Monday, March 29, 2010

Soldering The Second Time Around and Around and Around

Where on Earth do these Blog Titles come from you may ask yourself. Well, I'll tell you that 9 out of 10 times they relate to something that was said in one of the classes. Usually it's something that elicited a laugh or two but on its generally doesn't seem to make much sense at all. So rest assured that although you may not understand what the Title is implying, someone who showed up for class surely does.

So first off this week we get to take a look at Julie's first completed Iris Window. I say first because there's still a second one that will sit to the right of this window, It won't be identical nor completely symmetrical but it will form one larger view. Julie really got to sink her teeth into the soldering process and I must say that by the time she got to the second side she really managed to wrestle control of the solder from the soldering iron and get it to flow smoothly. Maybe I imagined it but I think Julie had fun making this window and she's already talking about some windows she plans to make featuring a "sea" of irises.

Does this look familiar? I'm beginning to think that Janice can make this without a pattern now! But the good news is that she's only got 2 more of these to do and then she'll hang them in her windows and be able to admire them without thinking to herself, "Only X more to go!" Great job, Janice!

Roxie managed to complete the bird portion of her window and then get the irises in the bottom right corner cut out as well. She thought that she'd lost one of the feathers that she cut out last week but as I was putting it away after she left I noticed that the head was looking a little funny. The missing feather had managed to end up next to the gray horizontal piece that pokes out behind the birds head. It fit so perfectly we never even saw it. This window is really turning out nice and I can't wait to see it completed.

Grace finished grinding her Fleur De Lis window and then wrapped it and tacked it together. It's my guess that we'll see the background cut along with the SAINTS lettering next week during class. Then it will just need the final background section and a quick border.

And speaking of Fleur De Lis' and pairs of windows, we have Patty's second in a series of 2 Fleur De Lis panels. Her background glass wasn't in yet the morning that classes were to be held so I called her and asked her if maybe she wanted to begin working or something else or even take a week off until the glass arrived. She decided to skip class but then about 6 hours later we got a delivery and Patty's glass was here. I called her and she said, "Great! I'll see you tonight!" And that's why her window has the backgound all cut, ground and wrapped just waiting for the final border before she solders it.

And here's a look at the finished mid-sized Peacock window that I made (It's just shy of 3 feet tall). It was originally going to have a red border around it but just as I was about to cut the strips I decided to see what the blue would look like and as soon as I held it up to the window I knew that was what it needed. I had to dig through a lot of scrap to get enough pieces to go around it but I managed to turn up just enough and still have 2 pieces to spare just in case there was any breakage.

That brings us up to date again so we're all set to start with a fresh set of classes tomorrow night. We'll squeeze in one more post before easter comes around so we'll catch you then!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring Is In The Air

It was another somewhat quiet week here in the shop but that doesn't mean that we don't have progress to brag about. And let's face it, bragging rights are what this Blog is for! We like everyone to see what our students are doing and how far they're coming along each and every week with their projects. So let's jump on in...

Patty has finished the first of her 2 Fleur De Lis Windows. She was originally going to border this with the same glass that she used for the Fleur De Lis' but since we didn't have enough she decided to use the lighter color which I think works better. Dark borders tend to give windows a heaviness that Patty's window doesn't have. This color scheme offers privacy without appearing too formal. And I must say that Patty's soldering abilities have dramatically improved.

Julie has begun soldering her window and she's got all of the front side completed and about a quarter of the back side done as well. From the looks of things I'm going to have to draw up that second window real soon so she won't have to wait to get started on it as this window will surely be completed during her next class.

Roxie has decided on a pattern and has begun working on a window that's challenging yet fun. We asked her to start by cutting out the bird since it's got most of the hardest cuts. The water and the sky will be simple so once the feathers and irises are cut out she'll have no problems at all. As it stands she did great by getting most of the bird cut out in one class.

Jane spent her class prepping her mold for her next lamp. All of the paper pattern (called the 'cartoon') that attaches to the mold has been cut out and pinned onto the styrofoam mold so we won't have any surprises like we did with her last lamp which called for 6 repeats but actually needed 7. We've got this one completely under control right from the beginning. And I feel the need to point out that the Pattern instructions claim that this lamp has 2 repeats in it which I knew was wrong as soon as I saw it. It has 5 repeats which we verified when we got all of the cartoon onto the mold. Hope fully she'll be able to start cutting glass for this next week.

Lastly, with a few shows looming up ahead of us I wanted to be able to bring something flashy and this Peacock Window always does the trick. This is a bit smaller than we normally make it but when it's finished it will still stand just a hair over three feet tall. It's all soldered now (this picture was taken a few days ago) so I'll post a completed picture of it next week.The borders really add a lot to it.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Sunday, March 21, 2010

More Butterfly Stances

Jane has made a lot of these butterflies already and it looks like she'll be making at least a few more since she took home enough posts to make 6 others. It turns out that they make great gifts and just everyone who receives one ends up ordering one or two from Jane. At this rate you'll be able to spot one in your neighbors yard quicker that you'll be able to load up the Blog to see what she's working on next!

And when Jane finished up her latest round of butterflies she also managed to cut out all 84 pieces of the background to her next lamp. On top of all that she finally got the pattern to her next lamp and will begin working on that at the same as this one-- so expect to see her progress flip back and forth between the 2 different lamps in the next few weeks.

Grace had numerous decisions to make when she came into class. She knew she wanted to make a Fleur De Lis and she possibly wanted to include the name SAINTS in the window. This was the pattern we settled on-- a 2 tone Fleur De Lis with a gold center traced out with a thin black baroque border. The word SAINTS is still optional at this point but she's leaning towards including it. Again, I was impressed with the fact that she traced out her pattern, cut up the 2nd pattern, traced the Fleur De Lis onto her gold and black glass , cut it all out and then got all of the gold pieces ground in just one class!

Janice is home free with this window All she needs to finish this are four diamond corner pieces (look VERY hard and you'll be able to spot where they're missing) and some solder. That means that she'll be cutting out her last 2 windows in this design very soon. She has other projects lined up already so she's anxious to get these completed and installed.

It was a quiet week here in the shop. I've begun working on a mid-sized peacock based on our most elaborate peacock design and will throw a picture of it on here in the next post. Until then, keep your cutters oiled, your grinders watered, and your eyes peeled.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Friday, March 5, 2010

Just a Little Is Enough

With all that's been going on here we've fallen a bit behind on updating our students work. Let's see if we can't get this all caught up before our next set of classes.

First on the list is Jane's latest lamp. It's the same pattern as her last one but with a different color scheme. The dark accent pieces are actually a deep purple that matches the purple that runs throughout the greenish glass that acts as a border. Jane plans on making one more of these lamps before changing the pattern to a more flowery design with a grid work top. As for her work, I defy anyone to find a better constructed lamp in a store.

As you may recall we had to wait a bit for a cap to come in to put the finishing touches on Jane's lamp. While she was waiting for that cap to arrive she went ahead and made this Eagle window as a present. She increased the number of feather in the pattern to give it a more realistic look and I think she did another great job here.

Roxie has finished her frame (I can't believe I didn't post this blog yet-- this was completed almost 3 weeks ago!) and her colors worked out perfectly. Sometimes a camera can't catch all the little nuances of color in a project and this is a fine example of that. Every one of her border colors matches something in the actual picture that she's framed. Now that she has this completed Roxie is going to move onto a project with more detail and I think she's really going to have fun doing it. She's got a firm grasp on how windows are made now and her next window is going to make this one look like child's play.

Patty got her border cut, ground and tacked onto her window and then had time to solder most of the front side. This window is going to be completed soon (most likely during her next class) and then she'll get to make the second one in the series which is identical save for an extra half inch or so on the length of the panel. Normally the second window goes quicker than the first one but I can't imagine her finishing this any faster than she already has.

Julie has her window all ready to solder. She put a good dent in getting the job done this week after she tacked it all together. I can already tell that this is going to be a great looking window. Pay attention to the iris bud trailing in on the right hand side of the window. That will be incorporated into the pattern of her next window which will tie them together even though they will be 2 separate panels. Julie has used an excellent choice of colors for this.

We have 2 more post to get through by mid-week so keep an eye out for our next update.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Everything's Coming Up Irises

Grace has another Fleur De Lis under her belt. She makes these in record time and her workmanship has really gone beyond that of a student. She's confident in each of the steps and works quickly yet neatly. I think this picture says a lot about her work.
Julie came in and started wrapping the remaining pieces of her first Iris Window. Now that it's all wrapped and fitting together it's ready for solder. We had a little scare wondering where the smallest pieces ended up but after a few minutes of hunting they showed up right where they should be- in her box of equipment. She'll begin tacking this nearly 3 foot high window during her next class-- And once it's tacked together she'll begin her soldering!

Patty came in and ground her last 2 Fleur De Lis'. After they were wrapped and tacked together she laid them out on top of her clear granite background glass, traced around them and then cut her background. Everything fit so perfectly it only took her a few minutes to grind the pieces. She's taken them home to wrap so I'll bet she starts soldering this window during her next class after she gets her border attached.

Speaking of borders, Roxie got her final border cut, ground and wrapped, and then she got her four corners cut. She's tacked it all together and we slapped on some channel around the edges just before we called it a night. That means that this frame will be completed during her next class without any doubt. Wait until you see how perfectly the glass matches the picture...

Janice tacked together the center piece for her next window and then she set upon getting her background cut out. She's got 90% of it together so I expect that she'll have the rest of the background completed when we see her again. She's an old pro at this pattern. :-)

And that about wraps it up for this week. We'll see a few more completed projects during our next update so come back again.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks