Monday, February 18, 2019

Get It Away From My Face

We're starting off with a tip that we've shared numerous times but really needs to be stressed.   One of the most important things to remember is that solder will not conceal bad foiling. In fact, bad foiling ALWAYS leads to bad soldering-- this is a fact.  When you overlap your foil at the end of your piece you should never go much further than 1/4 of an inch over the foil. Any more is just asking for trouble. Next, burnish the outside one eighth edge of the glass with your burnishing tool of choice followed by the top and then the underside. If your foil doesn't line up perfectly (as in the image below) you MUST trim the overhang with a razor knife or an Exacto blade. Start with your blade at the large end of the overhang (the red arrow) and then pull downward while applying firm pressure. With a little practice the blade with follow the edge of the foil underneath the overhang giving you a perfectly clean straight edge. Eliminating these 'stair steps' will make your soldering look less like a the work of a beginner and more like a professional.

Jeanne M finished her first window and this Geometric Design turned out beautifully indeed.  Her lines all connect nicely and her soldering was incredible when you consider that this was her first real go at it.   Jeanne is advancing nicely in class and even has a new pattern picked out already which, like this window,  will turn heads when people see it.

Susan R's 1920's Woman is an impressive window indeed.   I love the design and the beaded necklace sets it all off in a very rich way.   Susan went with very demure colors for the majority of the window which brings the vibrant red rose, green leaves, and pink lips out nicely.   This is a study in color as much as it is a woman's profile.  


Linda L put the finishing touches on her Houston Astros Window and the level of precision she's achieved on this is nothing short of impressive.  Perfect curving circles surrounding lines that are as straight as an arrow make this Linda's newest standout piece.  Let's just say that she knocked this window clean out of the ball park!


Linda F's Flower Basket is officially behind her as she added some small hooks and then washed and colored it while in class.  Measuring only 10 inches tall, you know that the pieces in this are minuscule indeed.   This was a labor of love but as much as Linda loves it, she's thrown the pattern away because she knows that she'll never make one of these again (unless it's considerably larger).


Susan D was true to her word and came into class with all of the pieces to her Owl Suncatcher wrapped in copper foil.  She then set upon soldering this multi-colored bird and by the time class ended she had it completed.   Susan's colors are striking and her symmetry is perfection in this one of a kind Owl.


Jeannette put the finishing touches on her Mardi Gras Window well ahead of time so it can decorate her house for Fat Tuesday.  She's been working on different themes in this size for a while now and each windows gets done quicker than the last one.  And this wasn't all she accomplished...

Jeannette also started and completed this modern Cross suncatcher which she's embellished with fancy preformed wires that also act as hangers. Beautiful.

Rowena had all of the glass cut and ground for two of these beautiful 3D Bee Lawn Ornaments.   By the time class ended both Bees were finished and ready to be sold at the show that Rowena will be doing soon.  She's really churning out the projects and I know she'll do great because she never does less than perfection.

Betty's two Cross/Heart/Rose Windows make a lovely pair indeed.   And just look how perfectly they match one another.  I honestly had to zoom in and check the textures on the glass to be sure that I didn't take two pictures of the same window!   That shows how perfectly Betty followed the pattern which attests to her ability to follow a pattern.

Roy has made INCREDIBLE progress on his Cane Window and I will state loud and clear that this is one of my favorite windows ever.  Lately we've been seeing some incredible designs that most stained glass enthusiasts would find intimidating but our students regularly take the bull by the horns and power on through tough but beautiful projects.   I'm already in love with this!

Barbara H has all but the face of her Santa Claus Window tacked together.   The beard will go quickly so there's actually a good chance that all of the glass for this (save for the borders) will be finished upon Barbara's return.  I know she's anxious to begin something new and it won't be long now.

Betty is also busy working on this popular peacock pattern that Martha is working on as well.   As you can tell by the number of yellow pin heads in the picture, Betty managed to get all of her pieces ground before she left.  It will be interesting to watch these two Peacocks come together because they are both being made with different color schemes.

Lara worked on getting the deer portion of her latest window ground and when that was accomplished she began wrapping her glass.  Once the Deer is tacked together the background will go very quickly so this is nearing completion already.  


Jeff has one of his cloud panels all ground and tacked together while the second one is extremely close to becoming completely ground.  There's a sun in his immediate future as these clouds will soon be parting and then Jeff will move along to 2 new panels.

Melissa's Pieta Window gained more human definition this week as Melissa cut the lips for Mary and then laid them out on the glass which we will be firing for her before she comes back in.   Once all of the pieces that surround Mary's face have been tacked together Melissa will slide the bottom part of the face under the surrounding pieces and position it until it looks natural.   Then she'll trace it out, cut it, and fit it into place.


Tracey  began working on two Cross Suncatchers and with one completely ground and the second one almost finished, she'll surely be soldering these when she comes back into class.   This is a favorite pattern of mine and Tracey's rendition is a good as it could possibly be.


Terry, never one to slow down,  only has the second side of her latest flower window left to solder.   Her use of baroque glass is what really sets this window off and makes it so memorable.    I'm hoping to see this when it's finished but Terry may very well complete this while at home and bring in something new when she returns. 


MiMi's work has gone to the dogs, literally!   You have to admit that the colorful life preserver has completely prevented this from becoming just another dog design.  And just wait until you see the snorkel get cut out!


Kerry started working on his Ukulele Flag Window and made some great progress in just one class since he basically just has the blue and brown pieces left to cut.  The cutting of one of the ukulele inset will involve a glass saw but everything else will be cut by hand. The pattern itself was sketched out by his son which means that this is a special window for Kerry to be working on.  

Mary's Rose Window is proof positive that Mary is now a master of the art of stained glass.   She's moving along at an astounding rate of speed on this project without sacrificing her high standard of perfection.  I have no doubt that this window will be completed upon her return and I cant wait to see what she decides to do next.

Cindy was so very close to competing her Art Nouveau Window.  I'm actually happy that it wasn't finished this week because this is another post which features a large amount of completed windows that this might just have gotten lost in.  With just the channel and some hooks to go you can rest assured that this window will be completed upon Cindy's return. 

Jeanne L has finished grinding all of the pieces to her Humming Bird panel and this is anther example of a student paying attention to every little detail.   It's a fact that detailed fitting is absolutely essential when you are making a small window.   The slightest miscalculation on a small piece actually affects a larger  portion of the piece which in turn can throw off the entire look.   Jeanne has nothing to worry about at all because this looks GREAT!

Martha  got all of the glass cut out for her version of the Peacock Window and she's already begun grinding.   Her pieces are fitting together wonderfully and I think that she will be going with an inner border of bevels on this because, well, I'm pushing for it!


Becky S found the perfect green for her Egret Window in our last glass order and began cutting and grinding the last few remaining pieces of this large (tall) window.  It won't be long before we see what border choices Becky makes for this beautifully detailed window.  At this point she can't lose because this looks GREAT!

Jan has been grinding away on her Jessie Tree window and she's working her way steadily to the halfway point on it.  Her fitting is flawless and I have no doubt that this window will be a high water mark in her stained glass portfolio.  

Angie worked on two panels this week and got so close to finishing them that I know we'll see something new from her when she returns.   Her Flower and her Fleur De Lis Panels both only need channel and hooks to finish them off. She's been working a lot at home and isn't concerned about figuring out any problems she has on her own.  That' how you learn!

Shelley continued grinding away on her Dragonfly and Flower Window and she's making excellent progress.  As you can see it's all coming together beautifully and I don't think that she'll be on this window much longer since she only has a few more pieces to go on it.  Foiling is just two or three grinds away at this point.

Brenda is working on another textured cross but most of this glass is iridized rather than textured.  Iridized glass is tough to photograph but when it's in direct sunlight it's beauty really comes through and thus will make this cross shine indeed.

Becky B has her pattern all colored in and she's cut out those pattern pieces and traced them onto a purple/green glass which she'll begin cutting out next week.

So until next week, may all your scores lead to very little grinding! 


Monday, February 11, 2019

Focus As So

It's been a busy week so we're going to dive right on in to all of our completed projects starting with Kerry's Geometric Cross Window.I've got to hand it to him, it's hard to believe that this is his first window with us!  There's a wonderful flow of symmetry here that's usually hard for new students to attain.   Also, the colors compliment each other wonderfully allowing the design to come through without having dark or washed out areas.  Next up for Kerry is a Ukulele window.

Brenda's Salon Woman is finished!   She's done excellent work on it and really deserves a lot of credit for pulling off those letters (and numbers) so perfectly.   Text is always an issue but when you add scripted text it's even MORE difficult  because the writing MUST look neat.   These letters (along with the rest of the window) really stand out as you can see in the two pictures below.


 Here it is at home in its window!

Angie was productive while at home as she turned out another Heart/Rose/Cross window and an Apple Window that will be a gift for a teacher.   When she came in the only thing she needed were channels and a border for the heart window.  After soldering the back sides she completed them both before it was time to head back home.


Jeff completed the panel that he started working on a few weeks ago and did a fantastic job on the soldering as well as the cutting and fitting processes.   This is one of 12 panels that will fill in a window with different pictures revolving around weather/seasons themes.  You see another panel this same size that Jeff is also working on a little further on down below.


Martha's Pair Of Cardinals Window is finished and turned out spectacular.  Her stained glass skills are putting Martha on the top tier along with our most accomplished students.   All those little pieces didn't intimidate her and she never once said the words I hate the most: "That's close enough."


Carol worked on hand mirrors this week and dressed this Geometric Hand Mirror up by putting a piece of mirror in the bottom diamond rather than a bevel.  This one went together easily for her but the second mirror has far more pieces in it (as you'll see later on).  Still, I have no doubt that we'll look at that one in its completed form next week.

Jeannette made this festive Mardi Gras Suncatcher, the first of many that we will be seeing.  I've passed out a few variations of Mardi Gras Mask patterns so be aware that this is the start of more to come.

Tracey got her Eagle/Flag Window completely soldered this week, front AND back!   I don't think she had any idea at all that she'd be taking this finished window home with her when she walked into class but here it is hanging with some light behind it and looking GREAT!


Rowena was a VERY busy woman during the week!   Here are just four of 6 completed projects that she walked out the door with.   The Doves are suncatchers but the Easter Rabbit and Butterfly are Lawn Ornaments.   She also had two more butterflies but she decided to wash them at home.


Brenda didn't just finish her Salon window-- she also put the finishing touches on this clear fancy cross complete with bevels.   And she also had enough time to let the black patina that she used sit on this piece for the full 45 minutes.  Black patina ALWAYS looks great on clear windows!

We also got to see Sheri resume work on her Traditional Window and the colors she has picked are striking.   Rather than go with a simple color scheme Sheri is adding different colors in and throughout which will make this window really stand out.  As you can see, it already does.

MiMi has started cutting glass for her newest window,  Dog in a Life Preserver and Snorkel Gear!   Yeah, yeah, you've see this window made a thousand times but knowing MiMi this is the one that will REALLY stand out in that crowd of geared up dogs!

Cindy made an impressive amount of progress on her Traditional Art Nouveau Styled Window. Everything has been cut out and most (if not all) of it has been ground.   She says she's having fun making this one and that always makes things go quickly.  Cindy even has her next project ready to be drawn up! 

Terry is making a flower window utilizing some very striated baroque glass to give the flower petals an extra bit of realism.  This will be  another unique Terry Window that will be turning heads for sure and since the subject is all cut out already I doubt it will be long before we see her moving on to something new.


Up next is the second Hand Mirror that Carol is working on.  She's got it all ground and now that the mirror has been cut it's ready to be tacked together and soldered.


Jeanne M 's Geometric Window saw a lot of work happen this week and it all started with her tack soldering the center together.  She decided to use 8 bevels in the border so we cut her border glass into  one and a half inch strips and then filled in the spaces between the bevels with pieces of these strips.  Once everything was skimmed on the grinder she wrapped her pieces, tacked it all together and finally added a small zinc channel around the perimeter of the window.   Jeanne will be putting a finished solder bead on this when she comes back in!

Lara's Deer Window is mesmerizing.   I know it's hard to see in the tiny picture below but with just 2 weeks into this project Lara appears to making a window that everyone is talking about.   Wait until you see this lit up!

Jeanne L was busy, busy, busy grinding on her Hummingbird Panel.   Usually panels are quick and easy but even though Jeanne's panel is only 11 x 11, it has a ton of little pieces in it.  We all now how tricky tiny pieces can be but Jeanne is taking her time and getting everything to fit together perfectly.  With just one flower left to go and some big background pieces she's well beyond the halfway point on this project.

Susan D continued working on her Horny Owl which has been officially ground and is now waiting to be wrapped in foil.  She tells me that it will be all wrapped when she comes back in so we'll see this with some solder on at least the front side of it when we return next week.


Jan is so full of energy now that she's retired and attending morning classes that she's setting records when it comes to speeding through projects!  With all of the glass cut for her Jessie Tree Window she has started the grinding process and as you can see, the bottom left side of this is really coming together already.

Susan R's 1920's Lady has a nice bead of solder on the front side and it's ready to to be flipped on over to its back side to complete the soldering process.   There's a great chance that we'll see this finished next week and I can't wait.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and someone has already asked me if this pattern is available.

Jeannette came in with everything that she had promised to do on her Mardi Grass Window  completed.  She got her border attached and she's now working on soldering this.  I think that all this will need is a channel and some hooks attached when she comes back in.

This week Shelley spent her time grinding away on her Dragonfly Window after getting all of the background pieces cut out.   Her color choice is wonderful (the blue sky won't be as dark when it's up in the air) and this window is really shaping up to become one of her standout pieces.

Melissa has all of Mary's veil cut out but she has to grind it all before she can work on the bottom of Mary's face since she'll be fusing the lips on.   When you fuse glass it tends to shrink so we can't actually cut it until the lips have been position and fired into place.  There's more to it than that though and we'll explain all of it in the weeks to come.

Jeff not only finished his first panel, he also got the backgrounds cut out for two of the cloud panels that he began working on last week.  He's about to start grinding these and with the first panel out of the way I know he's got a huge boost of confidence which will help him fly through these two windows.

Mary Grace got all of her pieces wrapped in her Eagle Flag Panel and then she tacked everything together.  After soldering the front side she's ready to begin working on the back side which will give her a finished window when she comes back in.  It's a wonder that she got this all accomplished considering the fact that she and I were super-glued together for a while during glass.  Talk about being stuck on you!

Patrice worked on soldering her Ragin' Cajuns Window after she got her channel attached and by the end of the day she had the front completed and had flipped her window to start on the back side.  She won't be in next week but when she does return I know that this will be a featured finished window of the week.


Betty was as busy as can be making not one but two of these Cross/Heart/Rose Panels.   By the time class ended Betty had borders on both panels as well as the final channel.   The front sides were each soldered and then Betty even got the back sides soldered as well as hooks attached.   These would have been finished but she's coloring them with black patina and she just didn't have the time to let the sit the 45 minutes we like to leave the chemicals on the lead.  

With just some Iris leaves left to cut Becky S is just about ready to work on border for her long tall Egret Window.  Even if she doesn't have the glass for the leaves we'll still be able to tack this and either begin soldering it or adding borders.

Barbara H now has all of the pieces that she had ground for her Santa wrapped and tacked together.  With everything all stabilized she'll be able to re-cut her missing pieces and handle the face without all of the rest of the pieces sliding around.  This is getting close to completion now and I know Barbara is anxious to move on to something else.

Remember all of those completed projects that Rowena had way up at the start of this post?  Well here are the two other butterflies that she completed but didn't get time to wash and wax.  As I said, she's been busy!


And in the end, Becky B is starting a new Magnolia Window and this is her pattern.  This will be a more traditional American Magnolia which is far more to her liking!


So there you have it.  Everything that happened in our classes during the second week of February!