Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Oh Crap, That IS My Blood!

Symmetry.  Whenever it's overlooked it becomes overstated.  Your eyes and mind are capable of seeing far more than you might think and sometimes that's good, but other times it means that you need to focus on area's of your work that you wouldn't normally think of.   Symmetry in stained glass is the quality of a pattern being made up of identical parts facing each other.  Below you see five shapes all of which are perfectly symmetrical.  The 'mirrored' portion of these shapes connect along an axis shown below as dotted lines through the shapes.  If you fold the pattern on those lines you will find that both sides are a perfect match.  If we're off in our measurements the difference will be readily apparent to the viewers eye.

Next let's take a look at the same shapes when they are NOT symmetrical.    As you can see, some of these have big problems.  Whenever you have patterns that mirror themselves (Ovals, Crosses, Butterflies, etc) you should take a little extra time to make sure that both sides are identical.  It can easily be the difference between someone looking at your window and saying, "My, that's wonderful" or "There's something off about it"--  Especially if your pattern only has a few pieces.  Keep in mind that the more information your eyes take in to process makes it harder for your mind to spot inconsistencies.  And sometimes this can be used to your advantage.

Okay then, first up we have Jeanne who has completed her Stylized cross and all her apprehensions about the color of her final border where laid to rest.  Everyone in class agreed that it's gorgeous.  It's truly a classy design done in tasteful yet striking colors.  It's certainly a project that Jeanne should be proud of but she's told me that she sees flaws to which I replied, "I see flaws in EVERYTHING I do.  As long as they're minor you'll be fine."  And what she perceives as flaws on this window are nothing to be concerned about because I think it's beautiful.

Then Shelley completed her Mermaids Window and again I have to say that her soldering amazes me.  The coloring process went easily enough but she might have had an extra drop or two of wax on it when she started waxing it,  :-)  But it wasn't a problem and the window looks like its worth about a million dollars.  And the best part is that it's all Shelley's design.  Way to go, Shelley!

Linda F easily finished her Monogrammed 'T' Window this week because all it needed when she brought it in the door were a pair of hooks to hang it by.  Once they were attached she washed it, colored it and then added a hook to her Cardinal suncatcher to complete that as well.  Talk about a job well done!

Carol loved the color placement in in the Butterfly Lawn Ornament that Rowena started in class so she used a similar color combination using blues.  The end result is a wonderfully bright Butterfly that will draw attention all year around.

What a nice suprise it was to see Becky B return!  Becky resumed work on her Black Horse Window and it is being wrapped as I type this.  She got a lot of it wrapped in class and decided to take the rest of it home so as not to waste too much class time doing something a mundane as wrapping (which is easily accomplished at home).  When she comes back in we'll tack it and then cut the sky and border pieces which will surely only take one class and then move on to soldering.

Cindy worked on her two corner pieces and they are almost ready for solder.  We took a shortcut and managed to get a lot more accomplished than Cindy thought she would, and that's always a good thing.  The trick to quickly getting the outside sections done is to realize that they are borders that just happen to be 4 borders thick.  These are easily cut on the strip cutter with minimal grinding required.


Betty is working on a second double Sunflower window and is moving full steam ahead on it.  We had to do a quick work around for the piece I accidentally 'destroyed ' last week but we have it under control.  It's still not cut, but once this is tacked together we'll place a piece of the same glass underneath and move it around until we find a good match.  Betty has decided to foil it at home so she then began working on her second Double Sunflower Window.  It's getting hard to keep this yellow glass in stock with everyone making sunflowers!

 Janet's Peaches and Dragonfly Window is all set for its background already.  When she came in she asked me if I liked the blue glass that she had used to cut her dragonfly wings out of.  When someone asks a question like that it tells me that they don't like the color choice and are looking for another opinion to help them decide to re-cut some pieces.  And I have to admit that the blue Janet initially picked was too solid and 'heavy' to make nice wings.  Russ found a wispy blue glass that Janet replaced the wings with and that turned out to be just the ticket.

Then we have Bonnie who now has all of her glass cut out for her Triple Tiered Sunflower Window.  She came in, wrapped and tacked the background pieces into place and then set about cutting her background glass.  By the time she left it was ready to be ground.   Her choice of blue really contrasts nicely with the bright yellow as you will see once this has some sunlight behind it

Carol was as busy as she could be while she was home last week because she managed to get two small Fleur De Lis windows cut and tacked together.  These will be the tops of two boxes when they're completed.  Carol came in planning to use a clear glass for her border but I talked her into using something more solid so we won't see the top edges of the box sides through the border when the box is closed.  And I think that the wispy black glass frames these Fleur De Lis' beautifully.  Carol did a great job on these and I hope she can see just how far she's come over the past few months.

Terry resumed work on her Kaleidoscope window and it's almost completely ground now.  there's a lot pf clear class in this design so don't think that she has a lot cutting left to do -- she's actually almost finished  with this. She re-cut some of her pieces because she didn't care for the color but it looks great now.  She even has her border glass cut out and will surely have this together soon.

Jeannette's sky is now visible (but only from behind).  She tacked together the pieces that she wrapped at home and then got her border cut, ground, wrapped, and tacked as well.  Then she even managed to solder the front side as well!  I'd say THAT was a very productive class.  With the second side almost completely soldered I'd say that Jeannette will most certainly have this ready in time for Christmas with time to spare!  

Martha needed to take a short detour and make a quick beveled cross so that's what she worked on this week. (Or am I just covering for her? Who knows.) At any rate it looks as though she's got a cross all cut and ground which means that with only some soldering left to go it will be finished before we know it. The Dragonfly/Iris window will certainly return next week.


Myrt began cuting the center section of her Transom Window this week and she's approaching this window a little differently from how she's normally made windows in the past.  She's going to cut and take together the left side (which she already has all cut and ground) before she cuts out the right side.  This will make the overall window much more easy to handle while moving it around as well as give Myrt some instant gratification since she'll get to see the window come together quicker.

Linda F began working a her version of the Three Wise Men that Betty had made a while back.  Linda isn't exactly matching the same colors that Betty used so although it will be the same window it will have a different hue about it.  You can say that she's making it her own.


Brenda's Wood Duck is now completely assembled and the front side is all soldered.  She's got her brass channel on and even got as far as starting to solder the back side (which you see here).  I wouldn't be surprised if she gets this completed before Thanksgiving-- just in time to cook it and eat it!


Linda L continued working on her three Kaleidoscopes and now has everything wrapped and ready to be assembled.  The assembly process on this project goes quickly so we'll not only be seeing three Kaleidoscopes but hopefully some nice images of  what you see when you look through them as well.

Rowena continued working on her LSU/Tiger Eye Window and she's got 95% of it finished already.  Yes, it was somewhat daunting when she actually started cutting and grinding the thin pieces for the tiger face, but now that the hard part is behind her she doesn't even think it was all that difficult.  I like Rowena's 'I'm Gonna Do It' attitude.   This will surely be completed when she comes back in and I can't wait to see what she decides to do next.


Lynn came in and got all of her pieces wrapped and then tacked them together which means that she's about to start working on her background pieces.  She tacked these together to make things more stable while she's grinding her background to fit.  Once that background is finished there will only be the border left to go before she can start to solder this beast. 

Mary Grace came in and after a quick discussion decided that she would cut her sky in one continuous piece the way that Jeannette did with her sky.  To do that the rest of her window must be tacked together which means grinding and wrapping the pieces she has cut out already.  So this week Mary grace spent a little time at the grinder and managed to get almost all of her Deer completely ground.  And once it's all tacked her sky will flow beautifully behind her deer and the grinding on her sky will be very minimal.

Susan began work on her rather large classic design inspired window and it's moving right along already.  There aren't a lot of pieces in this (and not a single curve) but the length of those middle pieces can be intimidating to cut.  We had to wait to get two full sized sheets of hammered glass delivered before Susan could start working on this project so she could get the centers cut in one long piece.  I'll say this though, it looks as though waiting will no longer be an issue when it comes to seeing this window completed because Susan is flying through the building process.

 And Paula is making a repair on a window that one of her son's made way back in the '80 (or so).  One window is fine (the left one) but the one on the right had breaks in the four longest pieces.  The only thing Paula could do was knock out all the clear glass and replace them all.  She's got the knocking out and replacing part completed and is now soldering everything into place.  I'd say that we can already call this a successful repair.

And that's about it this time around.  We're only one one class this week due to Thanksgiving so the next post should come quickly and be somewhat short.  We want to wish all of our students and our readers a very happy Thanksgiving and remind you to try to stay out of stores on Black Friday-- what could possibly be worth all of of that madness???

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

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