Monday, August 27, 2012

50 Shades Of Green

We're a tad late getting this post up-- Tropical Storm Isaac has put a bit of a cramp in the weekend so we've cleaned up the shop, removed all the works in progress and prepping the place for any possible water due to the storm that's approaching.   We're not really expecting anything other than a lot of wind and rain but since we're taking the old folks to Lafayette we'd rather be safe than sorry.  Ok, it's been a long day so let me sit bit and go over what was happening her last week on the cutting table.

It must surely be Christmas in August because Susan's snowman is all set and ready for hanging.  (All it needs is a noose???)  The beauty of this project is that Frosty has been completed well before he'll be needed as a decoration-- no last minute 'need-to-finish-him-QUICK' deadlines here.  We just have to hope that he doesn't melt in the heat.  You know, we were going to add a carrot nose but we don't have an orange paint pen (yet). 

Wow, did Cindy do a lot of work on her Pelican Window this past week or what?!   There's really only the sky left to do and then she'll be soldering this.  She began wrapping it in class and you just know that she won't let this sit still until it's ready to be tacked.  I love the glass she picked for her water.  Can't you swear you see waves in it?

As you can see, Lynn has the snake portion of her large window all set.  Well, it still needs an eye but that will be child's play and is hardly even worth mentioning.  Lynn will be working on the "G" section of this window next and with a little luck she'll have her beveled doves wrapped and ready to be tacked as well.  Just wait until you see all of these sections soldered together.

Next up we're going o take a look at the second Fleur De Lis Window that Martha worked on this week.  I didn't get a shot of her amber/brown FDL that fit together so wonderfully, but when she brings it back all wrapped we'll let you see it then  Nevertheless, as you can see from the way things are fitting together here on this Red version Martha has gotten the art of grinding down pat!

And Bonnie has started what is about to become her Tour De Force window.  It's a very elegant design featuring flowers and 2 humming birds.  It has a nice, gentle flowing feel to it.  To keep that flow moving in a graceful manor, Bonnie will cut, grind, wrap and tack all her flowers, leaves and birds.  THEN she'll cut out her background.  You see more of this process over the next 3 weeks or so.

Myrt's working on her own Humming Birds and Flowers window and it's really taking shape now.  It looks like she just has one bird and one flower left to go before she can start wrapping this and get it ready for its border.  After that she'll move on to soldering it and we all know that Myrt makes quick work of any soldering jobs. 

Just look at these birds!  Patty has the branch cut and will be working on 18 eyeballs when she comes back in.  After that it will be a simple soldering job and she'll be able to take these home.  You have no idea just how colorful these birds truly are-- the picture just doesn't do them any justice.  Hopefully we'll get a better look at this project when it's all completed and there's some light coming through the back of it.

Charlie Brown is another window that's really taking shape here!  Sonia has the sky traced out onto glass waiting to be cut but we seem to have 1 small problem-- we've lost the pattern pieces for CB's shirt!  They're bound to turn up soon but until they do Sonia will be cutting what pattern pieces she DOES have.  :-)

Wrapping things up we'll take a look at Terry's latest creation. She has her first window ready for soldering now that she has her border all cut out.  She decided to go with the same glass that she used in the background but I took the picture after her border pieces had been safely bundled to take home with her so she could wrap them.  Her second identical window (on the right) still needs the border and some small triangle pieces to square it off but these steps will be easily handled when Terry returns.

That's all that's fit to print this week.  Someone was MIA on Thursday and this was all we found to remind us of Roxie.  :-(


Sunday, August 19, 2012

He's a Clown, That Charlie Brown

Everyone has something exciting going on and if they've finished a window last week then they have something else about to be unveiled.  There's never a dull moment here in the shop so let's take a look at what our students have been doing during classes this week.

Shelley's Mermaid Window is a definite winner.  I have to note that this is her first project because it looks like something that a seasoned glass professional might make.    The pattern was discovered online but we altered it a bit to fit the size she needed.  What you might not immediately notice is that Shelley used two different background glasses that are very similar to give the background a little more flair.  It's nothing that screams "LOOK AT ME!" but because of that its subtlety gives the window that much more charm.   Less is more, especially when dealing in Stained Glass.


Susan completed her second Pumpkin Ornament and I really like everything about it. The size, the shape and then the craftsmanship make this is one cute pumpkin.  This would also make a great suncatcher as well as a lawn ornament so if anyone out there is looking for a terrific Thanksgiving/Halloween design this might just fit the bill.
Bonnie's latest Sunflower design was another quick finished project for her.  Using the back side of a piece of Spectrum Granite Root Beer glass made a perfect flower center.  The texture really shows up nicely and adds to the realism of the piece.  Well, Bonnie's next project won't be done as quickly but mark my words when I say that it's going to be stunning.  You'll see what that one looks like next week.


Ann's newest window is a very complex geometrical design that only measures only 12 by 8.5 inches.  When you count the pieces (and what you see isn't even all of them) you'll find that Ann is going for a lot of detail in this window.  Or should I say THESE windows since she cut not one but two of them out.  This is the first one set up and ready to be ground.

Lynn managed to cut a lot of this lower oval section of her window while she was at home and I have to say that she impresses me very much.  Lynn isn't afraid to grab the bull by the horns and make the most of it.  When she came into class she started grinding this and by the time she left she had already begun to wrap the pieces.  Once this is tacked together she'll be able to quickly cut her background glass and have this oval complete and ready to set into place with the rest of the sections of this window.  She did a great job grinding this considering she had to really make use of the small quarter inch grinding head which can be a real P.I.T.A.!

Martha has begun working on her second window and it's a stylish interpretation of a classic design.  It's a Fleur De Lis (or an FDL if you're a regular reader here).  She's going with an elegant double border and a gorgeous piece of root beer/amber that's going to make this really stand out nicely.  And she's cut two of these FDL's out so expect to see a pair of these windows in the future.

Myrt is grinding away on her Humming Bird and Flowers window.  She's got the bottom right corner  bird and flower just about under control.  I must confess that our grinder wheels were pretty bad so that slowed her down a bit but new wheels have arrived and are now on the grinders which means that grinding for the next two weeks or so should go a lot quicker.

Patty has all of her ducks birds laid out in a row and not only are they all ground but they're all wrapped as well.  True, they're all blind as bats at this point in time but once we have this all tacked together (next week) she's going to work on getting all of their eyes cut and fitted into place as well as the branch that they're all standing on.  After that it will be a quick solder job and then she'll move on to her next window.

Yep, this is exactly who you might think it is.  Sonia is a Peanuts fan and in this classic Charlie Brown picture she's added a setting sun that makes you ponder just what CB (and Snoopy) are thinking.  It's a really peaceful scene and judging by the glass that she's picked out for it I can safely say that this window is going to gather a good deal of attention.  She only has the flesh cut out and it already looks great!

Terry made some INCREDIBLE progress with her Victorian style window this week.  She has her background completely cut out and tacked into place.  All this needs is a border but I think she'll be working on the background of this design's sister window when she returns next week.  Yep, she's making two of them (like so many other people in class) and she has the center of the second window all tacked together already.  I think we're going to be seeing  a similar picture here next week.

And last, but certainly not least, we take a look at the window that Cindy is currently making.  She's pulling a 'Gerald' on us by working the way he (one of our favorite former students) used to work:  By cutting all of one color, grinding it to fit in place and then moving on to the next color or section.  It initially looks like the project is moving slowly but once it's all cut it's all ground  you'll see an immediate fast forward on the work since she'll be able to 'skip' the grinding process.  I even sometimes do this myself depending on the project. 

So that about wraps things up this week.  We've got a lot in the works here so be sure to come back next week so see what's completed and what's about to be completed.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Stained Glass Cake?

It was a Birthday week here during classes and a good time was certainly had by all.  It turns out that there's nothing quite like experiencing cake and wine while cutting glass-- the cuts may not be very straight but that's what a grinder is for, right?  Read on to find out just whose birthday it was.

Okay, here's what might be a familiar window but this time around it has a completely different color scheme.  This is Martha's first project (excluding her butterfly suncatcher) and it came out looking perfect.  Since she used a background with a single color picking a color for her border was easy.  Martha wanted an accent color in the corners and everyone agreed to pull from the color of the Dragonfly eyes, thus the amber corners. 

Ok, I can't keep you in suspense forever.  Cindy was this weeks birthday girl and the event was marked with cake, assorted food and wine.  And, on top of all of that, she managed to complete her Fleur De Lis Window.  Yes, we've seen her do this one before but it's a winner and patterns like this just have to be done more than once.  It's the unwritten Fleur De Lis law here down south.  (And Martha will be starting a variation of this Fleur De Lis for her next project!)

Sonia was hoping (praying?) for a window with some praying hands and that's exactly what she made!  We're still not sure if the two hands were purposefully cut from different ends of the sheet of glass to give them the shading that they have. All I know is that if it wasn't done on purpose it was certainly a serendipitous surprise because it really sets off a nice shadowing effect that helps separate the hands in your mind when you look at this window.  What's next for Sonia?  Well, let's just say that she'll be moving from holiness to peanuts.

Roxie has completed the last two of her 3D Butterfly Lawn Ornaments.  She's already begun working on her next yard decoration: a 3D Sunflower very similar to the one Bonnie made last week.  There's going to be a subtle yet distinct twist to it though so I can't wait to see what it looks like.  You'll have to come back in 2 weeks to find out what it is, however.  :-)
This is Susan's Pumpkin Lawn Ornament.  The leaves are overlaid on top of the pumpkin to make cutting easier but in all honesty I think I could rework this pattern and make it a one piece design.  In fact, I think I will even though Susan is working on a smaller version for next week.  This is a really cute design and I think we'll be seeing more of these.
I know it's tough to see the difference in size between the two Pumpkins that Susan worked on this week but this one is about a quarter smaller than the pumpkin you see above.  This is ready to be soldered and Susan isn't afraid to solder at home so we'll see this one completed next week for sure.

Lynn began her large Vet Window (that's Vet as in Veterinarian) this week.  The pattern washed out in the photo but this window is going to have it all--  Bevels, Initials, Doves and even a Snake(!)  Wait until you see this one start taking shape.  Lynn cut out the staff and the snake all on her own and she cut them very precisely so I have no doubt that she's going to do a great job on this window.  Mark my words, it's going to be impressive.
Bonnie is making another Sunflower Lawn Ornament but this one isn't going to have the second row of petals to give it a 3D effect.  Shouldn't a sunflower be yellow, you ask?  Nope, red ones are common also.  So don't say that you never learn anything here and don't even think for a minute that Bonnie's newest version won't be just as nice as her last one was.  I can safely say that it's going to be a quick and easy project since she got it all cut out and ground with time to spare while in class.   We'll see this one completed next week for sure.

Terry's latest set of windows is a real eye catcher.  Although we've seen this pattern done before Terry's choice of colors make the pattern look completely different.  We re-sized the background using five diamonds as accent pieces but the lead lines were too close together and we had to redraw it using seven diamond.  That worked perfectly and it's why you can see 2 sets of lines on Terry's pattern.  The lines drawn in black were the ones that didn't work out so she's going by the blue lines now instead.

And Patty's Flock of Birds are really taking shape here.  She's begun wrapping them now and will be soldering this window together real soon.  Now that it's almost 100% ground you can really get a feel for what this is going to look like-- bright and vibrant with birds that POP!

Meanwhile, Myrt's window is all cut out and waiting to be ground.  With the flowers and leaves cut Myrt's main concern is getting this to fit all together.  She always managed to breeze though her windows so I have no doubt that she'll get this in one piece in no time at all.
So that's about it.  We had a VERY productive week as evident from the number of completed projects in this post.  And most of the projects that are in progress made big headway as well.  There's never a dull moment while we're all working in the shop and sometimes we're all laughing so loudly I worry about what the neighbors think is going on!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Foiled Again

I have to start right off and say that Terry's Ballerina Window turned out to be all that and more.  I knew I was going to like this from the moment we had the basic pattern sketched out on paper.  (Sometimes you just know.)  Just look at how perfect the glass is for the leg that is under her dress.  You'd swear you are looking through the dress and seeing her leg under it.  Even the name in the border worked out perfectly (but I will point out that the letters aren't nearly as dark as they turned photographed here in the picture).   Terry has a second window WELL underway and when we take a look at that one  you'll know we're at the end of this post.

Lynn's first window turned out nothing short of perfect.  From start to finish Lynn made each and every step in her Flamingo Window look easy.  It's hard to believe that this is her first project, isn't it?  As I've said before I'm generally a fan of a darker border but this is my exception to the rule.  Lynn plans on making a much larger window when she returns and I have no doubt that it's going to be another winner.

Bonnie completed her 3D Sunflower Lawn Ornament and it turned out really nice as well.  The flower itself is about 10 inches in diameter and at a last minute addition Bonnie decided to add two leaves to that pattern.  And it was a good choice because it really makes the flower look complete, don't you think?   We had to alter the original pattern for the inner ring of petals but the end result is spectacular!

Next up we're going to take a look at two more 3D Butterfly Lawn Ornaments that Roxie completed this week.  She went for bright, striking colors so they wouldn't blend in to the scenery.  In fact, even her green butterfly is vibrant enough to resist disappearing into green leaves or grass.  Roxie has two more of these to go before she moves on to something else so I'd expect to see them finished in our next update.

Patty has begun the grinding process on her birds and we've had more than a few people from the other classes  pull these out and take a look at them in person.  Bright colors seem to be the motif for our Thursday night class.   They already look fabulous and I can't wait to see these completed.


Now here's an interesting picture.  Myrt cut the vines and all of her background glass for her Hummingbird Window while she was in class this week but she took it out to the car before I could get a picture of it.  When I helped take Terry's window out I noticed that Myrt hadn't disassembled her window-- just covered it in bubble wrap to stop it from shifting on the ride back home.  So I took this picture of it while it was in the trunk of the car under the clear plastic bubble wrap.  It may not be very revealing but you get a general, blurry idea of what she accomplished.  :-)


Martha managed to get all of her Dragonfly Window assembled and even went so far as to solder a few lines on it to get a feel for the soldering process.  She's going to be a soldering fool when she returns and, with a little luck, she may even take this home with her.  Her corners were cut from a glass that's the  same color as her Dragonfly's eyes so the corners provide an accent color without bringing in something completely new.  And that's what I call perfect.


This is Cindy's second round Fleur De Lis Window and she really wasn't sure if she should make the border alternate colors or not.  She toyed with the idea of 2 borders, each in its own color but everyone agreed that a single, alternating border would probably look best.  And even though it's not completelt cut out here in the picture I have to say that I think it was the correct decision.  It matches the alternating glass in the Fleur De Lis just perfectly.

Ann has returned after a few weeks of traveling both near and far.  Her last window was rather large but her new project is much smaller.  In fact, it was so small that her pieces were going to be incredibly tough to duplicate 4 times  around so we enlarged the center part of her design to make it a bit easier.  She'll be making two of these designs and is cutting them both out at the same time.  Since she has her red cut she'll start cutting the rest of her colors (which she has traced out onto the glass already) when she returns next week.

Shelley's Mermaid Window is all tacked together and just waiting to be soldered.  She went over most of the front side so that means that when she returns all she needs to do is work on the back side and then this should be completed.  This is one of those windows that's really going to come alive when it has some light behind it.  The mermaid's tail is cut out of a  deep purple (Smoke On The Water) glass and her border corners match the tail perfectly.

Sonia is back in action here at class and her praying hands are ready to be soldered!She has her double border all cut and attached as well as the finishing brass channel that surrounds the window.  Sonia's already talking about a Charlie Brown Project so I think she plans on having this one finished shortly.

And now you've come to the end of this weeks update as signified by our look at Terry's newest window.  It's a Semi-Victorian design that we've seen done before but the background will end up differing  somewhat to make it fit a taller opening.  It already looks great so I can't wait to see how far Terry has gotten along on this when she brings it back in to class next week.

That will do it this time around.  Next week is Cindy's birthday I heard someone mention cake.  I think it's going to be a HAPPY birthday!  :-)

Bayou Salé GlassWorks