Monday, May 17, 2021

I Love Crime

The sponge that rests behind your grinding wheel is an integral part of your grinder and should never be forgotten about or taken for granted.   People don't realize that it can easily become plugged with ground glass which then prevents water from reaching the wheel.   I always pour some water directly over the sponge whenever I add water to my grinder to help clean it but even doing this isn't enough for truly good maintenance.  Actually, you should remove the sponge and wash it out regularly.  If you find it to be solid rather than 'spongy' simply hold it under running water while squeezing it until all of the ground glass trapped within it has been removed.  Doing this will prevent your glass from chipping and make your grinder head last longer.

Now take a gander at this!  Bee's Cardinal Window has officially been completed and you can't tell me that all of the work she put into this wasn't worth it.  The design itself is original and outstanding--those wings fanning outward just give a beautiful grace and balance to this window.  I can't wait to see what Bee comes up with next!

Once washed and hanging up with some light behind them, these Texas Boots sure do shine.  The red, white, and blues centered into amber and brown hues really draw attention to the patriotic nature of this window.   Judy did wonderful work on these boots and that's a fact.
Ann made a few tweaks on her Angel Hand Mirror pattern and ended up with this design.  Although it's extremely similar to the last one she made this one features a bit more mirror therefor giving it a better view.   You can't go wrong when you start with a great idea.
Lisa's newest Lantern features a musical motif with a Treble Clef inscribed door panel and piano keys that wrap around the remaining 3 sides of the lantern   Those piano keys were a challenge because of how close black keys resided to the lines separating the white keys but Lisa was determined and her end result is fantastic.
Here are Cindy's newest Bicycle Wheels but these feature a bit of a twist-- they are made from a child's bike!  These frames are only about a foot wide so they went together VERY quickly. 
Betty got all four of her Humming Birds completed and learned how to make eyes that are cut into glass rather that tacking beads on top of the glass.   Although it seems tricky it really isn't as long as you keep your half circles lined up every step of the way.  I think that these four birds prove that you can't screw up your color choices when making this pattern.

Linda's wrapped up the work on her last two Butterfly Hoop designs, one with blue/purple wings and the other with wings made from a burgundy swirl.  With these under her belt she's leaving behind hoops and moving on to plates as you'll see later.

With a fifth Cabinet Insert installed MiMi only has one left to go for this section of her entertainment room.  She's already well underway on that sixth panel of glass and I know that MiMi is very much looking forward to seeing this entire section of her room completed.

Angie's Praying Hands Window just needs to be soldered and then it will be out the door.   She cut her blue background out of one piece of glass cut to the size that she needed the background to be.   She then traced that praying hands in the center of that glass and cut it out starting from the bottom and running to the upper right side of the glass.  After that the rest of the cuts were in God's hands so to speak and in the end the grain of the 'sky' was perfectly aligned throughout the window.

Martha has begun work on a Wedding Box complete with an intricate side panel that matches the invitation.  These make wonderful wedding gifts and this one is set to be spectacular. Talk about a personalized gift!
Jan found this pattern of a Pelican and loved the look and the size of it.  This week we see that she's got it all cut out and that she's begun grinding everything as well.  I like the way she offset the sky and the water with colors that match yet are not too similar.   Look close enough and you can actually see the sky reflected in the water.
Lisa started off thinking that she'd put this Cardinal into a hoop but then she felt it looked a little empty.   What to do?  Add a flower!  This is going to make a perfect pair and I love the fact that Lisa isn't afraid to think outside the hoop.

After getting her background tacked into place Annette found herself working on her border pieces.  I have to say that it didn't take long before she was ready to start soldering her Falcon's Skull Window.  With the front side started there's a chance that this will be finished during her next class.

With all of the glass officially cut out for her Flower Pot Window, Lara has begun grinding.  She's on a deadline to get this completed but she has absolutely nothing to worry about because she has plenty of time to finish this and get pretty far along into her next project before her time runs out.  Let's face it, this already looks like it's been ground so how much grinding will this actually need to get to the next step in its creation.
Mr. Bingle now has his double border attached along with plenty of StrongLine between MANY of the pieces in this window.  Cheryl then took her time soldering and got most of the front side of this huge window completed.   We'll flip this over when she returns to do the back and I think it's safe to assume that this will be finished in about two more weeks.

Mary Grace got her flower all ground and tacked together for her newest Hoop Project.   With just a little soldering to go this will easily be finished when she comes back in and then she'll be able to work on her Cardinal Hoop pattern.  She sure likes those hoops!

Shawn's Diver and Manta Ray Window is coming together better than ever as she carefully grinds each piece for perfect fits.  She's working from the ground upward on this and I think she'll easily get to the diver himself by the time we next see this window.

With the 3rd panel of her Nativity Scene practically completed, Roxane will come back in, tack this together and then lay the three panels out to see what she wants to use for the sky and the wood beams of the manger.  It won't be long before all three are connected into one big Nativity Scene..

Sheri had another productive class as she was able to finish all of the cutting for her Chakra Yoga Window and then get a large portion of grinding done as well.  I won't be long before Sheri is ready to wrap this in foil.  She's a little concerned that the skin is too dark, but once this is off of the table and it gets some light behind it I can guarantee that the 'skin' will lighten up.
Linda F had a beautiful blue/pink glass picked out for her border that perfectly matched the watering can but after the border was cut out she decided that it drew too much attention outward rather than inward to the main theme of the window.   I applaud her for deciding to change it even though she had the pink/blue glass already cut and ground.  If you don't like something you need to change it because once it's done it's done.  And yes, I love this border color that she picked as a replacement.

Tracey's Hummingbird Scene is well underway with just a few feathers and the background glass left to cut for this.   This design has the look of a traditional stained glass window and I think it's going to be a huge hit with everyone who sees it.
Mary got all of her glass ground for her Redfish Window and just as promised, it looks just like a Redfish!   We still have to work out the section in front of the mouth because we need to cut a lure into that area.  I have no doubt that will work out easily enough and then this window will look even better than it does now. 

Susan D has everything cut out for her Summer Window and check out the extraordinary use of glass that she picked for the pail in the sand near the left hand side.  It's one piece of glass but it matches the beach ball on the right side of the window that was cut from 6 different pieces of glass.  Perfection!

Sometimes a line drawing (a pattern) just doesn't convey just how wonderful the pattern actually is.  I agonized about the iris in this drawing but Melissa's choice of glass already makes it look stunning even in its current un-ground state. And when she gets to the colorful butterfly below it, well, look out!
Speaking of Irises, Barbara has a good portion of her Yellow Louisiana Iris Panel ground already.  As I always say, the second one always moves along much quicker. 

Kerry's latest Pentagon Window features a Bobwhite rather than an eagle.   Aside from the species of bird the rest of the window will be very similar to his last one and as you can see he's well underway to finishing this already.
Cindy's latest Bicycle wheel is actually completely soldered now and only needs a bit of touching up before it spins its way out the door.  We'll see exactly what this looks like next week.

Lastly we look at the pattern that Linda L will be working on when she returns.   The round sections will be made from five assorted plates  that will be soldered into the window.  There's a trick to this and we'll discuss that as Linda gets further along into this project.

And there you have it.  It was a busy week and it looks like that busy schedule won't be changing any time soon!


Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Pat Benatar's Greatest Hits

Sometimes when you break your glass a 'flair' is left behind.   This usually occurs when too much pressure is applied while breaking the glass.   On large cuts the adjustment screw on your running pliers will help prevent these flairs but there's really no way to prevent them while using breaker/grozier pliers.  When you see these flairs you MUST grind them down.  These happen often while cutting borders especially if the piece your are removing is small.  When I tell students to 'skim' their border pieces on the grinder it means to apply a light but firm pressure against the grinding wheel on each edge of the glass.  That said, you must also remove the flairs that the red arrows below are pointing to.  These appear small and inconsequential, but they make big problems later one when squaring and sizing your windows.  As I always say, "Everything counts in large amounts."


So first up we have Melissa's Round Cardinal window featuring a background made out of a type of glass known as fractures and streamers (for obvious reasons).   Used in a window like this it is absolutely perfect since it makes you think of assorted fall leaves in trees behind the birds.  Stunning.

The there's Martha who completed her Pelican Window which also looks great.  She had a hard time picking out the colors for the double border but what she ended up choosing blends perfectly with the clouds in the sky which in turn ties everything together.

Jan loved the pattern she saw for this window but it was simply too tall for her needs so we chopped it almost in half and redrew the bottom section to make it more appealing to its new size.   Now that it's been completed I can honestly say that Jan did a wonderful job with the colors as well as with the rest of the work on this stunning window.

This is Mary Grace's Hoop Owl.  Made entirely out of scraps this little guy will easily brighten up any room he hangs in.  This is also the first example of a Hoop Project not completely residing within the hoop.  Mary Grace has yet another project that will similarly 'burst' through the confines of the hoop that we'll see shortly.
Angie can make these Heart/Rose/Cross Panels in her sleep now.  This is a window that proved to people that although the border and the heart/rose are both red they don't have to be cut from the same sheet of red glass.  In fact, it's almost always nicer to have a subtle difference in colors (or textures) between objects.  The roughly textured red border and the smooth red heart prove that fact in Angie's window very nicely. 

Next we have 2 more hoop projects, these having been made by Linda L.  This is the first pair of four Butterfly Hoops that Linda is making  so expect to see two more in our next post.  And yes, these Butterflies are confined to their respective hoops.

Ann's made some major headway on her Angel Hand mirror.   With everything ground and foiled Ann is ready to tack this, cut the mirror for it, and then finish it all off with a nice coat of solder on the front and back of this stunning Angel.

I absolutely love Shelley's background glass and I'm jealous that I didn't find it in the rack before her because they don't make it any more and this is (almost) the last time we'll see this wonderful color.  That said it works perfectly in this window so I'm thrilled that the last time we see this glass will be in a window that looks this good.

Tracey has begun work on a very L.C. Tiffany themed Hummingbird and Morning Glories pattern.  She's already begun cutting glass and next week we'll see a lot more colors covering this pattern.
I know it's hard to see right now but Kerry is working on another bird in another pentagon.  It's tiny so the details will emerge after he begins grinding the bird's face which he is almost up to already since he's got it all cut out already.

Speaking of birds, this is Jan's next project.  She's begun cutting a Pelican and Sun Panel and is now ready to begin grinding it for a perfect fit. Don't you just love that water?  Yes, it's the last piece of the same glass that Shelley used in her Flamingo Window.

This week we got to see Sheri cut out the amber body portions of her Yoga Chakra Window, the blue sections at the bottom, as well as the heavily textured lotus-like ring that surrounds the meditating individual.  This is a very spiritual window indeed!

And this is the start of a Feather Suncatcher that Martha has begun working on.   Next week she'll begin work on a wedding box -- this is sort of an in between project from her.

Well it's official.  Mr. Bingle has all of his glass cut out and attached.   The first thing Cheryl did was to add the final amber border and then she was able to fill in the three or four missing  pieces which means that she'll begin soldering this when she comes back in.  there doesn't appear to be all that much to solder here but it's a BIG window so it will take some time.

Those Texas Boots of Judy's are almost set for walking!   She's got the front side soldered and will hit the back side when she comes back in so these are going to be out the door before you know it.   There's absolutely no mistaking what this window is when you look at it now. 

Annette didn't care for the grey glass that she had used for the cap of her Atlanta Falcon's Skull Window so she changed it to a heavily textured black glass instead.  Once that was ground and attached she got her background cut out, ground and wrapped.   That means this will surely get a border added to it when we see Annette next.
With only a few fill in pieces left to cut Linda F made excellent progress on her spring time Watering can/Flowerpot Window.  She specifically cut out the sky that resides between the wooden porch posts from one piece of glass so that the pattern in the glass would be maintained across the stretch of the window to make it look completely natural.  We used a few other tricks to achieve that effect but those are tricks for our students to know.  We can't give away all of our secrets for free!

Look!  It's another Bicycle Wheel! Cindy is making this one in red, white, and blues and she already has the front side completed so perhaps she'll finish this upon her return.  We'll know for sure next week.
Shawn's Diver had some minor adjustments made to it as recommended by her husband who wanted the diver to be wearing a specific type of suit.  All in all the changes were very simple and involved removing details rather than adding them. This is coming together quickly and I think its going to be spectacular when it's got some light behind it.

Bee has has got solder on the second side of her Cardinal Window  which means that she can now see light at the end of the tunnel.  We cheated a bit and held it up in the light and let me say that you will be impressed when this gets its closeup with Mr. DeMille. As beautiful as this window is I think that Bee is ready to move along to something else and trust me when I say that will be very, very soon.
MiMi is about to finish her next Hexagon Window.  Can you spot the break?  Neither can we! So much textured glass, so little time!

This is moving quickly!   Mary said she wasn't able to work on her Red Fish during the week but the amount of grinding that she accomplished while in class was astounding.  You can really see the fish now that things are fitting into place but there's still one thing missing and that's the dot near this fish's tail.   Have no fear though as we'll add that once everything else has been ground.

And Betty has more Humming Birds under way!  I love her color combinations, especially the second one from the left but that's not to say that the others don't look great as well.

Although Lisa wasn't able to make it to class she sent a picture of what she's been working on during the week.  It looks as though she'll have that last panel for her latest Lantern completed when we see her again as well as a Cardinal Suncatcher.
And Susan D also couldn't make it in and also send a current picture of the work she'd accomplished over the past week on her Summer Panel.  With just the letters in the word Summer left for her to cut out I do believe that this is going to be completed before you know it!

And there you have it.  This is a special Mother's Day edition of our Blog (a whole day early!) and I want to wish all of our students and readers who are mothers a very happy Mother's Day!