Monday, February 19, 2018

Jump Around A Bit

I've found that many, many people orientate their patterns to the poster board that they will trace it onto without even thinking about trying to turn it the other direction.  Students also tend to center their pattern as well which results in MUCH wasted poster board.  This we know by looking at the pile of scrap poster board that we have in the shop.  Although the placement of the pattern below is completely serviceable, it's also VERY wasteful.

Here we've rotated the pattern and, as you can see, it easily fits in this direction while saving a large section of poster board for other projects.  In fact, you can easily fit three of these patterns on just one piece of card stock.

It may sound as though I'm being overly thrifty but why pay $1.00 for one copy when you can get 3 for a dollar, right?

So first up we have Mary Grace's beautiful and elegant 'B' Window.   Pay particular attention to how each of the curves lines up perfectly throughout the entire design.  that's called attention to detail.  Mary Grace asked me if it would be possible to do the same design with the letter 'A' replacing the 'B' so we may very well see a similar window made in the near future.

Martha's Oval Daylily looks fantastic and she easily avoided the possible pitfalls of this design.   Oval windows can't get a channel around them and have a tendency to 'sink inward'  at the joints that come to the edge of the window.  normally channel covers these gaps but when you can't apply channel to the window those spots become glaringly obvious. Martha's outer edge doesn't do that at all.  And 's not only that-- her soldering  was aces as well!

Then we have Susan R who put the final touches on her Mardi Gras Mask this week.  I must say that the colors and the workmanship on this are very impressive indeed.  There are a lot of small, thin pieces in this and Susan handled then all with aplomb.

Linda F managed to completed not one but two projects this week.  Her Quilt Square Panel is perfection indeed.  Look at how all of her straight lines line up together and you'll realize just how talented  an artist she is.   Then there's her Christmas Bulbs Panel which is just as impressive and utilizes lead covered glass.   It's an interesting technique for sure and one you don't see done very often at all.


Angie's Beveled Horse Window is all tacked together and the front side of this has even been soldered already.   Although it looks brown, all of the horse and the border is made out of clear bevels.  It's just the color of the work table that you see which is making it look brown.  I have no doubt at all that this is going to be completed when she comes back in. and once back-lit it will sparkle beautifully.

Beth's second project is very revealing to the fact that Beth totally gets it.   Stained glass that is.   Although she's still 'new' at this art she's already showing a retention of various techniques that impresses me.  Just look at how nicely her Address Window is moving along.  She not only tacked together the upper tree portion of the window this week-- she also cut AND ground the letter and numbers!   Color me impressed.

Rowena came into class with almost all of this beautiful Magnolia Window cut out.  She immediately set to work on cutting out her background pieces and then took it all over to the grinder where she then finished grinding her entire window.  That's fast work!  Once it was ground she pondered what she would do for an inside border and looking at the one piece of yellow almost dead center in the middle of the flower gave us an idea.   We found a subtle piece of yellow glass that went perfectly with the flower and you can easily see how wonderful this is looking already.

Tracey's Cardinal window is looking MUCH better than the pattern would have you believe.   The pattern itself has been' through the ringer' to say the least but now that the glass that Tracey cut is covering a lot of it we're starting to see the true beauty of this window.  Now that everything has been cut Tracey is free to begin grinding.

Here's another window that just looks better and better with each passing week.   Lara's Indian Headdress is so very close to being completely cut out.  With just four leaves left to go and a few background pieces I'm guessing that it won't be long before this is hanging in a window.

Susan D is back in action and as you can see, although she's been G.I.A. (Grandmother In Action) for the past 6 or 7 weeks, she's still managed to get work completed while she was at home in her limited free time.  She's tweaked a Peacock Pattern to her liking and as of this week she's got the majority of it cut out.  We'll be doing the background to this after the peacock itself is tacked together and then we will work out the fancy headdress that needs some minor changes to make work.

MiMi's Bull Window is also taking shape and she only has 2 pieces of glass left to grind before she can start wrapping this.  She's learning quickly and fully grasps how to skim new pieces and then place pieces that we've already ground on top of the new piece to trace around and get a perfect fit.  This is looking great!


Sheri's Tabasco Oysters Window is completely recognizable now that she has the letters for the text cut out.  And ANYONE can see that she has a bottle of Tabasco sauce standing in the center of it all.  This is really looking good and making me hungry for Oysters!


Geometrics are in and Terry's Window is just all cut save for the last border.   With the center section all tacked together she managed to get the first uneven border cut and ready to skim and wrap.  Next week we'll see the final border get attached for sure (since she already has the strips cut.)


Although you can't see it, Mary got the center round section of her Dream Catcher Window  all cut out.  Since this section is all about the lead lines forming a string that wraps and entwines throughout the circle we want to be extremely sure that everything lines up perfectly within it.  She's already begun grinding as you can tell by the dark circle border pieces. I think this is going to to be another standout Indian Window.


Melissa cut out the 8 small Fleur De Lis' that surround her geometric design and you can really get a feel for this window now that they are sitting on the pattern.   She'll grind these and then tack them together to prevent things from shifting. Once that's done she'll cut her final background.   I love Melissa's attention to detail because it makes for a flawless window.


With the center section all cut out and tacked together Jan has only 8 more pieces of glass to go before she's finished cutting.  She's created a 'dummy' piece to take the place of the curved plate because if she tacked the plate on now the window wouldn't lay flat on the table.  You could always use cardboard to build up the edges but our method is a far more efficient way to handle the situation.  Once the window is together and the front is soldered we will replace the dummy piece (which has NOT been tacked in) with the actual plate.  Easy peasy!

Becky S has the zinc channel attached to her Peacock Window and the front side has already been completely soldered.   With just the back side to go I'm thinking that this will SURELY be completed upon her arrival to class on Thursday.  Wait until you see this lit up!

A few weeks ago Betty saw Melissa's Sunflower Window and fell in love with it so she took the pattern home last week and came back in with only a few pieces left to be ground.  You can't see all of the yellow headed pins she's used to hold this together because they blend in with the yellow sunflower glass but trust me, they're there.  I'm impressed at how much Betty accomplished in such a short time.

Brenda got the first of her pair of Transom Windows tacked together and this one will get it's final border when she comes back in.  Once that's done she can either solder this or move on to putting together her second transom window.

Barbara H finished grinding her Tulip Window while she was at home and managed to get it all tacked together here in the shop.   There are a few missing pieces that need to be re-cut (with a project of this magnitude that's not unusual at all) but we are going to re-cut them after Barbara gets her borders attached so we can position glass under her tacked piece.  This will give us a perfect fit and deal with any slight variations she's made from the pattern.

As you may recall, Becky S was working on a Peacock window this week but she also worked on 36 'reward' medallions for a local Pickleball Playoff.  She got all 216 pieces cut for the background of the medallions which you can see all stacked up in the box next to the 172 globs that she wrapped which are in the bag!  Now THAT'S a lot of work!

Linda L is about to start working on this beautiful geometric design that she found  on the internet.   Since it's a geometric design the first thing we looked for are repeats in the pattern.  This has two repeats-- one on the left and the second on the right.  All Linda needs to do is trace out half of her pattern and cut two of everything-- one forward and one backward.   Doing it this way ensures a much more 'even' and symmetrical window.

Lastly, we have Carol who completed two Easter Rabbit Lawn Ornaments.   I didn't get a shot of them because she left so quickly but I'm sure you get the picture.  Or do you????  Never create and run before Paul's camera goes off.  lol

And there you have it.  All that's fit to print for the 3rd week of February.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, February 12, 2018

All My Eggs Are Solid

Last week I showed you this picture and asked if you could figure out how to make this pattern using even less pattern pieces.  As it is now, you can cut 4 of each piece that is outlined in red to make this entire window.  
Yes, you can condense it even more but it does get trickier.  For simplicity's sake the red pattern would be easier to 'digest' but this green one reduces things to it's (almost) bare minimum.  This green version has a pattern piece for each distinct shape that makes up this pattern.   That means that some pieces will be repeated more than others which can get tricky, but once you understand the concept it's actually simple. 
Here you can see the pattern pieces with a number telling how many of each piece we need to cut to make this window.  Confusing, right?  Well, if you look at it just one pattern piece at a time you'll see that it's not hard at all.  If I really wanted to confuse you I could leave out one more piece and then add reversing pattern pieces into the mix, but that's for another day!

Now let's move on to something far more pleasant--Betty's Acadiana Flag Window variation.  I have to say that this turned out beautifully.   What makes this work though is Betty's attention to detail in assuring that each three Fleur De Lis is identical to one another.   If they were off at all this wouldn't look nearly as great as it does!

Jeannette's Christmas JOY Window is now officially completed and will be ready to hang in the Christmas yet to come in just 11 months!  That's right, we're already 1/12th of the way there.  Jeannette has experienced a personal tragedy and though it will be hard to overcome we want her to know that we miss seeing her and that we're surely there beside her.

Rowena's Sunflower Window reminds me of how much I love this design.   It's the overlapping yellows that make this stand out to me and Rowena did excellent work on this. Yep there's definitely one of these in my future.

Angie is now working on a Horse Head Window and she decided to add a horse shoe and some oats to give it some pizzazz.  With her black background glass all cut out there are only a few pieces left to go before she can start grinding this.

Lara's Indian Headdress now looks like a colorful piece of art instead of a hard to see line drawing on a piece of white paper.  This pattern is coming more and more alive with each cut piece of glass that she places on it.  I have a really good feeling about this!

Sheri's Tabasco and Oysters Window is also moving right along.   She's going to have to do a lot of grinding on the oysters because the gray glass that she cut them from was possibly the  most brittle glass I've ever had the displeasure to cut.   Between the two of us we managed to get some pieces that vaguely match the patterns.  Luckily the grinder will fix it from here. 

Linda L has decided that she wanted to make a colorful Owl Suncatcher that was last made in September of 2015 (according to the pattern).   Linda is going with a systematic approach to her colors and is trying not to get any of the same pieces to touch.  It looks like she'll do just fine and I very much like that she kept the eyes uniformly colored.

MiMi's Bull in an O Flag Window is all cut out save for the squiggly piece of glass that makes up the Bull's tail.   This is a tough window to grind so to make things easier we are going to ignore the bull in the center until the rest of this is ground and fitted together.  We'll show you just how that works out for Mimi as the weeks progress.


Terry's Geometric Window is about halfway ground and as you can see, Terry's secret to quick and efficient grinding is to use a lot of pins as she moves along.  Making sure that the pieces you've ground don't move is the key to a window that fits together perfectly.

Beth missed a class last week and was able to make it up in our first class of the new week.   By the time she left she had most of her glass cut for the tree section of the her Address Window.   When she came back in on her regular night she was able to get the tree and background completely ground and even managed to start wrapping it.   That's what I call great progress.

Barbara H now has all of her Tulip Window ground and is working on wrapping all of those pieces.  This is a beautiful window already and I'm going to push her to do a double border on it.  This window practically demand it!

Jan is back and she finished grinding the circles and ellipses that surround the plate that is the centerpiece of this very different window.  Now that each piece is wrapped she'll be able to tack this together and then resume working on it in a surprising way when she comes back in next week.

With her inner amber accent pieces all cut and ground into place, Melissa set upon tacking the circular section of her large Geometric Window together.  Once that was done she cut and ground the first of three borders.  We held this up to get a little light behind it and to get a feel for the window and all I can say is, WOW!

Carol's bathroom and bedroom have been remodeled and now she's working on Rabbits.   They look precious enough but when your Bunny starts laying hard boiled eggs, well, you know that can't be any good-- especially if they're solid.

Myrt decided to wrap and tack the pieces that she had ground and then cut her background glass by laying it under what she tacked together and then tracing around it.  She's got the bottom two pieces ready to be foiled and the rest will happen when she comes back in.

Brenda tacked her beveled border together and then, like Myrt, got two of her background pieces cut, ground and even wrapped.   It's really coming together now but they'll be a second one following this very shortly.


Becky S's Peacock Window only needs to get its final border attached and then she'll be ready to solder.  I've posted two pictures of this because the one on the left doesn't have the reflection of the light on it so it appears less colorful than it really is.  The one on the right has some light bouncing off of it and you can see how much color all of that iridised glass adds to the overall effect of the window.

Mary Grace's 'B' Window is all tacked together and it even has its channel attached.  This should be completed when she comes back in because there really isn't much to solder on this window. I have to say that I love the design of this.

Susan R's Mardi Gras Mask Panel is all tacked together and ready to be soldered.   By cutting the edge background pieces from the actual glass mask rather than pattern pieces, Susan was able to get perfectly even lines around all four sides of this panel where the border connects.  Those four edges are, in my opinion, the most important part of a stained glass window.


Linda F has completed her Christmas Lights Window and only needs to wash and color it before we can get a finished photograph of it.   She also managed to get her Quilt Square Window tacked together but one of the pieces was cut a little short so she's left it out and will re-cut it it before she solders this.  If you look hard enough you can see the piece on the bottom of the quilt square.

And in the end we have Shelley's Tree Of Life Window which is so very near completion.   She's got her multi colored border attached as well as the channel in place which means that all this needs is a good soldering job and then it will be ready to hang.  Will we see it completed next week?  There's only one way to find out for sure and that's to visit us again for our next update.

Hope to see you again in seven days!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, February 5, 2018

Induce Me!

When making geometric designs it's possible to 'simplify' things by looking for repeating patterns.   Although the pattern below has 48 pieces in it, you only need to cut out pattern pieces for 12 of them and then just cut each piece 4 times.

Looking at the center of the pattern it's easy to spot four identical 'elliptical' shapes.  This means that we can easily break this pattern up into four separate sections and just repeat them.   Just quarter the pattern and remember to keep any pieces that cross our quartering lines whole by tracing around them.  When you get to the other end of the pattern omit the pieces that cross the lines.    I've shaded the pattern in red to show the pieces needed to make this window in its entirety.

Can you figure out how to do this window with even less pattern pieces and more repeats?   It's possible, but there IS a trick to it which we will reveal in our post next week.

So, first up this week we take a look at Linda L's completed Easter Mickey Mouse Window.  Her use of pastels along with a matching iridised background glass really make this window stand out.  Her work is flawless and there's no mistaking who this cartoon character is even though he's covered almost entirely by a bunny suit!

Angie came in and put the finishing touches on her Compass Rose Window which is far larger than you ever might imagine when you look at this picture.  It's nearly 36 inches wide and so big that it wouldn't fin in the sink to wash it!  I have to say that Angie's work is always improving and this window proves it.

Barbara's Beveled Turtle window  is splendid indeed.  She did a great job soldering it and the assorted clear glasses and bevels really give this an air of elegance.  Wonderful indeed!

Lara's newest Project is a Tribal Headdress replete with colorful feathers.  Although it looks like a bunch of lines now, it will soon transform into a wonderful feather window!

Terry resumed work on her geometric window but not before she repaired a window that she she made a long, long time ago.  This window is a perfect example of a pattern that can be done by repeating one section numerous times.  It's something we'll go over in more detail in the weeks to come.

Mary began cutting glass for her Dream Catcher Window and what a phenomenal job she's doing!  I remember when cutting glass was intimidating for her but know she just traces out her pieces and gets to work.  As you can see, she's cutting so nicely that you can't even tell that the circle section is almost entirely cut out.

MiMi is our newest student and her first window is a Bull inside of the letter 'O' which is resting atop the flag of Spain (I think!)  She's already got the majority of this cut out and for a foirst window I think that's amazing work!


This week we also saw Tracey get her glass all picked out where upon she then began cutting it.  With the flowers and the leaves cut out I'm pretty sure she'll move along to the red cardinal next.

Rowena's Sunflower is looking rather incredible.  I love this design largely because of the overlapping yellow flower petals.  They lend this window a very distinctive look and Rowena has all of her pieces flowing perfectly.


Susan R  made great progress on her Mardi Gras Mask Panel and is now ready to begin cutting out her background glass.  Although the background consists of a lot of small triangular pieces I'm sure she'll get them cut, ground, and attached in time to get her border cut out when she returns next week.

Shelley got her multi-colored border all cut out and decided on each of the angles by flipping a coin.  Heads meant she cut the angle from left to right and tails meant that she would cut it from right to left.  This method prevented her from spending two or three wasted minutes trying to decide which way the cut should run.  Nothing slows down production as much as indecision.

Bonnie has all of the glass cut for her Three Ladies Window and has begun the grinding process.   Grinding is something that she has no problems with so she should be able to get this ready for foil very soon.


Mary Grace got all of the center section of her 'B' Window tacked together and is now cutting out the border glass for it.  With two sides fitted in place she has only one side left to go.  She'll begin soldering this next week for sure.


Melissa's center circle of her Geometric Circular Window is all ground and fitting together nicely.  She's got everything pinned into place and is now adding 16 small accent pieces to break up the monotony of the center section.   This is another window that is being made by repeating one section over and over and we'll look at exactly how she's doing this in the weeks to come.

Although you can't see it at all, Becky S now has her background all cut out for her Peacock Window.  Actually there were two small pieces that rest between the head dress and the peacock's head that we had to sacrifice to be able to cut her background out of one piece of glass but they'll easily be replaced when she comes back in.  Next week you'll see at least the first border attached and you'll be able to get a good feel for what this is going to look like when it's completed.

Myrt is ready to begin cutting out the background glass for her second Ribbon Border Fleur De Lis and has the option of either wrapping what she has completed (since she's already got it ground) so she can cut the background using her glass as the pattern pieces or just cutting the background  from pattern pieces and grinding everything to fit.

Brenda spent her night worked on wrapping all of the straight line bevels for her pair of transom Windows that we'll get a good look at next week.  There were just under 50 bevels in all and she's about set to start putting that first Transom together now.

And we're winding things down here by looking at at the new window that Sheri has started this week.  It's a stained glass rendition of a Tabasco Coffee Mug that she owns which has always caught her eye.  Once she finishes it she'll be able to see it it in a much larger format.

As a final note I want to say that Cindy has been MIA in action here in our updates but she's been in class.  She's just been working on another lamp repair which she should be completing soon.  Once that's done she'll get busy on a new project which we'll follow week by week.