Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Crack is a Dirty Word

Suddenly we have a surplus of Fleur De Lis Windows being made.  In fact, we have a lot of them completed this week!  What can I say-- they make the perfect gift here in Southern Louisiana where it's hard to walk 2 feet without seeing a Fleur De Lis.  But let's start this post by looking at something other than an FDL.

Two weeks ago we saw Linda's finished Victorian/Geometric Window and this week we're taking a look at Betty's variation of the same pattern.  She used completely different glass which really changed the tone of the overall window (although neither is right or wrong because colors are a personal preference and nothing more).  One thing that stands out as being identical between the two windows is the craftsmanship.  Betty's window is every bit as well made as Linda's-- and that's nothing to sneeze at.

Myrt's completed her Pelican Window and it's, well, flawless!  She did a redesign on this by altering the right side of the window to include cattails and she also made some other adjustments throughout the remainder of the window.  She brought it into class completed save for 2 hooks and that was a simple addition.  After that I briefly touched up some of the soldering but basically just on the joints (spots where 2 or more lines meet).   In the end she has a window that she can certainly be proud of because I know I'm proud of her for making it!

Ok, let's start our run of Fleur De Lis Windows.  We're going to start with Cindy's for no reason other than the fact that when I uploaded this weeks pictures Google decided to put this one first.  So, as you may recall, Cindy started this last week and left with the center FDL all ground and wrapped.  She picked a background glass and cut that at home so when she came in this week all she needed was a border and the back side soldered.  I must say that I was very impressed with how perfectly her diamonds line up.  Even her soldering required hardly any effort on my part to touch up.  What a great job!

Next up we have Donna's FDL Window.  This is a slight variation on one that I happen to have in the shop.  The only difference aside from the colors are the straight lead lines that run out from both sides of the FDL to the first border.  I had added curves to my lines but seeing them both together I can't say that I have a preference to either one so I guess with this pattern Donna just couldn't lose!  

Next up, we have the same Window as done by Tim.  The only difference between the two of them is the color Tim picked for his inner border.  The background glass may look different between the pictures but that's just because of the way the light was reflecting on the window when the picture was taken. I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite and I must say that the workmanship on both are beyond words.

And this is yet another FDL that Tim completed this week with the biggest difference being the actual bevel cluster that he used as the center piece.  Fleur De Lis' come in many shapes and sizes and what your seeing here is a second variation of about 10 different FDL bevels that I know of.  Tim's been going to town lately with the number of projects he's been putting under his belt and with each one I see his confidence growing more and more.

Our last finished project for the week was done by Terry and I have to point out that she had not one but two of these completed at the end of class.  They were 100% identical so I only took one picture  because the consistency between the two windows was something that I have to give Terry a lot credit for.  When people make a window they may make a mis-cut here and there that they simply adjust for in other places which make for slight variations between windows, but these two had not a single mis-cut so they were truly identical which is no small feet in glass.

Of course, Terry didn't stop there either.  She resumed working on her Flower Bouquet Window and she's got a lot of this colorful project ground and ready for foil.  There are a few green leaves left to cut and some small background pieces but I'd say that Terry has the bulk of the work finished with only the odds and ends left go. 

Betty also worked on this Angel during her class and it's so close to being completed that it isn't even funny.  All she really needs to do is attach the background glass to the Angel and then grind her 4 corners that change its shape from an oval to a rectangle.  After that it's just border work and that will go by too quickly to even mention!

Brenda's Fish window may have drove her a bit crazy last week but this week it's firmly under her control.  So much, in fact, that it's now completely ground and about 95% wrapped.  As you can see she got this fitting together perfectly and will undoubtably be soldering it next week.

Although it's hard to see in this picture, Mary's Iris window needs only a border cut for it and then it will be completed!  She wasn't sure what to think about the newfangled method we used to ensure that her sky's grain lines all flowed together but in the end I believe that she was very impressed with just how easy it was to do.  And the icing on the cake was when it took all of 5 minutes (less to be honest with you) to grind all of her sky and have it fit perfectly the first time!  Mary will have a nice easy class this coming week with only a border and some soldering left to go on this project.

Mary Grace decided to go with a glue chip background for the circular section of her Hummingbird Window.  The circle had been cut but the actually individual pieces still needed to be 'hacked' out out the circle and Mary Grace was worried about how this would be accomplished  but by the end of class she had it all cut, ground, wrapped, and tacked.  She had previously told me that she wanted to use bevels for her outer border and that she had a few boxes of them at home so she bought them in and we've now figured out the new size for the inner section so the bevels will work.  I suspect that Mary Grace will be soldering this next week which means that she's only got 20 more cuts to make before all her glass cutting is completed on this window!

Susan is making our last Fleur De Lis project in this post and it's going to be a box rather than a window.  What you're seeing in the picture will be the top hinged lid of the box.  Once this is constructed and is 100% completed she'll use the measurements from the top to make the bottom sections that form the 'tray' of the box.  And once that's done she'll just hinge the top to the bottom and that will be it!  Expect the top section to easily be completed when she returns!

Here's something different:  Russ ordered some Uroboros glass that got shipped to us in two 15"x24" sections.  Everyone went wild over it but it's not the easiest piece of glass to place in a window.  Susan, though, had ideas of her own.  She took one of the pieces home and when she came back with it a week later she said, "Yes, I want this."    She's going to use it as a piece of art itself.  All she did was rough up the two long sides to make it match the irregularity of the top and bottom (they were perfectly straight cuts when the glass came to us) and then she drilled two holes in the upper left and right corners so she could hang this by 2 chains.  In the end this is what she took home and let me tell you that I've seen this done many times in my 35 years of making glass.  The texture on this piece of glass is so deep you can practically get lost in it!

Finally, Bonnie's Lamp is going to be looking like this for a while.  There's just no progress that we can really show until the pieces are placed on the mold.  Until then all we get to see are patterns traced onto glass (as you can see on the pink sheet of glass) and pieces of cut and wrapped glass filling up the box that holds all of Bonnie's work.  But trust me, when it starts to come together everyone is going to be impressed.  And it isn't going to take very long for that to happen.


And that about wraps it up for this edition of our Blog.  I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Saturday, May 25, 2013

All Alone With Someone

We ended up having smaller set of classes for this post due to a power outage that ended up canceling our Wednesday Morning classes.  Susan and Shelley stuck around for a bit hoping that the power would come back on but that didn't happen until 12:30.  Long before that the two of them ended up taking glass home so they could work on their projects during the week.  Sadly, we missed out on all the laughs that we normally have during of our class time together.  Well, there's always next week.

So we'll start off by saying that Martha has officially wrapped up all the projects that she's been working on.  That means the last one, her Angel, is officially completed.  The soft colors she picked make the iridescent wings stand out more than they usually do when they're offset with heavier colors.   I have no clue what's up next for Martha but you can bet it will be spectacular at the very least.

Terry made this quick and simple (but very attractive) framed frame which makes this the second one she's done in as many weeks.  She'll be the first to tell you that these are quick to construct and a great way to use up small scraps of glass.  And they make a great gift!

Terry also worked on her newest window which is a Vase of Flowers.  Her inspiration came from  a coffee cup of all things.  Obviously she began cutting this at home but she accomplished a lot in class as well.  She also has 2 more HLSU Windows in the work that will probably be completed when she comes back in.  Me, I can't wait to see this finished because it's already looking like it will be another standout piece in Terry's portfolio of glass.

Brenda kept on plugging away at the grinder this week making her Fish Window fit together.  I know she was having a bit of a time with it fitting but by the time she left things were under control.  I've found that when you're grinding a window things go much better of you look at the pieces individually rather than looking at the big picture.  It's too easy to get overwhelmed if you're focusing on all of the pieces you still have in front of you.  Even though Brenda has this coming together now I know that she'll be happy when it's ready for some foil and solder and she can walk away from the grinder.

Myrt has made short work of this window, hasn't she?  It's all tacked together and the front of it is  already completely soldered.  She's taken it home with her so that means that when it returns we'll just add two hooks to hang it by and then take it's last picture before it finds a spot in a window.   Myrt did a great job on this project and really wants to get back to her balloons!  Still, I can't wait to hold this up in the light next week to get a good look at it.


Cindy wanted to do another Fleur De Lis window but she wanted it to have a little more complexity than most of the other FDL windows we see done here in class.  She found this pattern buried in one of the pattern drawers and decided instantly that this was going to fit the bill.   She traced it out, cut out the paper pattern and even got the FDL section cut and ground in glass before she headed home with the glass she was going to use for the background.  This has turned out beautifully the first 2 times it was done and I have no doubt that Cindy will will make sure that the third iteration of this window will match the first two versions as well..

Linda has all but the border of her Traditional Style Window cut and ground.   I'm even fairly sure that she'll even have it wrapped when she comes in with it during her next class. Wiggle room is what Linda is working on most with us. We never want our finished pieces of glass to fit too snugly because she still needs to get 22 pieces of foil (in this example) along the top and bottom portions of her background.  Foil may be thin but 22 pieces of it will cause everything to shift out of shape if you don't leave room for all it when grinding.  With only borders really left to cut I'm sure Linda will be soldering soon.

Mary has made great strides with her Iris Window this week.  She thought she had a disaster on her hands when she came it (her green glass fell and broke into many pieces before she managed to cut out any of her leaves) but with some rearranging we were able to get her pattern pieces to fit onto what was left of the glass and now she's back on track again.  She's going to skip the cutting of the sky because the glass she's picked has a pronounced grain running through it that we want to preserve.  That means that Mary will grind and tack what you see here together first and then cut the sky out of one piece of glass after placing it under this completed section.  Doing that will ensure that the flow of the sky will be retained and look natural.  This will be VERY apparent when the window is hanging. 

Tim has his first Beveled Fleur De Lis window (on the right) all tacked and ready to be soldered which he plans on doing at home.   So while he was in class he decided to start a second FDL window using a different bevel.  Tim picked this amber/yellow glass and managed to get all of his background cut and ground before he took this one home as well with only the borders needing to be sized and attached.


We're happy to announce that Donna has started a new job but because of her new hectic week she wasn't able to work on her window while she was at home.  But that doesn't mean that she's been slouching at all because Donna get's a lot done in the class time that we spend with each other.  By the time she left this week she had her borders attached as well as the brass channel the finishes off most of our windows, and the hooks to hang this by!  And if that weren't enough she also managed to get the front side completely soldered so we'll certainly see this completed when she comes back in whether she gets to work on it at home or not!

Ann's window is now completely ground and she's made an incredible amount of progress in wrapping her pieces this week.  To be honest I have to admit that I had no clue at just how quick Ann is at wrapping until tonight.  I'm sure this will be tacked together when she comes back in although that might not be next week since school is ending and Ann will be swamped with 'end of the year' work.  Nonetheless, this project is completely under her thumb now!


And that brings us to our last work in progress.  Bonnie's begun the serious part of working on her lamp and in this class she's managed to cut out almost all of her background glass.  This lamp isn't dominated by gridwork so there's still a lot to go but I'd say that the background makes up close to a third of the pieces so this is a great chunk of cutting out of the way.  These are only some of the pieces that she finished because she did grind a lot of it as well and took that home with her so she could begin wrapping.  Mark my words when I say that this is going to be a show stopper.

And that about does it this time around.  Hopefully we'll see Jane again soon-- She's had her hand operated on which certainly put a damper on her ability to use a glass cutter.  Here's hoping to a speedy recovery!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, May 20, 2013

Pausing To Reflect

Wow, after sorting through my pictures I can't believe how much I have to post this week so I'd best get right down to business here.
Cindy's Mirror is officially completed and something that I've learned is that I need to come up with a better way to photograph mirrors.  Please excuse this photo because when seen 'in real life' the entire class was ohh'ing and awe'ing.  To block out the awful looking walls and ceiling in the shop I photographed the mirror in front of a flowered (and slightly wrinkled) showed curtain.  This explains the small flowers-- they are reflected in some of the mirrored sections.  The next time someone does a large mirror I think I'll just have all our students gather around for a group photo in the reflection.

Martha went ahead and put the finishing touches on her Dragonfly Window and much like her Frog Window this project turned out to be bright, bold, and beautiful.  Next up you can expect to see Martha's Angel get a good soldering and then fly out of the door.

Brenda came in with this Cross window almost completely finished and by the time the class was over it was 100% completed.  It's Brenda's own design and she likes it so much she has another one almost completed (although it's been made in different colors as you will see later on in this post).

Linda's first window with us, her Victorian/Geometric Window, is now a completed project as well.  The biggest tip Linda has learned is to not fit her pieces so tightly together. We always want some wiggle room to allow for the foil to fit in between our pieces.  Look at this picture and tell me that you can see where there are any gaps.  There aren't any because everything was consistent and even.  I think Linda's going to do absolutely fine on the rest of her projects with us.

Terry assembled this quick little framed Picture Frame very quickly and it was finished by the end of class.  I've taken the liberty of adding a picture of a flower in it to give you the definitive view of this cute little project that Terry essentially made with scraps.

This is a Fan Lamp that Linda made while she was at home and it only proves that she knows what she's doing when it comes to crafting stained glass.  I only touched up the soldering here and there and then threw it in a Fan Lamp Base to take this picture.

Betty made 2 projects while she was at home last week and then brought them in to be critiqued.  My final word is in and it is..."Excellent"!   This is her second cross made with bevels and it looks pretty flawless to me.


Betty's 2nd at home project was this butterfly which was made from the pattern that everyone makes when they start classes with us.  She wanted to make one completely on her own and did a great job doing it.  It looks to me like someone was paying attention during class.

Next, as promised, we take a look at Brenda's second cross window.  These are both going to be gifts so I'm not entirely sure if we'll see this one completed or not.  There's a fair chance that Brenda will finish this at home and then wrap it up and give it away.  With the front completely soldered there isn't much left to do on this one!

Talk about flying through a window!  Donna came in with her Fleur De Lis bevel wrapped and that was it.  By the time she left class she had the background and first border cut, ground, wrapped and tacked together!  Not only that-- her final border is also cut and ground so almost everything but the soldering on this has been completed in one class.  Now that's progress!

Tim, just like Donna, came in with his bevel wrapped and ready to be tacked together.  Once that was completed he managed to tie for the gold medal with Donna by accomplishing the same amount of work that he did.  I have to say that I'm always impressed with Tim (and Donna's) work both in quality and quantity.  Oh, and did I mention that they both made these windows without a pattern?  Beveled windows like this are constructed on-the-fly for perfect fits (and it shows).

While Tim and Donna worked on Fleur De Lis', Jane worked on her Angel window.  She's decided to add a background and a border to this somewhat standard pattern (That Martha is also working on).  Her background is all cut and ground and she's got half of it wrapped so that the  border will be added next week followed by a final solder job.

Ann's super-multi-piece Geometric Window will most likely be completely ground when she comes back in next week since she only has 9 pieces left to go!  Only one of these 9 pieces is currently cut but the other 8 are so small that they'll be done in the blink of an eye.  I'm expecting to see some of this wrapped in our next update and I, along with Ann, can't wait to see this completed.  The end is near and Ann may do some tiny adjustments involving the border but the lions share of the work is now completed on this magnificent window.

Linda has begun working on a Traditional Style Window and the red glass she picked for the flower in the center makes this as traditional as you can get.  The three accent pieces (the flower center and the 2 diamonds) will be done in an off yellow that will most likely match one of Linda's borders.  Although it's hard to see she also has her clear, textured background glass cut so this is another project that is moving right along.

And here's a look at Martha's Angel (the same as Jane's sans the background and border).   The iridescent granite backed glass that she chose for the wings really stands out nicely and now that the Angel is tacked together and just waiting to be soldered I can't imagine anything stopping this from being completed in Martha's next class.

Mary has started her first window with us and it's an Iris design.  After tracing out her pattern and deciding on glass colors she managed to also get all of the glass for her water cut.  There are still a lot of pieces left to go but the cuts aren't very difficult so I suspect that she'll work through this quickly.  And judging by what I've seen so far, Mary is doing wonderfully.

Myrt has begun wrapping her Pelican and she's already talking about return to work on her Hot Air Balloon Window as soon as this is completed.  And I don't think it will be that long before this window walks out the door for the last time.

Terry worked on her two HLSU windows and they're both near completion.  One has the border attached and the brass channel in place and the other just needs the border wrapped and then tacked.  After that she'll solder them both and call these finished!

Bonnie got the cartoon (and I have no clue why it's called that) portion of her lamp cut out and then attached to her styrofoam lamp mold.  She did that by simply putting put some double sided tape on the mold, affixing the cartoon pieces and then covering it all with clear packing tape to protect it from the flux, wax, and heat when she solders it.   I've found that adding a layer of packing tape makes it easier to re-prep the mold when you decide to make the lamp again in the future.   Also, since this lamp has three repeated sections we only covered one third of the mold with the cartoon (you can see where it stops on the right side in the picture).  Bonnie will make the first 3rd, tack it, then slide it to either side and then add the second 3rd of the lamp.  Doing this three times makes the complete lamp and allows her to use the same mold for other lamp patterns. 

There was a lot to cover and now that it's done I have another post to make.  Our students never stop production here so I rarely get a rest when it comes to updating our Blog.  So until our next update comes out I hope all your glass cuts easily and your grinding is minimal. ;-)

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Little Things Count In Large Amounts

Since this post is all about getting up to date let's not waste any time and just jump right into things by taking a look at Susan's incredibly detailed Fleur De Lis/Gloves/Football Window  The window is barely a foot and a half wide so when you take into consideration 4 inches of borders you can easily see that the center section isn't very large at all.  A lot of Susan's pieces had to be wrapped in 3/16 foil so the lead wouldn't just swallow up her pieces whole.  Until you actually see this window you have no clue just how many pieces make this window up.  And every line is spot on.  People tend to think that just because a piece fits where it belongs it's correct but I'm going to point out that it's possible to put a round peg in a square hole if the peg is small enough-- that doesn't make it look good though.  Susan never cheated and if something was over ground and the fit wasn't perfect she re-cut it.   I wish you could see the actual window because this picture doesn't show all of the work involved in this.

Jane completed her Circular Rose Window and it's stunning.  The stems of the flowers are made with lead lines and she made sure to leave a gap between the glass so the lead would be thicker and not become lost in with the other lines that make the pieces possible to cut.  It's a subtle effect but you subconsciously notice it even if you don't pick it out right away.  I like how Jane decided to use all cathedral glasses.  There's less shading since the color is evenly distributed throughout the glass but it makes for a bright, vibrant window.

Terry went the same route (Cathedrals) with her  Faux Bevel Window and I think it looks much better than any bevel cluster could ever look.  The use of only one color and the extra attention to make sure that everything is perfectly balanced makes this one elegant looking window.  If a flower is off a bit you don't notice it, but in a geometrically designed window you will spot little imperfections with ease if the window isn't symmetrically perfect.  This is sure to be another project that everyone talks about in class this coming week.


What's this?  A Butterfly?  Well, that can only mean one thing-- we have a new student!  Mary has already taken classes elsewhere so during her first class with us she made the butterfly so I could see where her strengths and weaknesses lie.  But the joke was on me because Mary appears to have no weaknesses!  She did wonderfully and I have to say that I can't wait to see her begin the pattern she's picked for her first project with us.

This next project is an old favorite that we haven't seen done in a while now.  It's a beveled 3D Star and we had three of them made this week.  Tim and Donna had wrapped most of their bevels for this last week before they headed home so they knew they were going to make Stars when they came in.  During the week Jane decided that since everyone else was making stars she might as well also.   So we all sat at one table and at the end of the night we had three completed Stars on the table.  Rather than posting each of them (they all look identical) we're just going to show it once and state for the record that Donna, Tim and Jane each made one of these wonderful hanging ornaments that send rainbows dancing all around the room if placed in the sunlight.


Now I wonder who could have possibly completed this window?  If you can't  connect the Lady in a Window with Brenda at this point in time then you aren't reading the Blog enough!  Her window is now 100% complete and it cleaned up wonderfully.  I'm so used to looking at stained glass women with no faces that I can't get over just how beautiful this one looks with her face painted onto the glass.  I'm going to assume that green curtains are currently the rage since Shelley had them in her window last week as well.

And, of course, Brenda didn't stop there.  Now that her Woman and Child window is completed she's resumed work on her Fish window.  It's still in need of some grinding but I don't have any doubts that she'll have this fitting together before we know it.

This week we got to see Myrt grind all but about 5 pieces of her Pelican Window.  That means that this is ripe for foiling already!  I'm unsure if Myrt has a border glass picked out but that won't take long to pick out at all.  Especially with all the help she has in the class when it comes to deciding what looks best. 

Betty's Victorian/Geometric Window is very near completion now.  She got her clear textured border cut and tacked into place and then added some brass channel to surround it all.  Once that was done she began soldering and has taken it home with her to complete the job.  She has a great deal of the front soldered already so I'm thinking that we'll see this completed when she returns in 2 weeks.

Terry's second work in progress this week is a repeat performance of her Hanson LSU Tiger Eye window.  The colors might be slightly different in this one but the overall effect is the same.  This one seems to have been knocked out in no time whatsoever which proves my old point-- you can almost cut the time it takes to make a second window in half.  Once a window is 'familiar' to you it's easy to move along quicker than you did the first time.

And Cindy's Mirror is all tacked together with the zinc channel attached.  In fact, it's even halfway soldered!  All you can see is the ceiling reflected into it so it looks a bit colorless but trust me when I say that this is beautiful.  And since Cindy needs this ASAP I'm sure it will be completed before her next class is over.

Linda's been working on the same Victorian/Geometric window that Betty has been making and they are in a dead heat when it comes to who will finish theirs first.  Linda came up with the original design and Betty started hers a week later but then Linda missed a class which allowed Betty to catch up with her.  In the end things are going to return to normal because Betty won't be able to attend class next week but Linda will.  And since Linda is soldering this I'm going to say that she'll wrap this up in her next class exactly one week ahead of Betty (This isn't a race though!)

Let's look at Martha's Dragonfly which is now ready for solder.  With both of the borders attached and her brass channel  finishing it off this Dragonfly is going to be flying out the doorbefore you know it.  And then it will be followed by the large Angel window hanging that she started a few feeks back.  (Apparently Martha is into winged things).  She loved the border on her frog so much that the color scheme followed through onto this window as well-- an ornage border picking up the orange highlights (in this case the Dragonfly body).  I can't wait to see this lit up!

Mary Grace has a window with the same basic border/background pattern that Jane's has-- A circular square.  But the circle section is a different as can possibly be involving a humming bird surrounded by flowers.  This week she finished up the flowers and the bird and then got them all tacked together.  When she comes in again she'll learn the easy way of cutting out a background using the pieces that are already cut and ground as a pattern.  It may sound complex but it's as easy as can be.  Mary Grace has her background circle cut from glue chip and will begin carving it all up when she returns.

Next up we take a look at the new project that Shelley has started.  Her pattern was all ready so when she came in she traced it all out onto pattern paper and then cut that up into the individual pattern pieces.  She'd already picked out her glass the week before so she started cutting out the green shrubbery, the water and then even started cutting out some of the land.  The face to the dog isn't quite worked out yet as to how she'll cut it, but she'll cross that hurdle when she comes to it.  And rest assured, it's a hurdle that isn't all that high.  :-)

And rounding out our update we take a look at Bonnie's newest project-- and it's going to be a fun one.  She's decided to work on a 16" diameter Baroque lamp with 3 repeats featuring a fair amount of gridwork thus making this a nice first lamp project.  She's taken the pattern home with her so she can cut out all the paper pattern pieces and the template sections before class starts again.  Bonnie's already picked out all of her glass and hopefully it will be in soon so she can start cutting glass rather than paper and get this party started!

And that's going to do it this time around.  Since our original Blog has disappeared due to lack of use (I couldn't post anything else to it since they wouldn't give me any more Hard Drive space) I'm currently assembling a database of all of our students and all of their completed projects.  Once that's done I'll change the student gallery on our website to include every project that has been done in class.  There were a lot of beautiful windows that are no longer viewable since the first Blog was shut down on us and I hope to get these windows available for viewing again soon.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks