Monday, March 23, 2020

Social Distancing

With Covid-19 looming large all around us we've decided that since we're a hub where 30 people gather weekly from as far away as Lafayette to Houma, we'd best play it safe and shut down for a bit.  Our current plans are to re-open the first week of May but this is subject to change depending on the uncertainty of what the nation is doing.  Rest assured, all of our students will be notified when they can come back in for their 'therapy' sessions and you know what?  By then I'll most likely be needing therapy as well!

So, although we announced our closing last week we did have a class on Tuesday night for the people who said they needed to get things finished before abandoning their project for over a month.    Here's what happened in that small, hectic class.

First off, Lisa completed her Owl Window and let me tell you that for a first project, this looks phenomenal!   She was more or less coerced (for lack of a better word) into putting a double border on it but I think she agrees that they really set the entire window off.   What's not to love about this?



MiMi put the finishing touches on the wooden frame for her stained glass Victorian Flower panel and sometimes the cover does help to make the book!  Its simplicity is what makes this all so charming.  Well, that and the fact that her straight lines are perfection and line up without any waver at all.




This Wedding Invitation Plaque only needed some channel around it to finish it off and that's exactly what happened this past week. Exquisitely crafted by Jeannette, this is a wedding gift that will most likely get her a few orders later on down the line for a similar present.   What other wedding gift could be more thoughtful or personal?



And just to round things out I put these together using assorted scraps of blues, yellows and browns.   Aside from the pattern itself no two are alike and it helps prove that colors may not need be stressed over as much as some people stress about them because as different as these are, they each look marvelous to me! But then again, I made them so there's that...



Now Martha's Franklin Streetlights Window is really looking good now that she's grinding her pieces.  She's focusing on the streetlight first and then she'll grind the background to fit the subject matter.   You know what?  That will be a tip of the week when we get things back to normal.



And Tracey managed to get most of her large Mary Window cut out so that she can grind while she's at home trying to remain 6 feet away from people. You know, I accidentally called Tracey by the wrong name while she was in class-- I had called her Mary, who she normally drives to class with, and I thought I was losing it for a minute but I just now realized that I was probably looking at her window when I said the name Mary.   Interesting.  Nonetheless, this is going to look great when she completes it!



Up next we take a look at two of Cindy's Rooster Panels.   Although the glass is different between the two windows the pattern is identical, not mirror images.  So why are they mirror images in the picture below?  Because she was already soldering the back side of one of them!  Russ talked to Cindy today and all she needs to do is get hooks on them and they're finished.



Here we look at the Bathtub Lady that Belinda is working on.   She's began to cut out her paper pattern and then after much searching she came up with two different (but similar) pieces of white glass to cut the tub out of.   I always like to add a hint of realism by making the top edge of the tub just ever so slightly different from the rest of the tub.  It's hard to see now but when it's lit up it will give it some subtle pizazz!




Lastly, Melissa picked out glass for her Ribbon T Cross design and got a lot of it cut out before leaving for the night (month?).  I forgot to snap a picture but I quickly colored in her pattern so you can see an approximation of what it will look like.   When you only have 13 pieces that's an easy photoshop job.

Well, I know that this will be the last post we make for a while.   I'll be making things in the shop so maybe from time to time I'll post my progress on whatever I do.  Until then, everyone please remain safe, secure, and virus free.

Paul
 

Monday, March 16, 2020

Anchors Aweigh!

Keeping the grain of your background pieces lined up is one of the more difficult things to accomplish in stained glass but I'm about to show you how to achieve this feat quickly and efficiently.  In the example below the grain of the background glass runs up and down.  These pieces were all cut separately from individual pattern pieces but the grain still lines up from piece to piece perfectly and the grain also runs flawlessly from the 12 o'clock position to the 6 o'clock position within each piece.   This is what you should strive for.


So how do we do that?  First and foremost, ALWAYS MARK YOUR GRAIN LINES BEFORE YOU CUT APART YOUR PAPER PATTERN!!!  If you mark your grain lines after your pattern has been separated you will surely end up with variations that are easily spotted.  Secondly, use a straight edge to mark your lines.   Below is an example of how I see most people draw grain lines on their patterns.   These grain lines (in red) give a general indication of how the grain should travel, but as you can see they aren't angled uniformly at all.  Accuracy counts. 


Here's how I do it.  First, I put two lines, not just one, on each pattern piece--  One line on each end of the pattern no matter how small the piece may be.  Secondly, I use either a square or a plastic angle to draw the line while aligning the opposite edge of the tool to the outer edge of the pattern.   This ensures perfectly straight (12 to 6 o'clock, or 9 to 3 o'clock) lines.  Third, and finally, when I trace my paper pattern to mark my glass I make sure that both of my grain lines follow the grain of the glass as close as possible.  Making them both align to the grain of the glass ensures that the piece is as close as possible to being perfect.


So there you have it.  It may seem like a lot of work but it's really just an extra second or two for each piece that more than pays off in the end.  Be proud of your work.  If you are doing something do it the correct way because your stained glass reputation is based on everything that you produce, big or small.


Well now, Melissa's Peacock Window caused quite a stir on the Facebook Stained Glass Patterns page.   A well liked window usually gets about 200 to 300 likes but this incredibly detailed and precision laden effort has gathered almost 1,300 likes!   I'd say that Melissa's work has paid off in spades.  She took her time, never rushing so she could move quickly along to her next project and ended up with, well, a feather in her stained glass cap!   Melissa should be very proud of this window.



Then there's Mary Grace who finished her Circular Anchor Window and her end result is also marvelous.  No one would ever know that we altered the pattern to hide the fact that one of her border pieces broke and we had no more of that glass to replace it.  In fact, I think it looks better than it would have had the piece not broken.  Part of making stained glass involves thinking outside the box and that's exactly what we did here.



MiMi's Sunflower heart is just too precious for words. The blue glass that she used for the sky sets off the yellow perfectly.   MiMi also took great care to make sure that all of the outer perimeter  follows the pattern as well as lining up perfectly with each adjoining piece.   That's extremely important in a project where the outside edge forms an image (in this case a heart).  So tell me then, what is not to love about this?


  

Angie's Umbrella Lady  Window turned out beautiful also and kind of pays me a compliment as well.  We've seen a few of these completed since I made the first one about a year ago but Angie loved my color scheme so much that she went with pretty much the same glass all throughout it.  I must also say that her work on this is just as wonderful as the window itself.  Oh, and she used great colors!

  


Betty wrapped up the work on her two smaller Flower Panels with both being head turners to say the least, even if Betty doesn't care so much for the muted border that she used in the panel on the right.  Both of these windows feature beaded wire stamen and I couldn't help but notice that Betty has really been adding a lot of wire to her finished work lately.   It's a talent that she refuses to let go to waste and that's great because little things mean a lot.



Jeannette finished up two  Flowerpot Decorations this week:  a Cardinal and a beveled Bee ornament complete with, yep, wire work!  As I said above, it's the little things that can make or break a project.  Imagine Jeannette's Bee without those fancy antennas.   It just wouldn't be the same, would it?



Betty also made another in her series of Stylized Fleur De Lis.   If you have an event that Betty is donating to, this could very well be your auction item!  She makes these quickly and efficiently, and they always bring in a nice amount of money to any event.




Martha has begun working on a window that captures Main Street in Franklin by featuring one of its iconic Lamp Posts.  The pattern started off as a full image of the Post but in the end we both agreed that a closeup of the top section was what looked best.  She's got it all cut out already and her background glass is perfection (and sadly no longer being made now).



Cindy's pair of roosters both got their background glass cut and ground which means that she'll most likely wrap these while she's at home and then come in all ready to get borders attached.   Chickens are very vogue right now so I have no doubt that these will sell quickly for her.



Jan worked on cutting out more of her Poodle Window and she's almost got it all cut out now.  There's just the heart section and a little bit more of the face to go and then she'll begin grinding it and tacking it together.   This is one of those 'exception to the rules' windows where we will cut the background out AFTER the subject is ground, wrapped, and tacked together.   Why?  Because the subject matter (the poodle) can easily be lifted  once it's tacked together.    If you can't easily lift the subject matter, you won't be able to get your background glass underneath it without things shifting all around.  If you can't easily get your background glass under the subject of the window you'd best cut the background before you begin grinding so that everything fits perfectly.



Jeannette came in, started, and almost completed her latest Wedding Invitation Plaque.  With just a little bit of soldering to go this will easily be finished upon her return.   How many of these is she making for this wedding?   Actually it's two because it's a double ceremony with two different couples!



Kerry began cutting out the glass for the Tiger Eyes portion of his double window.   Before class was completed he finished cutting his glass pieces and began grinding.  That's a lot of progress for just one night!



Barbara H worked on two more Flower Pot Decorations and she's ready to begin the soldering process.  One piece is missing on the Butterfly but she'll fix that at home because that's where both the glass and the paper pattern piece is.  With so little left to go on these I'm considering these two projects as completed.



Linda F tried hard to get an outer green border to work for her Underwater Fish Scene but in the end the blue that you see below was by far the best visual fit for the window.   All of her glass has been cut and ground so once she wraps those outer blue border pieces she'll be able to tack it together and then begin soldering.



Decisions, decisions.  This week Lisa got hit with the big, burning question:  Do you want a single or a double border on your Owl Window?  Her first response was to go with just one border to be done with it but here at BSGW almost all of our students lean towards double borders so a minute later everyone was trying different combinations of glass which made Lisa change her mind.   She got her first, inner accent border cut ground and foiled which means that when she comes back she'll quickly get the final border attached and then she'll be ready to start soldering.



Lastly we look at Roxane's Penguin Window which is also very nearly completed.  With just a few lines left to solder (you're looking at the back side of the window in the picture below) she's going to be finishing this up VERY early in to her next class.  So what's up next for Roxane?  An angel window the likes of which you've never seen before (here at the BSGW Blog that is).


Well, things are slowing down in class largely due to concerns about the Covid-19 virus.  So far it looks as though we'll be having classes the week coming up but we have had more than a few cancellations already.   I'm thinking that we'll be closing shop for a little while after this week passes if not before.   It all depends on attendance and how our students feel about coming in.  Stay healthy everyone.

Paul
Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, March 9, 2020

A Picky Palate

Most times in stained glass you want to follow a procedure to make your window flow naturally.  The grain for your backgrounds should always run from left to right (horizontally) if you are using blue glass because most everything that you see in the sky flows in that direction.   If you are using clear glass or any other color for your background  you can run the grain in any direction you want-- just be consistent.

Now we all know that every rule has an exception so here we go.  If your border is cut up into random pieces, many of which are unnecessary,  that don't simply make the cutting easier, then you can break the rule of having your grain flow in one direction.  Below I've colored in Shawn's Address Window and I've run the background grain from left to right (horizontally) in one direction.   It looks wonderful to me and there is nothing wrong with making this window in this manor.

Next I've randomly run the grain so that nothing matches up.  Someone used this grain scheme a long, long time ago (but in a galaxy not far away) and it worked so well that many, many other stained glass artists followed suit over the years to the point where it's almost expected, but only when a background is cut up into more pieces than it needs to be.  Me, I like the look below best.   The fact that it doesn't all flow together draws your eye to the window which is actually somewhat boring since it's only numbers.  The look below is the one I'd go for and it's the the look that Shawn went with as well.   You'll see her window later on where the effect is much more apparent.


First off this week we have Jeff who has completed his  Flowers and Scenery Window.  Now that it's hanging up in the light you can easily see how all of his hard work has paid off.  Jeff is going to take a few months off since he'll be working out of state but we hope to see him return a little while down the line.



Martha's Flowing Textures Window is finished  but since she colored it with black patina (which I recommend for all clear glass windows) she had to let it sit for 45 minutes before washing the patina off.  Since she colored this late into class she left for home and I washed it right about the time she would have been walking into her home.   In other words, she hasn't seen this 100% completed yet but as we can ALL see, it's wonderful.

  


Jeannette put the finishing touches on her Coffee Pot Window and Angie is already eyeing up the pattern!  This window is made out of a bare minimum amount of colors but still stands out vibrantly due to it's high contrast and excellent craftswomanship.



Barbara H put the finishing touches on 3 different Dragonfly Flowerpot Decorations  and even attached the stakes herself which is something that a lot of our students find daunting.  Way to go Barbara!




Tracey's Single Sunflower Window is all cut out and she's begun grinding it already.   The long clear top piece had broke in half while cutting it but rather than replacing a huge piece of glass we simply put a lead line through it to make two shorter pieces out of one long one.   Then we saw that the stem of the sunflower looked like it ran straight up and out the top of the window so to fix that optical illusion we cut a green stem and now all is fine.   I actually prefer the green stem over the original lead line stem that the pattern called for.

 

Annette's Cross Window has really taken form now that the background glass has been cut.   She's already grinding her pieces and you can now see the dove perfectly even though it's somewhat hidden behind the cross.  People in other classes are already talking about making this for themselves!



MiMi began working on two Heart Sunflower Suncatchers and has both of them cut out along with one of them being ground already.   Her fit is perfect and her colors are exquisite.  I loved this design so much that I cut three of them out over the weekend for myself!  I'm hoping that this becomes a popular design and MiMi's flawless work will surely help make that happen.



Wow, Lara got all of her Flower Window ground in just one class!   This proves just how much time you can actually save if you slow down, take your time, and stay on the the line while you are cutting your glass.   When Lara was packing up she stumbled upon the missing pattern pieces for her stems so those five opened areas will have pieces cut and ground for them upon Lara's return. 

 


Rowena began work on an American Flag and Eagle Window by cutting glass this week.   As you can see she got it all cut out and even has some of it ground already.  It won't be long before this eagle flies out the door.

  


Cindy has all her ducks in a row (so to speak) by having her pair of chickens all foiled and tacked together.   Next week we'll get to see her work on cutting out the background glass for these two birds which, compared to cutting the chickens, will be a piece of cake.


 
Kerry has begun working on an LSU/Tiger Eyes Window and got as far as getting his paper pattern pieces traced onto the glass he'll be using for the dark sections of the tiger portion of his window.  That means that Kerry will be cutting glass when he returns.



Shelley has returned!  We knew she couldn't stay away from us for too long and when she walked in the door this week after being absent for 4 months she just fell right back into place.   And what's she working on?  Those of us who know Shelley's previous work aren't surprised to see that she's working on a Mermaid. 



Linda F tacked her Underwater Scene together, filled in a few missing pieces and then redesigned the lower left corner so that it had more coral in it.   Not a bad days work at all!  Next week she'll add a border and then start soldering this beast.



Lisa spent the day foiling all of her glass and she's just about ready to tack this, fill in a few missing pieces, and then add a border or two before finishing this up by adding solder to it.  It's all coming together now for her!



Roxane was back in class this week and tacked together her Penguin Window after which she added two borders, a grey one and a black one.   Now she's just about ready to begin soldering this cute family themed window.

  


Susan R  has just a few scant pieces left to cut out for the background glass in her Seafood Window and then she'll finish it off with a border before she begins to solder it.   All of her hard work was well worth it as this window already shows off her stained glass skills.

  


Jeanne M has finished grinding her Easter Window and even began wrapping all of her pieces with copper foil.  She hopes to get this done in time for Easter and I'm sure that this will be hanging in her home before Easter gets here.

  


The stained glass woman that Angie is working on is feeling under the weather but luckily she has an umbrella with her that her handbag accessorizes with perfectly.  Angie got her first border attached which means that she's got just one more to go and then she'll finish this rainy day scene.
 
 


Fran's begun cutting glass for her Red Fish Window but will be redesigning the background of it.   When she comes back in we may see what her new pattern looks like but even if it isn't drawn up she'll be able to continue grinding this colorful fish.  Fran still needs an eye in her fish but we're going to cut that into place once the eye has been cut and ground so that it fits perfectly. As always, the smaller the piece the more important the precision.
 
  


Carol is working on an LSU/Tiger Eyes Window of her own and she's really far along in the creation process.  We make this window in two separate sections so we can be sure that the Tiger Eye portion and the LSU section are EXACTLY the same width otherwise you end up with a lopsided, trapezoidal shaped window when the borders get attached.

 
 

Susan D's Ali The Dog window is officially ready for its background glass.   Now that she has her dog foiled and tacked together the rest of this window will be child's play for Susan.




Mary Grace worked on getting a zinc channel curved to wrap around her Circular Anchor Window and then went to work on filling in some missing pieces that she still had to deal with.   After that was finished she managed to get the front side of her window soldered which means that with a little luck she'll be wrapping up this project upon her return.



Jeanne L is grinding the fruit for her Fruit Basket Window and it won't be long before she tacks this together and then cuts out her background glass.   I've never understood why I've found this design to be such a fun window to make but Jeanne (and everyone else who's made this) has agreed with me.



Melissa stunned everyone when she came in with ALL of her glass cut!  She was worried about splitting both the green and blue pieces so that each separate piece became two but she said that when the first one cut so easily she just couldn't stop cutting and grinding every one of them.   Melissa wants to finish this next week and if she can get this soldered at home I see no reason why that won't happen.



Betty worked on two different projects this week.  Her small Lily Panel only needed a border which everyone in class helped picked the color for.  Once that was chosen and cut she put that project on the side so she could finish it at home.  She then resumed work on her Stylized Fleur De Lis Window which is also almost completed.  Look for these two windows to be in a spotlight position near the top of our next post.


Which brings us back to Shawn's address window which sort of started this post. Shawn has a big decision to make.   She 's thinking about adding another border to her Address Window but there's a size restriction so she's unsure if she should add more to this or not. Either way, she'll be soldering this before you know it.

 And there you have it, everything that happened in our first class for the month of March.

Paul
Bayou Salé GlassWorks