Saturday, December 25, 2010

Deadlines? Not A Problem!

This post is a little late, but not by that much. Christmas has manage to keep me off of the computer but I really wanted to be sure to get last weeks progress posted before we started our new round of classes tonight.

First off we'll take a look at the window that everyone in class has been following. I must say that it was VERY impressive looking when it sitting there on the table all cleaned up and polished but when we hung it up in the sunlight our reactions to it were all "ohh's" and "ahh's". Even from Grace and Janice. :-) The railing on the second floor of the "Grace's Pub & Grub" building was made by tacking wires into the lead lines. The overall look of this window was not to be 100% perfect with straight lines, but if we carried that look through to the railing it would have looked all helter-skelter, thus our decision to use wire which made it easier to ensure a straight line. All in all it's a beautiful window, wouldn't you say?

But that doesn't mean that Roxie's Lady In A Tub window is any less beautiful. It's actually harder to make than it may first appear because the window is only about 15 inches long. That makes the rose, its leaves and the stems coming from the vase a pain in the butt to work with because they're so tiny. The original design called for bubbles cut from glass that ranged in size from 3/4 of an inch to about 1/8 of an inch. Both Roxie and Patty had the idea to convert the bubbles into white-iridized glass globs which bypassed a lot of tedious grinding. And the rounded 3D effect of the new bubbles looks so much better than the design in the original pattern. It was hard to get a picture of this window while it was back-lit but you get a good feel for it with the picture I managed to take.

Talk about colorful. Terry's Mardi Gras mask window is all cut out save for the background. She's moving along so fast that I can barely keep up with her progress here in the Blog! There's no doubt that she'll be grinding this window during her next class. I think I can safely say that Terry has gotten the hang of cutting glass. :-)

We got to see both Patty and her husband, Marty, this week. He was in to check out just what it is that takes up all of Patty's time on Thursday nights-- And he got to see a lot. Between Roxie soldering and completing her window and Patty cutting and grinding the background glass to her Shrimp De Lis window Marty got to see just about every aspect of making stained glass. And then before the night was over Patty even got her border cut and ground. She took the pieces home to wrap which means that she'll be soldering this one when we see her next.

Ray picked out an abstract/geometrical design for his first window and he's moving right along. He started off a little unsure of himself, wondering if he'd bitten off more than he could chew, but now that he has 16 pieces of glass cut and only 12 to go I think he's feeling far better about his abilities. This week he worked with all colored glasses but during his next class he'll be dealing with clear textures as well. Ray should easily complete cutting his glass during his next class and then he'll begin standing in front of the grinder (so to speak!)

This next project by Paul is really going to be something to watch. I've been wanting to make one of these for some time now but I just don't seem to have the free time to make what I want anymore. When Paul told me that he wanted to make a Wardian Case and told me what he was interested in I knew just the one to do. When I showed him the picture he was was sold and this week he began his cutting. Since it's all clear glass it's hard to take pictures of right now, but these sections that you see will form the 14 panels that make the rounded sides of his terrarium. Mark my words, this will be spectacular when it's completed.

This next subject has always been a favorite of mine and Myrt's interpretation of it looks wonderful. Her Sun/Moon window is all cut and ground and even wrapped at this point. She just needs to pick out a color for her border. In fact, now that I think about it, this may look really good with two different colors for the border-- A lighter color on the Moon side and a darker color on the Sun side. We'll have to see what she thinks.

Anita's Panda window is just about complete. In fact, she's taken it home to solder so it could be more complete than I even know. When she came in with everything wrapped it only took a few minutes to tack it all together. Cutting the border took a little longer than normal only because the window that this will be going into isn't completely symmetrical and we had to pretty much cut the border sections one at a time to ensure that the window will fit when it's completed. But by the end of the night it was all cut, ground and tacked together. Rather than waiting until next week to solder this Anita has taken it home where she'll hopefully get a chance to work on it between all the Holiday things she needs to get done.

Next we have Fran who's making some good progress on her Ducks in Flight window. She has most of the ducks cut out and is contemplating changing her background design. That means she'll next need to grind and tack together these ducks to accommodate her background changes. We'll see what happens when she comes back in the shop.

We have one more set of classes to go for this year and then we'll leave 2010 behind us. I'm not entirely sure if anything else will be completed this year or not-- I guess it depends on how far along Anita gets while she's at home since she's the only one close to having a window completed.

And speaking of the end of 2010, I have to say that 2011 is looking like it will be a very busy year. Here in the shop we'll be working on plenty of church windows in the months to come (I have one sketched out now) and I've been hearing our students talking about all kinds of great projects that they want to do next. Hopefully this won't be the last Blog entry for 2010, but in case it is allow me to say "Happy New Year!"

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Friday, December 17, 2010

Don't Forget Your Foil, Roxie!

Christmas is practically upon us and we have 2 projects that we'd like to see completed in time for the 25th. How far along are they and will they be finished on time? Well, we can definitely answer 1 of those questions and speculate on the other so keep on reading for the answers.

First off we get a look at Trecia's window. If Trecia needed this completed for Christmas she'd be all set because she walked out the door with it on Wednesday. As you can see it all came together beautifully . The design and the workmanship are top notch no matter how you look at it. We may see Trecia again after the Holidays because she has another project to do for her home that her husband would like to see done. She did great with this so I don't see where she'll have any problems with what has has in mind next.

Myrt is moving right along with her Sun/Moon window (or should I call it a Moon/Sun window since the moon is on the left?). She's a bit undecided on the accent colors for the lips and eybrows but she's going to make a final decision when things are ground and she can really see how the colors all fit together. As it stands, it looks great already and no matter what she chooses I can't see how it would possibly detract from this window at all.

Patty made great headway with her Shrimp De Lis window. She merely had it cut out when we saw it last but this week she hit all her pieces on the grinder and then wrapped them all as well. As far as I can tell there are only 11 pieces to go before she needs to cut her border. That means that she'll be picking out a border color along with her background glass during her next class.

Next up we get a look at our first window that needs to be completed in time for Christmas. Grace and Janice have been burning the midnight oil to get this hugely complicated pattern done on time and it's all coming together now. So much, in fact, that all that's left to do is attach a border and solder the back side. The front is completely soldered and there's only 1 break in the glass that needs to be repaired. In all honesty I expected a few more than that, especially when you consider how thin some of these pieces are. So all in all this has worked out EXTREMELY well for Grace. The big question is, will she finish it during her next class? I'll tell you what I think at the end of this post.

Terry started work on her Mardi Gras Mask window and it's really turning out nice. She picked a beautiful Blue/Green glass for her feathers and has most of them cut out now. She's picked out the colors she'll be using for the rest of this window but I have no clue what they are so I'll be as surprised as everyone else when I see what happens with this project in terms of colors.

Anita is moving at light speed with her Panda window. Talk about getting the hang of something quickly! She's got this window all cut and ground already and she's only 3 weeks into this project. She's taken her glass home with her to wrap so that when she comes in for her next class she can have it all tacked together and get her borders cut before she starts soldering this. The pieces that are missing in the picture are already wrapped and were put away before I snapped the picture. Rest assured that all but the border of this window is cut and ground.

Next up we have our second window that needs to be completed for Christmas. Roxie has her pieces all ground and wrapped which enabled her to get her border pieces cut. She's taken them home and as soon as she walks in the door next class she'll have it all tacked together and ready for solder. Will she make it in time for Christmas? Keep reading and I'll tell you what I think...

Here's a look at Fran's Duck window. With a pattern firmly picked she's begun to cut the glass for this project. All of her colors are picked so we should see some big progress during her next class. With all of those feathers that look so very similar Fran is taking her time to be mindful of what feathers she's working on. You certainly don't want to mix these up because you'll never figure out where they go if you do.

Last, but not least, we get to see the new project that Ceil has begun working on this week. It's an underwater scene with 8 fish and a crab along with assorted shells and underwater leaves. The window is about 3 foot long and has more pieces than you can shake a stick at, but this is one of those windows that will prove that size doesn't matter if you simply take it a section at a time. And as an added bonus for Ceil, Anita plans to help with this when she finishes her Panda window. :-)

You've seen our 2 windows that need to be completed during the next week. What do you think? Will they be completed or will they be late Christmas gifts? I say that we're going to be looking at 2 finished windows in our next Blog post. If I can say one thing about Bayou Salé GlassWorks and our students, it's that we ALWAYS get the job done-- Without fail.

Check back before Christmas for our look at these two completed projects.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Blood Offering Was Made (Multiple Times)

Here it is, Terry's completed window! Terry was originally going to cut the white background glass in just 12 pieces but in the end we both decided that discretion would be the better part of valor so we cut the longer top and bottom pieces in half to avoid a possible unseemly break. And as you can see from the finished window, it didn't hurt the design a single bit. I love Terry's choice of colors in this.

Cheryl came in and visited with the girls on Thursday night while she finished up her stained glass Boxes. When they were completed both Roxie and Patty were quite impressed with the results. Boxes are a great quick project and they're more than just decorative-- they're handy to have around. You can't see the etched imaged in the bevels so I'll tell you that the one on the left has a butterfly and some flowers while the one on the right has a small verse that says, "For there is no friend like a sister, in calm or stormy weather". But if you read the Blog last week, you already know that. :-)

And Ceil has completed her first window. This will go in her class room where it will help block out the sunlight that comes pouring through in a blinding way just about every day. The colors are bright and since the glass is all solid it will block the sunlight while lighting up beautifully. Ceil will be starting another project next week for yet another window in her classroom.

We had two new students this week and we'll start off here by introducing everyone to Pat who made a yellow and orange butterfly. Though he's never done anything in stained glass before he had no problems at all cutting the glass (or doing any of the other steps). I'm not sure what he'll be doing next but I believe he'll have no problem tackling anything that he wants to.

Also joining us this week was Ray who decided to make his butterfly a blue one. Like Pat he had no issues at all with any of the steps in making stained glass. Both Ray and Pat understood the need to have curves that flow gracefully (rather than choppily) from one point to the next. And when the glass didn't cut exactly the way they wanted they simply fixed it at the grinder. This is another job well done. I like the design that Ray has picked out for his first window-- I think it's going to be very colorful and fun to make.

Roxie has finished cutting out her Woman in a Bathtub window and then moved over to the grinder where she now has the lower third of her window all fitted together. This should be ready to be wrapped next week. She wants it finished in time for Christmas and I know it will be.

Patty is working on a Shrimp De Lis window. The glass is the perfect color and Patty has all the hard stuff cut out and ready to go. She said she'll be doing some hard time at the grinder next week but I don't think that it's going to take her nearly as long to grind as she might suspect. There is still wire work to do after it's all soldered together and that wire will really set this off and let you know without a doubt that you are looking at four shrimp that form a Fleur De Lis.

Grace and Janice made BIG strides towards completing this French Quarter window. It's all ground and pretty much completely wrapped at this point. Grace has taken it home with her to finish wrapping and when it comes back in it should be tacked together as well. I guess soldering is the next step for this as well as adding the sign and the Fleur De Lis flag in the upper right corner of the window.

Fran has her duck pattern all set to go. It's been changed from the last time we looked at it so take a good look at it now before it gets covered in glass. :-) She's picked out some great colors for this project and I'm sure it's going to be a beautiful window when it's completed.

Myrt is making a Sun/Moon window and has the left section (the Moon) almost all cut out. I must confess that I've always liked these windows and can't wait to see how this one turns out. I won't be surprised if she finished cutting all her pieces in her next class and then we'll really get a good feel for how this window will look when it's finished. I love her choice of glass for the night sky.

Anita is another one who is moving at near light speed on her window. If I'm not mistaken this is her second week on this project and she's already got her Panda window all cut out. Not only that-- she's started grinding it as well. Anita really has the hang of this so I doubt that it will take much longer for her to finish this window and get to work on her third project. She had taken her green leaves home so she could cut them there and I have to say that she did a GREAT job!

Well, we certainly had our share of completed projects this week. When classes started on Tuesday night I was expecting only 1 finished window and here we are just a few days later with 2 panels that have walked out of the shop to be hung in their respective windows along with 2 boxes and 2 butterflies.

Paul was also here this week but he opted to watch his 2 friends work through their first lesson. Just wait until you see what he plans on making next. I love it when someone does something that's never been done in class before.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, December 6, 2010

¿dn sı ǝpıs ʇɐɥʍ

Determining the front and the back side of a piece of glass can really be an art itself. Sometimes, no matter how good you are, you just can't tell which side is up and which is down. I look at it like this: If you can't tell which side is the front of the glass then just go with the prettier side. You can't lose that way.

Well this project is a first. No one has made a dragon before so Patty figured that it was about time someone did something about that. Here we see her Dragon's Pewter Body with the stained glass wings she made for it. It's similar to the fairies that Patty and Roxie made but maybe a bit more masculine. The wings are our own design because we didn't have a pattern. And thanks to Russ we even attached them to the body correctly! I think that Patty found this to be a quick (only 1 class to make from start to finish) and fun project. I just wish I could remember what it was Patty wanted to work on next- I guess I'll have to call her to find out because my mind is obviously not what it used to be.

Myrt completed her Fleur De Lis window this week. During the week I took the liberty of washing and coloring it for her, not so much because I'm a nice guy (but we all know that I am!) but because I wanted a nice finished picture of the window. Somehow I think the picture would have come out nicely no matter what because this is a job well done. Good going Myrt!

And the last of our completed windows this week is one done by Cheryl. The "Hay, Lady!" is completed and out the door. I have to say that the colors and the design match the logo perfectly and I don't think a better job could have been done. We had to paint the face on but even that worked out well in the end.

And Cheryl doesn't waste any time when she shows up in class. Before she left she had the tops to 2 boxes pretty much completed. You can't see it in the picture but each of the bevels are etched. One says, "For there is no friend like a sister, in calm or stormy weather" and the other has a picture of a rose etched into the glass. It looks like she'll be working on the box bottoms during her next class.

Trecia has again made huge strides towards finishing her window. With the borders all tacked and the brass channel in place around the window on she began soldering this and has completed her first side. There's no doubt in my mind that this will be finished during class this Wednesday. I can't wait to hang this up and get a look at it off of the table. Clear projects tend to disappear in the pictures I take until they are held up with light behind them.

Terry's window is very similar in size to Trecia's and it's moving along just as quickly. She'll be soldering the front side of this when she comes in this week so expect to see this one completed soon. You can't really see how well the colors compliment each other without a light behind this but take my word, it looks great!

Fran came back to class and started working on a duck window but I forgot to take a picture of the pattern before she left. She'll actually be cutting out glass during her next class so I'll get a better picture then. This is the sketch of the ducks in her window-- we added some grass and a cat tail near the bottom to it to liven it up a bit.

Roxie is doing a very interesting window-- it's a woman in a bathtub! She's altered the pattern a bit so rather than cutting out extremely tiny round bubbles from glass she'll be using round globs for the bubbles. It's going to make the window easier to make and I think the depth and roundness of the globs will really work well. Here's what she accomplished during her first night working on this. And don't you love the glass in her flower pot? (I picked that!)

Jane's lamp is almost complete now. She has 3 sections tacked together with just 2 more to go (if my memory serves me well). At any rate, she's beyond the halfway point as you can see in the picture below. Just look at how nice and even her gridwork is. there's nothing to complain about in this lamp, that's for sure.

Grace and Janice went to work grinding this window and it's almost completely ground now. I'm going to have to do a rough count of the number of pieces that are in this window. Only the upper left corner remains to be ground but Grace thinks she's going to replace the glass that she used in the shutters with another color. We'll see what it looks like when it's all fitted together.

Ceil has her border on her flower and she's taken it home with her to see if it's going to fit in the opening that she made it if for. It's tough enough making a window fit an opening when it's 'square' but the opening that this goes in is a bit off kilter. We think it's correct but before the channel is completely soldered onto the window we want to test the size to make sure nothing drastic has to be done to get it to fit. Ceil will be soldering the back side of this and both sides of her frog that will be tacked onto this window when it's completed.

And last of all we have a look at Anita's latest window-- a Panda. This will actually be a sister window to the panel that Ceil is making. Both will be installed in Ceil's classroom at Glencoe Charter. With the toughest cuts out of the way the rest of this window should go fairly easy for Anita. And she's even taken some of the leaves home with her to cut out there during the week!
That about wraps it up here this week. Come back next week to see what happened during our next set of classes and meet 2 new students.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks