Monday, October 29, 2012

Our (friendly) Rival-- The Garden Club

Here we are back for another round.   We lost Myrt to a Garden Club meeting this week but I know we'll see her and her Balloons soon.  Meanwhile, we have thirteen projects to take a look at this week and three of them are even completed.  Actually there are nine completed projects if you want to get technical since Patty made five separate items this week and Cindy made three.  Let's get to business and see just what all these projects look like.

Twister the Cat has been completed!  Shelley worked hard on this window which matches her sister's cat pur-fectly.  For a while she toyed with the idea of adding the name Twister between the border and the floor that the cat is sitting on but in the end we all decided that it would be overkill.  The biggest problem with naming your subject in a window is the fact that the text  takes the eye away from the subject itself.  That said, here's to a job well done, Shelley.

Next we take a look at the 5 Multi-Purpose-Desk-Accessories that Patty completed this week.  I think we'll have to start calling them MPDA's.  The design is subtly different from her first one and now an iPhone fits in it both snugly and securely.   The glass globs on the top of these were all hand picked for color and shape rather than randomly assembled.  And when you look at the finished product you can't miss how much flair Patty's color co-ordination added to these MPDA's.

Cindy also completed multiple projects in the form of three 3D Picture Frames.  She used Clear Iridized Crackle glass for the frames which gives them some color.  Cindy also discovered that every sixteenth of an inch counts when you're assembling something with angles that need to line up.  Each frame consists of just 8 pieces of glass but if your angles aren't 100% perfect, they will not fit together.  But Cindy's  look great and are going to make great gifts.  (And I do believe that Cindy said she had 4 or 5 more to make...)


Ann has started grinding the second of her small and intricate geometric design windows.  Measuring not much more than 12 inches in width you just know that Ann is working with some tiny pieces here.  When this one is completed she'll be cutting out a larger window based on the same design but since it's the same height as this window the pieces will be just as small.  When all three of these are completed  she'll be looking at 3 masterpieces.  In fact, I'll go so far to say that each of these windows is a masterpiece in its own right!

Bonnie's Hummingbirds and Flowers window is just about complete now.  She came in barely able to speak because she wanted to see more progress made.  She was quiet during class but managed to get all of her background fitting together and then tacked it all together for good measure before calling it a night.  Now the only thing left to add are the 2 layers of borders that are really going to make this window shine.  This pattern is elegant, graceful and delicate which makes it a definite winner in my book.

Brenda started a second Soccer Ball window this week.  She got the borders on the first one tacked together along with the name that you didn't get to see in last weeks post.  Now Landon and Slone will BOTH have soccer windows once Brenda gets the final borders on the Slone window (which will happen next week).  I feel I must point out the difference between personalizing these windows and not 'personalizing' Shelley's Twister The Cat Window.  The names on these denote who these windows are for.   We can all see that these are Soccer Balls therefore we don't need to label them with the words "Soccer Ball" or "Wilson".

Birds and Flowers used to be the most  popular subjects in our stained glass classes but I think they may have been overshadowed by Fleur De Lis' nowadays.  They're still VERY popular which is why  Donna came in and resumed grinding her Bird and Flowers window this past week.  Before class was even halfway over she had completed grinding all her pieces and then moved on to wrapping her glass.  She's got half of it foiled but she isn't finding the wrapping process to be as 'fun' as I do!  She'll be back to cutting next week when she moves on to the background and then the hard part of this window will be over with.  Maybe I can convince her to go with a double border also...

Jane worked on the Iris sections of her window this past week and she'll most likely be working at the grinder during her next class. I believe that the only thing left to cut will be the glass for the sky and that won't be cut until we have the rest of this all ground and tacked together.  You can't see the Iris leaves that she cut because she's taken them home with her so she can work on them throughout the week.  Yes, Jane is into her Stained Glass! 

Martha began working on her State Trooper window.  She has the Fleur De Lis section completed and ground and has taken some gold glass home with her to cut the scroll sections out.  The lettering is going to be painted onto the glass because to cut the letters all out by hand would just be maddening-- too many small pieces in a small area.  She's also going to stretch the outline of the state a little higher putting more of a space between the top and bottom of the FDL.  Doing it this way ensures that the sections that she has already cut and traced out on glass won't change and will remain usable.

Tim was hard at work cutting the remainder of his Angel Window out.  Now that the oval section is finished he's begun grinding all of these pieces to make it fit together perfectly.  He's got almost half of it done and will probably begin foiling this after he grinds the remaining pieces when he returns next week.  Once that's done it's just 4 corner pieces and a border until this window is complete cut.

Susan is making a few more Lawn Ornaments and this time around she'll be making then in the form of Mardi Gras Masks.  She has 2 of them cut out and one of them already ground.  She took these home with her so I'm going to assume the second one will be ground when she comes back in.  Her next decision is whether or not to make these 3D or flat.  I'm leaning towards 3D myself.  :-) Her attention to detail in fitting her glass together is wonderful.  She clearly understands the importance of symmetry in a project like this.

I'm going to be perfectly honest here and say that when Terry walked in the door with this Rooster already cut out and ground my jaw just about hit the floor.  I think she's trying to give Cindy a run for her money when it comes to working with tiny, little, frustration inducing pieces.  She said it was hard work but just look at this thing (be sure to click the image to see a better view of it).  I know that right now it looks like the Rooster is squirting something out of its butt here-- that will change when she gets the rest of her sun rays cut out.  LOL There are a LOT of background pieces in this window so Terry still has a lot of work ahead of her but I know she's capable of doing it.  Call it a labor of love.  I can't wait to see what this looks like when it comes back in.

The patients where Sonia works saw it fit to follow their schedules and allow Sonia to leave work on time to come to class this week.  Lately they've been holding her up and forcing her to miss her very important Stained Glass Therapy Lessons but not this week.  She now has all of Charlie Brown ground as well as having a good portion of it wrapped.  Pay close attention to the spot on Snoopie's  back.  It was actually cut into the his back by grinding a small hole in the center of the piece of glass and then enlarging it with the small grinding wheel until it looked something like an oblong doughnut.  This is the first time one of our students has made a cut like this.  "Look Charlie Brown, No Lead Lines!"

It certainly was a busy week here at the shop.  Next week is Halloween so I'm not sure what to expect but I know we'll see progress-- We always do.  Luckily I don't believe there will be another Garden Club meeting so we'll most likely see a familiar face return to working on her Balloons on Tuesday night.  :-)

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, October 22, 2012

Geaux LSU!

We have four windows completed this week and they're all beautifully made.  I've found it's best to allow students to work on projects that they've picked out rather than requiring them to pick a pattern from a pre-selected series.  The time involved doesn't seem like work when you're making something that your heart is into.

That said, Susan's Geaux LSU window is quite the accomplishment.  The design incorporates plenty of thin, delicate pieces that are hard to cut and just as difficult to grind and wrap as well.  But Susan made this pattern look easy by finishing it not only quickly but accurately--  There's not a piece out of place.  I just wish the background glass photographed better as there's more of a greenish cast throughout it in when you see this window in person.

Lynn wasn't going to let Susan steal the spot light this week though.  Look at this stunning door insert Lynn made for her husband who you might have guessed is a Veterinarian.  It's a good 3 foot tall and filled with bevels that sparkle like diamonds when the sunlight hits it.  She made this window in ten separate stages (2 doves, 4 corner pieces, the Staff of Aesculapius oval, the smaller oval 'G' section, the background, and then the borders).  Once they were completed she just soldered it all together and came up with this!  I can guarantee that this will certainly get a lot of compliments when it's installed.

Martha has completed the third and final piece of her latest project.  As you may recall she had two other versions of this window finished last week.  It didn't take long to wrap up the work on this last one so she's already got a pattern designed for her son based on the Louisiana State Trooper badge.  We'll see just how that looks in our next update.

Terry's Alabama Crimson Tide window is not only stunning but a great example of contrast.  The alternating black and white parallelograms (yes, I had to look that up) are offset beautifully by the deep blood red letter 'A' that cuts into the center of the pattern.  The same red then borders the window making this hard to miss when it's lit up with sunlight.

Bonnie's window is moving along just as quickly as I suspected it would.  I had said that once the flowers and birds were ground and wrapped the rest would be easy.  Even Bonnie was amazed at how quickly things progressed this week.   She tacked together her wrapped pieces and then laid everything out on one sheet of Clear Glue Chip glass.  The pattern was about 2 inches longer than the sheet of glass so we just left the bottom row of pieces off and will fill them in when everything you see here is tacked together.  Bonnie has all but 4 pieces of the background cut and more than half of this window ground already!

Ann has completed all of the grinding on her first Geometric window.  She'll begin grinding her second one when she returns next week but since they're identical you won't see much of a difference  between this picture and the one we take for the next update.  In fact, it might even look like she's moving backwards in time when you see that it mostly un-ground!

Brenda worked on her soccer ball window and got it all ground and tacked together.  From there  she added the four pieces that form her background.  I think this will just need a border attached to it next week and then she'll be able to solder this project.  She's leaning towards 2 different colors in the border.

Shelley made great strides with her Twister the Cat window.  She got all of her border wrapped and attached during class and then began soldering this beast.  :-)  Russ has noticed a SMALL problem that we will easily fix next week.  Can anyone spot what it might be?  We'll reveal the answer when it's finished in our next Blog update.

Donna was back in this week and finished cutting the branches and the leaves in her window.  She even started grinding her work so that we can simply lay this on a piece of her background glass and get it to fit the same way that Bonnie did with hers this week.  I really like this design and can't wait until you can see it without a dirty white piece of paper behind it.

Jane is making excellent progress on her window.  Now that the water is all cut out she'll move on to the leaves and the irises when she comes back in. After all these pieces are ground and wrapped she'll start working on the sky behind the trees.  It's hard to see what this looks like right now but trust me when I say that it's really taking shape.  This will be VERY apparent when it's ground and fits together better.

Tim had said that he might want to go with an Angel design for his first full sized window and that's exactly what he started this week.  We found a nice design on the internet and then we added some more cuts to the Angel's gown and wings (the original design was over simplified in my opinion) what you see here is the beginning of a great stained glass Angel Window. 

Patty has resigned herself to becoming the MPDA* queen.  This week she got five of them assembled and 4 of them completely soldered.  The design has changed slightly from last week's trial run so that it now it holds an iPhone in landscape mode perfectly.  These still need the decorative back pieces that fit inside the curved back but they are about as close to being finished as an MPDA* could be.

It was a fun week this time around.  Hopefully next week we'll see even more finished projects!


* Multi-Purpose-Desk-Accessory

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Once, Twice, Three Times A Zebra

OK, there's a lot to see this week and this post is late already due to the installation of another Church Window so let's get right into it and see all that's been accomplished.

We're going to start off looking at two of the three Fleur De Lis windows that Martha managed to complete this week. She started off making three fleur de lis' -- two in red glass and one in an amber/brown combination.  After they were ground and tacked together she picked three different glasses to use for her backgrounds. Due to the size of the glass she selected she had to alter the completed size of her windows.  The two below show how simple it is to change the size of a window and how dramatically it can effect the outcome.  She has one more left to go and I'm sure we'll see that one completed in out next post.

Terry finished her window and I have no idea what to call it other than her Soap Window since the pattern came from a soap container!  Wherever it may have come from you have to agree that this is one sweet window.   Her elaborate border doesn't steal any attention away from the main design at all, in fact it helps draw your eye to the intricate center pattern.  Terry did an excellent job with this window and it certainly is apparent in the finished picture. Can we all agree that it's a very clean design??  ;-)

What we're looking at here are not 1, not 2 but 3 of Cindy's Zebra Mirrors.  Look closely and you'll see that the two on either end match but that the center one has been somewhat simplified.  Some might say that the center version is less appealing but I can guarantee that it's far sturdier than the others.  And let's face it, they all look great!

Brenda has her first window under her belt now.  She worked on it at home as well as in class and when your sister is Terry you know you're not going to have to worry about being steered wrong while working on your first window away from class.  Brenda's project shows us that Terry had best beware because Brenda may just give her a run for her stained glass money.  LOL!

What's this?  A standard butterfly?  Well that means that Tim has started classes this week and he completed his first project.  I always say that I can tell within the first few cuts (of glass, not flesh!) how a person will do in their following classes and I can safely say that Tim will have no problems at all making stained glass.  He's leaning towards doing something with an Angel design but we'll know for sure when he comes back in and starts working on his first 'real' window.

Terry not only finished her soap window but she also resumed work on the Alabama Crimson Tide window that she started last week.  If you recall, she had red letter 'A' cut out.  As you can see she's got all of her background cut and ground.  And she even has about half of it wrapped already.  Look out Brenda, Terry doesn't like competition!

Brenda (who if you haven't guessed by now is Terry's sister) didn't want Terry to be the only person working on 2 projects during class this week so she not only finished her first window but started cutting out this soccer ball as well.  All of the ball is cut and I honestly don't know if this is a suncatcher or a window so I will be just as surprised as everyone else when I see what this looks like when it returns next week.  These women are stained glass work horses!

Cindy also worked on a second project.  She decided to make a few stained glass frames to use for gifts during the coming Holidays.  This one is about ready to go but she's decided that she will add a small stained glass flower to add a little something to this basic frame design.  When she has the flower finished will tack it on the bottom right of the frame to give it a little more color.

Ann was back this week and she's resumed grinding all of the tiny, complex pieces that make up her geometric design.  She has the right frame of mind for a window like this though-- you take it one piece at a time and before you know it you'll have a completed window.  This is the first of 2 identical windows so expect to see her start grinding the second one as soon as this one is bagged and ready to be wrapped.

And Bonnie's Hummingbirds and  Flowers window is really springing into shape.  She began wrapping all of the glass she had ground when she was in 2 weeks ago.  Now you can see each of the flower petals rather than a blob of red glass.  The pieces are thin and curvy which give this window a distinctly elegant feel about it.  I may try to talk Bonnie into a second border on this if the window it's being made for can handle the extra width and length. 

Jane cut out the background brush of her Egret window out VERY quickly and then I talked her into cutting out the egret itself.  With that out of the way the rest of this window should be fairly simple.  The egret had a lot of small pieces in it but Jane just set her mind to it and got it all cut out before calling it a night.  While making a window I focus on the task at hand rather than the big picture.  It stops a project from becoming daunting and makes it much more manageable.

With the front of her Door Window Insert completely soldered Lynn turned her window over and began soldering the back side. With a good quarter of it soldered I'd say that it's safe to assume that we'll see this window completed next week.  It's a large one so we'll be washing it off outside with the hose but that just makes the cleanup process go that much quicker. It will be nice to see this window up in the air all cleaned up with some light behind it.

Myrt may not be full of hot air but her balloons sure are.  She's got her first balloon completely cut out and her stars and stripes balloon just needs the stars cut out before that one is finished as well..  Once the balloons are all cut out this window will become extremely easy to complete since the landscape and sky are simple cuts.

Patty liked her Multi-Purpose-Desk-Accessory so much that she's cut out 4 or 5 more of them this week.  Three of them are already ground and she'll work on the rest of them when she returns on Thursday night.  I also believe that I heard Bonnie ask if she could use that pattern later on down the road...

Roxie is also working on multiple iterations of the same pattern.  She cut out 4 more Hummingbirds (but I only have a picture of one of them.)  She also ground one or two of them and brought them home with her so she could come back in with  them all wrapped and ready for soldering.

Twister the cat is now a very recognizable kitty.  So recognizable, in fact, that Shelley has decided not to personalize this window by including Twister's name in the bottom border.  I never thought it would be necessary but I didn't think it would detract from the window either so we all left it up to Shelley in the end.  Now that everything is cut Shelley will most likely begin soldering this when she returns to class.

Charlie Brown-- Little Known Facts.  Surely you know that Snoopy is a beagle but did you ever wonder why Snoopy is colored black and white when real beagles are usually black, brown and white?  Well it turns out that Charles M. Schulz was color blind and honestly thought all beagles were only black and white.  Snoopy may be black and white in Sonia's window but the rest is certainly colorful enough.  She has a lot of this window ground now and will most likely be ready to wrap these pieces before she leaves class next week.

So there you have it--  a few finished windows, more windows that are still in the works and a little Charlie Brown trivia to tie things up in the end. Not a bad week at all.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, October 8, 2012

Paul's Lips

Patty was back in this week after taking 2 weeks off to attend a wedding out of state.  It sounds like she had a great time visiting with family along with her sister and fellow student Sonia.  When she came back in this week for class she had a pattern and a plan.  She had found a card holder design online and wanted to make it with one slight modification-- she wanted it to hold post-it notes rather than business cards.  We measured a post-it, added a a little to the depth of the box and ended up with what you see below.  After it was finished Patty discovered that it makes a wonderful iPhone holder as well since the phone fits in the box in both portrait mode or landscape mode (horizontally) behind the front lip in case she wants to watch a Netflix movie on it.  Patty now calls this her "Multi-Purpose-Desk-Accessory" and I think that's now a permanent name for this project from here on out.

Myrt's Hummingbird and Morning Glory Window is officially complete and she's as happy as can be.  Myrt thought her soldering on this window was better than normal and I'd have to agree with her.  I only made spot adjustments on this to smooth out the few rough areas that we found before washing all the chemicals off of it.  This is another job well done for Myrt.


So when Myrt finished up her Hummingbird window she decided to start working on her Hot Air Balloon design.  She's cutting out all of the balloons and tacking them together before cutting out any of her background pieces.  Cheryl made this window a while back and said that it was one of the most enjoyable projects she ever made.  I have a sneaking suspicion that Myrt will feel the same way about it.

Martha now has all of her borders cut and ground for her 3 Fancy Fleaur De Lis Windows which means that she'll certainly be soldering these when she returns to class next week.  In fact, I would be completely shocked if at least one of these Fleur De Lis' isn't completed before her next class ends.  

Lynn has begun soldering her window and it looks GREAT!   This is the first time anyone has made corners like these and I think we may be seeing the idea used again.  It was a simple-to-do effect that adds some style without looking overdone.  The only thing this needs other than solder is some channel surrounding it and I promised I'd do that for her outside of class so she wouldn't have to waste time on such a menial task. 

Brenda is making some serious progress on her first window.  As you may recall from last week her center was already cut and when she brought it back in she had it ground and wrapped as well.  So she set off tacking it together and then started working on her background glass.  Once that was cut she moved on to the surrounding border.  As you can see she's got it all cut out now.  Brenda will be soldering this before we know it!


Cindy's done a redraw of her Zebra Hand Mirror pattern and it involved joining 2 pieces into 1 which makes this version of her mirror MUCH easier to make.   The original pattern had a total of 36 pieces in it while this one has less than 20.  The zebra design is still apparent so I say it's a change for the better.  I also expect that we'll see this completed real soon.
Sonia made her return to class this week along with Patty and has completed cutting the glass in her Charlie Brown window.  With that out of the way she stepped up to the grinder and started in the lower left corner to make sure everything fits in place.  You know, it was Sonia's idea to add the setting sun to this pattern and it really looks to me as if it belongs there.  It gives these Peanuts a reason to be sitting there staring off into the distance.  Talk about a peaceful window.

And the glass for Susan's Louisiana Tiger Window is 100 percent officially cut.  With the center of this already soldered I'd say that Susan is well on her way to finishing this project.  Her attention to detail has really made this window stand out and I can't wait to see this with some light behind it. Sadly, she won't be in next week so we're going to have to wait an extra 7 days to seer this completed.

Jane is one of our 2 new students that started this week and she's already taken stained glass classes before so we decided not to bother making a butterfly.  Jane has picked this intricate Egret pattern to be her first window.  She wants to learn some of the tricks of the trade when making stained glass and she's picked the perfect pattern to get a good demonstration of all the things I do when making a window like this.  She has the tops of her trees cut and next week we'll see far more cut glass on this pattern.


Donna is our second new student and like Jane she has also made a stained glass window or two before coming to us.  She's decided to make this Bluejay and Flowers design and has already gone against the grain (so to speak) but using glass globs for the flower centers rather than a flat pice of stained glass.  It may not seem like much but it's a small element that will make this window stand out even more when it's completed.

Roxie has 2 more hummingbirds cut out and either 2 or 3 more traced out onto glass.  I suspect that Roxie will be sentenced to doing some grinder time next week even though, as you can see, these suncatchers  are fitting together wonderfully already.   The grinder is your friend and can fix almost anything but there's a price to pay for that help and that price is extra time.  Making sure that you cut the lines off of the glass while you are cutting ensures that you won't have to spend extra time at the grinder.  And Roxie's work is proof of that.

Now look at this.  Now that it's almost completely ground Shelley's Cat window looks great!   And to think that she was worried about how this one was turning out.  We're still undecided if she's going to add the name TWISTER to the bottom of it but either way it's going to be a very nice window made in tribute to a cat that is very much missed. Her sister will be proud to hang this stained glass piece.

Terry actually completed a window this week but we aren't going to get a look at it until our next post because  I still haven't found the time to put the channel on it, wash it and take a picture. That said, Terry also began working on this Scarlet Letter window.  Could it be an Alabama Crimson Tide Logo?  I think maybe it is and I promise to find out for sure when Terry returns.

So be sure to come back to our blog to read the next update and see Terry's last completed project (as well as any others).  I'll make sure to get a pictures of everything.  And as a bonus we'll get to see Terry's window in the sunlight which is a luxury that we don't always have with the projects completed in out night classes.

See you all soon!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks