Don't work uncomfortably. That is probably the most important tip I can give you. Never work past the halfway point of your window-- spin it around so the area you are working at is closer to you. When grinding it's important that you are as 'on top' of the piece that you are fitting as you can be. Working at an angle promotes errors.
When you find your arms or hands are crossed, un-cross them. I see this happen all the time when students trace patterns or put hooks on suncatchers.
If your window is is too high when you tip it on edge to cover your channel with solder then put it on something lower (perhaps a stool).
Place your soldering iron stand on the right side of your project if you are right handed and on the left side if you are left handed.
When cutting up your pattern pieces separate your pattern into smaller sections by cutting through and following a line from one end to the other. I've seen too many students trying to cut small pieces loose from a pattern that's two foot by 2 foot. Break it down!
When tinning wire with lead use smaller lengths rather than longer ones which wobble all over the place giving you an unsteady surface.
And clear off your work space. Too many students feel that everything they have should be on the table leaving them with a small 12"x12" area to work within. Put unused items on the floor or in the next room. If you aren't going to use it right away and space is limited, leave it in your car.
The more comfortable you are the better your work will be.
Okay then, here we are looking at Cindy's beautiful Cross On A Hill Window. The pale blue sky offsets the clear iridised cross perfectly and both contrast with the deep purple border and cloth. This started off as a suncatcher and now it's a full fledged window that Cindy has beautifully brought to life.
Jan's Mr. Pickles Window may be minimal art but it's still very expressive and recognizable. You've got to love that lead beak that was fashioned out of a snip-it of brass channel and check out how that baroque background glass was cut from one piece so that the pattern is unbroken throughout the window. This is the correct was to use baroque glass.
Betty just loves her Pair of Pumpkins Window and I do too. Again she's used a brown green glass that I never much cared for as her background and now I've come to realize that I've treated this glass harshly! It's perfect.
Tracey's latest Cardinal Window was completed and her work, as always, makes this window shine. The blue background glass alone makes this window 'speak' and after you throw in the brilliant red Cardinal with complimentary yellow flowers well, it all comes together and makes this window sing.
Here's a look at Helen's first window with us. Her LSU came out perfectly and she soldered like a professional after just one quick lesson! I'm thinking that we're going to be seeing big things from Helen in the near future.
Lara had a problem this week when we discovered that we didn't have any more of the background glass for her Flower Window which made it impossible for her to continue. When life hands you lemons you make lemon-aid, right? Well, in this this case she shifted down a gear or two and made a pair of Lemons as a Suncatcher complete with a curly hanger/stem. Wonderful!
Linda L finished off these beautiful Feather Suncatchers which only needed to be soldered when she came into class. Once these were quickly completed she moved on to a bigger project that you'll see a little later on in this post.
Melissa got all of the clear glass cut out for her Diamond Bordered Fleur De Lis Window and set upon grinding all of the pieces. Since this window requires precision she hasn't broken apart the clear glass behind the FDL's yet-- she's grinding large clear diamonds into place and then when everything else is tacked together she'll cut them into their respective pieces. This will ensure that everything lines up perfectly.
Here's Linda L's next window with her completed feathers laying on top of it (I just noticed those sitting there!) This calm and peaceful scenery window is already well under way even though Linda has only started it just this week. The background mountains may possibly change colors when you see this again since they so closely match the color of the tree that they connect with. We'll see what happens when Linda returns.
Shawn returned to class and didn't miss a beat when it came to cutting as she finished scoring and breaking loose the last of her glass pieces. Even in its un-ground state there's no mistaking that this is Mario. I can't wait to see this completed.
Annette has begun working on a HUGE oddly shaped Transom Window that features two Fleur De Lis'-- one small (this one) and one larger more detailed version. I'll show you the pattern when Annette comes back in-- it was too large for me to take a picture of with all the tables being covered with every else's projects. Annette will first make the two fleur De Lis' since they are easily manageable on their own and then she'll add the background glass. This is the best way to make large windows.
Speaking of Fleur De Lis', Ann M absolutely loved Melissa's Diamond Bordered Fleur De Lis Window and has begun making one for herself. It all starts with with four FDLs and with all of them cut out and one already ground she's well on her way.
Angie's large Pumpkin Window is looking exquisite! Her glass choices are perfection as each pumpkin is made of a different glass which stops it from becoming boring with a large amount of repeated color. She's got this all ground and is already wrapping her pieces.
Sheri's Broken Rose Window is very close to becoming a finished window. You can clearly see the design now that she's ground everything (and wrapped it) so perfectly. This is an idea I wish I had thought of.
Susan R is making another standing Bird Ornament and in one class she has it ready to be assembled. The leaf/stand is already soldered and that leaves just the bird to go. I'm going to considering this completed at this point since there's so little left to do.
Beth B has her first window completely cut, ground, wrapped, and tacked together. All she needs is to do is solder it and then she'll be well on her way to starting her second project! I know what it will be already but I'm not going to spoil the surprise.
Linda F's Mardi Gras Mask Panel is another project that is just about completed. A little solder will go on this and then she'll 'post' it in the yard. Well, at least come Mari Gras time she will!
Belinda's latest Church Window was all wrapped and tacked together during class. The only things left to do on this is to get the lettering fired onto the scrolls below the church, add some borders and then put a finished solder bead on everything. However, until all that is completed, "the end is not yet." (Mathew 24:6)
With the last of her pieces ground, Mary walked out of class ready to wrap her Round Magnolia. It's hard to see the flow and turning leaves right now (remember that white on white is my bane) but once this is wrapped you'll easily see the delicate details that make this window so stunning.
When her Christmas Ornament was soldered Mary Grace returned to working on her Praying Hands Window. With the front side soldered and some of the border soldered on the back side as well it won't be long before she can hang this up and move along to a new project.
Roxane's work is amazing. She's completely soldered her Angel Window and the only thing left to do is put a channel on it and then wash and color it. We're also going to knock out the bright yellow halo and replace it with a lighter amber glass because every time I look at this I see a sun behind this angel's head. I just wish I'd noticed it before the piece had been tacked into place.
Lastly we look at Jan's Poodle Window. Slowly but surely she's grinding away at this and as I always say, slow but steady wins the race.
That's it for this week. Come back soon to see even more finished projects and 8 new ones get started!
Bayou Salé GlassWorks