Monday, December 10, 2018

There's Something Lumpy On My Stomach

This weeks tip explains how the angle of your soldering iron controls how much leads flows off of it.  Many times I see students soldering with the iron almost parallel to their project.   When you solder with your iron low to the surface of your window the lead can't flow off the tip of your iron and your bead won't be smooth.

You actually want you iron to be more upright so that the ball of solder that melts at the tip of the iron can flow off of the tip easily to form a nice smooth bead.

With that in mind, when you touch up your window after all of the soldering has been completed you may find that you have excess solder in places.  To move that solder to other areas that might not have enough solder simply angle your iron so that the handle is closer to the window and the lead can be 'pulled' to other areas.   So then, while soldering you next window play with the angle of your iron and pay attention to what the solder does because you may find you have a new trick to help make your lead lines look better than ever.

First up in our completed projects is Roxane's Compass Rose Window which was certainly worth the wait because it is a stunning piece of work.  Roxane hasn't lost her soldering talents because the lead work on this window is every bit as great as the design itself.  Rumor has it that Jeannette is working on one of these also. I'll know for sure tomorrow when she comes into class.

Next we have Mary Grace who put the finishing touches on her Birdhouse and Blue Birds Panel.  Those finishing touches included adding two glass beads for eyes so that her birds weren't blind.  You just solder a thin piece of wire where you want the eye, thread the bead onto the wire and then snip the wire so it reaches the nearest lead line before soldering the loose end to secure the bead.   Hmmmmm, that sounds like it could easily become a tip of the week shortly!

Here's the newest Lawn Ornament pattern that we have thanks to Carol.   She brought in the picture and I patternized it rather easily since it was such a nice picture.   After she completed all of the glass work and soldering Carol asked me to put a stake on it for her and without thinking I attached it by running the stake behind the tail feathers to give them some added support.   Sadly, I wasn't thinking about how the bird would look AT ALL in that position and we had to remove it because, well, it just plain looked silly (take a look at the end of this post).  It looks great now though as you can plainly see.

Susan D was able to complete one of her Dragonfly Suncatchers as well as a 3D Humming Bird.   She's got her second Dragonfly all wrapped and pinned into place on a work board so don't be surprised to see that in with our completed projects next week.


Sheri resumed work on her second circular Butterfly Window and even managed to complete it before she called it a day.   The differences between this and her first Butterfly are subtle but noticeable when pointed out.   In this version the border is made from a clear textured glass, and the butterfly's body has been made out of blue glass globs.   Very nice indeed.


Speaking of finishing second projects, Roy  Completed his second LSU and Tiger Paws Window and it's every bit as perfect as his first one was.  Nice straight lines make this window a study in excellence.  Go LSU!

And we finish our completed projects this week with an Address Window that I made for Roxie who is a a former student.   The one she made is still in use 8 years later and she wanted her son to have one as well, albeit with his numbers rather than hers.  We may see more of this design later on because two students commented how much they liked this when they saw it hanging in the shop.


As for our projects that are in the works, this week we see that Terry has started making a Christmas Panel Lamp and she has a whole caboodle of glass cut out for it.   In fact, she may even have everything cut already.   There are a ton of pieces in each of these panels but if anyone can handle it, Terry can.


Susan R came in and tacked together the flower and the leaves in her 20's Lady Window and then started cutting out the hat and hair.  I keep playing around with the lips on her pattern so you'll be seeing them change week to week.   Currently I feel that they look too pouty, but I'll get them perfect by the time Susan needs to cut them out-- don't worry about that.


Our second 'Lady' window is being made by Brenda who began cutting glass for this Salon sign.  She's making the hair out of assorted (but matching) colors to give this a colorful and playful look.  I don't think that this will take Brenda very long because aside from the numbers in the lower left the rest of the cuts are Nice 'n Easy.

Patrice is VERY much into the whole stained glass experience because, as you can see, she's almost finished with her Houston Texans Logo and she's only two weeks into it!  She's soldering the back side of it now and she's already got her next pattern picked out so she's ready to move along.


♪ ♫ O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter!
Du grünst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit,
Nein auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter! ♫ ♪

 (Christmas Tree by Carol)

Lara is working on a pair of Cabinet Door inserts for her Kitchen and the design matches her backsplash perfectly.   She's got two thirds of the first window cut out already and the center sections of the second one ready to be ground so this will be a nice quick project for her.

Tracey moves very quickly these days and managed to get all of her Mother Mary And Child Panel ground while she was in class.  She'll wrap this while at home between classes and when we see it again she'll surely get a border attached and start the soldering process!


Jan's Three Trees Window was sort of cut out when we last saw it but this week she was able to get ALL of the glass cut, ground, AND wrapped!  That's a lot of work in a little time but there's a trick to cutting this window which I promise to show you soon.   Now that this is all cut and fitting together I can say that I was correct-- this IS a stunning window!

Mary is so very close to finishing her Santa Clause Window.  This week she tacked it together and then attached not one but two borders.   The only thing left to do is cut the glass for the face and eyes.  We saved that for last so she could tack all the other pieces together which would prevent the eyes from shifting as she works on them.   Nothing screws up a face more than eyes that aren't positioned perfectly.  She cut the beard in the same way that she'll do the face and as you can see the beard turned out beautifully.  First she cut one piece of grey to the size of the beard and then she cut that one piece up into the 12 individual pieces to give it some 'texture'.  You can see the piece before it was cut in the lower right of the picture.

With the center of her Houston Astro's Window completely ground and wrapped, Linda L was able to tack that together and then cut and grind the orange inner border.   Then she even got that attached as well!   Linda will start working on the large letters that spell out Houston Astro's next.   This is looking nice indeed.


With her background all cut out and tacked into place, Rowena is now working on her double borders.   She's already got the first one cut and the second one will go on when she returns.   I'm loving it!


Becky B  got even  more glass cut out for her Japanese Magnolia Window and it's starting to take shape now so you can really get a feel for the colors. Once the green leaves are in place the flower itself will really stand out from the pattern it's placed on so this is only going to look better and better with each passing week.

Barbara H is working on her version of the Santa Claus again and she managed to get a lot cut out in one class.  She's working on her cutting skills and it looks like she's getting the hang of it now because by the end of the class she was getting some nice complex cuts out pretty easily.  You can see that Barbara has Santa's beard still in one piece.   She'll cut that down into its individual pieces after everything is ground, wrapped, and tacked.

Martha  only has a few pieces left to grind before she starts wrapping her pair of Cardinals Window.   I'm still loving how she's getting things to fit on this project and as you can see she's only got 12 pieces left to go.

Becky S had to put her Egret Window on hold as her son needed a Butterfly Lawn Ornament for a gift.   In just one night Becky traced her pattern, cut out her 23 pieces of glass, ground all of those pieces, and then wrapped them.  Whew!!!   This will surely be completed upon her return.

Cindy is working on a new clear Cross Suncatcher although this one has a slight amount of color in it since she's using iridized glass.   Surprisingly enough, it's actually showing in the picture (which is something iridized glass rarely does in pictures).

Lastly we take a look at  Angie's Window.  Wait, she covered it up and took it out to the car before I could get a picture of it!  Nuts!  Oh well, here's a small pile of glass scraps that she left behind next to two cutters and my favorite broken straight edge.

And there you have it.   We have only two more weeks worth of classes before Christmas gets here so expect things to heat up as students finished their Christmas orders!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, December 3, 2018

That's a Hell of a Way To Get Your Pork

We have so much to show you that we're just going to dive head first into our students projects this week.  But I will say that our tip next week will explain why the angle that you hold your soldering iron while soldering is so important.

Now let's start things off with Sheri who completed her round and VERY colorful Butterfly Window.   Her cutting and grinding is meticulous and it really shows in her finished piece.  I have to say that her glass choices are perfect (to me) as each of the colors are of similar textured glass.  

Shelley finished her Once Upon a Time Evil Queen Window and I have to say that it turned out lovely.   Good Queens should hope to look as attractive as this evil one does.   Shelley went the extra mile on this and even added red glass paint for the fingernails and then painted the solder that makes up the queens necklace pendant with a silver glitter nail polish to make it really sparkle.   I just wish it showed up in the photograph.

Lara's African Woman Window was finished this week and it looks very stylish indeed.  Changing the hairstyle was a good move and my only complaint about this window is that I didn't get a better picture of it.   I had changed the exposure level in the camera on a previous picture and forgot to change it back which blew out the clears and whites in this picture.   I've edited it as best I can and although I'm not thrilled, the picture gets the point across.   Lara really did great work on this regardless of what my photography shows.

Cindy completed her Santa Face Window with plenty of time to spare for Christmas.  She makes one of these a year and always has great luck selling them.   Her mixing of two different whites in his beard gives this window a nice added touch of realism.  Ho Ho Ho!

Patrice's Humming Bird and Morning Glories Window is officially finished and the end result is amazing.   Patrice mastered the art of grinding so quickly that it's almost scary.  This is going to make a wonderful gift indeed.

Carol finished this charming (and complex) snowman suncatcher while she was in class with us this week and she even has two more ready to go together.   I don't think I need to spell it out for you because you can easily see for yourself that these are cute!

Beth finished her Iris Window with nary a second to spare!   She's still got some lingering doubt about her abilities but I think she's got nothing to worry about as she understands that slow and steady wins the race.  We're sadly loosing Beth as a student and our lives will never be the same. But we'll still see her from time to time.  Friendship last forever!  (I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want.)

Cindy also finished her clear textured Cross Suncatcher and it really turned heads in all of our other classes. Expect to see a few more of these over the weeks to come.

Jeannette completed her pair of Mickey and Minnie Mouse suncatchers and even has a third almost completed as well.  These are truly delightful and are actually fairly easy to make as well but it could be that Jeannette makes it all look easy.

Angie started this Rose Window just last week and here we are one week later looking at it hanging up already.   She worked quickly and efficiently on this and the finished window is lovely indeed.

Tracey now has her third Cardinal window completed and says that it will be a while before she makes another of these.  A Mary And Child are up next for Tracey.

Jan has started what I think is going to be a spectacular Christmas Tree Window.   There's a simple elegance in this design that I think everyone is going to fall in love with.   And the icing on the cake is that this is SOOOOO easy to make.   In just one 3 hour class  most of her glass has been cut and ground.

Here are the other two snowmen that Carol is making. The clothing may be different colors but the pattern is the same.   I also showed her how to make these a tad bit easier to grind so if she does any more, well, we'll see if you can spot the difference.

Becky B is now cutting glass for her round Magnolia Window.  She's using a glass with a light flamingo color to it thus changing the standard Magnolia into Japanese Magnolia.   This is a wonderful change to a pattern that's makes it totally Becky's.

Roxane is back and she's now got the second side of her Compass Rose And Anchor Window completely soldered.   Next week she'll wash this window, color it and then move along to an Angel Suncatcher! 


Linda L  spent her class time grinding the center circular section of her Houston Astros Window and it's really looking great (ignore the upside down word at the top-- it's not the actual pattern).   She'll tack this together before she does the center border that surrounds what you see cut out because that's the best way to handle circular borders as Sheri can tell you.

After completing her Humming Bird and Morning Glories Window Patrice immediately began working on her Houston Texans window.   Once she got all of her pieces cut out she realized that the star was supposed to be white!   I've been in similar situations myself.  What you do is stand up, dust yourself off and start re-cutting!


Mary Grace has all of her Birdhouse window cut and ground as of this week and she was able to get a channel attached to it and the front side soldered as well.  This window is practically a done deal! 


Susan R has the flower for her 20's Flapper Woman all ground and now has the green leaves cut out as well. She's currently at the point where she's trying to decide on the colors that will make up the rest of this window and I think we'll see some of those decisions upon her return.

Martha has almost all of her Pair Of Cardinals Window ground now.    Once these have been foiled (and I'm thinking she'll begin foiling next week) she'll be able to tack these together and then use the actual glass pieces as a pattern for her background glass.  I'm loving how perfectly everything is fitting together in this window and I'm loving the colors as well.


MiMi is working at a nice steady pace and her Industrial Fleur De Lis is looking better and better each week.  The toughest part of this project is almost behind her now and I know she's going to be thrilled at the look of this once the heavy lead sections are tacked together and the window REALLY takes shape.

Terry resumed work on the top panel of her spiraling Flowers Window and is getting close to the wrapping phase of this project.   Her mix of clear and baroque glass for the background has been used perfectly in this design.  It won't be long now.

When Rowena came into class we had to tell her that the glass that she had ordered the week before hadn't arrived yet.   An hour later the glass was delivered and Rowena was able to start cutting it.   As you can see, she got the biggest piece of her background cut and soldered into place leaving just smaller pieces left to go before she moves along to the borders of this spectacular window.

Roy  is making major headway on his newest LSU Window.   With most of this cut out he'll be grinding before you know it.  As I ALWAYS say, when you make something a second time it ALWAYS gets finished much quicker than the first one did.

Becky S  took the pieces to her first of two Egret Windows home to wrap and was thrilled when she was able to turn up the time to finish wrapping everything that she has cut and ground.  When she came in she laid everything out on her pattern and now you can truly get a feel for what this window is going to look like when it's completed.  She's working on the top section of the tree next.

Susan D has a humming bird and two dragonflies all cut out and ready to be wrapped.   I have a funny feeling that she'll get these three pieces together quicker than you can say 'Mosquito Hawk'

Sheri not only finished her first butterfly-- she also resumed work on her second Butterfly as well.   She's making adjustments to this one along the way by changing the body entirely and since she wasn't completely thrilled with the border on the last one she'll be swapping out the green border (There's a piece if it in the picture below) and using a different color on altogether.

Linda F worked on a Modern Cross Suncatcher and by the time class was finished she had all of her glass cut, ground, wrapped and ready for solder.  That's impressive indeed.

Brenda is about to start on a new project featuring a woman's head with flowing hair.   It's a window that will be going in a Salon and the 818 in the bottom left is the the street address.  That makes this window stylish, functional and practical all at the same time!

There you have it.  We featured 12 completed projects this week and I think that may be a record.   That means we have a new number to shoot for next year (or possibly this year yet!)