Thursday, January 27, 2011

What Colors Went Where?

Well, we have another completed lamp by Jane. These are getting to be far too easy for her. Her next one will go to one of her daughters (it must be nice to have a mother who can just make you a Tiffany style lamp) :-) but I want to see her make one for herself! This turned out beautiful and with each lamp I can see the quality of her work step up a notch. Her soldering on this one required very little touching up so I think we can say that Jane has got the whole 'Soldeing in 3 Dimensions' down pat.

We also get to look at Patty's finished Shrimp De Lis Window. She spent most of her time tinning wire, cutting it and attaching it to her window to form the Shrimp's feet. This is a very Louisiana window and if you don't understand what I mean by that well then surely you'll have to come down and visit because words just can't explain it.

Paul worked on both his terrarium and his flower suncatcher. Before the flower was finished we needed to make a small adjustment to one of the leaves. The original pattern didn't have it touching the flower and that made it very unstable and wobbly on the stem. By angling it upward a little more we affixed it to a flower petal as well as to the stem and now there is no danger of it accidentally coming off when this gets cleaned from time to time. Paul did this project on his own with me only making a few soldering touch ups. I think we can say that the man knows when he's doing.

After the flower was completed Paul cut and ground the last 28 pieces of the bottom half of his terrarium. He took them home to wrap and the next step will be tacking the bottom of this beast together. I can't wait to see it take shape when we see him again. Here are the 2 bottoms clear rows of his terrarium. It may not be anything to look at now, but just wait until this is completed.

After Terry got her mask all tacked together she spent some time filling in some of the missing pieces of her Mardi Gras Mask window. She filled in the holes in the eyes and the mouth as well as a few feathers that were skipped over previously. After that she then took upon the task of cutting out her background. She not only has more than half of it cut but she also has it ground and wrapped as well. With just a few more background pieces to go I'd say that she'll be working on her border next week. I can't wait to see what color she picks.

It's official-- Ray has begun soldering his window and even completed the first side of it. And while he was doing it I heard him say that soldering wasn't as bad as he'd thought it was going to be. And that's good to hear because we don't like it when students are worried about the next step in making their windows. Well, with the front of this soldered I think I can safely say that this will be completed during his next class. Look to see this window lit up soon.

Roxie got the white rectangle background squared off for her address window and just as she was about to cut the numbers (or should I say "letters" -- for some reason I kept referring to her numbers as letters last week) I realized that she can't cut anything until she has her corners drawn into place. And the only way to do that is to cut the corners out first. So that's exactly what Roxie did. Her corners are ready to be drawn onto the glass and I have a sneaking suspicion that she'll have this all together and even be soldering it during her next class. But before that happens we'll have to wait until her son gets married so it will be 2 weeks or so before we see Roxie again. Weddings have a way of taking up all of your time. Good luck with the wedding, Roxie!

She walked into the door and there she was, back in class almost as though she'd never left us. Who could that be you might be wondering? Well it's Julie who is back in action and ready to cut glass. We all told her that since she'd taken some time off she'd need to make another butterfly but this one wouldn't be made up of just 6 pieces-- the one we showed her had a few
*hundred* pieces. And just to make it more interesting we also told her that she had to have it completed during her first night back. Julie said she didn't need that much of a refresher course and instead made these Fairie wings. She's taken them home to wrap and next week she'll have a completed Fairie to take home with her. Good job and welcome back, Julie.

Fran was in and managed to complete the cutting of her ducks. The background to this window is going to change so she needs to grind, wrap and tack together these fowl so we can trace them out on a new blank paper and redesign the scenery that they are flying in front of. It will be fairly similar because all she really wants to do is move the location of the sun.

Myrt has her next project under way and it's looking to be another nice one. The window contains assorted flowers, a sun and a butterfly. There are flowing leaves, lots of flowers and a chance to make this very colorful indeed. Next week she'll begin cutting the glass so this week you get to look at the pattern which is all colored, cut and ready to go.

Lastly we have a look at 2 patterns that 2 of our students have drawn at home. Terry did the duck on the left and Myrt did the Bumble bee of the right. The patterns are very nice and as I said before I just love when students come in with ideas and projects that they've done at home on their own. It tells me that I must be teaching them correctly. :-)

So that about wraps it up this week. We'll have new projects started during our next class and more finished windows. Read all about it here when we post our next update.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

'Point to Point' is NOT an option

[edit: Well apparently I never pressed the POST button before I left on vacation 2 weeks ago. I came here to write up the events of last week and found this sitting here unposted. Sorry about that Myrt!]

We hear it all the time and I can never say it enough. When you cut an inside curve the first thing you have to do is cut a straight line from the staring point to the ending point and break away that excess glass. If you don't you will most surely break the ends off of your curve or even break it in half if the curve is very deep.

That said, it looks like Myrt has paid attention to that rule. There are a lot of inside curves on this window and as you can see none of them are broken. Isn't this a nice window? It's always been a favorite subject of mine so it's always a pleasure to watch a student make one of these Moon/Sun combinations. Myrt was even able to use glass globs for the eyes so they're rounded rather than just plain flat glass. She played around briefly with the idea of a two colored border but in the end the red glass just looked best surrounding the entire window. Good job Myrt!

Terry is moving right along with her Mardi Gras Mask window. Not only does she have it all ground but it's all wrapped now as well. She's taking it home with her to tack together and when she returns in 2 weeks she'll begin cutting out the background glass.

Ray has completed all the glass cutting for his window and has moved on to the grinding process. He still says he's worried about soldering this but he's got nothing to worry about. No matter how bad someone might be with their soldering they can't be any worse than I was way back in 1979 when I made my first project. And the best thing about soldering is that you can do it over and over until it comes out the way you want it. Ray has nothing to worry about.

Paul ground his clear pieces to his terrarium and made sure that everything fit together in this wooden frame that we made. This will insure that all his sections line up perfectly and that all the straight lines are straight. He has only 28 pieces to go before he starts putting the bottom of this together.

Since Paul didn't want to waste time in class wrapping the pieces that he'd finished grinding he decided to start a quick small project to work on while his first one is 'tied up' (so to speak). He had seen this suncatcher on TV, made a pattern of it and brought it in to glass. Before the night was through he had cut it all out of glass. Now there's a guy who's getting a lot accomplished in a night. :-)

Jane's lamp is just about ready to be colored and cleaned. She soldered it at home and I did some minor touch ups before she took it back home to solder the inside. I'm going to say that this will be completed when we see it again. The big question is which lamp will she be working on when she comes back in? It's either going to be another color variation of this one or she'll start making another of the previous lamp that she made (see it here).

That about wraps it up this week. I want to remind everyone that we'll be away on vacation next week so it will be 2 weeks before we get to see these projects (and others by the students that couldn't make it in this week) move further along to completion.

[edit: better late than never, right? Luckily everyone remembered that we would be gone and no one came in the following week.]

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, January 3, 2011

On Being A 'Professionalist'

With everyone's Christmas projects completed there was a calm in the air during classes this week. No more rushing to get those windows finished -- just a lot of laughing throughout the shop as work was done at a nice steady pace. I only just realized that Peace on Earth happens AFTER Christmas actually passes. :-)

Anita came in all worried that she'd screwed things up since she soldered that back side of her Panda Window first but we managed just fine. And low and behold-- it's finished! The eyes and the mouth came out really nice. You can't even tell that we cheated on them by painting a black pupil on the 2 eyes. And then we cheated again when we added a piece of wire to the right side of the mouth to make sure that Anita's Panda is a happy one instead of a Panda with half of a mouth. You've got to admit that this looks great and that it's hard to believe this is only Anita's second window.

Would you look at how fast Terry is moving on her Madi Gras Mask window! Now that it's all cut out she spent the night working at the grinder until her hand just about froze off in the cold water that we have in the shop. If you enlarge this picture you'll see that Terry has used pins VERY liberally to hold her pieces in place. She gets 2 gold stars for that because most students try to get away with using as few pins as possible and then have trouble getting their projects to fit after they're all wrapped. But this one is going to go back together perfectly.

The front of Pattie's Shrimp De Lis is just about soldered now. There's only the back side left to go and then she'll add the finishing wire work to complete this window. I'd say that this one will be in the spotlight next week. It's going to really look different when it has all the extras attached and some light behind it.

Myrt began soldering the front of her window after deciding that red was going to be the color for her border. We played around with different colors but the red was the one that stood out nicest. The front side is pretty well completed which means that this may very well be finished next week.

Jane seems to be recovered from her surgery and has managed to get all of her 1st lamp in this series tacked together. She's not entirely sure if the next one will be the same pattern or not but if I had to put money on it I'd say she'll be cutting out a second one of these very soon now.
The good news is that the second one always goes together easier and quicker than the first one.
Ceil liked the changes we made to the fish in the upper left of her window (the original fish looked like something from a Science Fiction movie). Now it has recognizable fins and an actual fish face. She and Anita will be finishing this window as a team and they started doing that this week when Anita helped cut out one of the two fish that are now in place on the pattern with the leaves. Yes, this is a big project but it will be completed quicker than Ceil may think. Once the fish are cut the water will go quickly and then it's just a matter of grinding everything.

Roxie started her newest window this week. Would anyone care to hazard a guess as to what it might be? This will hang on her front porch when it's completed and I do think that will happen soon since the hardest part of this window is cut and ground already. In fact it's home with Roxie right now probably being wrapped as you read this. Next week I'm hoping that I can stop referring to the numbers as letters and possibly reduce the ribbing that was made at my expense. :-)

And that's what happened during our final classes of 2010. Happy New Year everyone!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks