Monday, March 14, 2022

They Make A Cream For That

A common misconception occurs when I tell students to begin cutting a multi-pieced object as one large piece rather than immediately breaking it down into its smaller pieces.   Take the leaf in the pattern below for example.  

The leaf consists of 6 cuts, but you can simplify it and make grinding it MUCH easier by cutting the leaf as one large object and then splitting it into its individual sections after it's been ground.

The common misconception occurs at this point when most of our students next cut the leaf down into its 6 individual parts.   Don't do that.  The trick is not to split the leaf  until your entire window (leaf included) has been ground as shown below.  Just pretend the pattern calls for just one big leaf.

Only after everything had been ground and fitted together do we work on separating the leaf into its 6 sections.   Start with the long center cut because the smaller curved cuts are impossible to make until the leaf has been split down the center.

Once that's done you can make the four remaining cuts.

Since the leaf already fit into position these 6 pieces will fit right back into place even if you don't grind them.  That said, we do need to skim all the edges that we just cut for two reasons.  1) To provide room between the pieces for the foil and 2) To ensure that our foil will adhere firmly to the glass.  Just apply a constant pressure as you sliding each piece along your grinder.  One pass will easily do the trick because you don't have to worry about trying to get them to fit into position-- they fit before we even took them back over to the grinder.

By cutting the leaf  using this series of cuts you'll save an incredible amount of time and the fit will be perfect.  Rather than grinding and adjusting six small pieces you've only had to grind the outside edges of one large leaf for its initial fit.  The rest of the leaf literally falls into place.  The only draw back to this method is that you have a limited choice when it comes to choosing the grain of your glass.  On small pieces you'll never notice but on large pieces you may want to trace out and cut the pieces separately.

With that out of the way we'll look at the work that was completed by our students this week starting with June's first full sized stained glass window and boy it was a complex one.  Her Biplane Window utilized a lot of different tricks to get it to look this great.  She cut her sky pieces contiguously so they would line up seamlessly, she added the two propellers after everything else was ground into place, and she used wire work to achieve the lines between the struts on the wings.  That's a lot to take in but just look at the sum of the end results!



Steve's fused glass Doors are absolutely amazing to see in person.  There's a simplicity about these which makes them as charming as can be,  Alas, the pictures here don't even begin to do them justice because these truly need to be seen to be believed!  Steve's got enough glass cut to make at least two more of these so who knows, we might see another pair of his grandmother's Front Door in the near future.   

Cheryl began this Fleur De Lis Window a few weeks back when she couldn't begin working on her Invitation boxes.  Now that those have been completed she's come back to her Fleur De Lis and this week she put the finishing touches on it.  The stark black glass that makes up the FDL contrasts perfectly against the vibrant gold background and then the sparkling clear textured border frames it to perfection.  I do believe that it's bloody well brilliant!

With three of her HLB Panels completed Linda F has just 2 more to go before she can begin work on a larger (and therefore easier) project.  The other two are not far behind these so I'm sure we'll see them completed upon her return.  If you look closely you'll be able to see where we simplified the pattern (in different ways) to make one of the cuts far, far easier.  It doesn't detract from the overall look of the window but it sure helped Linda keep her sanity!    If you can't spot the difference well that just proves that extra (needed) lead lines won't hurt the look of a project.

Sheri's Owl is the second variation of this pattern that we've seen so far and she's actually changed up the colors quite a bit.  All of them have looked great but her use of green accent feathers really sets this one apart from the others that we've seen (so far).   Green you might say?  Yes, green because this is stained glass.  It's art, not real life, and in art we want things to look as best they can.  That's why the phrase 'Artistic License' exists.

Kerry spent the night busily working on his Alien with a Saucer suncatcher and he got it all cut out in one class.   In fact, I think there's only the head of the alien and the saucer left to be ground before he can start foiling this most unique project.

Steve also began working on four different randomly placed rectangle panels for a lamp that he's making.   He's already got 2 of them cut out with one of them being completely ground and wrapped in foil.  Steve is full of original, unique designs and this surely shows it.
Lara has a penchant for making women's faces and this one is going to be just as stunning as any of the others that she's created.  The trick to a stained glass face is making sure that all of the profile curves are correct. A misplaced grind here or there can easily destroy the face but as you can see, this woman's nose and lips are flawless.
With her irises all ground and fitting together wonderfully, Melissa moved onto the second group of flowers in her Heron Window-- the  kalanchoe blossfeldiana's (or what everyone else calls the Dogwood).  I really feel that the hardest parts of this window are behind Melissa now so the rest will go quickly-- after she grinds and tacks together her Dogwood of course.

Shawn has begun cutting out the glass for what is going to be a very eccentric but very relatable window.  This Hands and Arms project is actually larger than life because the hands ARE, in fact, slightly larger than what we would classify as 'real life' arms.  She's got one arm cut out and I believe that it looks great.   She's going to use a lot of color in this piece so expect to see many ethnic and cultural arms being formed in the weeks to come.

Cindy is already working on cutting out the background glass for her coffee themed address window.  This stretches a more than 5 feet wide so she's building this in three sections which she will join together after each section is completed.  She has the background cut for the left coffee pot section and next week she'll cut the glass behind the coffee grinder.    When making large windows it's always best to work in sections until it's no longer feasible to do.

Ann's Lady Of Guadalupe Window has all of its glass cut and ground now.  This week she tacked it all together and then got her border cut as well.  With only a few pieces of the border left to wrap in foil I think it's a fair assumption to say that she'll be soldering this when she comes back in.  It won't be long now!

Barbara's Louisiana Iris Panel is ready for a border!  This week she wrapped her flower, tacked it, set it on top of her clear glass, traced around it and then separated the pieces using her glass cutter.   Everything fit back together wonderfully using this method and it allowed her to get further much faster on this project that she could have if she'd cut the background pieces individually.
Robert decided to use a bevel for the center of his Transom Window but the lack of color in the center bothered him.   The fix was simple:  Robert framed the bevel using a yellow cathedral glass cut to the same width as the red inner border.  Now he has  a very visible focal point which has turned this into a stunning design!

Judy's latest Angel is so very close to being ready to be wrapped with foil.   There's only a few pieces of hair and some wing pieces left to grind so I know that I can say without a doubt that at least some of this Angel will have foil on it when we see it again.

Well, I certainly expected this project to go far more slowly than it's going!  Even with all of those miniscule pieces Susan D is making progress faster than a prairie fire with a strong tail wind.  I just want to know who's in the pumpkin patch with the scarecrow?  There's got to be more than a bird (which rests atop the leftmost pumpkins) in there...
Let is another woman whose project is on fire.  She's finished grinding her Daisy Window and has begun wrapping glass already.   Look out because she'll be working on the borders for this panel before you know it! 

And then there's Betty who can keep up with anyone when it comes to stained glass projects.  Here we see her three latest large suncatchers which are each completely ground and waiting to be foiled.  If you knew Betty like I know Betty then you'd probably be thinking what I already know-- that these will most likely be completed upon her return.   Come back next week and see for yourself.
Linda L has the first of her three Beach Scene Windows nearly completely ground.   There's only the sky left to go and that's just 10 measly pieces.  Of course she still has to cut the crab into place but that won't take long either.   I can't wait to see those palm trees in the light because they've been cut out of three different green glasses which have been interspersed within each frond!

It appear to me that Martha will be able to cut out her background glass for her yellow rose when she comes back in.  There's a little foiling left to go on the rose petals but that won't take but a few minutes.  She'll be tracing this out onto one large piece of background glass and we may be able to show you that process as our tip when we come back next week.

Annette was busy foiling her flowers and once that is done she'll tack these together, slide them off the pattern and then work on the center initial oval.  This is coming together nicely and the foil allows you to clearly see the individual petals in each of the flowers.
Mary Grace has her deep blue inner border attached and that means that she'll work on the final border upon her return.   The rest of this will be easy now and that includes the relaxing soldering process that she'll begin two weeks from now.
MiMi's latest insert is now completely ground and she's moved on over to the foiling stage of this window's genesis.  We may have seen this all before but aren't  those 'hexagons'  impressive when you see them laid out in uniform rows and columns?   These inserts would easily drive other stained glass artists mad, but not MiMi.  She's kept on trucking and smiling throughout this tedious and repetitive building process. She's already seen the fruits of her labor on the other windows of this project and that helps enable her to stay the course and finish this beast!

Eggs abound!  Susan R actually has four eggs here but one of them is completely covered with pattern pieces.   Susan says she loves working on the one in the center with the little,little circles that have to be ground into the glass.  They're super fun (and the cause of many headaches!)  I think that particular egg will be finished soon though, as will the rest of these.
It's hard to see right now but this is Shelley's Circular Mermaid Window and she's very close to having it completely ground.   Once all the pieces have foil on them the mermaid itself will become very prominent-- it just lacks a little detail right now, but that will change quickly enough.

And that's all there was this week.  But it was a lot, wasn't it?  I mean, let's face it, it was all very impressive, right??? ;-)


Bayou Salé GlassWorks

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