Monday, July 16, 2018

In The Solder Zone

We're running late and I forgot to get pictures taken for our tip this week so we're skipping the tip and heading straight to the many finished windows we have to look at.   Our tip next week will be about maintaining the glass grain throughout a background. 

Ok then, up first we take a look at the Seahorses Window that Becky S put the final touches on.  As you can see all of her work paid off in spades!  She meticulously ground around all of the subtle curves and made sure that the sharp 'points' made their way off of the pattern and into her finished piece.  The pointed areas that travel all around each Seahorse would have smoothed out in less skilled hands but Becky handled every aspect of this beautiful window with aplomb.

MiMi's second Rose Window also went home this week and the symmetry is not only apparent  but absolutely perfect.  MiMi's a quick learner and as you can see she understands that they key to a beautiful window is perfect grinding.  Coming close isn't good enough if you want your work to stand out in the crowd which this window easily does.

Beth finished her Flower Window and all of those tiny pieces that she's been working with make this a beautifully detailed window indeed. Her border color is perfect and Beth's skills and understanding of the stained glass medium have grown immensely as she made this.  

Carol put the finishing touches on her latest 6 sided panel lamp this week.  She colored the lead with black patina and the end result is gorgeous if I do say so myself.  Everything lined up perfectly and that's no easy feat with a panel lamp unless you pay close attention while grinding  and tacking things together.   As you can see Carol had no problem with that.

Terry was busy as can be this week as she completed two projects.   Her Humming Bird Window (her own design) was such a big hit that Martha plans on making it next.  When a window looks this good it's easy to see why someone else would want to make one for their own

Terry also completed another suncatcher cross which again is another one of her own designs.  She's even got a second one just about completed so there's a good chance we'll see that one in our completed projects section next week..

Susan R put the finishing touches on her Chef Window and doesn't it look as cute as can be?  Susan isn't afraid to take her time and her workmanship shines through on this window.  I really don't know what she'll be working on next so it will be a surprise for me when she comes back in next week.


Carol also completed this charming little Ladybug Lawn Ornament and made short work of it indeed. She knows how to get the globs of glass that she used for the spots of the ladybug to fit perfectly by fitting them after the fact. You can't trust globs-- they always come in different shapes and sizes.

Beth also started work on this beautiful Bird Of Paradise Window and I can see that her cutting is so much better than it has been in the past.  She's really starting to excel at this hobby!

Cindy's Rosie The Dog Window is taking shape as she now has all of the pieces that make up the dog cut out.   Now she's begun grinding and it's fitting together perfectly.   There are a lot of letter in this window so Cindy will end up using the same technique that Roy used when cutting out his letters but it's the face of the dog which will be most important in this window.

This week we get to see Roy begin work on the family crest window that he drew up last week. This week he started on the top name section which, in one class, is all cut and ground. His letters are all uniform in size and perfectly legible which is exactly what we strive for with stained glass letters.

Linda L filled in four more pieces in her sea floor and then tacked them together.  Once that was done she put a piece of glass under the coral section of her window and cut the rock from it so that the grain runs and matches perfectly throughout all of the pieces.   It's something that you don't really notice when it is done but something that is VERY obviously when the pieces don't line up.  That hardest part of this window is just about through now and next week she'll be able to tack it easy with the rest of it.

Lara's New Orleans House Window moved along to the grinding phase since everything has been cut along the lower half of the window save for the flowers.   Lara still isn't sure what she wants to do for those 'flowers' in terms of color so getting the bottom half of the house  ground and fitting together will give her a better feel for how all of the colors will look.  Hopefully this will make picking colors a little more easier.


Mary came in and tacked together the center section of her LOVE window and then decided to put a double border on it rather than a single border.   It took a little more time but the end result was well worth it.   She's ready to begin and end the soldering on this next week when she'll have it finished with one week to spare!

Barbara H is back and her two Kaleidoscope Planes are officially together now.   Once they are colored she just needs four small drops of solder to get the landing gear attached and then she'll be able to start working on the 4 color wheels that also form the propellers.

Tracey completed the soldering on her Address Window which means that when she returns she'll attach the channel to this and then wash and color it.  This window is finished, just not cleaned and we'll see this in all of it's glory when she returns next week.

Melissa started wrapping the cloth sections of her Sacred Hearts Window and she's using something we haven't seen yet here in class-- scalloped foil.  The scallop lies only on side of the foil so to use it you pay attention to the back of the glass leaving an even amount of overhang along the perimeter.   You then press it firmly down like any other foil but you have to be careful when burnishing the front side of the glass where the scallops are or you can easily tear them off.   The scallops are  hard to see in the picture but they will become very apparent when this window is completed (Which won't be long now).

Myrt has her Cardinal pattern all drawn up but she'll need to finish the cardinals themselves before moving along to the background glass and her branches and flowers.   Had the pattern been completely drawn before she started she could have cut everything out at once but that wasn't the case so we're working a bit haphazardly here.  I can still guarantee that it will be beautiful though.

Patrice is making progress in leaps and bounds on her second sunflower window.  Having ground all of the pieces in just one class all this needs is a little foil applied to the pieces before Patrice can find her own soldering zone.

Martha has her Lighthouse And Sailboat Window all tacked together and will be attaching the beveled border when she comes back in.   She's doing a great job on this and making it look easy.  There may be a bevel or two that has to be ground before she attaches them, but I have no doubt that this will all work out perfectly.


Mary Grace has the front side of her LARGE Iris Window all soldered and has moved on over to the back side.   Now that half of the back side is soldered she may very well complete the rest of the soldering on this when she comes back in.  Since it's a large window I think it will be washed and colored in two weeks though.  There's a lot to this window some things just can't be rushed.

Susan D is about to start a Tree Of Life Window but she made a small detour this week as she began working on the leaves for another Flower Cornucopia Trellis Project.   You can see that she has a lot of completed pieces in this box which means that she, as always, is doing a great job.

And that about does it for this post.  Come back in 7 days when we unveil all new finished projects and another tip of the week.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, July 9, 2018

Looking For A Blog Title

Softness, gracefulness and fluidity are very import in the art of stained glass.  We like to see lines that flow and merge without sharp or odd angles.  It's the difference between good stained glass and bad stained glass. We want curves that are exaggerated because by the time we add an eighth inch of lead on top of them they tend to flatten out and look considerably less appealing. 

With the flower below you can see how you can start with the most basic of ideas and then flesh it out by adding curves and amplifying existing curves.   The difference is truly night and day, don't you agree?

Next we have an example of why we need to have lines flow gracefully.  The Heart on the left is a sharp and angled mess.  Pay attention to the curves you cut.  An arc shouldn't look like half of a stop sign.  It doesn't matter of you have an eye for art or not-- EVERYONE (especially the people looking at your work) can tell when a straight line is rippled and when a curve has points along it.  Take your time and do it right.

Well then, I had thought that Cindy was leaving the lead on her Address Number Plaque silver last week and that we wouldn't see it again but she brought it back this week all washed and colored with black patina.   The contrast of the black against the clear really added a lot of definition to the numbers and I have to say that this did indeed turn out very nicely.

Our next four completed projects were each made by Rowena who is on a serious roll!  As always, her Bumble Bee Lawn Ornament turned out lovely indeed.

Then she made a new Lawn Ornament that we haven't see before.  There's no mistaking that this is an Iris and I have no doubt that we'll be seeing more of these being made.   I love how the stake doubles as the stem of the flower!

This UL and pepper suncatcher has been done before but it's the first time that Rowena has made one.  You can't tell that from the workmanship though, can ya?  :-)

Here Rowena ends her spree of completed projects with an original ST logo from her old Alma Mater.  Featuring the school colors and a color guard flag behind the logo, Rowena turned out a great finished gift this week.

Let's start off our works in progress with Cindy who has begun her somewhat large Rosie the Dog Window.  As you can see she's working from the inside out as we always prefer to do when we work in sections.   Once the dog is ground she'll tack her together and then finish off the top name and the background pieces.  Once that's all tacked together she'll move along to the name on the bottom and finally the borders.  Rosie is looking good already and she hasn't even been ground yet!

Mary is taking a little break from her Dreamcatcher Window so she can make a quick gift that needs to be completed in two weeks.   She started cutting out a LOVE Window this week and by the time class was finished she had it both cut and ground.   In fact, she even had one piece wrapped in foil already as well!  This will certainly be completed in time.

Jan's Poppies Window is really taking shape now.  Next week I'll demonstrate how her background glass was cut from a single piece of textures glass the exact size of the background that she needed.  One small piece had to be sacrificed (see the red arrow) to do this but we will easily line up another piece so that it will blend in perfectly.  the end result will be a swirling pattern in the background that remains unbroken.

Beth filled in the missing colors in her paint by number dreams (that's a Jackson Browne reference there) and then filled in her missing pieces as well.  After getting her border cut and tacked she got her channel attached and then completely soldered the front side of this Flower Window masterfully!  Her soldering skills have grown by leaps and bounds this week and I think she should be very proud of what she accomplished.  Slow and steady ALWAYS wins the race.

Speaking of winners, Shelley has begun working on a new project that I predict will be a winner indeed.   It's hard to see right now since she's just begun cutting class, but the scene is of two buxom ladies enjoying some wine.   Just wait until you see this window unfold-- it will surely bring a smile to your face.

Then we have Terry who is officially soldering the back side of her Humming Bird and Flowers window which means that it will surely be completed the next time we see it.   If class had run just a half an hour longer we would have seen Terry finish it this week.


With her borders completely attached and the front side soldered, Tracey is close to finishing off her Address Window.  She took her time soldering the first side and although all she can see are mistakes I have to give credit where credit is due and say that her soldering is FAR better than the soldering you find on stained glass that I see being sold in stores.  With each project Tracey gets better and better and I love the progress she's making. 


Myrt is in the midst of cutting glass for her Cardinal Window and she's decided to add three flowers to the pattern.  Since they are well removed from the Cardinals themselves this will be an easy addition that we'll see sketched into place upon her return. 


MiMi left her with her Flower Window under her arm (figuratively, not literally) and planned on doing some more soldering on it while she was at home.  The next day I saw a post by her on Facebook showing a picture of her window that also said the that soldering was finished!   That means that all we need to do is add a zinc channel to this (30 minutes work at the most) and then wash and color it.  And I will say that MiMi's soldering is impeccable.

With just two more cloth sections to grind into place (the 7 and 9 o'clock positions) Melissa's Sacred Hearts Window is very near completion.   The border will go very quickly (as always) and before you know it Melissa will be starting a new project.  I love her attention to detail-- Melissa is not afraid to go back to the grinder three or four times to achieve a perfect fit.


Next we have another window that will most likely be completed when we return next week.  Susan R's Chef Window has all of its pieces in place and it's nearly soldered.  There's a little bit of wire work to go but we'll easily handle that upon her return.  I'll bet Susan will thrilled to finish this and get started on a new project.


And in the end the lighthouse you take is equal to the lighthouse you make.  Martha has nearly got all of her wrapping done and she will be adding a beveled border around it once it is tacked together.   Very elegant indeed and going together quickly if I do say so myself.

So that's it for this week.  Come back next week when even more is accomplished and the curves we see are more curvaceous than ever!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, July 2, 2018

You Can't Afford To

We've been having questions again (it's a re-occurring theme in class) about how the grain should flow on the different pieces of glass in a window.   Most people run into problems when they overthink it.  The 'rules' are simple but keep in mind that there ARE times when we break them.  By and large though, we simply follow these three simple rules:

1.  Mark you grain lines BEFORE you cut up you paper pattern.

2.  Grain lines should follow the length of the glass.   (In other words, put the longest line that you can on the piece.)

3.  Background pieces run horizontally (left to right) unless you have glass that looks like rain or falling water.

That's it.  Too many people think that the grain should run from left to right on ALL of their pieces.  Doing so gives you the flower that you see below on the left.  The flower on the right was colored using the same piece of glass but with the grain following the length of each piece.   It's quite a difference don't you think?  I also put the lightest sections on the outer ends of the petals whenever possible and tried to avoid any harsh straight lines.

So remember to mark your grain lines with the length of the glass and you'll be fine.  (It won't always be from left to right.) 
Once you have grain lines on your pieces you needn't think about it again-- just place them on the glass as they are marked and you'll be absolutely fine.

Well now, Roy surely did an excellent job on his Wine and Grapes Window.   He did the majority of work on this while at home and with each project I see him getting better and better.  Two  of the things he learned  was that Grapes are a pain in the glass and that when cutting out grapes you ALWAYS need to number those pieces!

I wasn't sure when it was drawn out on paper just how this would look since it was based on two different pineapple sketches that I merged into one.  I will say that it was to the best of my abilities but sometimes that isn't enough.  As you can see however, Rowena did a splendid job on this design and created a pineapple that's not only realistic but truly says, "Welcome."


Betty completed her 3D flower Suncatcher this week and learned how to tack two pieces of glass together so that one overlays the other.   The leaves are actually on top of the bevels that they 'point at' in the pattern below.  Betty added an extra helping of lead in the middle of the flower to give it a center which I feel tops it off nicely .

Koy the kitten may be gone but his likeness lives on in stained glass.  Shelley added wire whiskers to the face of this cat and the end result was more than worth the small amount of time it took to do so.

Rounding out our completed projects this week is Cindy's small address panel.  I'm not sure where this will be mounted but I'm guessing it goes into a mailbox since the finished piece measures only 6 inches tall.  The picture below isn't the best but that's only because it still has flux on it because it wasn't washed yet when Cindy took it home with her.

This is Terry's latest creation and it's yet another of her own designs.  Her humming Bird and Flowers Window is already all cut out and is now being ground to fit.  Terry wastes no time when it comes to window making!

Speaking of flowers you can see that Beth is moving along at a nice pace on her Flower Window.   There are only a few pieces left to cut but since there are so many tiny pieces that can easily shift (even if they're pinned down) we've decided to begin wrapping and tacking together what Beth has ground here.

Betty also managed to work on her two Jesus, Mary, and Joseph Suncatchers.  With the front sides soldered she'll move on to the back sides of these when she returns and surely have them completed.

Lara has begun cutting glass for her stylized New Orleans House and the pattern itself is literally split in half across the center (because of the two floors of the building).   To minimize confusion Lara is cutting, grinding and tacking the bottom half of this window before she starts the top.  This is going to be a bright Window and a real head turner for sure.

Brenda has her Magnolia Window halfway wrapped which means that she'll be looking for a border glass when she comes back in.  That won't be next week though because Brenda will be spending time in her camper during the 4th of July week. 

This is the center portion of a window that Jan is making.   There will be a little more extending outward from the left and right which will make the border that surrounds this really something to look at.   Jan is just about ready to get the background cut for these flowers and she'll be using a single piece of Baroque Glass so that the twisting flow of the glass remains intact when this is put together.

With two more sections of her Panel Lamp completed Carol hopes to be able to assemble the six panels into a single lamp when she returns next week.  Once the panels are soldered it doesn't take long to join them together so that could VERY easily happen.


Martha got her Lighthouse and Sail Boat Window resized and then all cut out as well!  The sky was cut from a single sheet of Baroque Glass (much like Jan's background) and it already fits together perfectly.  Her ocean water was cut from a heavier textured glass which helps give the waves some 'depth'.  This will surely be ground before Martha expects because things are going to be able to move quickly now.

Linda L has some more of her Ocean Floor cut out and once she gets about four more pieces completed we will tack this and then get the rock behind her coral all cut out.  And that should happen real soon...


Mary spent the night cutting out the feathers for her Dream Catcher Window and the only thing left to cut is the background!   Mary actually cut the ribbon pieces while she was at home and she did a wonderful job getting them to essentially fit even though they aren't ground already.

With all of the 'cloth' cut out for the background of her Sacred Hearts Window, Melissa focused on grinding the pieces into place.  Once they fit together she'll cut fold lines into them which will ensure a perfect fit.  It's all about perfection with this window and Melissa certainly has achieved that already.

Myrt found her Geometric Suncatcher that she had forgotten about under the table this week and got that ground so she could take it home and wrap it.  Then she moved along to her Pair of Cardinals Window which is already recognizable even though not a single piece has been ground.  That's called good cutting!

With all of her borders attached Tracey is now ready to begin soldering her very long Address Window.  It's now too large for me to fit in a picture unless I set the window on the floor and hold the camera above my head.   Do you know where she lives?  I'll give you a clue as to what the street number is....


Patrice started another Sunflower Window this week and she's already well under way on it.  There is no doubt at all that she be grinding on this window when she comes back in because she's done this once before and the second time through a project always goes much faster.

Rowena worked on two projects this week, the first being a UL Suncatcher and the second being a suncatcher representing her Alma Mater.    With just a flag pole left to cut out and grind, Rowena will be able to start wrapping these suncatchers even before she comes back to class if she wants.

Susan R only has to fill in one missing piece and then she'll be ready to tack this Chef together and get the border attached.  You've got to love that glass of wine he's holding up because it was cut from a single piece of glass.   There was actually a spot on the purple glass that ran completely clear which made for a fortuitous  piece to utilize in her window.

And that about wraps things up on this 4th of July Week!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks