Monday, September 16, 2019

A Free Floatin' Feather

We're going to start things off this week talking about lead lines.    When you make a window you sometimes have to put extra lines in to make certain cuts possible.   These lead lines can be very distracting and worse yet, many people add lines that they think are needed when they actually aren't.  Look at the picture of the cardinal below.   This is a window that I stumbled across while browsing the internet.  It's nice enough but all of those lead lines are so incredibly distracting that they take away from the window.

Here's the same bird but with far fewer lead lines radiating outward from it.   As you can see, most of the lines in the first image were completely unnecessary.  Doesn't this look far better? 

When adding lines to make cuts easier just remember the simple 'Y and Arrow' rule to determine if a line is needed.   If the lines form a Y as on the tail of the bird below then you most likely need to  have a lead line there.  If the line you are adding makes the point resemble an arrow (no matter how slightly) then the line is not needed.   Lead lines need to run out from points, not into points that form an arrow (no matter how slight the arrow appears).
With a little practice you'll immediately know whether a lead line is needed or not.  Practice makes perfect!

Okay then, first up we have Rowena's finished iridised Butterfly Window which turned out to be a truly beautiful window.  How beautiful?  Well, she's already begun cutting out another after seeing how nicely this turned out. Sometimes a minimalist pattern pays out in dividends which is certainly the case here.

Cindy's beveled Transom Window was completed this week and it's just dripping with elegance!   She used black patina on this project because when you're dealing with this much glass the contrast of black patina really heightens the clear effect.  Although I'm a fan of copper patina I ALWAYS use black on clear pieces.

Angie finished five different Dragonfly Flowerpot Ornaments of which we have 3 pictured below.   I always say that if you are going to do repeats of a specific pattern you should cut them all out at once, grind them all, wrap them all, and then solder them all.  Why?  Because doing them one at a time is far, far slower for some reason.   Angie is two weeks in and has 5 Dragonflies completed-- yep, that's fast! 


For the last of our finished pieces we have a Halloween Window that I've made.   This was a sort of test project for a larger New Orleans Window that I will be drawing up soon.   I always come up with changes that I wish I'd made whenever I complete a window so making this small, less detailed Skeleton has shown me a few things that I want to fix when I draw up the large version.

Jan began work on a Dragonfly Window and she's already got all of the glass cut out for it.   I love this pattern and think I may make one of these for the shop.

Kerry's began grinding his Tractor Window and he's got one of the small tires fitting together already which is one of the  tougher sections of this window.  Slow and steady will be the key togetting this detailed window to fit together.

Jeff tacked together more pieces for the second (middle) section of his window and then put the first section next to what he's currently working on to see how it's all tieing together.

Susan R finished grinding her Bass Suncatcher and began the wrapping process.   I think we'll see her soldering this upon her return because it's almost completely wrapped already.

Belinda spent her night grinding her Wine Cats and they're ready to be foiled.  There are a few pattern changes that we're dealing with by leaving blank sections in the window but those will surely be filled in during her next class.


Tracey's got her Grinch on!  She's just about ready to tack this together and then get her multi-colored border cut out and attached.    This pattern is proving to be immensely popular with a lot of our students from all of other classes.

Sheri got all of her Bumblebee and Honeycomb Suncatcher completely cut and ground this week and then for good measure, she started working on a Bumblebee and Flower Suncatcher.


Mary Grace has started working on her Archery and Rifle Window but we had a bit of a SNAFU while cutting out the poster board pattern pieces.   We had changed the arrow completely so Mary Grace retraced the new pattern on the back of the old tracing.  When I helped cut out some pattern pieces I accidentally cut from the wrong side giving us pieces that didn't matched the new pattern.   Luckily it didn't take too long to retrace everything. 

Lara had a busy night as she filled in the circular sections of the two corner of her large Peacock window.  One of the circles has already been filled in with a large peacock feather which was even tacked into place.  The flower for the second circular section at the bottom is already tacked together and only needs some background glass cut before it's soldered into position and Lara flips this window to solder the second side.

Tasha's grinding her large Cat Suncatcher and working at a nice steady pace. It may be hard to make out the subject right now but next week she'll have more of this fitting together.   The trickiest part of this will be the face because getting faces to line up involves a lot of pins and precision grinding. 

Martha's Rose Window is wrapped and ready to be tacked together.   Once that's done she can cut her background.  Again, this is the best way to do things when using a beveled border since bevels can fluctuate in size.  Wrap those bevels and tack them together BEFORE you cut or grind your background glass.


Becky S has ground even more of her Heron's wing  feathers into place which means that she'll start working on the flowers along the bottom edge soon enough.

As predicted, Annette completed the grinding on her Fido the Poodle Window and sat down to a relaxing night of glass foiling.   She's moving quickly and efficiently with her copper foil so it won't be long until this is tacked together and those missing pieces are filled  in.

Susan D's Spider Web Corner Decorations are coming together now that she's grinding them.   She has 2 large webs (one of which is pictured below) and 2 smaller webs.   Once these are done she'll work on a jeweled spider to accent these corners.

Next up we have a closeup of MiMi's Seafood Window featuring the newsprint glass that was specially made for this application.   It's got other people thinking about what they can do in a similar fashion but this application of newsprint glass will always be its defining moment.

Melissa's bird incident may have slowed her down for a minute or two but she's got her ducks back in a row (so to speak) and came to work on giving her birds some eyeballs.  She's got her next pattern picked out so it won't be long now before these are completed and flying out the door.  

Barbara got her Wisteria tacked together and then filled in her missing piece.   Once that was handled she cut out a piece of background glass into a perfect rectangle and traced the Wisteria onto it.   A few cut later she had her background cut and even ground!    Cutting your background this way always helps make things go quickly.  It's just a shame we can't use this technique on EVERY window that we make!

Patrice has her Umbrella Lady all ready for solder as all of her border pieces have been cut.  She'll get some channel around the outside edge of this and then begin applying her finishing solder bead.

Lastly we see that Shawn has been grinding her Autumn Leaves Window and her grinding skills have truly taken off. She has a complete grasp on how to overlap pieces and use their edges to shape other pieces for a perfect fit.  

 And that brings us to the end of things this week.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, September 9, 2019

Small Moves

Something that confuses our students a lot is determining whether the channel that surrounds their project needs to be covered with solder or not.   Remembering that Zinc Channel does NOT get coated with solder and that Brass Channel does can be tricky unless you know this simple secret to remember it by.   If the channel you are using is NOT silver colored before you patina it then you will need to put solder on it.    Thus, zinc channel (which is silver) does not need to be coated with lead, while brass channel (which is brass colored) needs to be covered with lead.  Everything should be silver before you apply patina.  It's really THAT simple!

Belinda finished her Humming Bird Window and it's stunning.  This is smaller than you might think measuring only 13 inches tall.  That's a lot of detail in a small space but Belinda got everything fitting together beautifully and her soldering is nearing complete perfection.

Rowena's Pumpkin Window is as seasonal as a window could possibly be.   Everything is perfect about this which is normal for Rowena.

Mary Grace completed her Air Force logo and the baroque background glass sets it off wonderfully.  I only wish it would photograph better.   I like the subtle use of red, white and blue colors as well.  All of the patriotic colors are there, but having red in the border breaks up the symbolism.

Jan started and finished this Air Plant Panel which she's getting quite skilled at making!   The twisted wire will support the small plant and the panel itself can hang just about anywhere.


Linda L completed two of these clear Beveled Heart Suncatchers and will be MIA for the next month as she gets her shoulder rebuilt.  We wish her well and will miss her shenanigans in class!

These are two small pieces that I made during the week.  The first being an American Flag Star and the second being a unique Crystal Hanging that uses 6 star bevels.  Both are new designs and perhaps we'll see some student make their own.

In the last of our completed projects, Betty finished up her work on 3 more Jeweled Hangers and another Bevel Framed Heart.


Kerry got a lot of the red glass cut out for his tractor window and even though the pieces aren't completely in place you can easily see what this window is.  His colors are perfect and I believe this will be one impressive window when it's finished.

Carol was busily plugging away at her Wine's A Solution Window and she's moving along with incredible speed.  She's already grinding her pieces and some of them even have etched bubbles!   I hope we get to see that next week as a closeup picture.

Tracey 's Grinch That Stole Christmas is all ground and the frown lines have even been painted onto the glass as well.   Doing the painting BEFORE  the window is soldered allows us to fire the lines onto the glass thus making them more permanent.

Cindy got her final border attached to her Clear Beveled Window and will get a large zinc channel (which does NOT get covered in solder) added to it when she comes back next week.   I have to say that this is turning out great!

Jeannette came in with all of her Humming Birds Window tacked together save for the border.  She wanted to somewhat match the border that she used on her large Peacock Window from a few years back so the two of us set to work and recreated a similar border for this window.   By the end of class it was all tacked together!

Susan R was busy cutting out a Trout Suncatcher and she's all set to move over to the grinder to get this fitting together.

Angie worked on 5 different Dragonfly Flowerpot Decorations and is ready to begin soldering them.   That's a lot of work for just one 3 hour class!


Becky S is back and her Egret Window is back on the grinder!   It was good to see her again and hopefully she was able to get her mind off things and relax a bit.

Rowena spent most of her time in class cutting out and grinding this Iridised Butterfly Window.   She got everything cut and ground in one class so I have no doubt that this will be completed next week.   Rowena doesn't waste a minute!

Patrice is all set to tack together her Umbrella Lady Window.  She wrapped the bevels that will form her inner border and made sure that everything fits BEFORE she tacked things together.   When working with bevels you can't assume things will fit-- you have to check and double check.

Jeanne M has all of the glass cut out for her Heart Window now.  She came in and tacked the heart together and then made pattern pieces for the background.  Once that was all cut, ground, wrapped and tacked she cut out a border and that she'll tack onto this next week when she should also finish her window.

Sheri has almost all of the glass cut out for her Bees and Honeycomb Suncatcher.   With just the wings left to go she'll easily begin grinding this upon her return.  This is one of the larger suncatchers due to the detail and number of pieces.

Linda's Sunflowers window got its border attached and tacked together.  Once that was completed she got her brass channel in place and began soldering.  This is just about finished now.


Martha's wrapping bevels for her Rose Window and is taking her time to ensure that no foil is visible from either side of the window.  That's a very important part of foiling clear glass and bevels.

Barbara H was busy wrapping the pieces of her Wisteria Window so she can work on cutting out her background glass.  The background should go easily enough so once this is tacked the majority of the hard work will essentially be completed.


Mary made incredible headway on her Egret Window as almost all of the bird has been cut out.   It looks like the toughest part of this window was figuring out what was what on the uncolored  pattern.   That's a standard problem though.   The way I figure things out is to start coloring in the pieces that I'm sure of with colored pencils on the pattern itself.   Slowly but surely things become apparent once you start eliminating the unknowns.

Melissa's got most of her Birds On A Wire Window ground and I hate to say it but someone cut her off on the way home and all of these birds ended up as a pile of ground glass on the floor of her back seat.  She's reassembled them and as far as I know there's nothing broken but it's still something that you never want to have happen to a window that you're working on.

Annette completed cutting out the glass that make up her Poodle and even got about a quarter of those pieces ground.  She's discovered a few missing pieces but she'll cut them after this is tacked together.  That will ensure a perfect fit with minimal grinding.

Jeff has more of the Hummingbird/Flower/Dragonfly section of his window tacked into place. Next up for him are some leaves, skies and Dragonfly pieces.

Lara has her final border attached and just needs to fill in the two circular corners.  In the bottom corner she'll place a peacock feather and in the upper corner she's going to use a rose.  She's taken this home to begin soldering it so she's wasting no time at all.

MiMi's almost finished cutting out her newsprint background glass.   Everything lines up beautifully and the effect is already striking.  Next week I promise to have a close up of the effect.

And last but not least we look at Shawn's Autumn Leaves Window which now has half of its background glass and all of the branches cut out.   At this rate she'll move on over to a grinder upon her return. Because what's left to go is minimal compared to what she accomplished this week!

And there you have it, all the news that's fit to print at Bayou Salé GlassWorks!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks