Monday, May 16, 2022

Spilling Your Flux Is Part Of It

Wire work is an added accent that you can apply to most suncatchers if they are flowers.   In windows we add wires to form cuts that can't actually be made in 'real life'-  the wires fool the eye into thinking that there are cuts that only go partially into the glass.   In suncatchers they are used as accents to add delicate sweeping curves to a piece.  The question that I'm always asked is 'What sized wire should I use?'

The answer is simple but not always pleasant:  The wire should be VERY firm to the point of being somewhat difficult to bend.  If you use a very soft, thin wire it will easily and quickly distort and make your suncatcher look worse than if you hadn't added wire to it.   
Wire work is NEVER easy.  It adds considerable work and effort to the piece you are applying it to and if you can't do it correctly then you should consider skipping it altogether.  It's always an optional step.


So with that said let's jump on into our completed projects this week starting with Martha's colorful Butterfly.  I'm really impressed at just how far along she's come.   Even though she's uncomfortable with a ruler she managed to mark and score her border pieces perfectly. Her colors are striking and her finished work is something to be proud of.  And most important of all, it's completely symmetrical.

Susan D brought her back Fall Window back so I could get a finished picture of it while it rests in the frame that she specifically made it for.  The autumn colored Fractures and Streamers glass that she used for the background really look like falling leaves and complete the illusion of this being set in a Pumpkin Patch while in its height of 'bloom'.


Cheryl made this unique Cross design because she fell in love with it after seeing it in a stained glass shop out of state.  The owner/creator graciously gave her a pattern for it and Cheryl immediately set upon making this one for herself.  It certainly has a very Wabi Sabi quality to it which is part of its appeal for sure.

Up next we look at the Cardinal that Judy completed.  As I mentioned before the tail feather was attached to the bird in a manor that created a hinge point which means that it can easily fold along the  lead line that attaches it to the bird.  Once a lead line folds the piece falls completely off.   To prevent that from happening we added a small branch to the bottom of the bird which stops the tail from folding.  A simple, stylish and practical solution indeed.  Why doesn't the flower fold off?   Do you see that small downward curve it makes along the back of the bird?  That small angle prevents a hinging motion from happening.
Betty finished another Owl this week and decided to leave the lead silver for this one.   She felt that it went well with the blue glass that she used throughout the Owl and I agree.  Silver and blue ALWAYS go together well.


With a bevel yell, he cried more, more, more!  Robert has his next two Door Inserts under way now that he's worked out the design.  Since he's using outer bevel borders he had to figure out a combination of sizes that took him close to the measurements that he needed the inserts to be.  Now that he has a game plan he begun wrapping all of the bevels so he can tack them together and hopefully get a single piece of glass beveled for the center of these two windows.

Melissa's Heron Window only has some background glass left to be cut but she isn't entirely sure of what that will be yet.   She's begun grinding her pieces and even got the top rim of flowers foiled while she was in class.   Once this is tacked together she will be able to try different glasses behind this to see just what they will look like.  Melissa does know one thing though-- there will be a beveled border added to this next.
Let was a busy woman while she was at home last week.  When she came back into class she had all of her Poppies Window ground AND wrapped!  So the first thing she did was to tack everything together and then we set upon cutting out her borders. Now that everything is cut and attached Let can begin soldering which means that the end is near!
Betty began a trio of Cardinals which will be finished off with a holy leaf, some berries, and a little bit of wire work which we will most likely see next week.Wire work doesn't scare Betty at all!
Mary has her second of three Humming Bird Windows ready for solder and I have to give her some extreme praise for the way she got her background cut out and fitting together.  Most students cringe when they trace something out onto a solid piece of background glass but Mary didn't even blink  an eye.

Wow, this is another window which saw some impressive progress happen to it in just one week.  Cindy's got this Blue Heron  together!  I love the glass she picked for her sky.  There's just something about having thin threads of purple in the sky that really appeals to me.  I'm sure that we'll see this get a border attached to it when Cindy comes back next week.

Last week there was only background cut out for this Nursing Window but this week June got her nurses cap and hypodermic needle cut out for it as well.  That means that there's just the stethoscope left to go before June can begin grinding all of her pieces after which she'll cut in her ECG lines.
Steve got two more doors assembled during class which means that these two, along with his first door, can be put into the kiln.   Consider these done because all it will take now to finish these off is an 'oven' set to somewhere around 1400 degrees for roughly 6 hours.  Steve says 'if you can't stand the heat, get out of the Kiln Room!'

With two sides ground for her eight sided Panel Lamp Barbara is well under way.  After she gets each side fitting perfectly together she bags the side separately so that she'll end up with eight bags of pieces (one for each panel).  If she were to mix them up they'd never fit back together correctly.  Panel lamps are the easiest lamp to make but incredible precision is the key to having all of those panels align correctly after you've joined them all together.

Speaking of precision, here's a look at the newest Spinner that Lisa is making.   With everything cut, ground, wrapped, and soldered the only thing left to be done is to join all six of the sides together.   It's easy enough to do but trust me when I say that it can get confusing while you're tacking and trying to keep all the front sides facing you!
I usually go for top down views of our students work but this week we have two angled views because they actually revealed more of what you need to see to get a feel for the final result.  Here we have two projects that are very close to being completed that Susan D worked on.  To the right (with the twisted wire coming out of the center0 is a small 3D cactus that she'll mount in a small flower pot.   She's left the wire that will go into the pot long so she can cut it to the exact size that she needs.  The second project is a Hoop Window which features a full moon and numerous glow in the dark(!) stars!

Yeah, this is one of those windows that I figured would be nice but that I had no clue for as to how 'nice' it would actually be. Linda F has the front side of this essentially soldered which means that it will surely be completed upon her return and I, for one, can't wait to see this with some light behind it.

Martha's Louisiana Iris got its first border cut and sized.  Once she tacks that into position she'll be able to cut the final purple border strips into their respective sizes and then get to work on soldering this window.  She's just about home free on this.

Susan R left class having all three sections of her Aloe Plant soldered and ready to be joined together.   Having assembled one of these before I believe I've found a better way to attach the posts that will go down into the flower pot to stabilize this large stained glass plant.   We'll see how that works when we see this completed in our next post.

Jan's first Plate Window has been soldered on its front side which means that she's ready to turn this over and finish it off when she returns.  That plate, along with the four corner bevels, is really going to catch the light when it's hanging up in a window

Check it out, Annette's Transom Insert has all of its glass officially cut and ground!  You've got to love that border.  It's a lot of extra work but the end results are so worth it!  Someone is going to be VERY happy to receive this!
And here at the end of our post we look at the pair of Beach scenes that Linda L is nearing completion on.  With just the sky and the two little crabs left to go these will be finished before you know it.  I know that Linda will be happy when that day comes because all of those little pieces in the crabs and palm tree leaves are a pain to work with!

We've hopefully discovered what the problem was with our Bayou Salé GlassWorks Facebook page.   After abandoning it because they wouldn't allow me to make blog announcements on it they finally notified me and told me that it was an old business account that was being turned off.   We'd be able to set up a new page using the same name with added features.  It's fully up and running as of this morning and now I'm off to see if I can post that a new edition of the BSGW Blog is up and ready to be viewed.  Wish me luck!


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