Monday, October 15, 2018

Some Assembly Required

When washing your windows or even transporting them, it may become necessary for you to rest the window on its edge.  I've noticed that most people do this by propping the edge against the corner of a table as you see below (or even the corner of the sink used to wash it in).

Most won't even think about it but, of course, there's a right and wrong way to go about resting your window on its edge. Ideally, if you are on a table the entire length of the window will rest flat against the surface providing support.   However, if you are resting it on the edge of a table or a sink then you want the weight of the window to land on a lead line as shown below.   Note how the lead line is on the edge of the wooden table.

If you put the weight just anywhere along the outer edge of the window you can bend the channel and put a dent in your straight edge.   This is especially true if you are using 1/8 inch brass or zinc channel since they bend so easily.  So, for the record, the picture below shows you the worst possible way to rest your window against something.  If the channel isn't firm against the glass which it never really is, then the channel will easily dent.  Good to know, right?

Okay then, Susan D's Tree Of Life was based on the same tree of Life pattern that Linda L is making (and that you'll see a little further on down in this post).  Susan 'stretched' hers out by extending the leaves on the top of the tree and by adding some ground and an extended tree trunk.   That's how she turned a square window into a rectangle that's almost double the height of the original design.   All her work paid off in spades and the earth tone colors make this window nothing short of spectacular.  And the outer mottled border just ties it all together and gives it a real Tiffany look!

Cindy's Rosie the Dog Window was completed this week and it ends her 3 month journey through this project.   She only worked on it while in class and since she spent two weeks working on another project we can deduce that Cindy has about 30 hours of work in on this design from start to finish.   That's not bad at all when you consider that this window has curved text and two curved borders that had to fit within a certain opening.  Great work!

Susan R finished her Woman Emerging and it's another one of those stunning Women Windows that have really been taking off in the stained glass world.   I'm seeing more and more of these popping up on the internet and this particular pattern turned up on Facebook just yesterday.    Susan did wonderfully and this woman has officially emerged and left the shower!

Barbara got her Mary and Child Window completed this week largely due to the fact that she had soldered it at home in between classes.   When she came back in we went over the problem areas and Barbara learned that slow mean S... L... O... W.   Most problems with soldering can be attributed to moving the soldering iron too quickly and not allowing the solder to melt completely so it can become a smooth bead.   That said, her window turned out beautiful and Barbara will begin a new project when she returns next week.

Rowena's Hot Air Balloon Window is another stunning piece that she can be proud of and her soldering is better than ever.  I only touched up two lines on this and those were two that she pointed out to me as being bad when I didn't think they were a problem at all.   Yep, Rowena has it and this window proves it.  Oh, and she made a stand alone Balloon Suncatcher as well which also turned out to be just as nice!


Becky B finished her Cross Suncatcher and there's nothing to find fault in here.  From the cutting, to the soldering (and even the color choices) this is one nice Cross.


Our next Cross was made by Beth who finished her Celtic Cross made from  a stunning blue iridescent glass.   The cross fits together perfectly and she plans to make another which I don't think will give her any problem whatsoever. 

Finishing up our completed projects this week I decided to post a Fairy with 3D Wings that I made this week.  The wings are more difficult to make than you might think, but isn't everything?  The body had been up for sale in the shop for a few years and now that I made it everyone is asking about these lead cast Fairy bodies.

So guess what? Linda F is back in class and she was able to tack together the Tree of Life Window she started a while back before her knee injury!   A window this elaborate deserves a double border but Linda didn't want the border to compete with the tree.   In the end she picked an earth tone for the accent color and when she returns next week she'll add a final, larger clear border to finish it off.

Terry  is working on a miniature Christmas ornament with a ton of tiny pieces in it!   It's a testament to her skills that she would want to work on this because it is certainly no project for a beginner.  This is a pattern for experienced stained glass students only.

Becky S cut out the tree trunk and all of the white glass for the bird in her Heron Window.   It's a pity that you can't see all of those white pieces against the white pattern that this  is being built upon, but take my word for it, there are 40 pieces of white glass resting atop the pattern here (the smallest ones running along the top of the pattern where they've been taped down so they don't get lost).

MiMi is grinding away at her Industrial Fleur De Lis but is taking her time and doing a great job.  She's a little worried about working on this window while at home so it isn't progressing at the speed that she normally works at but as I always say, 'Stained glass should be about quality, not quantity or speed.'

Shelley has finished cutting out her Once Upon A Time Window and spent a good deal of time working on the facial features that need to be painted on the glass.   She's got it all mapped out (look closely to the right) and next week she'll add the paint so it can be fired in the kiln.


Mary Grace has been making incredible progress on her Birdhouse Window.  She seems to be much more confident in her abilities and I see that confidence allowing her to work at a quicker pace without the need for reassurance along the way.   In short, I'm impressed with her work more than ever!

Sheri was able to get all of the glass cut for her Coffee Window which includes the border which is cut irregularly since the subject matter extends into the border.   Although we normally  break the border pieces down into even sections it's fine to  ignore the hard placement of the breaks if the subject matter cuts into the border close to where the break would occur.  This window is a perfect example of that which we'll look at that as a tip of the week when this window is completed (possibly as soon as next week).


Jan has her Mary and Child all ground and ready to be foiled.   With the hardest part of this window now behind her, Jan will be able to get her border(s) attached next week if she can get this wrapped while at home.

Patrice resumed work on her Humming Bird and Morning Glories Window and she now has everything but the background cut out.  That means that she can start grinding all of her pieces and once things fit she can tack the flowers and birds together and then lay them on top of a piece of glass to get a perfectly aligned background.   As it stands I love her colors and I believe that this is going to turn out to be a very beautiful window.


Linda L forgot to bring in the glass that she planned on cutting so she began grinding the pieces of her Mouse Window this week.   She's obviously working from the bottom up and the pumpkin part of this design may very well turn into a suncatcher pattern soon because it is looking incredible!   Just look at the depth that the two different oranges create when used together.   

Brenda resumed work on her Caduceus Window getting the staff, the snakes and the round border cut out.   She's begun grinding these pieces and will add the background after these have been tacked together.  


Beth began working on a new Iris Window which is VERY similar to one that she already made.  The only difference with this Iris is that its size has been altered slightly in length and width so a beveled border can be added as an inside border.


Tracey now has her second Cardinal Window all ready for solder.  She tacked together her window, re-cut the green leaf that she was unhappy with, added a thin accent border cut out of a beautifully textured clear glass, tacked that into place and then got her final green border cut, ground and attached.  Whew!!!!   Tracey has taken this home with her where she hopes to get at least the front side of it soldered so she can possibly get this completed when she comes back.


Becky B has decided that she's going to make a few suncatchers before working on any windows and this week she's started working on this cute Frog.   She plans on making this a lawn ornament and we'll see how it all takes shape in the weeks to come.


Melissa is so very near completing the wrapping phase of her Autumn Leaves window that I think I can safely say this this will be tacked together when she returns.   Once that's done she can work on fill-in pieces and then get a border cut out.

Susan D is not only making Tree Of Life Windows, she's also making leaves by the dozens for her latest Garden Flower Cornucopia.  here you can see what she got wrapped and soldered during the remainder of her class this week.

Rowena is about to embark on a project that I think will be watched with many eager eyes  throughout the weeks to come.   It's a stunning pattern that will involve a little bit of some kiln work to really flesh it out.   Like the Tiger in the picture, Rowena is up to the challenge and raring to go on this!

Lastly Carol has started a Noir Woman's Face Window and she's making fast progress on it.  She's going to fuse lips onto the face and paint the nose on with enamel.   The face is ready to be fired and next week we should see it in cut and ground into place.  The only reason you aren't seeing it this week is because I never took a picture of it!  It looks very much like the first image you see in this post though so scroll back and take a look!
Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, October 8, 2018

Did You Look Under The Biscuit?

Ok, we're starting this post off with an rule that a lot of our students pay attention to but not nearly enough.  Close only counts in hand grenades and horse shoes so when you are lining up your pattern pieces on your glass you MUST be very careful that the grain is exact.   Just being close doesn't cut it as you will see.  Below is a flower and the background grain is perfectly aligned.  Each piece runs at a 90 degree angle (left to right)  and because of that, each background piece lines up perfectly.

Next we have an example where our grain is shifted to 92 degrees on some of the pieces and 88 degrees on others.  When you consider that there are 360 degrees in a circle you might assume that a 2 degree difference here and there won't really matter, but look at that background.  It's a crooked mess!  It only takes 2 seconds to make sure that your grain is straight.  Be sure to take those extra seconds while tracing out your pattern pieces onto glass because almost anyone can see when you're off the mark.

With that out of the way let's move along to our first completed project this week.   Mary started this way back in February but a far too long hospital stay kept her off of her feet and unable to attend classes for months on end.  The good news is that Mary is, for all intents and purposes, as good as new!  This week she completed her Dream Catcher Window and it was every bit worth the wait.  The beautiful color combination that she picked out only helps to expand upon the beauty of this design.  Perfect!

Long ago, and oh so far away, Martha purchased 13 bevels with the intent of making a 3D Beveled Star Suncatcher.   The rest of her class also stocked up on bevels in the hopes of making these stars in class together.   Sadly, other things kept popping up but this week Martha was between projects and decided to throw this together.  I don't think she had any clue as to how fast this would go once the individual bevels had a bead of solder all around them.   I believe that this actually took less than 20 minutes to assemble in the end.  You have to love bevels and this Star makes no exception to that rule.

Technically speaking this Lamp wasn't *made* by Terry, but it was completely disassembled, cleaned, re-ground, wrapped and then soldered.   Let's face facts here- this IS Terry's lamp!  Now that it doesn't have that nasty, stretchy lead came semi-holding it together this has become a very beautiful lamp indeed.   And all the credit for that goes to Terry.

We sort of have a new student with us this week and long time readers may remember her from the past.   Becky B took lessons a few years back and now that she's retired she's back full time.   Rather than starting with a window, Becky had decided to get back on the stained glass horse with a nice easy Cross Suncatcher.   I must say that although it isn't finished yet (it will be next week) she had no problems whatsoever and I declare her ready to work on whatever she wants when she completes this.

Brenda's Caduceus Window is taking shape and has now become balanced as both sides of the wings have been cut are now in place.   There's just a staff and two snakes to go and with a little luck she'll be able to get them well under way next week.

Mary Grace is back in action!  Even though her arm isn't fully working again she was able to trace out and get a good majority of he Birds and Birdhouse Panel cut.   There aren't a lot of pieces left to go on this so I believe she'll be grinding at some point next week.  That's some excellent progress for someone who's still recovering from surgery!

Jeannette came in with a dove suncatcher cut, ground and tacked together and by the time she left class she'd added both a background and a border which turned her suncatcher into a full fledged window.   This is yet another project that will be completed next week upon Jeannette's return.


This is Angie's Ladybug and Daisies Window which will also most certainly be completed when she comes back in.   With her borders attached and the front side soldered I have no doubt that the rest of this window will go quickly for her.  In fact, we should get a look at Angie's new project when she comes back in.

Linda L has her newest Mickey Mouse Window well under construction this week.  The almost three dimensional pumpkin is standing out beautifully due to Linda's wonderful use of color.  Next week I'm thinking that Mickey himself may very well get cut out of glass.


With all but two pieces of glass cut out for her African Woman Window, Lara is about to begin soldering this upon her return.  Inspired from a stained glass mosaic piece, this window brings numerous new styles to a traditional stained glass window.

Shelley has begun work on a Regina Mills Window inspired by the TV show Once Upon A Time.  As you can see, the pattern is perfect and Shelley drew it herself!   The face will be painted on using Acrylic Paint and then fired in the kiln to prevent it from ever wiping off, but we'll get to that part in another 2 weeks or so.

Susan R is yet another student who is about to wrap things on on her project.  With the front side soldered, her Woman Emerges Window is very near completion.   I sound like a broken record but this is yet another window with a very good chance of being completed during Susan's next classs.


Sheri's Coffee Window is all ground and the wrapping on it is almost completed already.   Sheri is really making quick work of this window and when you see it with some light behind it I'm sure that you will be very impressed with the design.   If you look closely you can see what glass Sheri has picked to cut her border out of.

As you can plainly see, MiMi's Industrial Fleur De Lis is looking extremely impressive!   She's begun the grinding process this week and and can't cut anything else out until she has what she's already cut tacked together.  We want her bevels and borders to be extremely straight and until this is held together with solder that just won't happen.  But she's getting close...ever so close.


With the second side of her Tree Of Life Window just about soldered, Susan D is just about ready to begin a new project.  And yet again, I have little doubt that the soldering will be finished on this by the time Susan leaves her next class with us.   It's time for Susan to consider what she'll be making next.

Tracey completed wrapping all of the pieces for her  latest Cardinal Window but she didn't care very much for how one of the leaves fit so she's going to re-cut that leaf next week after this gets tacked together and gets its border applied.  I love it when a student sees a problem and decides to fix it rather than letting it go.


Rowena only has the back side of her Balloon Window left to solder after she attached two borders to it while she was in class this week.   She also cut out another balloon (after simplifying it) and has that tacked together as well.   Look to see one of these completed upon her return.

With just the top curved border left to go on her Rosie the Dog Window, Cindy is very near completing this.   The front side has been completely soldered (save for the top border naturally) so there's a chance that this could be completed as soon as next week!

Carol's latest Duck Suncatcher is very nearly completed.   This week she finished grinding and wrapping it and if that weren't enough she even got the front side soldered as well.

Becky S has started work on a pattern that I drew up about a year ago but never had a chance to make.   It's so nice to know that the time I spent drawing it wasn't all for naught. And I believe she may even be interested in making the companion piece to this.   I know you can't see it right now but next week this will come more alive and then perhaps you'll be able see the Heron that this window features.


Lastly, we take a look at the pattern that Mary has started.   This week she was able to trace out her poster board copy of the pattern and next week she'll start cutting actual glass.  Here comes Santa Clause!


And that wraps things up for the first week of the new month.  It looks like next week will be a very busy week due to all of the windows that are very near completion.   One window that we skipped in this post is Roy's Transom Window but I should get a picture of that for our next weekly blog update.

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