Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What Does The Fox Say?

We're going to start out with a friendly reminder that Christmas is almost upon us.  We have a few students who have finished or are finishing Christmas projects  and I admire the fact that they didn't wait until the last minute (as I always do).  There's still time to get things out before the 25th but the longer you wait the more risk you take of not getting your project(s) completed.

Okay, so Linda F has completed her Fleur De Lis Window and even though she wasn't able to work on it while she was at home she managed to knock it out in a short time.  I don't know if she can see the progress that she's made with all of her work but I certainly can.   Everything from her cutting to her soldering has improved and you can see the fruits of her labors in this monochromatic window. 

In a similar black and white vein we have Mary's FDL window.  There's actually more differences than similarities between these first two windows but the common border makes them appear to be cut from the same cloth (so to speak).  Beveled FDL's are always the rage here in class and Mary's latest entry into the series shows just why that is.

This is Cindy's TCU Logo design and it's officially completed.  Note the nice straight lines and the even flow of solder that surrounds each piece of glass.  Then make sure you look at the long THIN strip of purple glass above the C and the U and marvel at how she managed to solder it so perfectly without cracking it.  Another job well done!

Bonnie has three more Candle holders under her belt this week and to be honest I'm not sure if there are any more that she has to complete.  I think there might be but I'm not altogether sure.  So I guess that what I'm trying to say is that we may see more of these next week but if not then Bonnie will be working on an LSU/Tiger Paw window.

This is Cindy's second completed project this week.  Her original Fairie On The Moon was such a big hit the first time around that she had to make another--and it looks just as good!

Now, Martha has been a bit worried about her crosses but just look at these final three.  They're perfect!  She wasn't slow in completing these Cross  projects-- she just placed more emphasis on the most  important detail of them-- the quality of the work.  Anyone who gets one of these should be very, very pleased because the workmanship is wonderful.

Cindy not only has completed two projects this week-- she also has this Saint's window just about finished as well.  She began wrapping it in class and the only thing left to be cut (into smaller sections) are the long strips of border glass.  They will be cut down to size once everything has been wrapped in copper foil so we can see if the football section or the letter expand once they're foiled.  No matter how you look at it, this window is just about ready for solder.

Janet began working on her second project with us this week.  She loved the cross windows that Terry had been making but we were all out of the diamond bevels that Terry had used for the ends of her crosses.  But we weren't going to let something like that stop us, especially when we had tons of 2x2 bevels around the shop.  We did a quick new pattern with a modified cross and what you see below is what we ended up with.  Janet got the 8 pieces of her crosses cut and also learned how to use the pistol grip to cut her straight cuts (which this pattern has plenty of). This is already looking great with only 8 pieces of glass cut!

Becky resumed work on her Fleur De Lis window and she learned a few tricks about working with mirror images this week.  For example, her entire ribbon border (16 pieces) was cut with just 5 pattern pieces.  By cutting patterns for just one corner and cutting it twice on each side she's able to ensure a more symmetrical window as well as reduce her workload.  this one looks like it's going to go together quickly for Becky


Wow, did Lynn ever impressed me with the soldering she did on her Panel Lamp.  This is her first lamp and also her first 3D project.  Flat windows are tough enough to solder but then when you throw in a 3rd dimension, well, the fun can be hard to find sometimes.  I made a few touch ups but I have got to say that Lynn did a WONDERFUL job on the front of her lamp.   She tells me that she plans on making a second one to match so expect to see another one started shortly.


So there we were, all working diligently in class when the door unexpectedly opened and Linda L walked in!  We weren't expecting to see her for a few more weeks but it was great to have her back in class.  She got the final border of her LSU window cut and then the channel went around the edges meaning that all that's left to do now is solder this.  Linda was a bit concerned about soldering but she's doing wonderfully.  She won't be back next week but rumor has it that she'll be returning to her regular spot in 2 weeks-- and possibly be bringing Mary Grace along with her.

Shelly has the front side of her beach window completed and will therefore begin soldering the back side when she returns.  Will she complete it next week?  I think that there's a good chance of  that happening since she's soldering so wonderfully now!  Wait until you see this one lit up (I already have.)

Susan has the background of her Abita window almost completely cut out and all of the intricate grinding that had to be done with the 1/4 inch grinding wheel has been done.  She'll fit the other pieces to these as she continues to work her way through this window which should be much easier now that the hard parts are completed. 


And then we have Betty who never works on one project at a time.  I've recently learned her secret-- she doesn't sleep!  This week she has her LSU window all cut out save for the clear background,  and her Nativity scene is tacked together with just a the border to attach, and finally she started cutting out four Atlanta 'A' windows.  She's back on the stained glass horse, that's for sure!


Next we see what Martha has started working on after finishing her last three cross windows.  This is 'Costa' and hopefully you can tell that he's a dog.  He's a little pale right now but next week he'll start to show his true colors as Martha begins cutting glass and placing it on this paper pattern that she traced and cut up during class.

And lastly we take a look at the pattern that Ann started working on this week.  It's the Stylized Fleur De Lis window that Janet made as her first project.  This pattern is really driving the students wild because I know at least 1 other person (Terry) traced it out this week as well.  I forgot to grab a picture of Ann's progress but I can show you the pattern.

And that about sums it up for this week.  Special thanks to Mary for updating me on the whole Fox thing that seems to be so popular.  This week it's giraffes but I was able to track that fad as 'unrolled'. We'll return again sooner than you might expect so check you email and your Facebook accounts for notifications for our next update which will most likely happen Friday night.


Monday, October 21, 2013

You Deserve a Break Today

Our classes run 3 days-- Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  I generally get the bulk of my work that needs to be done between Friday and Monday.  So why is it that I get a good day of work done on Friday and then when I wake up the next day it's Tuesday and I'm cleaning the shop for classes.  I just don't know hat happens to Saturday, Sunday or Monday!  At any rate, I did get the new window designs drawn up for St. Jules so at least this week end was productive.  Now let's see what all our students have been busy working on.

Janet's first project with us has turned out beautiful.  She used one of our  newest patterns (drawn by Russ) and judging by the amount of people who now plan to make it I'd say that it's a hit.  And as a testament to Janet's window I have to say that it wasn't until everyone saw Janet's window while she was working on it that other students decided they wanted to make it as well.  I can't wait to see what Janet decides to do next.

Here is another first project by another new student of ours.   Jeanne's attention to detail helped make her LSU window look every bit as good as work done by any of our long term students.  When you see this window in person it really sparkles nicely.  I suspect that Jeanne's work with us is going to be very prolific as well as precise!    

Bonnie got three more of her Candle Holders completed and there would have even been a fourth one as well but we discovered a crack in one of the longest pieces at the very last minute. It's like I always say, You can't make stained glass without breaking some glass.  Bonnie will most likely wrap up her remaining Candle Holders when she comes back in next week.

As always, Cindy has made her latest window look easy, even though it wasn't.  Combining three separate designs into one, she's made a window that any LSU fan would love.  And her work is nothing short of exemplary.


Guess who's back after a three week vacation involving a nice, long, relaxing cruise?  Betty! And she was so determined to complete her Nativity Window that she came in with it all ready to be photographed!  It's good to have Betty back because the place was too somber without her.  ;-) 

Brenda's latest project came out of the blue.  Her pink Cancer Ribbon Window is her own design but for some reason she seems to be hyper critical of it.  I can't find a single thing wrong with the design of it or the execution and I know it's going to be a well appreciated gift.  I remember when doing a window like this would have scared Brenda to death.  Now she turns out professional windows in the comfort of her home without batting an eye.  She should be very proud of herself.

And Terry came into class and went to work soldering.  By the time class was over she had completed her B and A windows but I wasn't able to get a picture of them in their finished state.  All I can do is show you what they look like all soldered and awaiting their final bath.  :-(  As always, Terry's work is nothing but flawless.  Her projects are always the rage in all of the classes and for very good reason.

Last week I thought that I'd forgotten to take a picture of the Fleur De Lis window that Becky started but then I found it on the camera when went through this week's photo's.  Since Becky had a meeting  and couldn't make it to class this week I figure we'll reveal what she started last week.  She really liked the ribbon border that Brenda has been using in so many of her windows so Becky has added it to her FDL design.  It's a great pattern and I can't wait to see what colors she decides to use on it.

Now we'll return to Betty who not only completed her Nativity Windows but also got her second one all ground and ready to be wrapped and soldered.  She says she loves this window and it's always nice to work on something that you want to do rather than have to do. I heard that we haven't seen the last of this pattern either...

Meanwhile, Linda's in the midst of a remodeling job at home so her time away from class has been stained glass free.  This upsets her, I'm sure, because she always works on her projects at home.  So when she came in this week she just picked up where she left off last week and completed wrapping the pieces on her FDL Window.  Then she tacked it together, added her border and finished soldering the front side.  This is the back of her window and the soldering on that side is well under way.  Now, that's what I call a very productive night.

Lynn's Lamp is together!  Yes, everything has been ground and wrapped and tacked into place meaning that the lion's share of the work on this project is now completed.  This lamp was constructed without a mold and actually built inside out to allow the lamp to bend into its round curve.  Once everything was tacked together Lynn cut out the crown for the lamp and has begun wrapping it.  I have to say that Lynn has made this lamp look very easy indeed.

Martha's last three crosses are just awaiting solder now and even that is about halfway done.  She put the brass channel on each of the windows and then got two of the front sides soldered.   I suspect that these will see the light of day next week.  She's worried about how long it's taken to make all these windows but she picked a design with eight tight curves (in each window) that needed to be ground with the 1/8th inch grinding wheel and that takes time.  It's not a simple pattern which is why they are such elegant windows.  Make no mistake, Martha has accomplished a lot.  :-)

Mary's Fleur De Lis Window, Like Linda F's, is just waiting for a little more solder before she can call it finished.  I have to say that Mary has been moving quickly on all of her projects and her soldering has improved greatly.  The more practice you get, the better you become at this art.  I'm going to say that we'll be seeing this completed next week.

With the front of her Hot Air Balloon Window officially soldered Myrt has moved on to the back side.  We've been spending time in classes going over the soldering process by getting students to slow down and I have to say that Myrt has got it well in hand.  The solder on her front side of this window is flawless.  Slow and steady truly wins the race-- especially when it comes to soldering your windows.

Shelley has her window all tacked together along with her border.  Her missing pieces have been re-cut and soldered into place,  and a zinc channel now surrounds the window to give it some added support.  There are 2 lines that run almost completely across this window and because of them we decided to use zinc channel so the window doesn't accidentally 'fold' in on itself.  I must say that her orange border really makes this window look festive.  Look for her to start soldering this when she returns.

Susan made more great strides with her Abita Window but she managed to pack it all up before I managed to snag a picture this week.  So all I got was an empty table.  I guess this proves I need to pay more attention to my 'Star Pupil' on Wednesday mornings!  (I can't wait to see what kind of a rift that comment is going to make in class next week!)

My, oh my, has Cindy certainly been busy.  While she was working on her LSU window she was also working on this TCU Logo design.  It looks like it wasn't hard for her to do because by the time she left class it as all tacked together and ready for solder.  Knowing Cindy this will be completed when she come back next week and all she'll need are some hooks on it.

And that about wraps things up here.  Things are starting to slow down a little bit in the shop.  We're just about caught up with everything and won't be starting the next pair of church windows until we get a new delivery of glass (or make a trip to Atlanta to pick it up).  But that will have to wait until the colors are actually picked sometime next week.  A little breathing room is a good thing and I may be able to make something that *I* want to make!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, October 14, 2013

Put a Little Rax on the Wag

I hate to be the bearer of bad(?) news but Christmas is almost upon us!  That means that  if any of our students are thinking about making gifts they should probably buckle down and start working on them.  With only 9 weeks to go before the 25th gets here (possibly less due to Thanksgiving) it would be best to get Christmas items out of the way.  I know from experience just how hectic things get in classes during December-- it ain't always pretty!  lol

Becky has finished her horse window and it's turned out to be everything we thought it would be.  This is only her second project but her attention to detail is amazing.  I'm talking about things like her lines lining up when another price of glass bisects them, her even foiling, and her perfect soldering.  Becky plans on making another horse like this in the future but right now she wants to move on to something different.

Ann's latest hand mirror is a stunning success.  She changed up the colors in an orange/red motif and I think it's very autumny  (is that even a word?) and I really like the look.   Of courese, being a mirror it will look differently to everyone who looks into it. A great job, Ann!

Bonnie completed the first of her seven candle holders. She (obviously) started with the yellow one and has two others soldered and tacked together just waiting for the bottom glass base to be inserted.  I've heard a few other students mention that they wouldn't mind making one or two of these so Bonnie may have just started a trend.

Mary put the finishing touches on her latest variation of the Beveled Cross Window.   The changes she made do nothing to detract from the window at all and the clear glass and bevels really shine in the sunlight.  It has a slight;y greenish tint to it because of the grass in the yard behind it, but trust me when I say that this window sparkles.

Next up we take a look at the Fleur De Lis Window that Brenda made.  She made this one almost entirely at home and brought it in for hooks and to see if anything needed to be touched up.  All I can say is that her soldering is superb!  In the end all I did was add 2 hooks and take a picture.  please not how perfectly symmetrical the FDL is--this is SO important in a window like this.


That about wraps up the finished windows that we had this week, but there's still a lot of windows in progress that we need to show you.  We'll start those off with Cindy's latest LSU design.  The center of this is pretty much completed and the only thing Cindy needs to do is tack a border around it.  The border is already cut and ground so I'm sure that Cindy will put the finishing touched on this before it comes back to class to get it's finished picture taken.

And susan's Abita Window is REALLY taking shape now.  There's a lot of work in this one and I'm impressed with the speed and precision that she's tackling it with. This week she cut the remaining brown background followed by the green hops in the upper right corner.  That leaves only three sections left to go.  Susan was going to use a dark brown for the lettering but I think she's decided that a lighter tan would stand out better in all that brown (as well as match the logo).


Janet resumed work on her Fleur De Lis window and before it's even been completed the pattern has already been swept out from underneath her window and copied so that other people can make it.  This is Janet's first window with us and I believe that it will be completed when she returns to class next week.  I say this because she has her front side almost completely soldered (save for the border).  And I hate to sound like a broken record but Janet's soldering is amazing for a new student.  The secret is to take your time and Janet seems to have found the correct pace because her window is looking flawless.

Linda F continued working on the Fleur De Lis Window that she began last week.  She started class by grinding all of her pieces and by the time she left she had it almost completely foiled.  Once this is tacked together she'll only need to cut her border (which is already cut into strips) and then she'll be able to start soldering this.  It looks like Linda will be starting a new project before we know it.

Next up we look at another project that is moving along quickly.  Lynn's lamp is all cut and ground so it's just waiting to be foiled before she tacks it together and puts the finishing solder bead on it.  I will confess that a small mistake was made when she was cutting this out.  Mixed up pattern pieces put the darker color in between the light and medium colors which wasn't the original plan.  It was something that she could have fixed without wasting any glass but in the end everyone decided that this color arrangement looks far better than what was originally planned.   This project will be lit up soon!

Mama Mia, Terry jokingly said that she's making the alphabet but I'm not sure if she's joking or not.  This Dancing Queen now has her first two letters almost completed and Knowing Me, Knowing You, we all have to agree that these are something special.  With the A and B completed (save for a final soldering) will Terry be working on a C next?  Is that The Name Of the Game?  If she doesn't we may have to send out an SOS. I love these, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do. 

Shelley's Beach Scene is almost a wrap!  She has it all foiled which means that when she comes back in she'll cut the two missing pieces and then add the border (Which she's already picked out).  That means that she'll certainly be soldering this when she returns.  There's not a cloud in the sky in this window in terms of design or workmanship.  Shelley has certainly come a long way.

Last week we learned that Martha only had 3 crosses left to go.  This week she got all of the glass cut, ground, wrapped and tacked together.  There's just some brass channel left to add to these and then a final soldering before Martha can be finished with the last of her crosses and move on to something else.  And I know that she can't wait for that because repetitive projects can get a bit boring repetitive!


If you recall, we saw that Mary had completed her Beveled Cross window.  Once that was under control she began working on this Bevels Fleur De Lis Window learning how to perfectly center the bevel.  With the background all cut she only needs to add a border to this and then begin soldering it.  Beveled Fleur De Lis Windows really move along quickly!

And once Brenda completed her Fleur De Lis Window she began working on this Tulip Window.  She traced out the pattern, numbered it and colored it so she knows what color each piece should be once all her paper pieces are cut out.  The pattern is a SLIGHT variation on a store bought pattern that we made symmetrical and then adjusted for easier cuts. 


So that wraps things up for this week.  There's a lot in the works though so I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of wonderful completed window in our next update.  Be sure to come back and check it out.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, October 7, 2013

Feed It To The Dog

Cindy's Celtic Knot Window is an exercise is precision glass fitting.  Round, symmetrically uniform visually stunning and colorful without being overdone, there's just nothing to fault in this window.  And the speed with which she knocked this knot out really impressed me.

Myrt made it back this week and she didn't come empty handed.  She brought in two completed projects that just needed some hooks and then resumed working on a project that she had to set aside a while back.  This is her finished Fleur De Lis with a Ribbon Border and I have to say that her soldering was VERY good on the two projects that she worked on at home.

This is Myrt's second completed window this week.  It started off life as a suncatcher project but then she decided to turn it into a bordered window.  That was simple.  She just added 5 pieces of background glass and then a border to finish it all off. 

Terry completed her two Cross Geometric windows that she started last week.  The coloring on the first one is different from what we normally see and it really did add even more emphasis to the white cross in the center.

Terry's second version of the window is more standard in it's color scheme but there has always been something very appealing to me when it comes to granite back red on top of clear granite.  These two window feature great work by Terry all around.

Becky has finished all of the glass work on her horse window.  With the final round border now attached all she has to do is add a bead of solder to finish it.  She managed to almost completely solder the front side of it while she was in class and from what I can see her soldering is exemplary!  Then she resumed working on her smaller Fleur De Lis Window.  She's decided that what it really needs is a ribbon border so we'll have that drawn up for her when she returns next week.

Next up we take a look at the four of the seven candle holders that Bonnie started this week.  After cutting a series of 1 inch strips she then shortened the strips into four various sizes to create  what you see in the picture below.  Each of her candle holders will be a different color --these are just four of them.  Bonnie cut 112 pieces, ground them and has taken them home to wrap.  Nice work! I suspect that we may see one of these completed next week which will enable you to see exactly what she's assembling here.

Brenda would have had this window completed this week but as luck (or was it misfortune?) would have it she discovered a tiny crack in the lower right part of her cross.  Sadly,  we didn't have any more of that glass in the shop to replace it with and Brenda didn't bring the glass into class  so she knocked out the broken piece and will finish this at home by placing the glass under her project and tracing the outline of the missing piece, cutting it out than soldering it into place.

Cindy started working on another LSU window but discovered that she left her pattern pieces at home.  (I distinctly remember that happening to someone else this week but I can't remember who it was.)  Rather than trace the paper pattern out yet again Cindy decided to cut her transparent pieces by placing the glass on top of her pattern and then tracing the outline of the pieces onto it.  It seems to have worked well for her because the lower left tiger eye is all cut and ground!

Janet resumed grinding her Fleur De Lis Window and when that was completed she had a quick refresher course in wrapping glass.  With the sticky side of the foil facing upward she began wrapping her pieces and I must say that she managed to not only center the foil but to also smooth it out perfectly as well.  Your soldering will only ever be as good as your foiling so this is a very important step in the stained glass process.  And I suspect that she'll begin soldering this window next week.

Jeanne came in, finished wrapping the remaining pieces of her final purple border and then tacked it onto her window.  Then we added the brass channel that surrounds (and protects) the outer edge of the piece and Jeanne began to solder.  Everyone panics when they hold the soldering iron for the first time and there really isn't any need to.  The solder will practically flow itself if you just take your time.  And in the end Jeanne did wonderfully.  With the front side almost finished she'll certainly complete this next week.  

Linda F has started a new project this week and it's a Fleur De Lis  pattern that she's using Baroque Glass with.  She's got the FDL cut out as well as the background glass which means that she'll need to grind and tack it together next before cutting her border.  She was worried about using baroque glass since the front side is heavily textured but she made out just fine.  Hopefully her fear of baroque is behind her now!

Lynn is back!  She was pretty sure that she wanted to make a panel lamp but the style she planned on making was undecided.  After looking through books for ideas she decided that she really liked the Peacock lamp and after making an adjustment or two concerning the length and width of the lamp we ended up with the pattern you see below.  12 repeats of three separate pieces are going to make a panel lamp that will look as though it was made on a mold.  She's most likely going to use a traditional tan/amber color scheme and cutting will start (and most likely end) next week. 

Martha also made it back to class this week after a two week hiatus of sickness and vacation (not concurrently, thankfully).  It was great to have her back as she resumed working on her final three cross windows.  With all the backgrounds cut and ground (and one even tacked together) all that's left is to attach the borders.  The end is near and Martha is saying No More Multiple Projects!

Mary began cutting out what she says is her last Beveled Cross Window.  When she got to the border she couldn't decide what color to use so she's going with the option of forgoing a border altogether.   The design will support itself without one and there's even a place to hang it from so we'll see what it looks like.   She's begun wrapping it and will most likely finish this when she returns next week.

Susan's Abita Window is really starting to take shape now.  And in terms of square footage she has almost a third of it cut out already, however,  piece-wise she still has a way to go since the rest of the window consists of MANY small pieces.  Her background glass is something that needs to be stretched out as much as possible since she has a limited amount of glass.  She's  going to cut all of the larger pieces first so she can cut the smallest pieces out of the scrap.  This is always the most efficient way to cut glass. With the surprising amount of small background pieces in this design it's truly the best way to handle the situation. 

Terry came in and saw a pattern I had drawn up for Betty hanging on the wall and decided that she needed to make it before she did anything else (especially since Betty won't be in next week and therefore won't be needing the pattern right away).  So Terry got everything cut out save for the border (which she will do last anyway).  She's already made short work of this window.

And Myrt, having completed the two windows she'd been commissioned to make, resumed work on her Hot Air Balloons Window.  With everything tacked together and the zinc channel attached the only thing left to do is solder this and she made wonderful progress on that while she was in class.  I did a quick refresher soldering course with her (as I've been doing with almost everyone) and what she soldered looks absolutely beautiful. 


Our classes are really humming along.  There are more and more projects in the works and our students are moving onto bigger and more technically advanced patterns.   I never know what's going to walk in the door anymore and I can't wait to see what next week brings!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks