Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March Storms All Over Classes

Sadly, pouring rain forced us to sideline our Wednesday night classes. In the end it was a good thing that no one showed because although things were calm around 5:00 things took a turn for the worse when the sky opened up again around 8pm flooding the Bayou Salé road. The fact that it's about to be re-paved and that the asphalt has been stripped away made the road feel like a 2 inch tall swimming pool overflowing with water. Staying home on Wednesday night was the smart thing to do. We still have out Tuesday and Thursday classes to talk about though so let's see what just happened on those nights.

Bonnie's Saint's Fleur De Lis Window is now finished and is most likely hanging up at her home. She made this for her husband and wanted to put an interesting border around it without going overboard with an overly fancy three layer border. I think this variation of a double border was a good choice. It's stands out without overshadowing the main subject(s). As you can see, Bonnie took her time making sure everything was ground perfectly and that all her points lined up. In a pattern like this alignment is the most important part of making this look right.

Terry's Rooster Window is a hit! By drawing her own patterns she's get a good inside look at the design process of stained glass windows. Most people think you just draw a picture and that's all there is to it but you have to carefully plan where each line starts and stops or you'll end up with a pattern full of impossible cuts. Beginner patterns are chock full of extra lead lines to make impossible cuts possible but I like to disguise my necessary lead lines by hiding them in other parts of the window. And that's exactly what Terry did with her leaves. They hide all the breaks needed to cut these pieces and also make the window look that much nicer.

Susan came up with this Garden Decoration idea when she saw it in a store. The store bought version was poorly made and couldn't really handle the stress of staying outdoors in the weather but the one that Susan is making will be just fine. What we have here is a new version of the Shrimp De Lis. Next week Susan will tack it together and add all the wires that will add the finishing touched to this piece.

Sonia's Pokeno Girls Window is all set to have its background cut out now that the women are all completed and tacked together. She needed to pick hair and shoe colors this week and since there was no set budget these women tried on every color of shoe and hair style imaginable. :-) But by the end of the night they were all completely accessorized and dressed to the nines. There won't be any delays making color choices next week because before Sonia left she picked out her background glass so that she'll be set to go when she returns.

Myrt has more than half of her Traditional Window all ground and ready to foil. She's discovered that one of the pieces was cut backwards but a re-cut will fix that issue quickly when we get the glass next week. I heard more talk about a double border so I'm fairly certain that's what she plans to do. If you have the space available in your window two borders are always better than one.

Roxie's got all of her hand mirrors ground and ready to wrap. She took her pieces with her as homework for the week so she'll be tacking and soldering these next week for certain. We'll cut the mirrors but only tack them into place if we know the mirror will be solder by the end of class because you never want to leave any chemicals or water lying on your mirror for any length of time since that promotes mirror rot. What's mirror rot? It's when chemicals eat away the backing silver on a mirror leaving a black residue. And it ain't pretty!

And lastly we have a look at Cindy's latest Fleur De Lis Tiger Eye. It's smaller than you might think (less than 12 inches wide) and the pieces are awfully tiny but her work is impeccable. You can see that she has it all ground and ready to be wrapped. This window will be out the door shortly.

And that about sums it up for this week. With this Blog Post we are now 100% up to date and no longer one week behind schedule as we've been for about a month now. That means I won't be able to make many wonderfully accurate predictions such as, "This will certainly be done when she returns next week." In the past I've made those predictions only because I'd already seen the finished project and knew I was safe to mention it here. Now I guess all bets are off. :-)

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Flux-- The New F Word

We have a lot of finished projects this week and more than a few windows still under construction. Before you know it they'll all be finished but for now let's see what everyone is working on this week.

Terry has completed her Egret window just as I predicted she would last week. She was worried about how the grey and the white would mix together but I honestly believe that she has nothing to be concerned about. And her choice of glass for the sky is stunning.

Pam's second box came out every bit as beautiful as her first one did last week. This one has iridized glass on the lid of the box. On solid colors it's a nice subtle effect that adds that little extra something to the project, not that this needed something extra to look great!

Patty has completed her 8 cabinet door inserts right on schedule. I only have one pictured because the second one didn't photograph very well. Besides we've seen these before so I think it's plain to see that Patty knows what she's doing when it comes to making these inserts.

Next up we take a look at another box. This one was made by Susan and it's a flat topped box with a tasteful Fleur De Lis design. To be honest, the color placement went against almost every rule I have but sometimes rules are made to be broken. This Amber/Gold Box has a beautiful baroque glass background with matching sides. The baroque glass has just a hint of the amber/gold color running through it which ties everything together perfectly.

Cindy's Louisiana Tiger Eye Fleur De Lis got the finishing touches put on it this week. When she brought it in all it needed was some hooks to hang it by and a good bath. Cindy opted to leave the lead on this silver because it really stood out nicely against the black baroque glass that she used for the border, trims, and the main body of the Fleur De Lis.

Cindy also brought in 4 more hand mirrors that she made at home. For some odd reason I only have 3 of them on the camera even though we both recall my taking pictures of all four of them. Cindy added a little something to 2 of the mirrors pictured here. Did you notice the initials Z and S on the left side of the bottom 2 mirrors?
And just because she's Cindy she also made progress on her Fleur De Tiger Eye. There are a lot of tiny, thin pieces in this pattern but Cindy prefers working with small pieces rather than large ones. Myself, well, I'd much rather work with larger pieces than smaller ones. But like I always say, The extra work that you put into a window shows itself in spades when the window is completed. And Cindy's Fleur De Tiger Eye will be no exception.

Sonia's Pokeno Girls are really fleshing out now. She ground the flesh colored glass to fit and got everything wrapped and ready to be tacked. The girls still need some hair and some shoes but after that it's all background.

Pam not only worked on her latest 3D topped box (as seen above) but she also worked on this flower window as well. It's about 12 inches tall by 5 inches wide and the only thing left to do before this project is finished is to solder the back side. I know Pam will do that while she's at home so I'd expect this to be completed shortly.

Fran is making more of her 'patented' Diamond Fleur De Lis Windows. She would have had the border cut for this one but she forget to bring the glass with her and we didn't have any more in the shop. I believe that she has a second FDL cut out already for the next one so we'll be seeing a lot progress on these when she returns.

Bonnie's Saints Fleur De Lis is just about finished now. The front has been completely soldered and the lower letter portion of the window has been soldered on the back side (as you can see in the photo). This one will surely be wrapped up when Bonnie returns.

Ann's got all of her Flower Window cut out and has even begun grinding it already. She's started in the upper left corner and you can easily see how it's beginning to fit together. She said that she's not sure about some of the colors she has chosen so we might see some changes as she grinds this project. But sometimes it's difficult to tell just what a window looks like until everything is fitting together so perhaps there won't be many changes at all. Either way, her window is drawing a lot of attention from the students in the other classes, and for good reason.

Myrt has made big progress on her Traditional window. Now that it's all cut out she can begin grinding it. Although the pattern only has 1 border drawn on it Myrt's toying with the idea of going with a double border. I've always loved the look of a double border and think this window would look great with a second row of glass surrounding it.

The first window we looked at in this update was Terry's completed Egret window and now we're going to end this post with a look at her latest work in progress. She's making her own variation of a Rooster Window and it's really looking good. This is the most realistic rendition of a Rooster that we've seen so far. It's not so much the Rooster itself that makes it realistic-- it's the grassy foreground that really sells this window. Expect to see this one completed next week since Terry will be working on this one at home during the week.

And with that we'll call this a wrap.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Friday, March 16, 2012

Grinder Shield Glass $7.50 Apiece

Pam is our first student to make a 3D topped box. The border is cut so that when it's joined together the center 'picture' is raised about 3/4 of an inch. It's an inverted bowl, so to speak. As I said before, it's a lot of extra work since the angles must be absolutely perfect for it all to fit together evenly but the end result is certainly stunning.
Pam also finished her first 3D Beveled Star. The star is the complete opposite of the box-- it goes together very easily (once you know how to attach everything). She had started both of these 3D projects last week along with a third box which she didn't get to finish this week so you can bet that we'll see that one in our next post.

Patty is really on a roll here. This is the 3rd set of cabinet door windows that she's made inside of 4 weeks. With only two more to go I'd say that she'll be completing this project next week. It's amazing what 5 little pieces of glass can do to make a cabinet door stand out from the crowd.
Terry came in and got the front side of her Egret Window completely soldered so she flipped it around and began working on the second side of it. When she left the second side was about a third of the way finished so it's a safe bet to say that this will be finished when she brings it back in next week. I also can't wait to see what else she'll bring in the door as I never know what she'll be working on next. And I just love surprises:-)

Hand Mirrors are really the rage here in the shop and Roxie has begun grinding all of hers now that they're all cut out. She's making 6 of them and to be honest I'm not sure which one this is but I'm guessing that it's either her 3rd or her4th. The others are now at home with her waiting to be wrapped in copper foil. By the time she's done grinding she'll be able to immediately start soldering without having to waste any time at all in between steps.

Cindy has the front of her Fleur De Tiger Eye Louisiana window all soldered. She's been having fun soldering at home so this will most likely be yet another completed project for our next post. Our students know how to move right along here!

Bonnie's Saints Fleur De Lis Window is a present for her husband and all I can say is How can he not like this? The border is now completely cut, ground, and tacked together so the only work left to do on this window is to get some channel surrounding it (the larger zinc channel will work best on a project of this size) and then solder it. I think this one has about 2 weeks left to go since there's a lot of soldering to do not to mention the cleanup and coloring process.

Ann has made a huge amount of progress on her Flower Window. You can't get a feel for the size of this looking at the picture so you'll just have to trust me when I say that it's just under 3 feet tall by 3 feet wide. With all these bright and colorful flowers in the mix it will be one cheery window when it's complete.

And last but certainly not least we have a look at the box top that Susan has been working on. As you can see there's nothing left to do for the top so next week she'll put the four sides together, add as bottom and then attach this beautiful top to it and call it complete! Look closely and you'll see that her background glass has a subtle hint of color in it that really ties this all together.

That's all the news that's fit to print here at the shop. With new classes coming up I'll be taking more pictures so you can see just what the tops of out work tables look like.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How Wide Are Your Windows?

Patty's latest Cabinet Door inserts take her to the halfway point in this project. She needs a total of 8 windows and these are the third and fourth. As I predicted last week, she completed these in just one class so she'll be off of this project and onto another in no time.

Next we get to see the latest Transom Window made by both Dianne and Peewee. With the two of them working on this window at the same time they made excellent progress. They're going to take the next 2 months off but will be returning sometime around June. I can't wait to see what they plan on making next. Myrt has her eye on this pattern so we'll be seeing this one again soon.

Susan made this Fleur De Lis window but the sun would NOT co-operate with us at all when it came time to take its picture. In order to show the pattern in the background glass and to make the brown border look brown rather than black I had to brighten the image considerably. In doing so the blue FDL in the center got much brighter than it actually is. It's not nearly that neon-esque when you see the window in person. (Did I just invent a word?)

Sonia's Five Women Window is getting a lot of attention and it's not because they're all showing their ASSets. There's just something about this pattern that seems to be catching all the students eyes. And when it's completed and all lit up, well, look out!

Roxie is grinding away at her Flower Hand Mirrors now that her glass is all cut. Her grinding may be the most precise grinding that I've ever seen a student do. Everything fits together so perfectly that I actually believe the pieces that I grind don't fit nearly as well as Roxie's would! But she's a trooper and always graciously accepts any help I give her during class.

Terry's Egret Window is real close now. Everything is ground save for the flowers in the bottom right corner and I'm sure that they'll be done and this will be wrapped when it returns. She's decided to go with a green border which works just right with the rest of the colors on this window.

Cindy's Fleur De Louisiana Tiger Eye is just about completed also. She came into class with it all ground and just needing to be wrapped. By the time she left it was all wrapped and just needing to be tacked together. Next up for this window is a border and some solder. Then we'll see it hanging up in the light.

Bonnie's Fleur De Saints Window is almost all cut and ground. She'll be wrapping the letters and their background glass at home so she can get the borders under way when she returns. She's going with a rather unique border using 3 different glasses on a two layer border. The colors will wrap around the inside and outside border which is hard to explain so check back later this week to see exactly what I mean.

Anita has been busy making borders for her black windows. The solid black glass really gives the Red, Green and Yellow glass an extra pulse of vibrance. This window isn't even lit up and it's already bursting with color!

Anita also worked on changing her Fleur De Lis Suncatcher into a Fleur De Lis Window. She melted off the solder around the outside edge of the FDL and then traced it on a piece of background glass. After it was cut she ground it and took it home to wrap.

And last but not least we have a look at Pam's 2 Box Tops. She started the Iris Top last week and completed the Geometric design at home. We adjusted her borders and now the Iris top is completed and the other just needs some solder. These angled borders are a LOT of extra work (attaching the borders took most of the class) but they're really nice once it's all together. You'll see just how nice they are when she attaches these tops to the actual Box bottoms next week.

So that's it for the 1st week in March. One more Blog to go and we'll be completely up to date. Expect it RSN (real soon now).

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I Want to Melt Something

Am I the only person who thinks of Shrek when I see this window that Fran has made? Clearly, her Donkey Window has been completed. I remember the hour or so we spent in class trying to decide on the 2 colors for the borders and I must say that the choice was perfect in the end. This turned out to be a really cute window!

And this is Patty's pair of cabinet door windows and it's the first of 4 sets (or is it 5?) They looked sort of plain sitting on the table so I took the liberty of letting you see what they look like with a wooden frame through the magic of Photoshop. She has the next pair started and I won't be surprised to see her finish them when she returns. Maybe we'll put each set in a different frame each time she completes 2 windows.

Ann is the first person to make a Beveled Star in quite a while now. Normally we see our students doing a lot of these around the Holidays even though they can be left up all year long (since aren't directly tired into the Christmas Holiday.) These are actually fun to make and VERY easy once you know the secret. And the best part is that you don't have to cut any glass to make them.
Terry completed her Tiger Eye, Fleur De Lis, Red Pepper, Louisiana Window this week. She certainly didn't waste any time knocking this one out, that's for sure. I love her choice of brown glass in this. Tying the border in with the same glass used in the Fleur De Lis section worked great.

Terry also brought in Calieb's John Deere Window so we could see what it looked like completed. This is Calieb's first attempt at stained glass and although Terry helped out I have to say that it is a job well done.

Sonia's Five Ladies Window is really looking great and she only has the large pieces ground right now. Just wait until the whole thing is cut out. Still, just adding the color of the dresses makes this window come to life already. She's started grinding what she has cut out and will add the background glass once these girls are tacked together. And if you look closely you can see the pile of their flesh under the Blue and Yellow Ladies feet.

Pam Worked on this small Iris Panel which will actually be the top of a box. It's going to have an angled border around it making this box the first of its kind (a 3D top) to be done here in class. It's hard to explain in text but you'll easily see what we mean when you take a look at this again next week.

Dianne and Peewee have just about wrapped up the work on their Traditional Transom Window. The front is soldered and the back side is now up for a nice clean bead of solder. There's no doubt that we'll see this one finished next week.

Bonnie's Fleur De Lis is really taking shape now. With the top section completed she's begun working on the SAINTS portion of the window. The black letters are all cut out and she attached the 8 large background pieces this week so I'm expecting to see her have the bottom panel pretty much completed next week. Then it will just be about attaching everything and adding borders.

This is the first of 3 windows done by Anita. We'll see 2 of these and then a third with a slight variation in colors that will sit in between the first two that she's making. I must say that Anita's attention to detail really shined this week because her work on this was flawless. In a symmetrical pattern like this any discrepancies are immediately apparent to the eye so precise cutting and grinding are VERY important.

Roxie has 3 of the flowers sets pretty much completely cut out for her next series of Flower Hand Mirrors. You can see that she has a piece of orange glass near her pattern which means that for the final 3 mirrors we'll be seeing a splash of color. What the color will be hasn't been decided yet but we'll know soon enough.

Classes were cut short by Mardi Gras this week and some of our students felt the need to go out and party and have a good time rather than to come in and work their butts off with me for 3 hours. Someone doesn't seem to have their priorities in order and I fear it's ME! I won't get any beads staying home working in the shop now, will I?

Bayou Salé GlassWorks