Monday, July 29, 2013

Get It Right From the Start

I often hear students say that they know something isn't correct but that they'll fix it later.  It's usually heard from newer students who haven't realized that once things are tacked together a simple 5 minute fix can turn into an entire class affair.  Straight edges are especially important in finished pieces because even though most people can't draw a straight line  anyone can tell when a line isn't straight.  So make sure your window is squared and even before you tack it together and you'll find that the rest of the project will go very smoothly.

So let's start with Brenda's latest Ballerina Window which turned out wonderful.  The choices in color, almost all involving purple,  are spot on without having the window fall into purple overload.  But what impresses me most about this piece is how Brenda matched the legs covered by the skirt to the sections that aren't covered.  It really looks as though you are seeing through a sheer material.  And I also have to point out the piece of clear background glass that her head cuts into.  Now that's great cutting and grinding because it fits perfectly.

Ann polished off another Fleur De Lis Window and a lot of the women on Thursday night were very intrigued by her choice of glass for the Fleur De Lis itself.  The glass 'pattern' is called Baroque and it's a clear glass with color literally poured into the glass to make random swirls and lines.  In this case it accentuates the brown border glass perfectly.


Our second Fleur De Lis was made by Betty.  Utilizing an abundance of bevels the only color in this window is the background glass which is actually 3-toned.  It's a very traditional window realized with some very traditional bevels and coloration.  The work is wonderful and all I can say is, "Great Job!"

And then we watched as Mary completed her Sunflower Wndow this week.  She had the front side completely soldered and just had the back side to go before calling this piece finished.  I let her watch me solder because I've found that it's easier to teach (at times) through demonstration rather than lecture.  Mary knows what she's doing and is very competent but watching me solder may reveal some things that I may do differently than she does.  I think the thing that students are most surprised about is how long I wait at a joint for all the solder to blend or merge together.  I stop and do a slow one..two...three count before I raise my iron which makes all my joints look picture perfect.  Much like in this window.

This is Cindy's second Corn and Crab Holder.  The colors are slightly different but the workmanship remains the same-- flawless.  Cindy makes this by soldering both the Crab side and the Corn side as 2 separate 'windows'.  Then once they're completely soldered she adds the bottom and 2 side pieces joining it together as a single 3D piece ready to hold whatever you want to place inside of it.

Becky has her background circle all cut and ground and she's taken it home so she can wrap it.  When she returns she'll tack it and then add four corner pieces and a double border to finish it all off.  This is a beautiful pattern and it's hard to believe that this is Becky's first stained glass project. She's unsure about what colors to go with the the remainder of this window but I actually have a few idea's of my own that I think she might like.

Cindy resumed working on her Deer Window this week and now that the border is wrapped and ready to be tacked together I can honestly say that I'll be thoroughly shocked if Cindy doesn't have this completed when she walks in the door.  We've decided to put a larger zinc channel on this piece to make sure it's nice and sturdy but that will happen when she returns next week.

Betty continued working on her Hummingbird/Flower window and it's just about ready to be soldered.  She cut and ground the final border during class and her attention to detail about that outside border made me proud.  Everything fits perfectly and all of the edges of the outside border line up perfectly which is SOOO important on a window like this.  Also, the shape is a perfectly symmetrical oval which is exactly what she was going for.  I can't wait to see this one completed.

Bonnie really impressed me with the soldering that she accomplished on her lamp this week.  She's never done anything in 3D before so I assumed that this would go slowly but boy was I ever wrong.  Not only did she move at a steady pace but she also soldered beautifully!  With all the grid work completed she's bound to see this lamp completed a week earlier than I original estimated.

Brenda began working on her newest Fleur De Lis Window and I think this one will have a nice scrollwork border surrounding it when it's completed.  Normally borders are quick and easy but the curvy ones (although easy) end up taking a little more time.  But as I always say, the border really makes the window so this has no choice but to turn out spectacularly.

Helen has moved right along on her Fancy Bordered Iris Window.  It's all cut, ground and tacked (save for the final border) so this is pretty much finished.  The soldering may take a little time since it's her first window but the hard part is easily behind her at this point.  I hope we can see this completed but with her busy schedule and the distance that she travels to come to class Helen has had to drop out for a while.  But she enjoys doing this and already has a pattern for her next project.

Wow, color me impressed.  Mary Grace is still a relatively new student but she traced out her pattern this week, picked most of her glass and then got all of it cut out save for 8 straight pieces which will be a piece of cake for her once she decides on what color they should be.  I'm so impressed at what she's accomplished this week!

Well here it just about is!  Shelley's Dog Window is all cut, wrapped and tacked together which means that she'll add her final border when she comes back in and then begin soldering it!  She's done a great job working on this and I know that she'll be thrilled when it's completed and hanging in a window.  I can honestly say that this is the first Dog in a Cemetery window that we've seen done in class-- And I like it!

Meanwhile, Susan resumed cutting her glass and is about ready to start grinding the last 2 sections of her panel lamp.  I recall Julie making a panel lamp while in class years ago but I believe that was the only one so it will be good to see this one completed.  Now that Susan is nearing the home stretch I'm going to have to get busy working on her next pattern (which will remain a secret until she starts to work on it).

Tami's Flower Window is all cut out (the 5 background pieces were real easy for her) so she's begun the next step which is grinding all of her glass.  As you can see Tami has the better part of half of it ground so there's a good chance that she'll complete the grinding and then start wrapping this when she comes in again next week.

Terry's lamp is more than half way soldered which means that she could possibly finish this next week.  Terry,  like Bonnie, made the soldering process look easy. Once the 3 bands of borders are soldered she'll flip it over and then apply a flat solder to the under side of the lamp.  That will go real quickly and then it will only need a bath in the sink and some color and Terry will have another project ready to take home.

Myrt has not one, not two but THREE(!) irons in the fire at this point in time.  The only thing she has left to do on her Hot Air Balloon Window is to solder it, but meanwhile she has 2 other projects that need to get done ASAP.  She has her Dove and Cross project almost completed but has decided to turn it into a window rather than a suncatcher.  You'll see how that evolves when you see it again next week.  Meanwhile she's also begun working on this fancy bordered Fleur De Lis Window as well.  It looks like Myrt will be keeping very busy over the next few weeks!

Lastly we take a look at the newest window that Linda began work on -- a beveled Celtic Knot.    We added 8 small square bevels and then joined them with some graceful curves to fill out the octagon without detracting from the centerpiece itself.  Now that her bevel is wrapped and tacked Linda will begin cutting her glass for this  next week.

We've missed Martha.  Tuesday nights haven't been the same without her and we really hoped to see her this week but it just wasn't in the cards.  But she's back from her trip all safe and sound so I know she'll have stories to tell when she's in again on Tuesday!  


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