Monday, October 31, 2011

What's a FID?

Well, it's been a while since I saw one of these Hand Mirrors made. Christine made a slew of them a few Christmases back and Cindy had the exact same idea. I have no clue how many she's making but she appears to have about 15 cut out in various states of completion so there are a lot of them. This is her first completed Hand Mirror, expect many more to follow. :-)

This is Susan's second box but to me it resembles a chest more than a box. And since it was made for a man I think the fact that it reminds me of a chest is actually fitting. And speaking of fitting, I'd say her top fit the bottom of this box rather perfectly. Susan has an eye for detail and perfection as you can see from her finished project.

And as I suspected, Terry brought in her Fish Window and wanted to know what I thought of the work. After nit picking at the solder (I want her to think she needs me to finish a project!) I gave it my seal of approval and she washed it and colored the solder copper. After another bath and a little bit of wax she took it home after I snapped this picture of it. I love her choice of glass for the water.

And when that was finished Terry resumed work on her Fleur De Lis Window. She has the front soldered already and all she needs to do now is grind and attach the border glass. Terry drew this pattern herself (as she does with most of her windows) and it looks great.

Sonia worked on the 3 layer border for her Peacock Window and now has the inner 2 borders complete. She's wrapping the clear center border at home and I forgot to take the picture of while those pieces were in place so you'll just have to use your imagination on what it will look like. Or you can come back and see what it looks like when she returns for her next class. :-)

Roxie's window is so close to being finished that it isn't even funny. The Zinc channel has been cut and tacked and the front side is completely soldered. The back side is about halfway soldered so this is going to be complete during her next class. I can't wait to see it lit up and I'm glad she didn't listen to me and use green glass for the letters. How she came up with yellow is beyond me. :-)

Pam was in and worked on this Mini-Duck Window. It's just about complete and only needs to be soldered now. We may need to put some brass channel on the edges since there are two long pieces of glass on 2 of the sides that may make soldering those lengths problematic. This is actually a very charming design and I may need to get me a copy of the pattern.

This next window is another one of Terry's and all it needed was a border. She tried a number of different colors with it but in the end we all agreed that Root Beer was the perfect color glass to suround this window. She got it all tacked together and has taken it home to finish up the soldering there.

As I promised, there's a lot more to see of Fran's Donkey window this week. She's got it all cut out and has begun grinding it from the top down. With the sky and the leaves all set there's not much more to go to get this donkey on the road!

Bonnie decided that a Fleur De Lis was what she needed to work on next after completing her Rooster Window last week. She picked this fancy but tasteful Fleur De Lis design and set it into a crackle background. She's going with a double border with the last border matching the background glass. There's something about an inner colored border that really makes a window POP! This window will be no exception.

Ann's window looks GREAT! I love the design and her choice of colors. Since the front is all soldered and the back has already been started on I'd say that this may very well be completed next week. And I have to say that Ann really has caught on quickly to the soldering process. Aside from perhaps a little extra solder on some of the joints I'd say that this is a top notch job. I know students who have taken months to get as good as Ann already is soldering.

And Myrt came in and spent the class working on her and Anita's Mallard Window. One small piece of the sun needs to be knocked out and replaced because the grain is running in the wrong direction but other than that this window has worked out well for Myrt and Anita. It's all about teamwork.

Myrt wasn't sure what color Anita would like for the border of this window she she decided to leave that ball in Anita's court (so to speak) this week. Like Terry, Anita ended up picking a Root Beer colored glass for her border. It's a color that is almost always safe since it resembles a wooden frame.
I have only 3 more Blogs to go before we're up to date. We're really making progress now. I hope to get at least 2 more finished this week but we'll have to see how that goes. And this time I'll never fall behind again. (Yeah, right.)

And before I leave I'll answer the question I started this Blog with. I commented that a FID was visable in one of the pictures in the last post and someone asked just what a FID is. Well a FID is used to flatten down the foil after you've foiled your piece they come in plastic now but back in the 70's (when I started doing this) they were pointed wooden dowels with a rounded end that made it easy to hold. The catalogs all called them FID's and when people would ask me what it meant I'd jokingly say that FID stood for Flatten It Down. Years later I saw a show about sailors and while they were untying knots they used a tool called a FID. Sure enough, it was a pointed wooden dowel with a rounded end to make it easier to hold. (look here) Go figure.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Where's My Square?

Bonnie's Rooster Window is complete! She really moved quickly on this and her soldering is getting nothing but better and better. Soldering has always been the toughest part to teach but Bonnie is really picking up on it now-- I barely had to touch this with the soldering iron to get it looking picture perfect.

Here we have a look at Janice's 2nd window all completed and ready to install. The third and last one is almost finished as well so we'll be seeing this theme again shortly. Next up Janice will start cutting the flowers and leaves for 3 windows that are the same width but only about half the height of this one.

Roosters seem to be a popular idea here in class. Diane's Rooster is the second window this week done in this theme. Although the patterns are similar you can see they are 2 very different interpretations. This particular pattern was done a few years back when Kim was taking classes but I'd be hard pressed to pick which Rooster Window is my favorite.

Terry has all 3 sections of her windows completed now and has already moved on to other projects (as you will soon see). Although this window is somewhat small it certainly has enough pieces in it. And being that it's symmetrical Terry had to take her time to make sure every thing fit perfectly or you'd surely see the placement errors. All in all it's another job WELL done by Terry.

And speaking of work done by Terry here's a look at the completed first side of her Fish Window. All that she has to do on this is solder the back side and give it a bath. This has always been one of my favorite patterns and I have yet to be able to turn up the spare time to make one for the shop. I'm glad to see Terry's turning out so well.

Oh, and don't think we're moving on just yet. Terry is also working on this Fleur De Lis Window as well. I'd ask her what she does during her down time but I don't think that she has any! You can see that the left side of her background glass is cut into a diamond pattern. The right side is also cut but it's been ground and fits together so perfectly you can barely tell it's been cut. That's a testament to the quality of work that Terry does.

This is the Anita/Myrt Mallard Window and this week I know for certain that Myrt got to work on it first. I'd say that more than half of it was ground when Myrt left for the night. Tomorrow night Anita will swoop in and pick up where Myrt left off.

So, just as I was saying above, Anita came in and finished grinding the rest of her Mallard Window. One of the feathers was extremely transparent so she's leaving that out and replacing it when we have the glass here in the shop next week (she left it home thinking she was through with it for this project). There's also a missing piece of sky that we'll re-cut next week as well. Anita is taking this home and foiling all the remaining pieces there so I'm sure we'll be seeing solder on this when it returns. I just hope I remember to take my square off the board before she takes it home again! :-)

And once Anita finished up grinding her Mallard window she moved on to her Purple Callalily Window. It's hard to see the clear textured glass she picked for her background but it's all cut and ground now. It sounds to me like Anita will be doing a lot of foiling at home this week.

Peewee's latest Fleur De Lis Window is moving right along. He's got the background almost completely cut, ground and foiled. The only snag was that we didn't have enoung of the background glass in stock to cut all of his pieces so the upper right and left sections are missing right now. The glass is scheduled to arrive tomorrow and that means that next week Peewee can tack together what he already has cut and then fill in the 2 missing pieces perfectly. Oh and that red thing on the upper right of his window is the FID that Peewee was using. Somehow I didn't see it lying there while I took the picture.

Susan's got her box top completed and I believe she took the sides for the box bottom home with her to wrap. That means that this box will certainly be finished for next week. You can see that all of the straight lines meet up with the angled lines perfectly which tells us that Susan took her time to make sure that everything fit well when she ground this piece. I can't wait to see this all together.

Cindy's front door panels are really shaping up now. With 7 panels completed and 2 left to go I'd say she'll easily make her deadline for getting these windows installed. Here's a look at the general layout. The bottom of the door would be the left side of the picture.

And these are the 2 remaining pieces of Cindy's door. As you can see she has the bottom one completely ground and the top one is well on its way.

And while Cindy is home and unable to work on her doors she's been making mirrors to give as gifts. Here's a look at one of the hand mirrors that she's started. The mirror has to be dropped in place in the center and a few of the flower petals still need to be cut but you can clearly see what these will look like when completed.
Fran's newest window was hard to get a picture of this week. It's a Donkey complete with background scenery-- and a very large one at that. Only a few of the donkey pieces have been cut out but the rest have been traced out onto the glass so I'm confident that this will be much easier to view when she return with it next week.

Grace has really been knocking out pieces while she's been in class. You can see that her latest Medical Window is moving along nicely. She's been grinding this from the inside out as she's been working on it so it's actually a lot further along than you might think. There's really only the large red pieces and the borders left to grind on this window.

Lastly we'll look at Myrt's second project-- her Fleur De Lis Window. With the front completely soldered and the back almost completed it's safe to assume that this project will be headed out the door and to her house shortly. The background was cut from one piece of glass with no spaces between the pieces so all of the grain matches together perfectly. Well, that's a bit of a lie. There were 2 pieces that she had to cut through to get it to work but they were small and she was able to find 2 pieces that look exactly as if they belonged there. In fact, I defy anyone to tell me which pieces were replaced!

And that wraps up another edition of the Blog. All that you read here today happened during the classes that occurred on September 20th, 21st, and the 23rd. Up in our next post will be the first week of October!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The FI Option

This week we've got quite a few finished projects. We'll start off looking at Fran's latest Duck Window. The change we made from last week involved the lines in the sky running from left to right. The original pattern had a heavily slanted cut on the right side that looked like the glass had been cracked and repaired. Now that we've removed the slant everything flows more smoothly. The reason for the top piece having angular cuts is simple: the window was wider than the sheet of glass so we had to piece it together. We thought about adding a cloud or two but Fran was afraid it would take away from the ducks.

Cindy completed her 'At Home' project this week. Her Humming Birds and Flowers Window was done almost exclusively outside of the classroom. About the only thing that she did in class was to cut the background out one night. Another job well done.

Anita said she wanted to do something quickly one night while she was at home so she cut this Cross Suncatcher out of scrap glass that she had lying around. You can't lose when you made projects out of scraps!

And Cindy also came in with these two suncatchers just about completed. The first is this round Bird in Flight that she wasn't sure how to put an eye on. We used an old trick of mine and cut a glass head pin down to about 1/4 inch in length with some wire cutters and then soldered the pin section into the lead line nearest the eye. The we repeated the process on the second side.

Cindy's second suncatcher of the week is her Pelican. I have to say that I like this one a lot. It's simple but very charming. And it went together perfectly for her. All we had to do was show her how to add a hook to hang this and it was ready to go.

I have to confess and admit that I don't recall who worked on this Mallard Window first this week. I'm pretty sure that Anita started grinding the window and then Myrt continued on it the next night. Or it could be the other way around. Nonetheless, the Mallard Window is being ground and this is what it looked like after the first night.

Meanwhile Terry soldered the font side of her Fish Window after her border was cut she'll be finishing this one up at home so I expect we'll see this one completed any day now. She'll just walk in the door with it ready to be colored so I can take a picture of it. Terry's soldering is nothing short of superb and touching up her windows is no work at all.

And that wasn't all that Terry accomplished. She also worked on this last section of her newest set of 3 windows. With the background and the borders all cut she's well on her way to finishing this as well as her Fish Window.

Ann is another student who's moving along quickly on her window. I was amazed when she had it all cut out before class ended. And not only did she cut quickly but she cut precisely which means that she won't be spending more than a class an the grinder getting this to fit together.

She's close now! There are only five shrimp on the far right of Patty's Seafood Window left to cut. Her Crawfishin' days are over on this window! Once she starts cutting the background she'll be rounding 3rd base and headed for home plate. Hmmm, have you noticed there aren't any potatoes in this window?

Cindy not only completed her Humming Bird window this week-- she also made some serious progress on her front door panels. These are the last 2 sections and she's got them all cut out now. She'll be at the grinder during her next class getting these to fit together.

This is the back side of Janice's 3rd window. It's just about finished now save for the brass channel that will go around the outside edges. There's still a smaller section that will sit above this window and the vines and flowers will all line up perfectly . We'll post them all so you can see how the borders line up when the last 3 windows are complete.

And here is our second look at the Anita/Myrt Duck Window. I think Myrt took over the grinding duties from Anita the next night and she got a lot of the feathers completed. She's thinking about re-cutting one or two of them due to the color variations in the glass but we'll make a final decision on that when we have everything fitting together better so we can see the big picture.

Roxie has the window that changes names every time we see it! I have to confess I've been messing with her a bit and that this is her real window. It says Yellow Camp and that's where it's going to reside when she finished it. With the border all cut there will only be some soldering left to go before she packs this away in a sleeve and takes it home.

Next we see that Susan has all of her pieces lined up perfectly. She spent her class grinding every piece and making sure that her lines weren't cock-eyed and that everything flowed together just right. She's bringing it home with her to wrap which means that next week she'll have this box top soldered and will possibly begin working on the sides.

Sonia has her background cut. After she cut it she ground it. After she ground it she foiled it. After she foiled it she tacked it. After she tacked it she went home and called it a job well done. :-) Next week she'll start on her fancy 3 layer border that will really set this window off nicely.

And lastly we have a look at PeeWee's latest project. He's making 2 more Fleur De Lis Windows so rather than cutting them out one at a time he's cutting everything out in sets of 2. That explains why you're seeing double when you look at the FDL's he worked on this week. He got them both cut, ground, wrapped and tacked together before the class was over. He'll be cutting some background glass to set these in next week!

And this brings us yet another week closer to getting caught up here. I was amazed at how many projects we have started here. It's no wonder I have no room in the shop! Have a great weekend, expect another post before it's over.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Why Are My Pieces In The Garbage?

We are officially 6 weeks behind and this post will drop the umber by one.  Of course, classes for this week are starting tonight so that will sort of negate this posting.  Still, this is my second post in as many days so I guess it's safe to say that we're on a roll here.

First off we have to look at a project that got skipped in the last update. Somehow (it couldn't have been my fault, could it?)  the picture got thrown into the wrong folder and I just realized that I have 2 projects this week for Susan.  This is her first box and it came out looking beautiful.  How could anyone complain about receiving this as a gift?

 This week Susan has begun working on her second box.  This one is a geometric design and it's a little hard to see here since it's un-ground but this is a brown on brown box top made up of 35 pieces. there's a lot of work in this one and making sure it all lines up is essential to making the design work.  I have no doubt that Susan will be able to pull this one off.

We're going to start things off by looking at Anita's latest project.  She's jumping around a bit but that's the way it goes when you have many irons in the fire.  This is her Mallard Window and it's going to be made by both Anita and Myrt.  Both of them had a hand in getting it this far because some of the glass was cut by Anita and some by Myrt.

Meanwhile, Myrt was also working on her Stylized FDL window.  She had everything ground last week and while she was working on cutting duck feathers she was also wrapping and tacking this together.  You can see the glass she's chosen for her border on the bottom of the window.  That will be cut next week.

Bonnie's Window is just about ready to crow. The clear krinkle border is all cut and ground and the bottom row is even wrapped already.  The rest of the pieces have gone home with Bonnie so she can come in next class and get to work on soldering this window.  It looks great!

Patty has added some crawfish to her Seafood Medley Window.  I'm telling you-- this is going to be something else when it's completed.  I think that this window and Grace's New Orleans scene are the two most complex windows ever done in here.  All the tiny pieces can really get to you but Patty isn't letting that happen and is working at a steady pace on this.

Sonia's Peacock Window has found it's groove!  Now that it's all wrapped and tacked together she'll be cutting her background glass.  She picked a really nice sheet of textured clear that will make this bird SNAP! (as if the feathers already don't!)  Her colors are flawless and her work is precise to the point of her re-cutting a piece when the foil around all the glass shifted things a bit.  She could have left it go but she went for perfection instead.

And now we look at the second Rooster of the Blog.  Dianne's Rooster and Sun window is a more lighthearted scene than Bonnie's but it is not any less charming.  Dianne has come a long way already while making this first window and her soldering on this first side is really nice.  She'll flip it over next class and finish this window then.

Fran's Ducks are so close to being completed that it's not even funny.  After adding her border we knocked out 3 pieces of the sky so we could redo the lead lines.  I'll post a picture of both of them side by side so you can see how a simple line can change the entire flow of a window.  We would have replaced the glass in class but Fran left her sky glass at home where she'll fill in these 2 pieces during the week.

Wow, Terry came in with this Fish Window all cut and ground and managed to knock my socks off.  She's really been burning the midnight oil at home to get all of this work done-- I didn't even realize that she had started this!  And it fits together perfectly.  There's a little wiggle room between the pieces which means that when she foils her glass the window won't grow or possibly twist out of shape due to thickness of all the foil.  Great job Terry!

And that brings us to the end of this post.  I won't mention any names to help protect the guilty, but one BIG tip I can give anyone is that you should place your cut pieces on your pattern as you cut them.  This will help stop them from being swept into the trash with the scrap glass that accumulates along side your good pieces!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks