Thursday, January 24, 2019

She Had An Epiphany

It's been a long time since I've posted the progress of our Weekend Workshops but my New Years Resolution for 2019 is to post each and every workshop that we have.  Last week Tessie, Angie and Roxane spent two days with us making three windows that all turned out to be nothing short of spectacular.   Here's how all that was done.

It takes 2 copies of a pattern to make a window.   The first is drawn on regular paper, the second is traced from the first pattern onto poster board using good old fashion carbon (tracing) paper.  The poster board is then cut apart into all of the individual pieces that make up the window.  Below you can see the pattern pieces (grouped by color) on top of of the pattern that we build our glass on.

The pattern pieces are then laid out onto the glass and traced using a permanent Ultra Fine Point Sharpie Marker.  

We then separate the pieces of glass using a glass cutter and when that's been completed we cut along all of the lines we traced.  As the pieces are cut out of glass we lay them on the pattern allowing us to see the project come together.

Once all the glass has been cut we put a Square in the lower left corner and begin grinding each piece so that it matches the pattern perfectly.   Glass cutting is not an exact process and every piece must have its edges ground whether it fits or not.  In the image below Tessie has the bottom half of her Fleur De Lis ground and fitting together wonderfully. 

Once everything fits together each glass piece is 'wrapped' with a copper foil that surrounds the edges and overlaps onto the front and back side of the glass.   Lead won't stick to glass and it's the copper foil that allows us to melt and affix lead to the window and hold everything together.  You can see that Angie has all of the colored pieces of her Mask foiled.   The clear background pieces have yet to be wrapped.

Here's a look at Tessie's window with all of the pieces wrapped and ready to be soldered.  There are still no border pieces cut because we do that AFTER the main window has been soldered (or tacked) together.   Doing a border this way ensures that everything lines up perfectly straight.

With her border attached and the front side of her window all soldered, Roxane moved along to the back side of her Address Window.  Yes, both sides need to be soldered or the window would eventually flex and fall apart. 

After everything has been soldered we wash the window and then go over it with a chemical called Copper Sulfate (sometimes referred to as simply 'patina').  The patina reacts with the lead and causes it to change from silver to a copper color as you'll see in each of the completed projects below.

Here's Tessie's Stylized Fleur De Lis.  No bad at all for a beginner or even a seasoned glass cutting professional!   Tessie made cutting glass look easy but it's her soldering skills that really impressed me.   

Next we look at Angie's Mardi Gras Mask Window.   Her symmetry in this is spot on and in a window like this it's really what either makes or breaks the design.   In this case the design is perfection as is Angie's work.

Last but not least we look at Roxane's Address Window.  Of the three windows made  last weekend, this is the one that shows how much of a difference having a little light behind the window can make.   While it was on the table the colors were muted and cold.  Now that there's a little light behind the window you can truly see the colors come out.  And just for the record, Roxane finished this in record time!

So there you have it.   Three windows, from start to finish in two 8 hour sessions.  As always, taking time out to eat was fun as well!  We'll be having a Fusing Workshop in February where a Mardi Gras Plate will be made so expect to see a post about that in 3 or 4 weeks .

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

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