Monday, December 16, 2013

Projects That Don't Snap, Crack, or POP!

We have a lot of Fleur De Lis Windows this week and even more Christmas gifts. With just two more classes left to go before Christmas actually arrives (only one more if you come on Thursday night) things are really heating up here in the shop.  As you'll see, the pressure is on but the quality of our students work certainly isn't suffering.

Here's our first completed Fleur de Lis Window and this one was made by Becky.  She went with a wispy black ribbon border that matches the final border.  The vibrant red FDL and inner border are matched by four red corner pieces.  The results are striking and her work, as always, is perfect.  Becky colored her solder in black patina which make the lead lines seemingly disappear into the black glass.

And here's a similar window that Ann completed as well this week.  Although the color scheme is very similar to Becky's (red and black), Ann decided to use a solid black glass that lets no light through it.  She also used a more detailed Fleur De Lis as well as adding a third border into the mix.  And then just to set it all off just a little bit more she colored her solder in copper.  Note how nicely her three borders line up with each other.  The lines of the innermost border should match the lines on the outer border (like brickwork does) and they most certainly do.

Brenda's '57 Chevy is the bomb!  It's hard to believe that she had any trouble picking out a color for her border because this glass suits the window ideally.   Her first choice was to use the same red that was used in the car but we all agreed that it just made the window far too bright and stole the focus away from the subject.  A border should compliment a window without drawing the viewers attention to it, which is just what this one does.

Linda L has completed her three Ribbon Boxes and they are perfect.  If you look closely you'll see that the one on the left has feet on it.  Linda has taken home 8 solder globs (otherwise known as 'feet') and is going to put them on the other two boxes herself.  I love how amazed people are when they see just how easy it is to add feet to a mirrored bottom box.  And in these boxes I love how the ribbon forms it's own 'handle' to lift the box lid.  And to be honest it sort of worked out that way by accident!

 And Terry managed to reign in her Horse Window this week.  Terry used the same glass that was used in the horse for her border and in this case that worked out perfectly.  The difference being that brown is more neutral and not nearly as flashy as red glass is.  Another great job, Terry!

But don't think for a minute that Terry didn't have her eye on some red glass as well.  It seems to be the color of choice for Fleur De Lis as you can see in her Stand Alone Fleur De Lis Window.  She knocked this one out pretty quickly-- I never even saw her cut, grind, wrap or solder it.  It just appeared this week ready to have its picture taken.  So here it is, Terry's Stand alone Fleur De Lis.

Betty, as always, has many different projects in the works.  Her LSU window just needs some solder on the back of it while her two Alabama 'A' Windows need to be soldered on the front and back.  She also worked on cutting out a new (but old) Angel Window and when that one is complete we (as a class) have decided to throw out that pattern because Betty has made far too many of them!  But I suspect that not having a pattern won't stop Betty ifR. Kelly she wants to make another one...

This is Bonnie's LSU Tiger Claw Window.  There was a snag along the way but Bonnie managed to overcome the obstacle and move right along with her window.  And since it's supposed to be a  Christmas Gift that's a very good thing.  There are only a few fill-in pieces left to go before she can start soldering this and Bonnie HAS taken it home so she can be a step ahead when she comes back into class next week.

Brenda liked Terry's Stand Alone Fleur De Lis so much that she decided that she needed to make one as well.  She's using a completely different color scheme but she started cutting it out during glass and by the time she left she not only had it all cut but she also had the top three sections ground as well.  Don't blink or you might miss this project when it heads out the door for the last time.

Cindy, always a whirlwind of productivity, has her Stylized Fleur De Lis all cut out now.  She only had to wrap the border and tack it before she could start soldering this  but rather than warp glass in class she decided to do that at home and start working on her next project, a Texas Star Window. 

Wow, I've got to say that Janet did a wonderful job grinding the pieces to her Fairy On The Moon Suncatcher. And do you know what that is on the the bottom right of the picture?  Its a second Fairy all cut up and wrapped in a plastic bag.  (Murderer!)  She's got these two ready to be foiled while she's at home so I'm thinking that these will CERTAINLY be done in time for Christmas.

And Jeanne is moving right along with her three Beveled Cross Suncatchers as well.  She has them all ground and has even already begun foiling her pieces.  Like Janet's project, I'm sure these will be done it time to be wrapped as gifts as well.

We've got two very similar LSU Tiger Claw Windows being made with the only difference being the size of the windows.  This one belongs to Linda F and it's a tad bit smaller than the one that Bonnie is working on.  However, that doesn't make it any easier to make.  In fact, I've always said that smaller projects are harder to work on than larger ones.  At any rate, Linda is almost ready to start foiling these pieces so she get tack it and then work on the borders that surround it.

Susie is making great progress on her Fleur De Lis.  We had to straighten things out here and there but this is tacked together and ready for a border.  Susie has no clue how easily borders are made so she'll have fun learning this trick of the trade when she comes back in.  I saw her cut out individual patterns for the border so I'm pretty sure she'll be happy to see how much easier a border can be cut out (and ground)!

Lynn made excellent progress on her Hummingbird window while she was at home.  With just the bottom piece of the background left to wrap and solder into place she'll be adding her beveled border (the bevels are ready for her here at the shop) and then her final border.  Then there's just the soldering to go and I'm sure that will happen when she returns!

Mary Grace's Eagle is most certainly in flight now.  Everything is cut, and everything is tacked together and although you don't see it in the picture even the zinc channel has been added.  It looks like Mary Grace will start soldering this when she comes back to class.

Shelley was cutting the hair of her tasteful Nude Lady Window when she finally called it a day.  She's decided to make a slight design change and  put a little something on this woman to cover her up a bit.  But it's only going to be a bracelet on one of her wrists so I'm sure the word 'nude' will still describe this woman.  All I know is that the leg on her reminds me of the lamp from the movie A Christmas Story.  Before you know it Shelley will be cutting the easy-to-cut background pieces and getting ready to solder this.

Susan's been grinding and placing all of the small pieces that she's already has cut out into her window.  The wheat is now 100% complete and now she's begun grinding the green hops on the upper right section.  Soon enough the fun will REALLY begin when we get to figure out exactly how we'll mount the actual bottles into this window! As Alfred E. Neuman used to say, "What – Me Worry?"

Meanwhile, Terry has taken a page out of my book and redesigned her Tiger De Lis pattern.  (We just can't leave things alone!)  This one will be more sturdy than the first without the need to add wires to keep it secured.  She's also changed the mouth so this Tiger is in mid-growl.  It's hard to see what it will look like at this point but when she left it was almost completely cut out which means that we'll certainly get a better feel for it when Terry returns.

And lastly we'll take a look at Becky's version of the Pokeno Girls Window.  I'm going to be calling this window 'Two Short' for various reasons but mostly because it has only three women in it rather than the five women that appeared in the original version.  Becky has her pattern traced out (and numbered) so she'll be ready to start on this when she returns back to class after Christmas.


Wow, that was a lot of typing when compared to the past 2 weeks.  Maybe that helps explain why this post is a day late.  As I said above, with two classes left before Christmas things are really heating up here so expect to see a lot of completed projects in our next two posts.


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