Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Mother of Invention

We have eighteen projects this week!  And in those 18 we have seven completed projects which actually total 19 finished works if you count all of Roxie's Hummingbirds and all of Bonnie's Desk Accessories individually.  Okay, there's a lot here to write about so let's see if I can get this post out before Christmas rolls around.

Ann has the first of her two small Cabinet Inserts finished-- The second one just needs soldering so we'll certainly see it in the next post.  Alas, since it matches this one perfectly you'll be hard pressed to see a difference between the 2 projects (save for possibly the wood frames). Doesn't this look great though?

Bonnie came and conquered.  Inside of two weeks she managed to complete her seven Multi-Purpose-Desk-Accessories.  If that doesn't flow off of the tongue easily we can call them MPDA's or iPhone Holders.  Whatever you call them they make wonderful gifts for anyone with a desk (or a smartphone).

Susan finished another Mardi Gras Mask Lawn Ornament and it is also a gift.  In fact, I think all of our completed projects this week are gifts which means that they will be wrapped up before they get to see any sunlight.  The camera really lucked out by catching the texture of the glass that Susan decided to use.  Susan is now our resident Lawn Ornament Expert.

Myrt's Tiger Eyes Window lights up beautifully.  Now that she has this under her belt she's going back to work on her Hot Air Balloons Window when she comes back in to class.  Terry liked this design so much she's decided to make one as well.  Just keep scrolling down and you'll see it.


Roxie never makes just one of anything which explains why we're looking at seven Hummingbird Suncatchers.  We have a new way to attach eyes to small birds like these and it's far better than the way we have done it in the past.  Necessity is certainly the Mother of Invention and these beautiful hummingbirds prove it!


 Terry's latest Rooster may not have as many pieces as her first one, but it's still a nice piece of work.  As a final finishing touch Terry used diamond earrings to form the eye on both sides of this window.  I'm having a hard time keeping up with Terry so I'm not sure what we'll see her working on next but I can guarantee that it will will be well under way when we see it for the first time.


Cindy made this Christmas Ornaments and Ribbons Suncatcher while she was at home last week.  She brought it in to have me look at the soldering that she did around the edges but all in all I'd say that Cindy did an incredible job with this.  It's so bright and colorful that Brenda ended up with a copy of the pattern as well.  This was a big hit during class and I'm sure we'll see more of them next year.

And speaking of Brenda, here's a look at her Football window.  I like how she made the grain of the glass in her background radiate outwards like sun bursts rather than running it left to right.  It makes the football really stand out and not look as though it's in the middle of a pass framed by the sky.  The grain of the glass really makes or breaks a project and this proves how a fresh new look can make a window really stand out.  the only left for Brenda to do on this is cut the glass behind the letters and then solder it.

Lynn has one of her two cabinet door inserts completely cut and tacked together (the top window) and her second one only needs a border before she can complete it.  I'm looking forward to seeing one of these finished when she comes in next week.  The second one will take a bit longer because  the door she's putting it in isn't square and each border piece has to be cut according to the opening in the frame.  (BTW- the 2 panels match but the top one is on our gray table top while the bottom one is still on the white pattern paper.)

Martha now has it all together!  Well, she still needs to solder her State Police Window but 75% of the front side is already finished so I'd say she'll have this one under her arm as she walks out the door next week.  And just in time for Christmas!  Her choice of blue for the border was perfect, wouldn't you agree?

Jane came in with her Heron Window all wrapped.  She then made the final cuts that span between the cat-tails and the bottom of the window so that the lead lines fit together perfectly creating the illusion of a stem.  The only glass left to cut now is the blue sky which Jane has all picked out.  She's going to place the sheet of blue under her window and trace her pieces from the actual openings which will make a perfect flowing (and fitting) sky.

This week saw Cindy begin work on her Cat Tray.  (I don't know what else to call it!)  The front, which you see below, is patterned after her friends cat and when this front section is complete she'll add two shallow sides and a shallow back making a tray of sorts, perfect for tossing keys into.

Donna began working on her second project and it's a Multi-Purpose-Desk-Accessory variation.  Only this has not one but two compartments.  It's hard to tell what it's going to look like from the picture but she has it completely cut out and ground.  She's going to wrap it at home and have it ready to be tacked when she returns.  I won't be surprised if other students want to make this once they see this one completed.

Patty has decided to bite the bullet and make a lamp.  We haven't seen a lamp made in a while now but I know Patty has the skills to make one so I pushed her (just a little bit) and now she's cutting out a Magnolia Lamp.  It's the best lamp to start with and as you can see she's made incredible progress on just her first night of cutting.  All of her background glass has been cut leaving only flowers and leaves left to go.

Shelley finished cutting all of her glass for her Flower and BlueBird Window and began grinding all of her pieces this week.  There's really only the flower left to go and then she'll be able to wrap this, tack it and then add the final border. It's already looking great!

Now, I promised that if you scrolled down a little further you'd see Terry's rendition of Myrt's Tiger Eye Window and now that time has come.  Terry went with a single border and used a glass that's more orange than yellow for her version and it's all ready to be soldered.

Susan not only finished a project this week-- she also started working on this LSU Pencil Holder as well.  This is a Christmas gift so I know we'll see it completed next week when she returns for class. Susan is going with gold letters set in this translucent lavender background that she'll also use for the other three sides.

Lastly we take a look at Tim's second project-- a picture frame.  He went with a clear crackle glass for the four borders and wrapped everything with silver back foil so he can leave the finished project silver when it's completed next week.  It's almost done now save for some soldering on the left and right side.  This was Tim's first frame and I'm sure that others will move faster now that he knows just how this is put together.

So that about wraps things up for our week of classes which ended on December 13th.  I have one more round of pictures to publish but that won't happen until a little after the New Year since I'll be out of state until then.  Meanwhile, Russ will still be here minding the shop so if any of our students need anything don't be afraid to call.

Until then, Happy Holidays to everyone out there!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hen Pecked

Busy, busy, busy.  The Holiday season is upon us and people are starting to worry about getting their projects completed in time.  But everyone started early enough so I don't think we'll have anyone being upset that something wasn't finished in time.

Ok, here's Brenda's latest completed window featuring a female subject matter.  This time there's only one in the spotlight but just look at that gorgeous hair.  Neither a split end nor a lock out of place thanks to Terry's careful hair management on Brenda's pattern.  This is a very stylish window that's reminiscent of art deco designs.  Let's just say that Brenda's on a roll.

This wee we saw Donna complete her Bluebird and Flowers Window and she did a wonderful job at that.  This is Donna's first project with us and it looks like we'll be seeing a few more as the weeks go by.  I'm partial to the color blue so I really like her choice of colors. (I might have have a hand in recommending the border color as well...)

Susan completed these 3D Votive Candle Holders very quickly.  All she needed to know was how to get the pieces held together in a perfect circle before she tacked it.  The answer is simple-- you don't!  But you do come close.  I've found that once you have them taped together (from behind) a slightly snug rubber band will help shape the project into a fairly even circle.  Then she just tacked the edges and added a bottom.  Voila! Instant wonderful gifts!

Susan also managed to get one of her flower pots completed.  This will be a Lawn Ornament so a metal rod behind it will give those flowers some extra support.  Even as a suncatcher I think the design would hold up without fear of it pulling apart-- there are a lot of contact points throughout the flowers.  Susan has another of these ready to be soldered so I'm sure we'll see a repeat of these soon enough.

Tim rounds out the last of our completed projects this week.  His Angel Window looks amazing-- nothing short of perfect.  Like Donna, this is Tim's first project with us and his ability to work with glass is well above average for someone so new at this.  All you have to do is look at his completed window to see that!  Next up for Tim will be a few picture frames.  And we'll see how they progress when he returns next week.

Martha has her LA Police Badge Window pretty close to being finished.  The lettering is now 100% complete and fired onto the glass.  In fact, all that's needed here are 5 pieces of background glass and then a border.  After that Martha will only need to solder this to be able to call this a finished project.  Will she have completed in time for Christmas.  I'm saying, "Certainly!"  :-)

Ann has her 2 windows just about finished now.  With the borders attached all she needs to do is solder these and then wrap them up for Christmas.  These are small windows (approximately 12 inches wide by 8 inches tall) so you know all those pieces are incredibly tiny to work with.  Because of that she had to wrap them with 3/16 foil rather than 7/32 so the pieces wouldn't get lost in lead.  Another benefit to using the smaller foil is that these will be easier to solder since it won't take as much lead to cover the foil.  And because of that the soldering iron won't have to melt as much as it normally has to which means it will stay hotter and make soldering that much easier.

Meanwhile, Bonnie has almost completed her seven Multi-Purpose-Desk-Accessories.  She cut these out at home and then had me check each piece to make sure they all had for perfect right angles.  If the corners aren't perfect 90 degree angles they won't align when you try to solder them together.  But all of Bonnie's did so she got them all wrapped and assembled without a single issue.  With just a quick solder job to go and some decorative glass globs on the back sides, we'll easily see these completed in time for Christmas.

Jane's window is REALLY coming along now.  Everything but the sky is ground and ready to be wrapped.  there are a lot of pieces in this project and it's easy to become dismayed at the lack of perceived progress, but Jane has been a trooper and not let that slow her down.  Next she'll tack this together and then cut out the pieces of her sky so it will all flow together perfectly.  She's taken this home to wrap during the week so we should see it tacked together when she returns with it.

Myrt has her Eye Of The Tiger Window ready for solder.  When she brought it in it was all tacked together but it didn't have any borders.  She decided to go with a thin inner border cut from a purple cathedral glass and then border that with a wider border of yellow glass that matches what she used in the tiger itself.  She then added some brass channel around the edges and now she's taken this home to solder. 

Shelley has finished cutting all the glass for her Bird and Flower window and is now working on grinding it for a perfect fit.  She's got the left side, including the bluebird, fitting together nicely and will tackle the flower on the right side of the window when she returns.  All in all, another job well done.

Now that Sonia has her Peanuts Window all foiled you can easily see just how nice a project this is.  I think the point Sonia is making with this project is that Charlie Brown is reflecting on the futility of life's senselessness in a seemingly colorful but ultimately monochromatic world.  The two posts divided by an ocean obviously symbolize the remoteness between he and his friends.  That or he could just be thinking that he loves Snoopy.

Terry's latest Rooster Window is so close to completion you can smell the chicken wings! She added a border and some channel this week and has the front completely soldered already.  With only the back side to go Terry will have this out the door in no time at all.  Terry always works at a fast pace and this project is certainly no exception.

Terry also worked on her version of Myrt's Eye Of the Tiger Window.  It's all cut out and after she gets it tacked together she'll only need to add a border or two to finish it off.  I've always liked these Tiger Eye windows and always planned on making one myself.  But somehow I never managed to get around to it (yet).

So there you have it.  A lot of completed projects and more on the way.  With just two weeks of classes left to go before Christmas arrives I suspect we'll see a flurry of activity around the shop.  And it will all be recorded here for everyone to see as it happens.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, December 10, 2012

Birds, Fur, Badges, and Balls

This is our second post in as many days and then I'll only need to do one more to be caught up.  The only problem is that classes start again tomorrow so as soon as I post the 3rd update I'll have  another weeks worth of projects to photograph and write up.   But if my schedule holds up we'll be 100% up to date on Sunday evening.  As for this week, let's get started!

Wow, just look at this window.  Terry's Rooster is certainly an impressive piece of art.  Everything from the design to the colors and even the textures of the glasses she picked just make this window a stand out piece.  I often say that less is more but in this case the overall effect seems to have been multiplied by the number of pieces Terry had to cut, grind and wrap.  Great job Terry!

At the same time Brenda managed to complete her Ladies Walking Window.  Hats are apparently back in fashion because everyone who sees this window comments on how much they like it.  Brenda did a great job with it as you can see here in the picture.

And Brenda wasn't content with simply finishing her Ladies Walking Window-- she also managed to put the finishing touches on her Soccer Ball Window as well.  I think Slone is going to be very happy with this present!

Ann was back in and made some major progress on her two Geometrically designed windows.  With both of them now ground and fitting together all she needs to do next is wrap and then solder these.  I doubt that the soldering will take much time at all so I'm predicting that she easily completes these  for Christmas as she had hoped to.  After that she'll begin working on a larger version of the same basic design.

Brenda's newest Lady window has hair styled (i.e. Drawn) by her sister Terry.   There's a lot of hair coming out from under that hat and I don't see a single split end.  Rest assured that this is a window we'll see completed in our next post.  This is a nice design that both Brenda and Terry came up with (and basically made) on their own.

Donna's Bluebird Window is very near completion also.  With the front side completely soldered there's only the back side to go before she can take this home and hang it.  Donna has done really well with this project and really seems to be comfortable with every aspect of the process.  I can't wait to see what she decides to do next.

Jane now has the lions share of her window ground and the only glass that she needs to cut out yet will be the sky and the brown branches.  She's going to piece the sky together after everything else is tacked together to ensure a quick and easy fit.  She still has a few pieces to grind under the lower right Iris but the hardest part of this window is now done with. 

Martha's window is all ground and wrapped.  Aside from the lettering all that she needs to do is cut 5 pieces of background glass and then add the border.  There's also a small missing piece of yellow but that's completely under control.  :-)  This is another Christmas gift and I don't see any problem with having this completed on time.

Myrt took a break from her Hot Air Balloon Window and started making this Tiger Eye window.  It's not even completely ground and yet you can easily make out what it is.  This was a spur of the moment Christmas window and she accomplished everything you see here at home.  And it's coming together perfectly!

Terry decided that after making that first Rooster Window she'd make another less complicated version.  What you see here is the start of her second Rooster window.  She made a lot of headway in class and I suspect it will spread its wings and fly out the door completed in about 2 weeks.  (Wait until you see how much more work she has completed on this in our next update)

Tim's Angel is another window being worked on here that's really moving along.  This is yet another project that we'll see completed in our next blog post.  Everything went together perfectly for Tim and his attention to detail when it comes to grinding and foiling are second to none.  He was originally going to border this in the same glass that the Angel's dress was cut from but in the end we went with a softer purple that everyone agreed worked best. 

Now I must confess that I doubt we'll see the next blog update until Thursday or Friday after classes are finished for the week.  Then I'll do a regular Sunday/Monday post which will have us completely up to date again.  There are a lot of completed projects in the next post so hang tight and I'll send you a link to it when we're ready for the unveiling.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Short Weeks But Long Waits (For Updates)

With vacations, holidays and other setbacks we've had a plethora of short class weeks.  And it will continue to be this way for the next 2 posts.  I'm still late with these updates but as I'm typing this I can say we've had our first Thursday night class in what seems like ages here. Okay, now that my excuses all out in the open let's get this under way.

Susan completed this Mickey and Minnie Mouse window that she's been working on for the past few weeks.  It's been a sort of project between projects for her.  The sky is actually a nice shade of sky blue but the sun was shining so intensely on the window when I took the picture that it washed the blue out of the sky in the photo.  Trust me when I say that in person it's a very nice blue sky.

Susan also made these Mardi Gras Lawn Ornaments.  I didn't get a picture of them last week bust she brought them back so I could get a shot of them completed.  The trick to making multiple masks is simple: You cut out one blue mask and one green mask, then mixed up the pieces between them.  The two masks aren't mirror images but they ARE negatives of each other.  The only common colored piece that they share is the yellow nose...

This is Brenda's version of the Pokeno Girls.  The original pattern has been elongated but the subject is the same.  Five ladies with five vibrant dresses.  This has been an attention getter each time it's been made.  With the front of this window soldered and only the back side to go (or is it the front side in this case?) I can easily say that we'll see this completed in our next update.

 Brenda also worked on her latest Soccer Ball window and it's at the same point that herLadies above are at--  There's only some soldering needed on the back of this and then Brenda will be able to call this one finished and deliver it to Slone.  If I make one of these I'm going to name it Wilson.

Lynn has been busy working on a pair of cabinet door inserts. This pattern (like her last one) is her own design and she has the lion's share of the work completed.  In fact, she's already begun grinding this first panel and is currently deciding if she wants to incorporate the center flower that she drew into the pattern.  She's thinking that smaller pieces might clutter the center but I think it's a personal call myself.  No matter which way she goes these will look great.

Meanwhile Martha has been assembling her State Police Badge Window. She has the hard pieces all cut out and has begun grinding the top sections so everything fits together perfectly. There's some lettering that will be painted onto the glass and we'll see what that looks like soon enough.  Until then, consider it to be a surprise unveiling.  :-)

Shelley has started her next project and although it's hard to see what's been accomplished I can tell you that almost all of the clear background is cut for this Flower and Bird window.  Shelley had a break in one of the background pieces but we're going to hide it by putting a leaf in the center of the break.  When the window is completed you'll never know that the leaf wasn't originally part of the pattern.

Next up we look at Susan's 3rd project this week.  She's been working on this one at home and has made some amazing progress all on her own.  We drew the pattern last week and made sure that each of the flowers are identical but twisted in different positions which makes this much easier to cut and grind.  (There's always a trick somewhere.)   It's actually a pot, three leaves, and 6 of the same flowers just made in different colors.  This one is ready to be wrapped so we'll see what it looks like completed in a near future post.

Terry's Rooster is really an amazing piece of work.  And this week we're seeing the real window not a picture of the pattern.  I'd love to count the pieces in it but I just don't have the time to begin such an endeavor.  All those pieces mean a lot of extra work and time but it pays out when you see the completed project.  This is a stunning window and my hat goes off to Terry for following it through so quickly.  With only the back side of this left to solder (it seems to be a common theme this week) you'll see this finished in our next post.  I've already seen it lit up and all I can say is, "Oh My!"

Speaking of windows with a lot of pieces, Myrt was so quick cleaning up and getting her window out to the car that I had to take a picture of it with bubble wrap covering the glass so it would transport safely.  I would have removed the wrap but Myrt wasn't taking any chances with this and had it VERY securely bound.  Trust me when I say that this is looking great also.

That about wraps up what happened in our classes during the second week of November. I have another set of pictures for the 3rd week all ready to go so we'll have our next update within the next 2 days, but most likely on Monday.  So expect a notification in your email and/or on Facebook!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks