Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Last Project For 2009

We only had one class this week and with it came the last completed project of 2009. When we last saw Louis he had taken his Tropical Fish window home to grind and wrap. Little did I ever suspect that when it would return just a few weeks later it would be be all finished-- soldered and all. He brought it in for me to add the final brass channel to it along with some hooks so he could hang it. We touched up the solder, gave it a bath and this is what he took home with him.

I think that Louis was surprised at how well it cleaned up but that's almost always the case. When a window is covered in flux it's hard to see just what you have in front of you. Louis did a great job and he says that this project taught him a lot about making stained glass windows. He plans to continue working at home and I think he's got what it takes to do some wonderful work. Hopefully we'll be able to show some of what e accomplished here on the Blog.

That about wraps it up here for this year. We'll be back next week in 2010 (sounds like Science Fiction, doesn't it?) with all new projects.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A record 11 Completed Projects!

Although we cut it right down to the wire with some of these projects, everyone made their Christmas deadlines and left with a smile on their face. Jane was calm and cool throughout her entire lamp ordeal (probably because I kept telling her not to panic) and at noon on December 23rd Jane walked out the door with her finished lamp made up of the correct number of repeats (7). I'll just let this picture of Jane's 18" lamp do the all talking. It speaks volumes.

Our next project was completed by Julie 2 weeks ago but we weren't able to unveil it here on the Blog until Julie's son received it for Christmas. Since he's been known to pop up here online to see and read what his Mom has been doing we had to keep this one a complete secret. It was fun to see an unaware Julie looking at her finished project with a big smile on her face a couple minutes after she had washed and waxed it. I really think she had a lot of fun making this window and I know for a fact that her son was completely taken with it.

Janice had everything under control during her last class before the Holiday. She was so in control that she, Grace and Cheryl brought in a party's worth of food and drink to celebrate the oncoming Christmas. After most of the food was gone she spotted some new glue chip bevels that Russ had ordered and decided to make a few quick boxes before she went home. These are the 2 boxes both she and Grace made on the spur of the moment.

Julie had completed her Fleur De Lis window 2 weeks ago and then started working on this picture frame for a picture that her husband had taken. It took her just 2 classes to get this project out of the shop and under the Christmas tree. The colors she picked match the print perfectly as you can see.
Cheryl finished soldering the back side of her window. It's a standard Fleur De Lis that cries out SAINTS! There are plenty of thin pieces all throughout this project. Cheryl took her time with them and it really shows. She has uniform lines and trim which is something that can easily make or break this window (figuratively speaking of course).

Grace wasn't just eating pizza, wings, and bread-sticks all night. She was busy finishing off the last of her boxes. Her last set of three were finished in black unlike these which have colored accent pieces in the center of the box tops and rounded off with a copper finish. We saw these tops last week and now we get to see them attached to their bottoms. And after she completed these she moved on over and helped her mother with the 2 glue chip bevel boxes that we saw above.

Since Janice and Grace were using glue chip bevels Cheryl decided that she might as well make a box also. She says that she uses the 4" x 4" box she made almost every day and that this time around she wanted to make something a little larger. This box measures 6 inches wide by 3 inches deep and high. Like Janice and Grace she completed this in about an hour.

Fleur De Lis Windows are certainly the rage here and Catherine's first project turned out beautifully. There are thousands of Fleur De Lis patterns around but this one is just the right shape for the overall size of this window. Making the final border out of the same glass that the Fleur De Lis was made from really gives this a nice, classy look to it.

We always have to put someone at the end of the post and normally I do it randomly but this week there was no choice in the matter since we always feature finished projects first. Camille is still working on his LSU tiger window (This is his 3rd week into it) and he now has the top section completely ground and wrapped. When we see him again he'll be adding his border and soldering this all together.

Now that I think about it we'll be having a LOT of new projects starting after the New Year. We'll see Patty's Tabasco Window and Camille's Tiger. Janice will be resuming work on the remaining windows for her house. Grace will probably get back to work on her Tiger Eye/Fleur De Lis window an we may see Louis' completed Tropical Fish scene next time around also. But who knows what may change inside of 2 weeks. Check back here in 2010 to see just what everyone will be doing!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Friday, December 18, 2009

All Coming Together

With only a week to go before Christmas we're seeing projects completed just in the nick of time.

Janice's Baby Box is finished! Instead of a standard baby picture we have a unique shot of the families hands all touching. It makes a great picture and is a large part of this eye catching box. The picture is sepia toned so Janice matched it with a light tan waterglass for her border. The final project is as nice a box you could ever hope for.

Grace colored the bottom sections of her 3 boxes she worked on last week and then got the tops attached which completes these 3 beveled boxes. These mid size boxes are the perfect small but thoughtful gift and they sparkle beautifully in the light. Grace offset the clear bevels by coloring her solder black giving these a very rich look.

Even though Grace has 3 boxes down she's still got 3 others in the works. The tops of these have a 1 inch square colored glass in the centers. The accent colors were specifically chosen and, as you can see, they really stand out. With the 3 tops all completed she only has to attach the mirror bottoms and then solder 12 lines before hinging them together. Grace will have these right in time for Christmas.

Earlier in the week Patty sent me a picture of a painting and asked if she could do it in glass. I love a challenge and I have to admit that I love the finished pattern! While I was drawing it out I constantly had one thing in my mind: This is only Patty's second window. That was my way of reminding me to keep it simple, but in the end it didn't need to be simplified at all. It's only Patty's first night working on this and she's already got half of it cut. In fact, the only thing she has left to do is the brick and mortar section that makes up the background wall.

Jane's lamp is together! Last week we were in a bit of a panic when we discovered that there was an error in the pattern and that we needed a 7th section to make this all fit together. Of course she didn't have enough glass for a 7th section so we had to identify it and then find it somewhere online that would be able to have it here in Louisiana with enough time to complete it before Christmas Well, it arrived Tuesday afternoon and was all cut up by Wednesdays class. Once it was all cut and wrapped I tacked the 6 sections together while Jane put together the 7th section. We then dropped the last section into the opening and it was complete. This lamp is sturdy even before it's been soldered.

UPDATE: Jane called me today to tell me that the outside was now soldered so this one is pretty much out the door. I just hope we get to see it again before she delivers it so we can have a final picture of it all lit up.

Catherine got her small inner border attached to her Fleur De Lis window and then went to work on the final border of her window. A double border always makes a window stand out nicely. In fact, if you look at a lot of stained glass windows you'll find that the nicest ones have really elaborate borders that frame the piece. That's what Catherine has here. She brought in a new neutral color in the thinner border and then finished it off with a wider border cut from the same glass that she used in the Fleur De Lis. She even has the first side soldered already so this is another window that will be completed next week, just in time to be wrapped and placed under a tree.

And not to be forgotten is Camille's LSU window. Last week he finished cutting it all out and this week he spent all his time on the grinder. With the bottome LSU section all ground he moved on to the much trickier top tiger eyes section. He's got about an eighth of that completed now and he's got his LSU pieces home with him so he can wrap them during the week. I have to say that he's a natural at this. With VERY little help at all he got his letters all lined up and fitting perfectly. I won't be surprised if the tiger eyes go home with him next week so they can be wrapped.
We'll be moving our Thursday night class to Tuesday night this week so we can get some last minute projects completed before the big day rolls around next Friday. The rest of our classes will be running as normal. See you all then.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, December 14, 2009

Last Minute Problems

We have three completed projects this week with more to walk out the door for the last time during our next class. First up we have Steve's completed Sea Turtle. His excellent use of color and textured glasses really sparkle in this window. Steve completed about 1/3rd of this window at home on his own and you have to admit that it turned out perfect.

Patty brought home her flower suncatchers and came in with them all wrapped and ready for solder. Since they're suncatchers she had to deal with the tricky edging process which can really be a pain, but her cutting and grinding was superb and she flew through that with no problems at all. And best of all, these were made with small pieces of scrap so they cost hardly nothing to make!
When does a simple project become a problem? When there's a deadline looming! Jane started this lamp with the smallest amount of glass and when the instructions that came with the pattern said that there 6 repeats in this lamp we had no reason to doubt it. By the time it was all cut and ground Jane had only a 6"x 4" piece of glass left. Then when she went to assemble it she discovered that it actually takes 7 sections to make this lamp. There was no more glass left to work with and to make matters worse we weren't sure what kind of glass it was. And let's not forget that this is to be a Christmas gift and Christmas is only 2 weeks away and that ordering the glass might take that long to come in. We decided that if worse comes to worst we can space the sections out on the mold evenly and add another row to the design (as you can see in the picture) but Russ spent some time on the phone with his nose in catalogs until he huntged down the correct glass. Another hour later he was able to find a supplier with it in stock from where it would be delivered inside of a week. With only 32 pieces to cut ground and wrap I have no doubt that it will be delivered on time. Tune in next week for an update where I'll hopefully say that the last section has been cut.

Cheryl was all alone in class this week because Janice became a Grandmother again which means that Grace has become an Aunt again as well. Congratulations to both of them!

So Cheryl had our full attention even though she didn't need it. After picking an etched glass for her background she then got the final two borders on her window and took it home to solder. We'll see this finished next week without a doubt. And I have to admit that I love the pattern even if the thin borders are a pain to do.

In a similar vein we get to see how Camille made out with the top tiger half of his window this week. I'd said it would be tricky but all the cutting went just fine and by the time Camille left all of the tiger was cut out. He'll be at the grinder next week. Even in this rough state you can't mistake what those tiger eyes are.

Catherine has all but her borders done on her Fleur De Lis window. She went with a clear crackle background and spend a little time grinding it after she cut it all out. Then before I knew it she had all the pieces wrapped and tacked. Borders never take long to do so I'm sure she'll be ready to solder this next week.And there's been a project someone has been working on that I'm sworn to secrecy about. All I can say is that he's been working VERY hard on this window and it was completed this week. I promise to post the pictures here after Christmas has past so you can be as impressed as I was with the end results.
That's it for this week and this brings us right up to date.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tracing It All Out

With Christmas right around the corner we have people working on various gifts. So we'll start this post with a look at the flowers suncatchers that Patty traced out, cut-out and then ground. It's a good deal of work to achieve in one night and I'm impressed with Patty's abilities this early on.
Louis got all of his window cut out and even got a good section of it ground before he called it a night and took it home to work there with it. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture but what you see below gives you a good idea of what his window looks like. Although the fish haven't been cut out in the picture below you can rest assured that they are cut and that half of this window is ground. I can't wait to see this one completed.

Steve has finished soldering the front side of his window and has moved on to the back side. All this needs is a brass channel surrounding it and and a bath. After that we'll get to see it held up in the light. Steve's been spending a lot of time working on his glass in his shop at home so expect to see some big things in the coming months from him.

As you know, Grace has begun working on a series of beveled boxes. Last week she did the tops and this week she's managed to complete 3 bottoms. She has a few more to make so AFter these are joined together she'll be doing more of the same.

Meanwhile Janice got the background cut, ground wrapped and then tacked together for her baby announcement box. When that was finished she moved along and wrapped the bevels for 4 small bevel boxes of her own. I must say that they've been very popular this year.

Jane has completed cutting out all the pieces for her lamp and assembled 2 of the 6 sections that make it up. Pretty soon it will all be tacked together and we'll really get a feel for what this lamp will look like when it's completed.

Catherine has started her first window and she's decided to make a Fleur De Lis design. Here's the pattern with the actual Fleur De Lis all cut ground and wrapped. Next week she'll tack it together and then cut the background. That will end the hard part of making this window. Notice how nicely Catherine followed her cuts: the lines of the large center top piece flow perfectly to the smaller bottom centerpiece just as they're supposed to. I've seen a lot of Fleur De Lis windows in my time and it's that detail that always seems to be off on the them.

Camille has decided to make an LSU window as his first project. He traced out his pattern and we decided to start with the easiest cuts first to get him comfortable with the glass cutter. I didn't want to see him get discouraged by trying to cut out those tiger eyes first because they're both complex and tricky to cut. But judging by the way he got all of his bottom section cut I'd say he'll have no problems with the top half of this.

Christmas is almost upon us. Although we have no completed projects this week we'll be seeing plenty of them in the weeks to come.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Thursday, November 26, 2009

On The Eve Of Thanksgiving

We had 5 students in on Wednesday night even though it was Thanksgiving Eve. I call that dedication!

When I last saw Steve he walked out of the shop with a brand new grinder and his unground window. When he walked in Wednesday night (not even a full week later) he had not only finished grinding his window but he had it foiled as well. He tacked it together in class, got his border both cut and tacked and then began soldering. He's doing great and has taken it home with him. I highly suspect that this will be a completed window next week.

Meanwhile, Louis managed to complete cutting both of his tropical fish for his window. He seems to be completely comfortable with his cutter now and when he moved over to the grinder he watched me grind just 2 pieces of glass to demonstrate and then he jumped right in. He got a lot accomplished and I suspect that he'll be wrapping glass after his next class. this is going to be a nice colorful window and Louis should be proud of the work he's accomplished.

Janice has decided to work on Birth Announcement box which is simply a Wedding Box with a picture instead of a wedding invitation. She's making the Entwined Hearts pattern with colors matching the birthstones garnet and turquoise. She'll finish the background next week and then move on to smaller beveled boxes because the baby this is being made for will most likely not be born yet. Without a birth we can't have a picture and without a picture we can't finish the box. But the hard part will be completed.

And speaking of small bevel boxes, guess what Grace worked on this week? She wrapped the bevels for 3 boxes and got the tops completed for all 3. Next week she'll have the bottoms assembled and we'll attach them and call it a night.

Now you may be saying to yourself, But wasn't Grace working on a Fleur De Lis / Tiger Eye window last week? Well yes she was but after she cut out all the purple glass early on in class she decided to move on to her next project and do her grinding at home. Here's the window you were all wondering about.
Okay, I have to say that I was completely impressed with Cheryl's work this week. She's emailed me and said that she never got a chance to work on her window while it was home so she would be grinding when she came into class. The amount of detail this window has made me believe that she's be grinding for 2 classes but was I ever wrong. In one class she got the whole thing perfectly ground. An exact fit is necessary for a window like this because if you're off at all your eye will pick up the lack of symmetry and it will just look awful. As you can see in the picture below that's not the case here!

Rather than being slaves to an oven on the night before one of America's biggest feasts we were all laughing at each other and cursing our broken glass. Either way, we all had fun.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Two Finger Method Of Cutting Glass

Patty has come up with a new method of cutting glass that she calls the "Two Finger Method". You cut your glass and while you're breaking it you cross your two fingers and pray. :-) Hey, it certainly can't hurt!

Well, this week we get our last look at Janice's 4 x 3 window that she made for her son. It's based on a design that he came up with combining the smiling and frowning faces that are traditionally used to represent the theater, and the Acadian flag with some Baton Rouge elements thrown in to round it all off. The window turned out beautiful and Jance really did a good job dealing with the large pieces of glass that make up this window.

Patty has her first window completed and you've got to admit that it certainly doesn't look like a first project. Nothing about Patty's window says that she's new to this art. She's a natural at this and I expect well be seeing more great windows from her in the

And speaking of naturals our latest student, Catherine, made this butterfly this past week. Her ability to cut glass and follow a line with the cutter was amazing. Perfect pressure and perfect cutting lead to this perfect butterfly.

Grace traced out the pattern to her latest Tiger Eye/ Fleur De Lis window. With the yellow and the white all cut we should see this window completed fairly soon. I can't wait to see this after she gets the purple cut out.

As promised, Louis managed to get enough of his window cut out so we can really see what it looks like now. I think Louis has gotten the feel of the glass now and no longer worries about each cut he's making. No one is ever 100% confident that a cut will break correctly but the process goes much smoother when you're confidence level is high and you're not worries about crossing your fingers with each cut you make.

Steve is finished with his cutting and has moved on to grinding his window. He's so into this that he ordered a grinder and then picked it up on Thursday along with his window so he could work on it at home. There's no telling how far along he'll be when he returns this week.

Jane has begun cutting the glass for her first of 2 stained glass lamps. The 2 lamps will be identical in design but the color schemes will be different. I have to say that I love her choice of glass. The color she picked for her in her trim is incredible.

Pam is almost finished with her cross window. She worked on this while she was at home and she's up to the soldering stage now. I must say that she's really taken to the soldering process. This window is almost finished!And Cheryl's latest window may be a Hell to grind, but it's certainly going to be worth it. She traced the pattern out this week and she's already got 61 pieces cut out and ready for the grinding wheel. A double border is really going to set this window off nicely.

We'll have a limited amount of students next week because of everyone's Thanksgiving commitments but we'll have an update on everyone that shows up. Check back then.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Party Time

We had a birthday feast for Russell on Wednesday night thanks to Janice, Cheryl and Grace. The cake was (as always) to die for. Thanks to everyone who had a hand in this for the wonderful food.

Grace has completed her first box. She had a hand in every part of this right down to the design of the 'invitation' to the left of the stained glass flowers. It's very pink and came out perfectly.
Grace will be starting an LSU Fleur De Lis window next week.

Cheryl worked on 3 box bottoms and then attached the lids to all 7 boxes. She's well ahead of time for Christmas and that's always a good thing. I wish I could take note on this strategy! Don't these look great?

We had a Camille begin classes this week which means that we have a new butterfly to look at. Camille chose different shades of purple for his butterfly but the shading of the glass didn't photograph well since there was no sunlight left in the day at 9pm. :-( Still, this gives you an idea of what he accomplished on his first night. Camille had no problems whatsoever and I think we're going to see some wonderful work from him in the near future.

Patty has her border attached and the front side of her window all soldered. This one is going to be finished next week and I must say that the pearls added a certain style to the window. They're hell to solder but the more work you put into a window the more enjoyment you'll receive from it.

Janice has cut her last piece of glass for this window. With her borders all cut and tacked into place she began soldering this beast of a window. Don't forget that the size of this is 4 foot by 3 foot which makes it very large. Alas, soldering it should be fairly easy since there aren't many pieces and there's not many lead lines.

Just look at Steve's Turtle! With everything cut but the small pieces on its head and legs, Steve is making excellent headway with his window. He cut his large sections of water without even batting an eye. He'll begin grinding this next week.

Jane began working on her lamp. This is the mold with the pattern attached to one section. She'll make 6 sections and join them all together to make a completed lamp. She plans on making 2 of these but is working on them 1 at a time. She's discovered that the recommended amount of glass is GREATLY overestimated by about one third. She was pretty sure she didn't have enough glass for her secondary color but we got all the pieces out with some left over to spare in case there's breakage.

Pam is back in from Texas and decided to come to class so she could make a cross window. She got the cross cut, ground, wrapped and tacked together and half of her background is cut. She plans on working on this while she's staying at Jane's.

That about wraps it up for this week. We'll have a lot of new projects starting next week so come back and see what get's laid out on the cutting table next.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks