Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Two Corn Dogs And A Giant Horsefly

The biggest problem we see in our classes stems from students believing that if something doesn't fit well (even by just a little bit) that it won't matter in the end.  Sadly, it will matter a lot.  It a piece extends beyond the line of the pattern then it will start pushing multiple pieces off track.   Once you have 4 or 5 pieces extending over the line you're project will be  askew in multiple directions.  If your glass hangs over the pattern line then you HAVE to fix it before continuing.  There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

In the picture below only the piece on the far right is ground correctly.  Can you tell where the problems lie in the first two pieces?

Yes, the piece on the left is too high on the top of the curve.  The line on the pattern is NOT visible there which means that problems will surely occur later on.  The problem with the middle piece is that it hangs far too low on the pattern.  A heavy skim across the bottom of the piece on the grinder will fix that quickly.  The winner is the piece on the right which has been ground perfectly to show pattern line all around it.   If you can see that pattern line around all of your pieces then your windows will go together smoothly and effortlessly.  That's a fact.

Speaking of smoothly and effortlessly, Beth's Bird Of Paradise Window went together just that way.  It's also a wonderful mix of color as well.   She's been working exclusively in the shop to help hone her stained glass skills without developing bad habits that can get by us when students do a lot of work at home.  I have to say that her ability to utilize color has really come into focus with this window because it's perfect!

Patrice finished her latest Sunflower Window and was rushing the clock to do so.   By the time she left the window was all soldered so after she left I added hooks and the colored it for her.  She's got her next project picked out and will start that upon her return.

Angie's got a Sunflower Window of her own completed this week and you can see that she went with not only a different color scheme, but a different hanging orientation as well.   Diversity is the key to fun stained glass!


Carol  got her Grateful Dead Window all soldered but since she's coloring it black she didn't have the time to let the black patina set.  So she began working on her next project-- Kaleidoscopes!!!!  You can see she's got the four color wheels just about ready to be wrapped and that's the hardest part of these kaleidoscopes.

This week Cindy worked on the letters that spell NAQUIN'S  across the top of her Rosie the Dog Window.   they aren't just cut out but ground as well.   When we next see this Cindy will certainly have the background cut for the the name ROSIE along the bottom.

Jeannette's Cross Window is certainly a work in progress because she's ore or less designing it as it goes together.   She decided to trace the outer edges of the beveled cross with some blue glass to help prevent the cross from becoming lost in all of that clear glass and to help tie it in with the blue border that she wanted to use.   Perfection! 


Linda L has all of the sea life in her Underwater Scene tacked together and has moved along to the long sections of water which join everything together.  Using two sheets of blue glass she's able to cut most of the water from one piece ensuring that the grain of the glass lines up perfectly.  


Jan's got everything but the final border cut for her Poppies Window which means that we'll see how this interesting border assembly looks when she returns.  It already looks great but the final border will tie everything together perfectly and knock it out of the ballpark!


Lara resumed work on her latest African Woman Window and she's already got a good portion of this cut out already.  The glass that she's using for hair is the perfect texture for the job at hand but it's heavily texture on both sides of the glass making it very difficult to cut.  After considering the amount of glass we had available Lara decided to change up the thin dreadlocks in the upper left of the window and replaced them with a bun.  It still looks great to me. 

Susan R is very close to completing her Beach Sandals Suncatcher and will surely finish it upon her return.  With just the back side left to solder it won't be long now. because all it really needs at this point are two hooks and some patina fro the lead.


Wow, Tracey is really making short work of her new Cardinal Window.   It's not only all cut out but just about halfway ground as well!  I love the pattern and I love Tracey's work on this.


Susan D's Tree Of Life is filling out beautifully with each piece she grinds.  She's taken her time cutting out her pieces and finding that the grinding is going along much better than it normally does! This is already shaping up to be another highlight in her stained glass repertoire. 


Terry's Spiderman Window is all set to hang once he gets some hooks put on him and some patina on the lead.  The border glass she picked is just perfect for this application and Spiderman has never looked better.

Mary Grace started this Bird Lawn Ornament and got it all cut out and ready to be ground in just one class.  She's been making smaller projects and I think she's benifiting by working on them because it allows her to accomplish the various steps more quickly than if she were doing larger projects.


Becky S has started grinding her first of three Geometric windows and in just one night she managed to grind over two thirds of her window!   Using the pistol grip and a straight edge is really paying off because her time at the grinder has been cut down considerably.

Martha's working on her final border now and although this all clear window is hard to see on the work table, it will sparkle like mad when it's hanging with some light behind it.  She'll begin soldering this when she comes back so we'll see just how much this sparkles shortly on.

With all of the subject matter cut out for her Cardinals Window, Myrt has moved over to the grinder where she's gotten a great deal of her background all fitted together.  It won't be long now.

Brenda got the blue glass cut out for her flag and attached to her Freedom Prosthetics Window along with the two borders.  With just the back side left to be soldered Brenda is really hoping to have this completed when she comes back into class.   I hope so as well because I can't wait to see this with some light behind it. 

Roy came back in with with his Kaleidoscope Air Plane and decided to go all out and perfectly re-create  the plane he's trying to match by adding pontoons to it!  He got them assembled and will connect them to the body once he gets some sturdier brass rods to support them.


And finally there's Melissa who has begun a new window featuring Autumn Leaves inside a tangle of tree branches.   As you can see it's much prettier than the drab description I gave it and I know that with the colors that Melissa has picked out it can't be anything other than beautiful. 

And that wraps things up this week.   Come back next week to see even more finished projects and to see some new ones get started!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, August 6, 2018

When Life Gives You a Tree, Make Cake!

Our tip this week is quick and simple.  Have you ever had trouble removing pieces from a  project after they've been ground and put into place?  Of course you have.  If your project involves a lot of small pieces (like the one I'm working on) then removing one single piece can lead to a multitude of pieces popping up all around the one you're after.   Well there's an easy way to get around this problem and all it requires is a straight pin and your pair of breaker/grozier pliers.  Just grab the extreme point of the pin (just a sixteenth of an inch works well) and twist the pin so that the point is at a right angle as in the picture below.

With this tool you can slide the pin in between two pieces of glass, rotate it so the point is under the piece you want to remove, and then simply lift upward.  No fuss, no muss, and no more pieces all over your work surface!  Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

Now get ready for this because Melissa's Sacred Hearts Window is truly a work of art.  It's hard to believe that Melissa is one of our newest students because she turns out work that looks as though she's been doing stained glass for years.   It's her attention to detail that makes this window special-- that and the excellent choice of colors.  The thorns around the entwined stems of roses were made by flattening out some brass channel and them cutting them into triangular shapes which were then soldered into the lead line.   It sounds easy enough but as Melissa was putting a bead on them they wanted to flat out of the lead line so they had to be held down by the tip of each point with a sharp wooden dowel.  It was a lot of work but the end result is just astounding.  She also changed her mind about using green for the border and I must say that the orange/red glass that she used was clearly the correct choice.  Beautiful.

Roy finished his Family Crest Window while he was home and brought it in this week so we could see just how wonderfully it turned out.  He drew up the pattern for this on his own and did most of the work for it while at home and I have to say that this is a job well done.  VERY well done in fact!  Anyone would be proud to hang this in their window.

 Mary Grace finished working on this delightful Frog Lawn Ornament that she had begun just last week.  She's really getting the art of grinding down as her pieces are fitting together wonderfully-- even the deep inside sections that normally give other students so much trouble.  This is a cute one for sure!

Jeannette is back!   Not only is she back, she also completed her second Beveled Window that has been in the works for a while.  Hospital stays have a way of slowing things down but Jeannette has bounced back by completing this window on her first visit back to class.  It's elegant and the workmanship is exquisite which is always two tell-tale signs of Jeannette's work.

 Rowena's Airplane Kaleidoscopes are leaving the hanger because they are ready to fly.  She finished both of these this week largely due to the fact that she was able to make her color propeller wheels while she was at home.   She came in, tacked them together, attached the center bushings to them, adjusted the wheels so they spin evenly,  and then soldered them quickly and efficiently.   The center triangular image in the picture below is a still shot of what you see when you look through the back of these planes.

Betty's newest Madonna and Child Suncatcher is, as always, beautiful.  This was made with just five subdued colors of glass giving it a soft look to match it's subject matter.

Barbara H has begun work on a Humming Bird and Fuchsia Window which she's already making great strides with in just one class.  She has only 20 pieces left to cut before she starts grinding this and I think those 20 pieces will be cut out before she leaves  next week.

Roxane is also back!   She's on a roll now so hopefully we'll see her on a regular basis again.  This week she completed the foiling of her Compass Rose Window and it's now ready to be tacked together.   Although this started off as a round window, Roxane is thinking about squaring it off so it will fit into a door that she has.  We'll see what she decides to do with this when she returns next week.

Betty is really in the Christmas Spirit because not only did she completed her Madonna and Child Suncatcher, she also began work on this Noel Window as well.  With the striking red background all cut out this will be nearing completion when we see hit again in three weeks.  Yep, Betty is on the road yet again!

Linda L got the turtle that she was working on last week all ground and tacked together.  The glass she used for this turtle is some of the toughest glass I've ever tried to cut so you know that Linda spend a lot of time at the grinder to get it fitting together as perfectly as it does.  This week she started grinding a pair of Dolphins and things will surely come together in a big way once those are tacked together.


Terry's been working on a Spiderman Window at home and this week she brought it in to continue grinding and wrapping.   There's no doubt that this is Spiderman and that's a good thing because I've been online and have seen some Spiderman windows that were almost completely unrecognizable save for the colors!   Needless to say, Terry is doing fantastic work here. 


Tracey started work on a new window this week and since she took the pattern home with her last week she was able to come back to class completely prepared.   When she walked in the door she headed over to a sheet of red glass that she purchased last week and started tracing and  cutting out her new Cardinal Window.  Once she finished with the red glass she moved along to the magnolia petals which she completed before class ended.  It certainly looks as though this project will be another quick window for Tracey!


This week we also got to see the humble beginnings of Lara's newest African themed window.  Based on a mosaic piece of art, Lara is turning it into stained glass.  Of course, we'll be showing you how it evolves into a completed window in the weeks to come.

Susan D is grinding and assembling all of the pieces to her Tree Of Life Window and it's already looking to be a show stopper.  Her use of color here is impeccable and the pattern (that she redesigned herself) is right on target to be a beautiful window regardless of the colors used.   Alas,  her choice of colors is the icing on this Tree Of Life's cake. 


After completing her Beveled Window Jeannette moved on to this next similar project-- a beveled Cross Window.  This week she wrapped all of the bevels and next week she'll cut the inner blue pieces and a border to finish it all off.


Susan R got her Circular Beach Sandals Panel all cut out the last time we saw her and this week it only took her 40 minutes to grind everything because she used the pieces next to the piece she was working on as a template to grind from.  This small and simple trick saves so much time and fixes so many cutting issues-- I just can't stress it enough.  Before the class ended Susan had everything wrapped and it looks as though this will be completed upon her return.

Beth got the center section of her Bird Of Paradise Window all tacked together and then proceeded to cut, skim, wrap, and attach a border.   Now that all of that is done she's taken her window home with her to begin soldering it.   She doesn't have a channel on the outside edge yet but all of the glass that makes up this window has been attached so she's free to solder the front side and then flip it over to solder the back. 

Patrice is just three weeks into her Stylized Sunflower Window and she's ready to start soldering it!   Patrice has some mad cutting and grinding skills because she just flies through that kind of work.  And did I mention her foiling abilities?  They're as impressive as her window is!


Brenda's Freedom Prosthetics Window is nearing completion as she really only has the blue part of the flag left to add to it.   The blue glass has been picked and she's painted white stars on it as well for that extra 'umph' factor!  The glass is in the Kiln now so the paint will be fired onto the glass and ready to be cut into shape when Brenda returns.

Becky S has all of the glass cut for her 3 Geometric Windows and here you can see how they will be installed.   The two designs compliment each other perfectly and Becky has made sure that the colors help tie this trio of windows together as well.  Hopefully these pieces will only need to be skimmed before she can start wrapping her glass.   She's used a straight edge and a pistol grip cutter while cutting her pieces so (as you can see) everything lines up beautifully already even though they haven't been ground.


Mary Grace also got far enough along on this Tulip Suncatcher that she can already begin soldering it.  That means that we'll see this delicate flower design completed upon her return.

Now this is something that you don't see every day (just once a week if you're a regular reader of this Blog).   The Grateful Dead's Logo has never looked better if I do say so myself!  And it's all because of the wonderful work that Carol has put into it.   All of her lines match perfectly and the use of pure black for the border that she cut and added this week was perfect.   I have a sneaking suspicion that this will be completed when we next see it.

Cindy has moved along to the letters on her Rosie The Dog Window.  This week she cut out the letters that spell out ROSIE, ground them, wrapped them and even tacked them together.   Next week we'll see those letters get their background glass attached and then Cindy will move to the name on the top of the window.

Mary came into class, assumed a position at a grinder and spent the night grinding her Dreamcatcher Window that she's moved back to.   She's ground upward along the right hand side and wow is she ever making great progress.  With almost half of this ground I believe that she'll be completing this window MUCH faster than I previously thought she would!

Angie is making her own version of the Stylized Sunflower design and she's going with an inner beveled border.  Her colors are vibrant and her background  really SPARKLES!

Shelley has all of the grinding done on her Buxom Wine Ladies Window and you can now clearly see just what this window looks like.  I've got to say that it's every bit as cute as the Chef Window that she made just a few weeks ago.  With most of this wrapped I'll wager a bet that this gets its borders attached when Shelley returns to class next week.

Roy also began work on a Monoplane Aeroscope this week got all of the body put together.   This differs from the other planes that we've been seeing because it only has one wing along the top of the plane.   The fuselage itself is the same which means that it will have the same view that Rowena's planes have, but the wire work on this was very different.  It's the wire work that prevents the wings from just bending off so it's not only decorative but functional as well.    With just the propeller color wheels left to go on, Roy nearly has this completed.

And that about wraps things up this week!