope, not at all. 

Cindy also learned how to put together a 3-D Beveled Star this week.  She had wrapped and beaded the 13 bevels with lead before she came into class and then I showed her the trick of how to put it together.  You simply start from the center and work outward.  I know that sounds like it might be difficult but it's one of the easiest things in the world to do-- once you know the secret.  I believe it took less than 10 minutes to put this together once all the bevels had been prepped.

What's that, a butterfly?  We know that means a student has been added to the mix.  Let me introduce Susie to everyone.  She told me that she had some stained glass experience but we always start with a butterfly so I can see just how much experience we're dealing with.  In Susie's case it's a lot!  She made this butterfly look like child's play.  Because she has an understanding of the tools and the glass already I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to teach her anything, butut there were a few instances when she said 'I didn't know that' which makes me feel better about her taking classes.  Hopefully she'll be able to make use of the shortcuts that we teach because in my experience I've learned that there are many different ways to achieve a similar outcome but some methods are better (and easier) than the obvious way.  And discovering the best way to handle a situation is what our classes are all about.

We also saw Terry complete her very own Stylized Fleur De Lis panel this week.  It's fairly large (2 hooks were required) and Terry utilized textured glass nicely without overdoing it.  As always, Terry manages to make everything look easy.

Mary Grace has almost all of her Eagle Window ground now.  She's going to wrap and tack together what you see here and then decide how thick the glass forming the water across the bottom of the window will be.  It's only 3 pieces of glass so I don't expect that to take long at all and then she'll work on the border.  The toughest parts of this window are now complete and I have to say that Mary Grace did a great job.  She's come a long way and is now soaring like an eagle herself.

Becky's Ribboned Border Fleur De Lis is very near completion.  There's only one border left to go and then she'll be soldering it.  She worked out the breaks in her border all by herself and now has a good understanding of what makes a border work.  I was impressed that she was aware as to not split the borders in the middle because that would make the lead lines meet up perfectly with lines coming out of the center section of her window.  Staggering your lead lines is the correct way to handle borders.  Becky's work is so precise that I defy you to find a flaw in this piece.

Linda F resumed work on her LSU Tiger Claw Window and was grinding away when I realized that she still hadn't cut out her background glass.  This was the 'trap' that Betty had fallen into with her LSU window so we stopped grinding until Linda got all of her clear background cut out.  So far  things are looking good (not that I expect anything less of Linda).  Having all of the center cut will make for a much easier experience in grinding and fitting everything together.

Jeanne's Beveled Fleur De Lis has made some serious headway this weak.  Everything is cut and ground save for her final border (and that won't take but a half an hour to do.)  She only has 4 more pieces of the background left to wrap before she can tack this together.  It looks like someone will be soldering before she knows it!

Linda L has begun work on three Ribbon Boxes and they're moving right along.  Each of the ribbons are already cut and ground so she'll be cutting out the background glass for her box tops when she comes back in.  Once the tops are made the rest will move quickly.  But then again, these tops are moving quickly as well!

Ann's multi-bordered Stylized Fleur De Lis window is very near completion.  From the inside out the borders will be red, clear and then a final thicker black border.  You can see that the red border is attached but what you can't see is that the clear border is cut, ground, and halfway wrapped.  That means that Ann really only has one final border to go when she returns and then she'll be soldering.  And that border is already cut into strips...

Betty made this beveled Fleur De Lis Window while she was in class and even got it completed.  But I had to call it a night before it got washed, colored and then patina'ed.  But it IS complete.  Regrettably, this is the best picture I can show you.  All it really needs is a bath but you get the idea.

Susan's wheat is missing!  No, wait,  it's turned up-- and that's a good thing because there were a lot of pieces of wheat in this pattern.  She's cut them as complete ovals and will split them in half AFTER they've been ground to fit in place.  This way they're fit perfectly and she won't have to number twice as many pieces.  With her background almost completely cut and ground Susan will begin working on the letters and other remaining sections of her window when she comes back in after the holiday.

Bonnie's LSU Tiger Claw Window is also moving along nicely.  She has the LSU portion all ground and mostly wrapped (as you can see in the picture).  Bonnie took this home hoping to complete the wrapping and then to tack it together.  Well, she brought it back to the shop today and it's tacked so I guess her mission was accomplished!  That means she'll be working on the Claws and borders when she returns.

Brenda not only made that gorgeous Tulip window-- she also worked on this Car Window for her husband and, as always, she's made short work of it.  With all of it cut  and 90 percent of it  ground I'm sure we'll see this one completed in no time.

Although Costa looks a little mean here I know that will change once he has some eyes!  They aren't even positioned correctly in our picture and that's what accounts for his somewhat scarey, Hell Hound look.  Martha has been working hard on this project and the speed at which it's being completed is amazing.  She's really hit her stride on this and Martha will have those puppy eyes straightened out before you know it.  In fact, I think that she only has about 10 pieces left to grind before she can start wrapping her pieces and getting this puppy ready for a border.

Cindy decided that she needed to make the Stylized Fleur De Lis Window that's become so popular in class.  She's got the pattern ready and the accent pieces all cut out of glass.  It may not look like much now but just wait until you see it again next week.

I have a sneaking suspicion that our next update will be somewhat small.  Thanksgiving is this coming Thursday and that means no class that night.  And it appears that 95% of our Wednesday students need to get holiday things done and will be missing from class as well.  But Tuesday night will be full and that helps make up for the fact that they missed two weeks in a row while we were on vacation in the beginning of the month. 

So in closing I want to wish a very happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  Try not to eat too much!


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