Monday, December 11, 2017

A Texan, A Virginian, and a Coon Ass

Here in our classes we tend to use three foil sizes over and over again.  We still have students that are confused as to which size should be used for their pieces so here's a handy little list of the three most popular sizes and their applications:

3/16 (Small)
7/32 (Medium)
1/4 (Large)

3/16 foil is used on pieces that are VERY tiny.   We're talking about pieces that are so small that they would be or almost be completely covered in foil if we used the regular sized foil on them.  We also use 3/16 foil to wrap bevels and for any glass used to make a curved lamp.

7/32 foil is what our standard foil.  It's what we use on about 98% of our pieces.

1/4 foil  is used when you are making a large window about 3 foot by 3 foot, or bigger.  The larger foil ensures that more lead will be used therefore making the window sturdier.

Remember that these three sizes are just the tip of the foil iceberg-- there are plenty of other sized foils out there but these are the ones you will find yourself using most.

Okay then, with that out of the way we take a look at the Madonna and Child window that Tracey completed this week.  It's certainly a beautiful window indeed.  Her soldering really blew my socks off because as one of our newer students, Tracey showed soldering skills that usually takes years to master.

Myrt completed her small Christmas Ornament which is actually about the size that you see here on your screen (unless you're looking at this on a phone).  I don't think it's more than 4 inches wide which means that all of the pieces that make this up are VERY tiny.  Yet Myrt used 7/32 foil on all of it.  Although the pieces are tiny they were never in any danger of being completely covered by the foil.   Myrt wrapped all of these pieces perfectly with 7/32 foil.

Rowena started and completed this Modern Angel Suncatcher in just one class.   With a beveled head and a hand spun wire halo this is a very stylish and fun Suncatcher to make. 

Melissa finished two more crosses and that means that she's only got one more left to go!  I know she's thrilled about this fact because working on projects 'en masse' can really get to you after a while.

Lara spent a lot of time at home on her grinder but her work was very rewarding indeed because her window is all ground!   She's begun wrapping her pieces and this now looks very much like the famous painting it's been drawn from.

Carol brought in her 'Gator' Window which just needed some borders cut for it.  Her work on this while she was at home is nothing short of brilliant.   With her inner border attached and the outer border just needing to be wrapped, I'll say that this window is as near to being completed as a window can be.   This will be seeing some backlighting before you know it.

Mary had finished wrapping all of her pieces while she was at home and immediately set to work on tacking her window together when she walked in the door.  Once that was done she learned how to cut the angles on her octagon border to get a perfect fit.   (It's a simple process once you know what to do.)  By the end of the night she had wrapped her final 8 pieces of glass.  Next week she'll add a channel to this and then begin soldering.

Cindy almost finished up her Santa Window but when she left class it still needed to be soldered.   Have no fear though because the next day she  brought it back in all soldered needing just hooks and some channel to finish it off.   Sadly, we wont see this completed because she's delivering it Friday before she comes back to class.  I did see it completed and the end result was incredible. 

Jeannette came in and tacked together the center JOY ribbon section of her Christmas Window and then tacked together the poinsettia in the bottom right of it as well.   Once that was finished she started cutting the bells that reside in the upper left.  Now that she has her bells all cut and ground she'll definitely be adding the background and even the first border to this LARGE window when she returns.

Mary Grace cut out the multicolored border for her Tree Of Life Window and I was correct-- she loved doing it.  From the angle of the cuts to the color placement, it was all whatever she had closest at hand.  The only thing that she purposefully avoided where two of the same colors being next to one another.   She's in the process of wrapping all of these pieces and once that's done she's going to be able to start soldering this tree.


Beth soldered the front side of her Dragonfly Window and let me tell you that this girl can solder!   I was astounded at how wonderful a job she did on her very first window.   She moved her soldering iron slowly across the window, never 'painted' (traveled back and forth over the same line) and always allowed the tip of the soldering iron to rest on the glass as she soldered.   By paying attention to these three tips the soldering on the front side of her window looked almost like perfection.  Consider this finished when she comes back in and does the same on the back side of her window!

Meanwhile, Bonnie is hard at work grinding her own Santa Face Window and she's down to the whiskers on him now.   She also worked on a smaller Christmas Tree Suncatcher which she's just about ready to solder now.

Linda has her Quilt Block Square almost completed now.   Made from four repeating smaller squares that 'revolve' along a center point, this is a very stylish project that will certainly be completed upon Linda's return.


Ann is back and resumed working on her Stylized Crosses.   I do believe that she managed to cut out four of them while in class and then even managed to completely grind one of the the large Crosses.  As you can see from the picture below it's ready to be wrapped and soldered already.

Sheri continued working on her Peacock Window and got all of her background glass ground.   Once that was done Sheri added small glass globs to the points in the background where lines intersected.   Her first border is all cut out and almost ready to be attached leaving just one border left to go.

Susan D is working on a Christmas Poinsettia Bouquet which will be finished in a 3D fashion.   She got all of her pieces cut, ground and wrapped while she was in class and you can see the previous rendition of this design resting behind her glass pieces to show you what the finished project will look like.

Becky got a round zinc channel attached to her Geometric Window and then completed soldering the front side of her window.   She's added wire accents to the pieces that have been covered in lead which I'll be sure to focus on when we see this in its finished state.  Since Becky is already working on the back side I'll say that I wouldn't be surprised if this is finished upon her return.

Terry is working on a beautiful clear textured cross Window that doesn't photograph well at all since you can see through almost everything while it's lying on the table.   In person it looks great but the best I could do to let you see the effect is to get some glare on the glass so you know it's there.  I only wish the picture did this some justice.


Barbara H resumed work on her own Madonna and Child this week and is all set to start soldering it.   Since both Jan and Tracey were able to solder theirs in one class I'm thinking that Barbara will easily finish this next week and then move along to her Beveled Turtle project.

Linda L's Easter Mickey Mouse is coming together right before our very eyes.  She's been busy at the grinder and you can see what a great job she's doing getting these pieces to fit together.   Next up is the face which is the most important part of this window because if the eyes are off at all the entire window will look 'off'.

Next we have Martha who resumed work on her Day Lilly.  She spent her night at the grinder and started at the bottom of her project.  She's up to the flower petals now which means that this will be completed before you know it.

Shelley is working on her own Tree Of Life and seems to be a bit jealous of the work Mary Grace has done on hers, but MG started before Shelley and I say Shelley is doing just fine.   She's discovering that a lot of the leaves that make up this window look very similar and that it's okay of one or two get swapped around while she's grinding as long as they fit into place when the grinding is done.

Susan R forgot to bring in her sheet of glass for her Christmas Package so she did what she could with the glass that she had with her by managing to get the bow portion of top cut out and ground.   The ribbon of the top section just needs four pieces of clear textured glass cut out to finish this up now.

And that's all of it in a single Blog Post-- everything that occurred in our classes during the week!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Saturday, December 9, 2017

My Sage Ain't Got No Smell

Lately I've been hearing people say that they don't care what the work on their small projects look like because it's 'only' a small project.   I always cringe when I hear this because your work will still be judged by that little suncatcher that you didn't take the time to care about.  And shouldn't the fact that it's *just* a suncatcher make it easy anyway?  If you are going to take the time to make something then you might as well take the time to make it right.  You never know when someone is going to look at a piece you've made and say to themself, "If she can't handle making a simple flower suncatcher then she certainly can't handle a larger window that I'm looking to have made."

In other words, it's your work and you should be proud of all of your work, not just the big pieces.
Okay then, Here's Myrt's latest Fleur De Lis Window all washed, waxed and ready for hanging.   It's beautifully symmetrical, wonderfully soldered, and something that Myrt can surely be proud of.

Next up we have Betty's medium sized Angel Suncatcher.   It's bigger than a standard suncatcher but smaller than a window.  That makes this very noticeable wherever it hangs.  You've just got to love those Christmas Angels.

And speaking of Christmas, Linda F made this cute Bell Suncatcher.  The white bell is made from iridized glass and you can just barely see the the hints of pink, yellow, green, and aqua throughout the body of the bell.  Then Linda went with an actual leaded clanger on the bottom of the bell for a nice little effect.   Perfect!

And our resident Cross lady, Melissa, is still going at it.   The nice thing about all of the repetition in making all these crosses is that she's able to see what each little change she makes along the way  does to the finished piece.  She's now pointing out details to me that takes other students months or years to notice.  She's got about 3 more of these to go and then Melissa will move on to a window which I'm sure she can't wait to start!


And with her final border now firmly attached, Becky S can begin the soldering process on her Geometric Window.  I have no doubt that she'll be working on something new soon because Becky can solder like a pro.


Barbara H's version of the Madonna and Child is moving along nicely.   Once this is wrapped and tacked together she can add her two background pieces and the border.  She's taken her pieces home to wrap so this will surely be tacked together when she comes back into class.

Beth got her two borders attached to her Dragonfly Window and what great colors she picked.  The inner border was done in an orange which is a close match to the body of the dragonfly while the outer border matches the background.  Beth is ready to solder now!

Betty made a minor change in her Mother Mary Window and that was done to add some depth to the mountains in the background.  She achieved this depth by cutting the mountains into four separate pieces rather than making them just two large pieces.  This is a beautiful window and I have a funny feeling it will be completed upon Betty's return.

Bonnie's Santa Face Window is being ground now and you can see that she's working from the top down.  People always ask where they should start grinding and the answer is always anywhere.  It all needs to be ground so it doesn't matter where you start.

Lara is also busy working at a grinder and as you can see she has more than a quarter of this multi-pieced window fitting together beautifully.   I know that this is going to be another exquisite window when it's completed.

Martha is grinding her Daylily Window and she now understands how to grind one piece from the next (which is a BIG time saver).   With a great deal of the bottom of this oval fitting together I'd say that Martha is doing great on this project.

Mary's completed the grinding on her Octagon Iris Window and she's now begun wrapping each of those pieces.   Once this is tacked together she'll learn the easy way to cut a border for it.  (Octagon borders work a little differently from square or rectangular windows.)

Terry's first project this week is this wonderful red and clear Caduceus.  This is yet another Terry Design and just look at how perfectly the two snakes entwine around that staff.   That's what I call attention to detail.


Then we have Melissa's next Cross Suncatcher.  She was hard pressed to pick out a color for the four ends of the cross so I recommended using a clear iridized glass that I really think works great.  I will say this-- Melissa's really plowing through these now!

Sheri's Peacock Window has completely taken shape and when she came in and saw the curved corner background that I made for my small peacock window she decided to do the same thing with hers.  But then she went even further by breaking her background up so she could add small colored globs throughout it.  You can't see it now but you'll see exactly how that looks when we return.

And here's Tracey's Madonna and Child Window just about ready to be soldered.   This week she got the background cut out as well as the border cut, ground and wrapped. She's making excellent time on this and I suspect that it will be completed when she comes back into class.


After Myrt finished her Fleur De Lis Window she then started work on this tiny little Christmas Ornament Suncatcher.  It's very easy to screw up all those tiny angled pieces but Myrt is doing just fine.

And to wrap things up we look at the Name Plaque that Terry is also hard at work on this week.   It's no more than 8 inches wide so the pieces are rather small making them difficult to work with.  Still, she's doing excellent work here as always.

And that about wraps things up this week!  We will return on Monday night with even more to see and marvel at so be sure to come on back.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, November 20, 2017

I'm All A-Tingle

Sometimes even a simple straight cut needs a little coaxing. When you cut sharp angles it helps to ease into that final break as I'll show you below.   If we plan on saving the section of the glass with the red star on it and we have to cut on the black line you might be tempted to cut score the glass and then break it off with your breaker/grozier pliers.  Don't do it!   There's a VERY good chance that you'll end up breaking the point of your glass off.  Instead, 'lean' into the curve by first cutting off and extra glass (line #1).   Then slowly add an angle to it by scoring and breaking off at line #2.  Repeat for line #3 and then make your final score.  This will ensure that the point of your piece remains sharp.

Is this overkill?  Well, yes, a little.  Myself, I know what my abilities are and would get this out in two cuts by skipping cut #1 and #2.  Practice by cutting some scrap strips that you probably have lying around.   And remember that even if you need to make four cuts to get your piece out intact, you can make all four scores at once and then break them off one at a time starting at line #1.  As always with glass, taking your time and not rushing into things saves time in the end.

Well now, Jan's Mother Mary Panel was completed this week and I have to say that I understand why it's so popular in class already.   There are two other students who have started this pattern before Jan completed soldering this!   Now that it's finished I suspect that other classes will be very interesting in this pattern -- I've made two myself already!

Betty's Rose Window is another gorgeous piece of work.  I like to think that I pushed her into doing something new rather than the same patterns, but Betty was the one who actually came up with the design.  Beautiful.

Linda F finished her Art Noueveau Tulip Window and it's certainly arresting .   It's such a nice simple design with beautiful flowing leaves topped by a simple tulip.  But I think it's really Linda's choices in color which make this finished piece of art.

Susan R finished her Pumpkin and Corn Panel and again the corn is what really makes this (to me). All of those random colors just come together beautifully and realistically which prove that attention to detail always pays off when it comes to your stained glass work.


Rowena completed her Mallard Window and this is a pattern that I've loved since I started making it way back in the 80's.   You just can't lose with this design and I think I'll be making one for myself eventually.  Great work indeed by a student who excels at her craft.


Rowena also made a few Suncatchers this week and they are equally beautiful.  She did everything herself from start to finish on these which includes making and attaching the hooks to hang them.

Brenda's pair of Transome Windows have been completed and she's looking forward to moving along to a new project.   She did wonderful work on these and I think she's capable of anything at this point.  And that's why she now has a studio underway at her house!

Carol began and finished a Magnolia Suncatcher this week that she does NOT like at all.   Me, I saw no problem with it but she didn't even want a picture to be taken.  Then she decided to not waste time in class by putting the finishing bead on it and moved along to this quick Candy Cane Suncatcher which she completed in record time.   How can you NOT like this?

Jeannette came in with a HUGE portion of her Joy  Window cut ground and foiled.   There are really only the bells in the upper left hand corner left to cut out and then the background and 2 borders.   I had no clue that this would be moving along as quickly as Jeannette is running with it.  I will say that it's a testament to just how good Jeannette has become at this.

Now that Martha finished her two Cross Windows she's moved back to her Daylily Window.   The cutting is just about competed so she'll be moving on over to the grinder when she returns.

Becky has her Geometric Window all tacked together now and it will get a border put on it when she returns.  You can't really see where the solid lead sections will be right now but once this is completed there will be no way to miss them!

Sheri's newest window is a variation of our standard medium sized Peacock that Sheri has modified all by herself. She has a great majority of this cut out and will start filling in the missing inner feathers when she comes back in.

Beth came in with a good portion of her Dragonfly Window background all foiled.   She didn't wrap the section where the dragonfly will go because she still needed to cut the opening for the dragonfly to fit into.   So the first thing she did was to grind and tack together the dragonfly that she's cut out last week and then she traced it on top of her background piece.  After making a few quick cuts everything fir into place beautifully.

And, as I expected, Lara got all of the glass cut for her Starry Starry Night Window and then moved on over to a grinder to get everything fitting together.   She's doing wonderful work and I do believe the hardest part of making this window is behind her now.

Tracey's one of the two other students (3 if you count me) who saw the Jan's Mother Mary window and had to make one also.  At this point Mother Mary is all ground and only needs to be wrapped and tacked so we can add the background glass and borders.

Bonnie worked on her Santa Face Window and is moving along quickly and efficiently with it.  With the beard all cut out and fitting together nicely before it even goes to the grinder, I'll safely state for the record that she'll be completing this window in record time.

Mary has gotten so very far along on her Octagon Iris Window this week.   With all of the pieces ground and fitting together she was able to begin the wrapping process.   As you can see her foiling looks great and it's going make this window really stand out when it's completed.


Barbara is student number 2  who has begun work on a small Mother Mary Window as well.  She's got most of the glass cut out and will very likely finish cutting and grinding this when she returns.   This is one popular design and even in this unfinished state it's easy to see why.

Terry spend the night working on these tediously small circular Poinsettia Ornaments.  Each 5" circle consists of 19 pieces of glass! That's enough to drive ME crazy!  But Terry is just about set to solder all of these already.


 Betty not only completed her Rose Window-- she also worked on a large Angel Suncatcher and a Virgin Mary Window.  She took my 'preaching' to heart while working on Mary and made sure she cut off the blue line then she spent just an hour and twenty minutes grinding it all to fit.  That's excellent!  

Susan D was so very close to completing her Santa Lawn Ornament this week that I hated to see it walk out the door unfinished.  The only thing left to do on it is to solder the second side and then add a stake.   I find it interesting that Susan shares my habit of 'priming' her Sharpie Ultra Fine Point markers on the side of her pattern before she starts drawing on her glass.   Her patterns look just like mine with all those little squiggles surrounding the subject!

Linda F also began another project this week and as you can see it's a Christmas Bell with a Green Ribbon.  Why not a red ribbon?  Well, Linda is a green kinda girl, that's why!  She's going to do the bell clapper in solid lead which will be a nice added touch.

Mary Grace got  all of her Tree Of Life Window foiled while she was in class this week and by the time she left it was all tacked together as well.   When she comes back in she'll be able to start cutting her multicolored border.

Myrt only has to wash and patina her Ribbon Bordered Fleur De Lis Window and that will take less than 15 minutes when she comes back in next week .  That means that we'll not only see this completed but we'll also get to see her start a new project when we return.

And Susan R didn't simply complete her Pumpkins and Corn Window, she also began a new project which is a Stained Glass Present Box.  When this is completed she'll fill it with lights and have a wonderful decoration for the table.   It's hard to see now but just give it some time and you'll fall in love with it-- I promise.

Shelley now has all of the glass cut for her own rendition of the Tree Of Life Window.   This week we saw her worrying so much about being able to get all of her background pieces separated after they were traced onto one sheet of glass only to have then  separated and completely cut out in under 15 minutes.   The moral of this story is to stop worrying and start cutting!  She was also worried that her Tree wasn't very bright, but it certainly is!

Cindy is also working on a Santa Face Window and she's starting from the top down.   We were out of white when she was in class but the new glass shipment arrived the following day and Santa now has white glass for his beard.

Lastly,  Melissa worked on more crosses but she ran out the door before I was able to get a picture of them.  The nerve of her!!!   I promise we'll see what she's doing when we next return.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks