Monday, October 11, 2021

The Ones With The Unruly Hair

We're jumping right on in this week starting with Linda L's first of two (possibly three) Angel Panels.  This one features a blue robe while her second angel (which you'll see later) has a pink robe.   She also has an order for one of these but the person wants different wings so Linda was just going to cut new wings and use what she already had cut out.  However, now he wants the dress to be changed as well.  We'll see if Linda decides to cut an entirely new window or if she just swaps out  the almost complete angel in the weeks to follow.

Sheri's completed her Moon Panel and luck was with her because she was able to find a piece of the dark blue rough roll at home that was big enough to repair the piece that broke in two last week.  After the quick fix Sheri ended up with this very peaceful and serene look at the nighttime sky.

Kerry's Chessboard is off the work table and ready for a game of chess.   If you look at the corner of the board you can see how we angled the final border which actually raises it off the table by  almost 2 inches.  To support the center we added four pieces of glass that formed a 'box' of sorts directly in the center of the board.   Now it can certainly withstand even a cat jumping on top of it!
Linda L also finished these two Bluebird Flower Pot Ornaments.  True, she had cut out and ground them while she was at home during the week but she also got that blue angel up above soldered as well making this a VERY productive week for her.

Betty found some old spoons and forks, cut off the utensil side of the cutlery using a hack saw, and then soldered the remaining handle to 4 wings and a round glass glob to make this unique Hanging Dragonfly.  When it was completed she didn't quite care for the look of it until I showed her how to attach solder balls to the joints which really set this off perfectly.  This is what decorative soldering is all about.  Expect to see more of these as the weeks go by!

Jan's happy to tell you that her Eagle/Flag Window is finished.   I have to say that she did wonderful work on this and that it didn't take her nearly as long as she thinks it did.  Everything fits together wonderfully and her soldering on this is some of her finest work to date.  

Tracey must surely have this Magnolia pattern memorized by now.   Her work is flawless and her glass choices are nothing short of perfection.   You can't lose with a classic design like this unless your workmanship is off and Tracey is, without a doubt, completely on her game when it comes to workmanship.  Don't you agree?

This is Annette's first of many Mary and Baby Jesus Suncatchers and what a start she's shown here!  This is actually a somewhat complex suncatcher since it deals with a round halo and the profile of a face, both of which are harder to achieve than you might believe. They say that practice makes perfect but Annette's first of this series is about as perfect as you can get.

Shawn's got her second Christmas Ornament Suncatcher ready for her tree.   AT first she thought that she couldn't hang this in an actual Christmas Tree but surprise, surprise-- you can!  And if you position it in front of a light then it's even more the spectacular!

Cindy's got another Louisiana Football Tiger Eye in the works and she's flying through this project as fast as she can so that she can start working on a Corvette Window when she comes back in.  Her talents are very much in demand and Cindy doesn't disappoint.


 Do you know who else was VERY productive this week?  Jan!  First off she finished her Eagle/Flag Window (and was very happy about that) and then she moved on to this Santa Face and Halloween Witch.  Not bad at all!


Lara has the background for her Sunburst Window all cut and tacked and she's decided to finish this off using a beveled border.   Hmmm, I actually don't know if she plans on using one or two borders so perhaps the bevels won't actually 'finish' this off. We'll see when she returns next week.


With all of her glass ground for her Flower Pot Window, Bee has begun to wrap her glass.   If you look closely you'll see that she is actually missing two pieces.   These things happen, especially when working on a window with this many pieces.  Sometimes a paper pattern gets put in the wrong pile and either gets cut out of the wrong color or not cut out at all.  If you've discovered this after a lot of pieces have been ground (as in this case) it's best to just leave a hole in the window and then fill it in AFTER the window is tacked together by placing the glass you want to use under the window and tracing the outline of the opening onto the glass.  It's just much, much easier that way.  And that is what Bee will be doing with her two missing pieces.

Betty is working on a slew of Autumn Leaves as you can clearly see below.  Some of these will be used in a Leaf Wreath which will be very interesting since it's the first time one of these will be completed in our classes.   We'll see what that looks like next week!

With the front of her Scales Of Justice Window all soldered and just the back side to go I'd say that Cheryl could very well complete this next week.  There isn't all that much left to go and she got the front side completed in one class so I think it's a pretty fair assumption.


Judy's Louisiana Hot Sauce Window is very close to being completely cut out already.  She actually has a lot (if not all) of the gray mortar that goes between the bricks cut out but she put all of them in a bag for safe keeping just before I snapped this picture.  
Linda F loved her last Butterfly Flower Pot Ornament so much that she has a second one cut and ground already.   Then she went ahead and cut and ground a new Beehive as well.   For the record, I looked up the word 'beehive' and suspect that since you readily find it spelled as both a single word AND a pair of words, it doesn't matter which way you spell it.  Just don't expect me to be consistent week to week!

This is the Pink Angel that Linda L is making.  As you can see it's almost completed already.  If she decides to change the wings and the dress she can simply re-cut the hair, hands and feet and turn this into a suncatcher.  We'll see what she plans on doing when she comes back in.

With the front side of her Round Bathtub Lady all soldered, Susan R flipped it around and began soldering the back side.  What I completely forgot was that she wanted to add a decorative top to hang this from.  I have two ideas and we'll see which one that Susan decides to go with when she returns.
With both of her borders attached Melissa has begun soldering her Butterfly and Louisiana Iris Window.  Even though she says that this has taken her forever to make I think that she's just being hard on herself.  The end is near and it's looking VERY good!

Here's a closeup of MiMi's latest Cabinet Insert.   That line that you see running down the right side of the window is a stopping point for either an insert that she's already finished or one that she needs to make yet.   The beauty of this pattern is that if you make one large pattern (as MiMi did)  you can just draw a line to show where each insert needs to stop.  You don't need to retrace all of those Hexagons to create separate patterns for each window.

Next we see that Susan's on a roll with her Christmas Ornament Suncatchers.  It looks to me as though she's almost completely ground eight more of them this week. Apparently she can't make these fast enough!
Shelley is a bit in between projects so she decided to make a quick Butterfly Lawn Ornament while she hammers out a mermaid pattern of her own design.  Her Butterfly is all cut and it's all ground which means that this will certainly be finished when we next see it again.

Look, it's another Beehive and this one is being made by Sheri.  She's using assorted ambers for her version of what is quickly become one of our most popular patterns.

And that's if for this week.   I never considered what our tip of the week should be for this post so I kind of got caught off guard, especially since I was thinking that Sunday was actually Saturday which means that I sort of lost a day during the weekend!  That's never good, but even though we don't have a tip this week, we're still on time.




Monday, October 4, 2021

The Completion Backwards Principle

Following the lines on your pattern seems like something you would expect to have to do, but you'd be shocked at how many times people ask me, "So I should follow the lines on the pattern?"  The answer is yes if you want you window to look like the pattern. Errors have a way of build up and multiplying, especially when it comes to anything with a lot of pieces or items that are symmetrical.   In it's simplest form: which stop sign below looks best to you?  You'd be surprised at how little each straight line is off in the second version.  Remember, EVERYTHING COUNTS IN LARGE AMOUNTS.

First up we have Cindy's Stack Of Books Suncatcher.   Obviously it's large so that she could get all of those books into one big stack but the real trick to making this window was running a wire which runs completely down the center of the back side of this project.   The wire prevents the suncatcher from folding along any of the numerous straight lines and since it was applied to the window BEFORE Cindy soldered the back side you can barely see it from behind because it's covered in lead and looks like a normal lead line.


Next we have Barbara's Cardinal Panel.   This went quickly for her and the end result is stunning.  Normally I'm not a fan of clear borders next to clear background glass but the differences in the textures Barbara's used here makes her choice perfect.

This is Lisa's second Etched Bevel Panel and it's turned out every bit as good as her first one.  In fact, the only real difference between the two is that the background on her first one was pink fractures and streamers while this one is blue. 
Lisa also made this Dragon Suncatcher as a Wedding gift for a Dungeons and Dragons themed wedding.  She drew the pattern herself and the end result is a ferocious.  Here's to a fiery honeymoon! (I did NOT just type that!)
Linda F made a Butterfly Lawn Ornament but she decided to use a lesser made pattern.  I love it!  Although I love the old one as well, I feel as though this is a breath of fresh air amongst butterflies.  And it goes without saying that Linda is the wind beneath this Butterfly's wings.  
Betty certainly kept busy this week as she knocked out her own version of the Bee Hive Suncatcher.  Very beelightful indeed!
And Betty also managed to get two more clear textured crosses finished as well.  Betty works on multiple (3 or 4) projects utilizing her time wisely between what she does at home and what she accomplishes in class.  That's why you always see her getting so many projects completed. Also, we don't call her 'Two-fer Betty' for nothing!

Shawn has her first Christmas Ornament Suncatcher completed and will be starting another when she comes back in.  You just can't lose with a read and green Christmas Ornament, can you?  Something tells me that these are going to be the rage in classes this Holiday season!

Never make a statement without having the proof to back it up.   Here are five more Christmas Ornament Suncatchers that are currently under construction by Ann.  She's already got four of them ground which leaves her with one left to go before she begins wrapping and finishing these up.

Susan R made it back to class this week and her Woman In A Tub not only got tacked together-- it also got its first border cut and attached.   Wait, I count 2 borders, don't you?   Well the final border has been cut and skimmed which means that this will be ready to be wrapped and soldered when Susan returns.
Tracey's Circular Magnolia Window looks stupendous right now even though it only has its first side soldered.   Since she got one side essentially completed in one night I'm think that when she comes back in she'll flip this and then finish up the back side so she can take it along home with her.
Judy M began work on a Louisiana Hot Sauce Window.  The original pattern had a bowl of crackers sitting on the table but Judy wanted an oyster so we 'borrowed' the oyster from another pattern, printed it out to the size we needed and then taped it onto the pattern in the lower left section.  With her red bricks cut out already I'd say Judy is getting this done one brick at a time.

Here we look at the first of two Mary and Baby Jesus Suncatchers that are being done this week.  This one was all cut out when Annette left last week and now it's all ground as well.  She's already begun wrapping her pieces  so this may have solder on it when we see it again.

And here's the same pattern as realized by Mary.  Yep, Mary is making a Mary Suncatcher.  Her colors are slightly different since she wanted a more 'amber' hue throughout her Virgin Mary and I think that she accomplished that wonderfully.
And now that Sheri's Moon and Stars Panel is all wrapped and waiting to be tacked together you can fully see what the man in the moon truly looks like.  She has each of her stars positioned and ground into place but there was a small break in the top piece of blue sky which Sheri thinks is throwing the balance off so she's going to wait until more blue glass comes in to fix it rather than cut a smaller piece to cover the break.
Bee's Flower Pot Window is so very close to being completely ground.   There are only a few pieces left to go in the top center section of this and then Bee will be able to wrap this large window.  It's looking great already but once she gets her pieces wrapped in copper foil you'll easily see where the lead will flow which will reveal all of the detail in this design.

Kerry soldered his squares together and then added a thin border to his Chess Board.  Before the night ended we figured out a good angle for the base of the board which will actually raise it up from the table thus creating a 3D effect.  All of these base pieces have been cut and ground so this will surely be finished upon Kerry's return.
Martha believes that she may very well hate letters.   That's understandable because they are always the cause of grief in windows.  Still, Martha, is soldiering on and with each passing week she's building a perfect window.

Lastly we look at Cheryl's Scales Of Justice Window.  It's all been tacked together and she's made the two pans solid lead by covering the entire piece of glass with foil and then applying a think layer of solder over it.  She's also got her first border cut out so it was certainly a productive night for Cheryl.
And there you have it,  See you all again next week!


Bayou Salé GlassWorks




Monday, September 27, 2021

One, Two, Three, Four

If something bothers you about a pattern, fix it.  Over the 40+ years I've been doing stained glass I've seen countless patterns both good and bad but more than anything else I've seen great ideas that were handled poorly (in my opinion).  Long ago I began 'tweaking' little things about patterns I'd make (even though I had no artistic skills) and over those 40 years I've become competent when it comes to pattern drawing.   Even if you feel you don't have the skills I can guarantee that you can make simple adjustments.

Below is a pattern that one of our students sent to me asking if I could resize it to fit within a certain set of measurements. The adjustment was fairly simple-- I only needed to stretch it a few inches wider than the original but the cardinal itself just looked incredibly off to me especially around the face, legs, and 'branch' areas.   The lead lines were also very distracting with most of them being completely unnecessary so I looked for different cardinals online and found a free Spectrum pattern that I thought looked much, much better.

After drawing out the borders to the size needed we simply scanned the free cardinal pattern into the computer and then printed it out to the width we needed.  We positioned it inside of the empty borders and then drew lead lines running outward towards the borders ONLY where they were necessary.  We also changed the branch that the bird was standing on from a lead line to a thin brown piece of glass.  We did the same for the birds legs but in all honesty the free spectrum pattern did that for us.  The difference is night and day.  The original is on the left and our modified pattern is on the right.  Which looks cleaner and more recognizable to you?



So them first up we have Mary's Dueling Hummingbirds and just as I thought, they are beautiful.   What amazed me most about this was that Mary said she was going to do an easy window.  then she showed me this pattern.  Easy is not a word I would use to describe it!   There are  a lot of tiny pieces in it but in the end all of those small pieces are what make this project look so good.  Her use of mixed colors throughout the birds helps as well!  Gorgeous.

Okay, so I've been talking a lot about Christmas but Halloween is going to arrive even quicker than Christmas!  We aren't seeing much done in terms of Halloween projects but maybe it's because Kerry's Red Haired Witch just looks so darned great!  I thought witches were supposed to be ugly but then again, this IS only her back side.

Judy's Cardinal Window again in a slightly larger view.   The end result is stunning and her elaborate border draws your eye to the entire window rather than just the border itself.  That can be a difficult balance but Judy surely pulled it off nicely.

Cheryl finished her Wedding Box just as I expected.   Once the top lid section is completed the box itself is only 5 pieces of glass cut out on a strip cutter.  It can't get any easier than that.   The amazing thing is just how elegant the finished product looks, don't you agree?

Sheri's latest is a Humming Bird Suncatcher.  Sheri has come a long way and works quickly and efficiently while at home. 
And a one, and a two!  Here are Susan D's latest Christmas Ornament-  these having been made with colored glass rather than as solid lead.  I have to say that it's a good look either way these are made.

Ann started tracing and cutting two Christmas Ornaments and already has one cut and ground while the other only has four more pieces left to cut out.  Christmas may be coming quickly but so are Ann's Ornaments.

Barbara got her Cardinal Panel ground and wrapped and then proceeded to tack it together.  Once that was done she realized that she still had time to get her border cut.  This could possibly be completed when we next see it.

Lara's working on a beautiful multi colored Sunburst design and colors are surely not getting in her way. This just has such an abundance of color that you can't help but love it.  This is going to rock.

White on white-- it's my bane as a stained glass photographer. Below you see Sheri's newest creation but what you can't see is the essentially white moon face while it's resting on top of the white pattern paper.  More will be revealed, especially after this is wrapped, in the weeks to come.
Cindy's stack of books is about halfway cut and ground and her use of color is also off the charts in a great way.  There will be nothing boring about this LARGE suncatcher when it's completed. 

Bee came back this week and her five Flowerpots Window is almost completely ground now.  With just the center flowers left to go I think Bee will be wrapping this before you know it.  Once it's all round you'll love these blooms!
Here's something I haven't seen made in class since I was teaching in Pennsylvania 21(!) years ago.  This will be a 3D Chess Board when Kerry completes it but it can also double as a Checker board as well.  For this to go together neatly and evenly a strip cutter was used to cut 32 red 2 x 2 squares and then 32 green squares in the same size.  The cutting went so quickly that Kerry now has 64 squares all ground and wrapped. 
Tracey managed to finished wrapping her Magnolia Window and after it was tacked together she got a green border cut out as well.  It won't take long to grind these to fit and then, after wrapping them, Tracey will begin putting a finished solder bead on this project.

Martha's window is all cut out now and she's just grinding her letters so we can see what it all says.  'Tiald Lore' is what it looks like to me right now but when it's finished I guarantee that it will clearly say, "Build Your Life".   All things in time.  Oh, and Martha will attest to the fact that text in stained glass IS a beach!
Jan's Eagle is not only completely tacked but the front side is completely soldered as well.  I have to say that her soldering on this was astounding as I only finished about fours lead lines at the end of class so I could report here that the front is now completely soldered.  No touch ups required.
Melissa filled in the missing pieces of her Butterfly Window and the butterfly's Antennae are a work of beauty.  It's all too easy to not get the pieces properly aligned and end up with a disjointed antenna but not when Melissa is doing the work.  She also got her first border cut and ground which means that she only has one more border to go before she begins soldering this.

Here's MiMi's latest Cabinet Door Insert.  If you look closely you can see that there are only 3 complete columns of Hexagons in this latest version.  This is down from upwards of nine columns in some of her previous windows.   I'm thinking that this will be finished before you know it.  In fact, I'd call this the Home Stretch now.

You saw two of Susan D's latest Christmas Ornaments at the top of this post and we're ending it by looking at her next six.  It's always about numbers with Susan.   1, 2 ,3 ,4 come on baby say you love me, 5, 6 7 times! 

And there you have it!  A VERY, EXTREMELY, AMAZINGLY early post straight from the Bayou Salé GlassWorks computer.