Monday, July 15, 2013

Just a Little Is Enough

Flux.  You can't solder a window without it but just like anything else in life we need to use it in moderation.  Flux is a mild acid that removes impurities from the surface of the copper foil that all of our glass pieces are wrapped with.  But too much means that the excess flux will literally boil when the hot solder hits it.  This can result in uneven lead lines on the front side of your project, which may not be too terrible but on the back of your window too much flux will cause nothing but headaches as you try to solder.  If you're experiencing sputtering and you're dealing with tiny explosions of lead as you are soldering your window you'll want to remove some of the flux by going over the surface with a paper towel.  As a rule of thumb I always wipe off my flux brush on the rim of the flux bottle before touching the glass.  It helps insure that I don't have puddles of flux and allows me to get an even bead most every time.  And that's our tip for the week.

Lat's start looking at our students work.  Betty basically made this window while she was at home last week.  There was only the need for a few slight soldering touchups and then the addition of a zinc channel to hold the window together firmly.  These clear patchwork quilt windows have always been a popular design and lately we've been seeing a lot more of them.  It's funny how certain patterns seem to have a life of their own once people see them completed.

Tammy is our newest student and this is her Butterfly.  I love her choice of glass because, truth be told, this blue/green has always been one of my favorite pieces of glass.  As you can see she went with a green butterfly body and a yellow head which compliments the blue/green wings perfectly.  Tammy plans on making a flower window when she comes back next week and I have no doubt that she'll  make a stunning window.

Speaking of working at home-- Ann came in with this Angel mirror design all cut, and ground.  She just wanted me to look it over before she began wrapping it and I gave it two thumbs up!  The rounded space between the wings will be filled in with mirror once this is tacked together which makes this a complex but wonderful hand mirror.  And I'm thrilled with Ann's work!

While Ann was in class she decided to work on a second stained glass Fleur De Lis window.  She's unsure of the exact size that this will end up but the rest of this window is made without a pattern anyway.  When she comes back she'll drop this on top of her background glass, trace around it and put it all together  As it stands now the Fleur De Lis only needs to be wrapped and tacked together.

Becky's first 'real' night of class with us was an eye opener for me.  She picked out the glass for her window, traced out the pattern and cut out all of the yellow flower pieces.  Then she ground her pieces on her own getting them to fit together perfectly with barely any help at all.  I suspect that Becky is going to make very short work out of this pattern which is going to turn into a beautiful window.

Betty brought in this beveled Fleur De Lis that she had tacked together and picked a nice, rich brown glass for its background.  She wasn't sure if she should tack her beveled border together first or cut the background and in the end we went with cutting the background.  On of our basic rules is to tack your window together before we attach the border(s).  No that Betty's background is cut and ground it just needs to be wrapped and soldered.

With the 6 pieces of background glass completed in her FDL Window Betty also got to work on her Humming Bird and Iris window as well.  I love the slanted, leaning design of this window and think her choice of colors is perfect.  While her Fleur De Lis window is very traditional, this one is very modern making for two nicely contrasting designs.

Bonnie took a bit of a break from her lamp this week and cut out this Cross Suncatcher.  At first she thought that the blue accent pieces were just glued onto the top of the cross but glueing glass onto glass is a definite no-no in stained glass so they have been cut into the the cross.  It only took about 10 minutes to grind out the 4 small circles and the end result is a suncatcher that looks just as good from the back as well as the front.  And Bonnie has at least 2 others lined up to be made as well.

And Brenda's Ballerina Woman is really taking shape now.  She spent her class grinding away at the grinder and as you can see she has this window pretty much under her belt now.  With only the bottom leg left to grind and 4 surrounding pieces left to go I'd say that this is another Woman in Glass Window that Brenda can certainly be proud of making.

Cindy began working on her deer window this week and she's moving along at a precise and steady pace.  As always, everything is fitting together beautifully.  Cindy's stained glass talents have really grown leaps and bounds over the past few months and her work is a testimonial to that fact as you can see here.

Linda's Vegetable Window is officially cut and tacked together--border and all.  The Brass channel has been attached to the edges and Linda has already begun soldering it.  I'm willing to state for the record that this will be completed when she returns next week because I can't imagine her not soldering it while she has it home.  She's very pleased (excited!) with how it looks already so I can't wait until she sees it all washed up and polished with some light behind it.   It's a keeper, that's for sure!

Mary came in with her Sunflower all tacked together and ready for some background glass action.  She laid this on top of the clear textured glass that she picked, traced around the flower and then got all her pieces cut and ground.  She's wrapping them now which means that she'll just need to add a border when she returns.

Shelley's Dog window is very close to being soldered now.  In fact, it's so close that I really need to look at the face and determine the best way to get the last few pieces together.  All it needs at this point is some eyes and the inner ear sections and then she'll tack it and add a border.  This window certainly has a 'cemetery' feel about it-- her use of color is perfect!

Next we look at the second side of Susan's four sided panel lamp which is just about ground.  She took the first section home to wrap and I'll say that she'll be grinding her 3rd section when she returns next week.  Susan also has her next window pretty much lined up so she's ready to be done with this lamp project already!  :-)

Mary Grace managed to complete the top lid of her box the week.  She came in and cut the background and the borders, ground everything and soldered it all together.  Then she even washed and colored it to boot!  With the top completed that only leaves the 5 pieces of glass that form the box itself which means that she'll certainly walk out the door with a completed box when she comes back in next week.

And all that's left to report on this week is Terry who can now see the light at the end of the tunnel with her lamp.  All of her background , flowers and leaves have been cut, ground and wrapped.  She has everything all stacked into piles three pieces tall and the only thing left to do is wrap her border (all 108 pieces).   When she comes back in she'll start assembling this onto the mold and you'll see this literally take shape.

We only had 2 completed projects this week but something tells me that next week is going to be a busy week here in the shop.  There are a LOT of projects nearing completion so I'm expecting to see a large amount of finished window in our next update!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

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