Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Nose To The Grindstone

We're a bit behind here so this post is taking care of the events that happened in classes during the second week of February.  Put on your seat belts because here we go.

Bonnie's Hibiscus and Humming Bird Window is officially completed.  And it is one elegant looking window, don't you agree?  Her cutting and grinding were precise which make the lead lines between the flowers and leave look delicate and graceful which pretty much describes this entire window.  The leaves cutting into the thin, blue inner border really help make the window special.  And the final clear border that matches the background just completes this project perfectly.

And here is Brenda's latest window-- A Louisiana Fleur De Lis.  She decided to use glass that was transparent for the most part, but dense enough to not allow anyone to see right through it.  The background, however, is solid which lends the State emblem more focus due to the contrast between the different glasses.  All in all, another project well made by Brenda.

Next we look at the same basic pattern made by Brenda's sister, Terry.  She's altered it somewhat by adding a Tiger Eye in the left section of the FDL and also by adding a pepper in its lower section.  Talk about making this project her own!  But then again, Terry always does that.

Is that a butterfly?  Well, that can only mean one thing-- a new student!  Yes, we have welcomed Betty into our classes this week and she made this butterfly without even breaking a sweat.  Starting with her tracing and ending with her soldering, Betty made making this sun catcher look easy.  Next up for Betty will be an Angel Window that will look familiar to those of you who read this Blog on a regular basis.


After completing her Hibiscus and Humming Bird Window Bonnie's decided that a Vigil Candle Holder would be her new project.  She'll be making this out of a deep blue glass with a 'P' cut into a textured glass oval which will be in the center of one of the four sides.  She'll also be making a cap for it as well and wait until you see the rich, contrasting colors that she's got picked out for this piece .

Next we have the center piece to Ann's newest project which is a matching window to the two Cabinet Inserts that she finished before Christmas.  It's the same design cut in half, but cut out larger.  I've cropped out the end pieces so that you can be surprised at how nice the overall effect will be when you see the glass she cuts next week get placed on the pattern.  Let's just say that making this center section bigger isn't making things any easier for Ann.  The left and right sections will be just as small as her last set of windows.

Cindy's Tribute Window is now ready for some solder.  She got it all wrapped this week and will be tacking it together and adding her double borders when she comes back in.  Next up for Cindy will be a large mirror for her bathroom.  Just wait until you see that one.

Martha has begun grinding her Frog Window and she's moving along nicely with it.  This is truly her defining project because this is the one where I'm seeing so much growth in her ability to do glass work.  Her cutting and her grinding have gone so smoothly and quickly that I can tell something has really clicked with her.  I remember the window I was working on when I suddenly 'got it'.  This is certainly Martha's.  Look out now because the girl's on a roll!

Donna came in knowing that she needed this window ready for solder before she left class on Wednesday night so she put her nose to the grindstone and walked out the door with her window  needing only to be soldered.  When she came in she already had the bird tacked together so the first thing she did was cut out the background and then tack that to the bird.  Then after trying just about every color glass we had, she decided on the only obvious color that worked for a border which turned out to be this beautiful Blue/Green.  Trust me when I say that no other color set this window off the way this glass did.  It's a stunning window that Donna put together like an expert.

And Terry, not being content to simply finish a project,  continued working on her Two Birds Window and the slightly angled, light amber background really gives this a classic stained glass feel.  This window is all about soft colors and Terry's eye has found the perfect combination for this project.

Subtle.  That's the word that describes Patty's lamp best and it's something I strive for in my work.  Yes, stained glass can be about contrasting, vivid, rich and intense color choices but there are times when a softer, warm hue can make a project say more and this Magnolia Lamp that Patty is making is a perfect example.  The flower petals are noticeable but they don't cloud your perception of what this lamp is about when you look at it.  Patty has all three sections tacked together and has attached the cap.  Next she'll begin soldering it and just wait until you see this cleaned up.  Mark my words, it's going to be beautiful.

Lastly, after Brenda finished her Louisiana Fleur De Lis she wasn't entirely sure what she would make next.  She knew she wanted a duck or a mallard for her husband and after going through some of our existing patterns she found this.  So she traced it out, took it home and we'll see what she comes in with when she returns next week.

Here comes a spoiler:  In our next post you'll see MAJOR progress on Brenda's Mallard Window (I know because I've seen it already) and it's turning out to be a beauty!  And as always, there's plenty more to see as well.  We have new students as well so they'll be another round of butterflies as well.  Have a great week!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Gonna Miss Them

It's a sad day here as we announce the graduation of 3 of our students.  Roxie, Sonia and Patty have each announced that due to schedules, moves, and grandchildren they will be leaving us. It's been a wild three years with them and they will be sorely missed.  

And with that sad piece of news out of the way we'll look at the project that Sonia took home with her on her last night of class.  As a Charlie Brown fan Sonia always knew that she'd eventually make a window to show her love for Charles Schultz' creation.  Now that this project is all cleaned up you can see how bright and cheerful her window is going to be making her new house.  However, she'll be leaving a hole in my heart.  :-(

Shelley has completed her Bird and Flower Window and its simplicity gives it a huge amount of charm.  She used nice vibrant colors set into a crisp, clear textured background glass that really makes the bird, flowers, and leaves in this window stand out.  Great job, Shelley!


Roxie decided to make a cross during her last class with us.  It's pure white with a sharp and elegant bevel cut into the center.  She's made these a thousand times before so she's quite adept at putting these together quickly.  I also think that she gives them all away as gifts so she'll probably need to come back and make a few more to have on hand if she needs a gift or two down the line.  :-)  I'd make a joke about Roxie having no class once she leaves us but that's far from the case-- she's one classy lady!


Wow, Lynn's cabinet door inserts looked nice but once you see them set in their wooden frames they really light up.  Lynn has accomplished a lot since she started last summer.  I've seen what her newest project is going to be and all I can say is wait until you see it.  Not that it will make these inserts look bad-- nothing can do that.


But before Lynn starts on her next window she decided to knock out some quick glass panes for a lamp that she has.  She's making five yellow ovals each set into a clear, textured glass rectangle.  Once we drew up the oval Lynn got right to work and got a good 80% of this project finished in just one class.

Brenda has her Number Nine Emblem Window all ground and ready for wrapping.  She picked out a nice red border and you can see one of the 4 strips along the top of her window.  When she finishes this it will have red surrounding the entire window.  The contrast of colors in this window is perfect.


Myrt has just a few pieces left to grind on her Red, White and Blue Balloon and then she'll grind her Fleur De Lis balloon in the center.  Once the balloons are completed and tacked together the background sky and land will be a breeze and most likely cut out in just one night.  We're so glad that Myrt was in because we hated eating the gravel that was supplied to us during the week she didn't show up...

Cindy is moving right along on her Tribute window-- all she needs to do now is grind the name 'Rye' and the 7 pieces that form its background.  Since the window isn't really that large she's decided to finish it off with not one but two borders.  On a window like this I think it's going to look best with 2 borders anyway so 'Good Call, Cindy!'

Donna got all of her Bird cut out and ground before she took her project home to wrap.  This is going to be set into a clear textured rectangle and then finished with a single border.  It already looks great so just imagine what it's going to look like completed with light behind it.

Now I haven't seen this pattern done in a long time but now that it's all cut save for the background I can honestly say that it looks even better than I remember it looking.  The black and white pattern didn't have near as much personality as the colorful glass version does and I must say that Martha has really hit her stride on this window.  She's been moving along quickly yet precisely and her choice to use glass globs for the eyes was genius!   And that's the way (uh huh, uh huh) I like it (uh huh, uh huh).

Patty still has a few weeks with us because she's not leaving until she completes her Magnolia lamp.  These lamps are actually very easy to make (which is why I insist that first time lamp makers do this as their first lamp) and Patty is moving at a very good speed.  You can see two of her three sections tacked together on the bottom of the picture.  What you see above the finished sections is the mold that the lamp is made on.  I suspect that Patty will get the 3rd and final section together  when she comes back in and since that won't take a full class she'll surely get the 3 sections put together which will make the lamp complete.  Here's hoping that I can talk her out of leaving us in her remaining classes since she's part of my weekly therapy on Thursday nights!

Tim has begun working on his tiger window and it's coming together perfectly.  This is an advanced project for Tim to be working on since he really doesn't have a lot of projects under his belt, but as you can see he's moving along wonderfully.  And the beauty of it is that he's been doing this at home rather than in class!

Wow, Terry's Hibiscus Window is really sharp.  It's not only all cut out but it's ground, wrapped, tacked and the first side is even soldered already.  I just love this design!  And I have to admit that Terry makes this look all too easy.

Okay that about wraps it up.  Here's a final look at 3 of our 4 Thursday Night Ladies.  Patty, Roxie and Sonia are going to be sorely missed but it has been a real pleasure.  We wish them the very best in all that they do. 


Monday, February 18, 2013

The JC Penney Story

Here's a story about one of our students that absolutely must be repeated here.  It's about Student X's unfortunate trip to JC Penney's with her husband.  He was shopping for some shirts for work and wanted to try them on before purchasing them.  Student X had been feeling rumblings in her stomach for a while  but when he disappeared into the changing room she knew right away that she needed to get home immediately.  She waited a few moments trying to be patient but after 5 minutes she knocked lightly on the changing room door and tried turning the door knob.  When the door opened she slipped inside and closed the door behind her. What she hadn't counted on was that she had been watching the wrong changing room door and had therefore entered the wrong fitting room.  Instead of finding her husband trying on dress shirts she found herself in a small, mirrored room with an EXTREMELY large man wearing nothing but bikini briefs and struggling with a pair of jeans that were down around his ankles!   And since his back was to her she was looking at the moon, so to speak.  Needless to say she got out of there in a hurry and to this day wonders if the man even knew she was in there with him.

Well, at least I changed the names to protect the innocent husband and the decidedly naked man...

Now let's hop into this post by starting with a look at two Cabinet Door Inserts that Ann has made.  You saw one of them a few weeks ago but here's a look at the pair together in their respective wooden frames.  Ann is currently cutting out a larger window that will match these in both color and design.  We'll show you how that's moving along in our next post.

And this is another window that was skipped in our last post so that we could feature it more prominently this time around.  Martha's State Police Window came out looking wonderful and I'm happy to say that the '75th' that was painted onto the round center of the Fleur De Lis is clearly visible when there's light behind it.  While it was sitting on the work table we thought you wouldn't be able to see the number at all.  It's amazing what a little light will do and what Martha can make out of a few sheets of glass.  :-)

And now that her Police Window is completed Martha has decided to get into a project with a few more pieces.  This Frog window is going to work out perfectly and she even found some rounded globs for the eyes to make it stand out even more.  The face of the frog will be slightly readjusted to make room for the larger eyes but changing that will be easy.  During her first class working on this project she got the pattern traced onto pattern paper and cut out into individual pattern pieces.  She also picked out her colors and got 2 pieces of actual glass cut but next week she'll be doing some real glass cutting.

Brenda worked on this Louisiana Fleur De Lis window while at home and it's almost completed already.  But is that any surprise?  You'll see another version of this window a little further down that her sister Terry is working on.  I've got to say that I can see huge strides in Brenda's abilities with each project she completes and this project is very near being finished.


Bonnie has the front of her Humming Bird window completely soldered and it is stunning already.  There's only the back side left to go and I'll bet money that she will have that completed when she comes in for her next class 2 weeks from now.  Wait until you see this window with some light behind it.

Donna has decided to take this pattern and make it match the picture of one of her friend's birds.  She'll be changing the tail feathers and the head as well as putting it into a rectangle and finishing it off with a border.  The colors that she picked out will match the actual bird so this will be another very personalized project.

Sonia has the front of her Charlie Brown and Snoopy Window soldered and that means that this will be completed next week.  Every time I see this project I start singing "Peanuts on the dock of a bay, watching the tide roll away".  It's just a shame that Charlie Brown  is already bald when he's only 9 years old.   Great job Sonia!

Jane's Heron window is so close to being completed that it isn't even funny.  It's tacked together and she's picked out the glass that she'll be using for the border (you can see it on the left side of the window).  Once the border is on this will be ready for some solder.  The end is near-- Jane can see light at the end of the tunnel!

Cindy came in and worked some more on her Tribute Window.  Little Rye passed away a few weeks ago and Cindy has decided to make this for his parents.  I'm sure this sweet little window will always be appreciated.

Tim is finished with frames and taking on a nice sized project with this LSU Tiger Eye Window.  In fact, he's making 2 of these rather than just one and he's cutting all the glass out in one fell swoop.  He's starting with the top 'Eyes' section and once they are both tacked together he'll work on the easier LSU bottom.  His colors are picked and he's taken his glass home with him to work there so I'm sure we'll see some good progress when he return next week.

Myrt is so full of hot air-- Or maybe that's her balloons!  With her large Red, White and Blue balloon all ground she'll be moving onto her Fleur De Lis balloon next.  I see a very small problem that is easily fixed that I need to mention here so that Myrt reminds me about it when I see her next week.  It's nothing you can see in the picture below (that's how small it is) but when it's corrected it will make a world of difference in the finished window.  I'll tell you what it is when we see Myrt again...

Terry knocked this window out while she was at home and only had to bring it in to get a piece of zinc channel bent to fit around the curve to finish it off.  There's still the second side to solder but after achieving this much in just one week the soldering on the back side will be like child's play to Terry!

And as you know, Terry isn't one to work on just one window at a time so she's also still working on this Flower window for herself.  All the glass is cut so she's on the home stretch with this window.  Her green border works perfectly with this color scheme.

Did I mention that Terry likes to work on multiple projects?  I only ask because this is a look at the THIRD (yes, 3rd!) window that she's been working on this week.  It's almost identical to the window her sister is making but it features a Tiger Eye in the left section of the Fleur De Lis and a pepper in the bottom section. Who knows what Terry will show up with next week.

Well it's official.  You've reached the end of this update and there are no other windows by Terry (or anyone else) to surprise you with-- you've seen them all!

Come back soon and check out our next update.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It Was The Week Before Christmas

It's truly been months since we've had an update if you consider that our last post was 2 weeks before Christmas.  After that we had the New Year, personal issues and vacations that made January a VERY spotty month.  In fact, even though it's February we've yet to have a full week of classes, but that looks like it will happen this 2nd week of February.

Before I jump head first into this post I need to say that both Ann and Martha had completed projects that I've omitted from this update.  Why?  Well, this post reviews the classes that occurred up to December 25th.  That was a hectic week because everyone needed projects completed before they left for the year and because of that we have an overflow of completed windows for this post.  Since we have no finished projects for the following week I'm pushing Ann and Martha's windows to the next post (which is already written and ready to be posted) so they won't get lost in this update.  It also allows me to have a picture for our email notification which our long time readers know features pictures of the weeks completed projects.

So let's get started here with a look at Brenda's Football window.  When we last saw it the border on the left wasn't cut out at all.  When she brought it back in this week it was ready to hang in a window.  Brenda does a wonderful job at home is is moving along wonderfully.

Donna began working on this Card/Pencil holder last week and this week she came in with all eight sections tacked together ready to be assembled.  It's sort of hard to tell what's going on here because the curve on the back panel starts low on the left and runs up higher as it moves to the right.  The middle section curves in the opposite direction making this unsymmetrical but decidedly stunning to look at.  Donna really came up with a winner on this project.

Next we take a look the two 3D projects that Susan completed.  When we last saw these they were barely cut out but due to some serious dedication on Susan's part these were ready to be a gift for Christmas.  When she brought them in they were almost 100% finished, with just a quick retouching on some of the corner soldering due to the fact that these don't solder as easily as a flat window.  But here they are ready to store all the pencils and pens that clutter up your desk!

Roxie completed the last three of her humming birds which means that she completed her Christmas shopping on time.  The glass beads for eyes really work much better that the glass head pins that we used to use.  Also, Roxie's work is top notch.  It would be a shame if she stopped doing glasswork since she's doing SO well.  :-) 

Lynn finished the first of her two cabinet door inserts and the second one is ready to be soldered.  I didn't manage to get a picture of the second one but they're a matching pair so you easily get the idea.  Lynn drew this design herself and made most of it at home save for some quick border cuts and some grinding here and there in the shop.  She also picked some great colors because they're very traditional which fits the design but they're essentially neutral so these windows will go well in any room regardless of the color.


Tim completed this stained glass frame which he made out of the same clear glass that Donna had used for her Card/Pencil Holder.  I've learned never to take a picture of clear objects on the work table that has the grey top because it makes the glass look colored in a very unflattering way.  Trust me when I say that this frame has no color to it  giving it a very classy look.  Tim's thinking about making some Tiger Eye windows for his next project and I know he'll handle it perfectly.


Meanwhile Jane made great strides with her Heron window.  It's all tacked together and she only needs to add her border before she can start putting a finishing solder on this project.  I'd say that inside of 2 weeks this will be a completed!

Cindy's Cat Tray is coming along purr-fectly.  The front is almost finished with only 4 pieces to go before she tacks this together and then solders it.  This project wasn't a Christmas gift and Cindy's been doing double duty at her store while her husband recovers from his knee operation so it's moving slowly (compared to her usual turnaround).    Normally she'd have this completed in no time but she's lost the ability to work at home-- For now, anyway.  :-)

Okay, once Brenda saw the Christmas Lights Ornament that Cindy made last week she knew that she needed to make some for herself.  What you see here is the start of those Christmas Lights.  They have no choice but to come out looking just as good as Cindy's did because, well, just look at the colors that Brenda picked.

And Myrt is working on her Balloons again!   With two balloons ground and the big red, white and blue one left to go she'll have the toughest parts of this window completed.  The fleur de lis in the largest one will really give this window a Louisiana feel.

Patty has all of the background glass for her Magnolia Lamp cut and ground.  Here you can see that she's bagged all of her off-white pieces so she can take them home to wrap.  This week we saw Patty cut it all of the leaves.  They still need to be skimmed on the grinder, but that's easy.  Next up, Flower petals!  

Shelley has her Bird and Flower window all ground, wrapped, tacked together and  ready for a border.  She had worked on this at home and did really well on her own.  The next time we see this it will have a border and some solder on it!

Meanwhile, Sonia's Charlie Brown window has been borderized!  We tried every color under the sun (that was available to us in glass) and this was by far the best choice.  Sonia had originally picked green but it just made the window dull and lifeless whereas the yellow brightened up everything and gave it a happy feeling.  When we see Sonia again Charlie and Snoopy will be sporting a fresh soldering job.  Yep, this window is almost ready to go home.

Terry has begun work on her Flower window and her colors are spectacular.  There's just a hint of green in the glass that she picked for the flowers and it goes perfectly with the green leaves.   I like how the size of the flowers dominates the window leaving very little background.  This is another one of those windows that I can't wait to see completed.

Ok, we'll have our first official post that covers the start of 2013 in another day or two.  I don't like to flood the Blog with new updates because people will only read the newest post.

See you soon!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks