Sunday, December 29, 2013

BSGW -- Our Projects Are ALWAYS on Time

Well, I've been reading about how UPS and FedEx didn't manage to get all of their packages delivered on time for Christmas, but I'm here to tell you that everything that needed to be completed in our classes went out the door on time.  I originally thought we were going to have only two completed windows this week but instead we have five!  Let's take a look at them.

Lynn's Hummingbird Window looks even better than expected.  The fact that it is all clear glass, save for the subject matter, lends this window a very distinctive look.  And then Lynn went the extra mile and cut her border in curves rather than straight lines.  I also like the use of extra space at the bottom of the window which opened it up nicely.

And Mary Grace got her Eagle Window finished!  I know she was giving this to her husband and I just can't see how he couldn't love this window.  Everything about it is perfect right down to the border color.  She could have gone the easy route and cut down the number of pieces in the wings but Mary Grace persevered and got the Eagle itself done in record time.  I think this was a proof of concept project for her because I know that while she was cutting her glass she was resisting cutting off the lines entirely.  But in the end it all went together seamlessly and she was able to mark her time at the grinder in minutes rather than days.

Jeanne's third Beveled Cross was tacked together when she left the week before but she really wanted me to watch her solder it so I could give her some pointers along the way.  In the end there was only one pointer to give her and that was to simply slow down.  Her lead lines turned out beautiful and the finished cross speaks for itself.

Betty completed 2 windows this week, her first being this Angel that I must say is her best one yet.  She's done this design numerous times now but the color in this one makes it my favorite by far.  I'm going to start recommending this purple waterglass a lot more from here on out!  (And Betty can only make this pattern one more time before the pattern self destructs.)

Betty's second completed project is her version of the LSU Tiger Claw window.  This one is slightly smaller than the one that Bonnie completed last week which makes dealing with the tiny pieces a little harder but Betty certainly managed.  All in all, another job well done.

Speaking of Bonnie, she came in and resumed work on her Cowboy Star Window.  It's all ground now and if she manages to find the time she'll wrap it before she comes into class next week.  I'm very impressed with her grinding (and cutting).  Her points are all perfect and that's not easy to do when you're trying to cut glass at extreme angles-- especially if the pieces are thin like these are.  With just the background and a border to go I'd say that this will be done next year sometime. (Which is less than a week away!)


Look!  Another LSU Tiger Claw Window!   This one is the same size that Betty made but it's being made by Linda F.  who has been dealing with some home improvements and has been unable to work at home.  When your house is torn asunder your stained glass projects move a little more slowly but Linda is persevering.  She's wrapping all the pieces that she has cut and ground and that means that all she needs to do is work on the three layers of borders which will be cut on the strip cutter the first week of 2014.  All in all this, like her house, is almost completed.

And lastly we take a look at Becky's newest window.  She's begun work on her Three Lady's in Dresses Window and although it's hard to see, she has picked out the colors for each of the dresses and has all of the flesh cut.  She's making three different versions of this window so she's cutting them all out at once which slows you down at first but then speeds up progress in the end.  And because she's cutting for three the 17 pieces of bare skin have turned into 51 pieces (which she has cut out).  The dresses are all traced out onto her glass so look for some big progress when Becky returns.

And that makes this what will most likely me the last post of this year2013.  With the New Year falling in the middle of our classes (and on the busiest day) we aren't expecting many students although there are a few expected to show up.   I guess that means that we'll have another update next week, but it will  most likely be smaller than this one. 

Everyone have a VERY happy New Year! 

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Where's the Food?

It was the week before Christmas
and all through the class,
Students were bustling
to finish their glass.

We have eighteen, yes 18 completed pieces to look at this week with more to follow in our next post.  I say we just dive right in...

Bonnie's Tiger Claw LSU Window is officially finished. Although she rushed through this project you can't tell by looking at it.  Her soldering is a thing of beauty and I only had to add hooks to it and then touched up two run-throughs before I gave it my thumbs up..  All in all I think Bonnie should be very proud at how well she did with this window.  I also think it's safe to say that she has her soldering down pat now.

Last week I had no clue what Terry's newest Tiger Fleur De Lis Window was going to look like because all of the glass was cut out and sitting on top of the pattern that I really couldn't see.  But now that it's completed  (that includes the soldering as well) I have to say that it surpasses the Tiger Fleur De Lis  project that she finished just 2 weeks ago.  The attention to detail in this one is amazing (look at those top teeth).  And then she also found the time to make a more traditional Fleur De Lis out of black and golds as well!

Cindy put the finishing touches on her Stylized Fleur De Lis window before getting down to work on her Texas Star Window.  I knew that this project wasn't going to take Cindy much time at all and was I ever right about that.  She even went so far as to alter the pattern on the fly when one particular piece of glass broke the wrong way.  Making the exact same break on the opposite side and then matching the adjacent piece to the new curve made the 'flaw' (if you can call it that) impossible to detect.  In fact, if you know where it is you'll see that it made the window a bit more complex to do.  But I'll never tell where it is!

And these two 12 inch Fairies are Janet's latest works.  Started just a scant 2 weeks ago she managed to put the finishing touches on them just in time for Christmas.  She even added a beaded head band to each of them.  I know one thing for sure-- they look great are are going to make two young ladies VERY happy come Christmas day.

Brenda needed to get her latest FDL completed during class and even with the loss of some class time she managed to walk out the door with it ready to be wrapped up in Christmas wrapping.  I've got to hand it to Brenda, even while rushing to get this finshed on time she managed to turn out a quality piece of glass.   Not content with just getting it done, Brenda made sure that everything fit perfectly and that this Fleur De Lis was perfectly symmetrical.

These two Alabama A's were the latest pair made by Betty.  She has a number of these cut out and I'm not entirely sure if she has any left to finish but something is telling me that there's at least one more if not two.  The work on these are wonderful and you'll be seeing another project by Betty later on in the Blog.

Jeanne has two of her three crosses completed which means that there's only one left remaining.  And as luck would have it she's got that third one almost completely soldered and even has a class scheduled before Christmas.  So I'm thinking that any stress she might have been feeling about getting these completed in time for the Holiday can be forgotten about.  Her third cross is  made of a Colonial Blue glass and you'll be seeing that one in our next update.

And while were looking at crosses let's look at the larger pink cross that Lina L made this week.  With her Ribbon Boxes all completed she decided to do something quick and simple that would only take a class or two at best.  And she succeeded in making this project look both easy AND beautiful.

Let's come back to Betty and see what else she's been doing this week,  It certainly looks to me as though her latest Angel is well under way.  With just the border to attach and then a soldering job I'm guessing that she'll have this one knocked out in record time.  Of course, she's made a few of these  already and there's a good chance that she  may not even need a pattern to put one together at this point in time!

Bonnie also has a second project in the works and it's a Cowboy's Star window.  And she's made some extreme progress on it in only one night.  What you're looking at is the sum of 3 hours work and that's not bad at all!  Trust me when i say that having this cut and halfway ground is no small feat.  And all the points on her star are intact which is the real trick to this design.

Cindy had a setback or two during her class session but it didn't stop her from completing her Stylized Fleur De Lis Window and getting started on cutting her Texas Star Window.  This won't be difficult at all and Cindy now has two of the seventeen pieces that make up this pattern cut and ground.  It's safe to assume that this window will be a piece of cake for her.

Lynn has a deadline for this Humming Bird and Hanging Fuschia window and I'm stating for the record that she's going to get it on time!  She already has it almost completely tacked together and the front side is already soldered, so the only thing left to do is add 4 small pieces of glass in the border and then attach the brass channel.  Once that's done she'll wash it, color it, and gift it!

Costa the dog is 100% ground now and ready for foil.  I've decided that we're going to tack this together and then adjust the eyes because the picture it was taken from has lopsided eyes.  Your mind rarely doubts the fact that something is correct when it's a photo, but in a stained glass window you sometimes have to take liberties.  I'm just worried that it's going to look odd if we follow the picture exactly so we'll cut the pupils and make sure everything looks good BEFORE Martha grinds the whites of the eyes..

Mary Grace is hoping that she'll have this Eagle Window completed before Christmas gets here and I think that she's going to manage it.  She's got the front completely soldered and at this point in time the back side only needs some solder touch ups.  Once that's done there's just a  quick bath standing before this bird and the long road home.  Look to see this completed in our next update

Myrt's Stylized Fleur De Lis Window is really taking shape now.  In the end she's decided to change the color of her background glass rather than re-cut any of the pieces that she's already cut for the FDL itself.  A word to the wise-- You never want to use your background glass for anything else in your window or the main design will appear to have a hole in it.  Luckily, we noticed the double use of color before Myrt actually cut out her background pieces and now things are going to work out just fine.

Shelley's Nude Woman looks better than I ever would have imagined.  When she originally suggested going with iridized glass for the hair I was against it.  But then when I saw what she had picked I loved it.  And then, after much consideration, Shelly decided to go with an iridized background glass as well.  And it's perfect.  She's no longer sure of the color of the Sun she cut out though.  She may go with a different color and call it a planet.  That she'll decide once everything is ground when she can get a better feel for what the window looks like.

Susan has been making progress grinding the smaller pieces of her Abita window and she's not slowing down in that respect.  I'm thinking that wrapping them along the way wouldn't be a bad idea but we'll have to see what Susan thinks about that idea.   Here's a closeup of her wheat and hops.  It makes me THIRSTY!

Lastly, our newest student, Susie, is moving  right along with her Stylized Fleur De Lis Window.  Not only is it all wrapped and tacked but the front side is completely soldered as well.  That means that she'll be completing this when she comes back into class

We still have one more set of classes before Christmas and I know of two  window that will certainly be finished by then.  And regular classes will be resuming on Thursday evening so we'll certainly have something to post before the New Year arrives.  So look for one more post before we ring in a new year and the beginning of MANY new projects in 2014.

And in the end, Russ and I would like to wish a VERY merry Christmas to everyone who reads our weekly Blog as well as those who participate by making the windows that you see here each week.  Things wouldn't be the same without you and we want to thank everyone for making our lives so much richer.

Happy Holidays!

Paul and Russ

Monday, December 16, 2013

Projects That Don't Snap, Crack, or POP!

We have a lot of Fleur De Lis Windows this week and even more Christmas gifts. With just two more classes left to go before Christmas actually arrives (only one more if you come on Thursday night) things are really heating up here in the shop.  As you'll see, the pressure is on but the quality of our students work certainly isn't suffering.

Here's our first completed Fleur de Lis Window and this one was made by Becky.  She went with a wispy black ribbon border that matches the final border.  The vibrant red FDL and inner border are matched by four red corner pieces.  The results are striking and her work, as always, is perfect.  Becky colored her solder in black patina which make the lead lines seemingly disappear into the black glass.

And here's a similar window that Ann completed as well this week.  Although the color scheme is very similar to Becky's (red and black), Ann decided to use a solid black glass that lets no light through it.  She also used a more detailed Fleur De Lis as well as adding a third border into the mix.  And then just to set it all off just a little bit more she colored her solder in copper.  Note how nicely her three borders line up with each other.  The lines of the innermost border should match the lines on the outer border (like brickwork does) and they most certainly do.

Brenda's '57 Chevy is the bomb!  It's hard to believe that she had any trouble picking out a color for her border because this glass suits the window ideally.   Her first choice was to use the same red that was used in the car but we all agreed that it just made the window far too bright and stole the focus away from the subject.  A border should compliment a window without drawing the viewers attention to it, which is just what this one does.

Linda L has completed her three Ribbon Boxes and they are perfect.  If you look closely you'll see that the one on the left has feet on it.  Linda has taken home 8 solder globs (otherwise known as 'feet') and is going to put them on the other two boxes herself.  I love how amazed people are when they see just how easy it is to add feet to a mirrored bottom box.  And in these boxes I love how the ribbon forms it's own 'handle' to lift the box lid.  And to be honest it sort of worked out that way by accident!

 And Terry managed to reign in her Horse Window this week.  Terry used the same glass that was used in the horse for her border and in this case that worked out perfectly.  The difference being that brown is more neutral and not nearly as flashy as red glass is.  Another great job, Terry!

But don't think for a minute that Terry didn't have her eye on some red glass as well.  It seems to be the color of choice for Fleur De Lis as you can see in her Stand Alone Fleur De Lis Window.  She knocked this one out pretty quickly-- I never even saw her cut, grind, wrap or solder it.  It just appeared this week ready to have its picture taken.  So here it is, Terry's Stand alone Fleur De Lis.

Betty, as always, has many different projects in the works.  Her LSU window just needs some solder on the back of it while her two Alabama 'A' Windows need to be soldered on the front and back.  She also worked on cutting out a new (but old) Angel Window and when that one is complete we (as a class) have decided to throw out that pattern because Betty has made far too many of them!  But I suspect that not having a pattern won't stop Betty ifR. Kelly she wants to make another one...

This is Bonnie's LSU Tiger Claw Window.  There was a snag along the way but Bonnie managed to overcome the obstacle and move right along with her window.  And since it's supposed to be a  Christmas Gift that's a very good thing.  There are only a few fill-in pieces left to go before she can start soldering this and Bonnie HAS taken it home so she can be a step ahead when she comes back into class next week.

Brenda liked Terry's Stand Alone Fleur De Lis so much that she decided that she needed to make one as well.  She's using a completely different color scheme but she started cutting it out during glass and by the time she left she not only had it all cut but she also had the top three sections ground as well.  Don't blink or you might miss this project when it heads out the door for the last time.

Cindy, always a whirlwind of productivity, has her Stylized Fleur De Lis all cut out now.  She only had to wrap the border and tack it before she could start soldering this  but rather than warp glass in class she decided to do that at home and start working on her next project, a Texas Star Window. 

Wow, I've got to say that Janet did a wonderful job grinding the pieces to her Fairy On The Moon Suncatcher. And do you know what that is on the the bottom right of the picture?  Its a second Fairy all cut up and wrapped in a plastic bag.  (Murderer!)  She's got these two ready to be foiled while she's at home so I'm thinking that these will CERTAINLY be done in time for Christmas.

And Jeanne is moving right along with her three Beveled Cross Suncatchers as well.  She has them all ground and has even already begun foiling her pieces.  Like Janet's project, I'm sure these will be done it time to be wrapped as gifts as well.

We've got two very similar LSU Tiger Claw Windows being made with the only difference being the size of the windows.  This one belongs to Linda F and it's a tad bit smaller than the one that Bonnie is working on.  However, that doesn't make it any easier to make.  In fact, I've always said that smaller projects are harder to work on than larger ones.  At any rate, Linda is almost ready to start foiling these pieces so she get tack it and then work on the borders that surround it.

Susie is making great progress on her Fleur De Lis.  We had to straighten things out here and there but this is tacked together and ready for a border.  Susie has no clue how easily borders are made so she'll have fun learning this trick of the trade when she comes back in.  I saw her cut out individual patterns for the border so I'm pretty sure she'll be happy to see how much easier a border can be cut out (and ground)!

Lynn made excellent progress on her Hummingbird window while she was at home.  With just the bottom piece of the background left to wrap and solder into place she'll be adding her beveled border (the bevels are ready for her here at the shop) and then her final border.  Then there's just the soldering to go and I'm sure that will happen when she returns!

Mary Grace's Eagle is most certainly in flight now.  Everything is cut, and everything is tacked together and although you don't see it in the picture even the zinc channel has been added.  It looks like Mary Grace will start soldering this when she comes back to class.

Shelley was cutting the hair of her tasteful Nude Lady Window when she finally called it a day.  She's decided to make a slight design change and  put a little something on this woman to cover her up a bit.  But it's only going to be a bracelet on one of her wrists so I'm sure the word 'nude' will still describe this woman.  All I know is that the leg on her reminds me of the lamp from the movie A Christmas Story.  Before you know it Shelley will be cutting the easy-to-cut background pieces and getting ready to solder this.

Susan's been grinding and placing all of the small pieces that she's already has cut out into her window.  The wheat is now 100% complete and now she's begun grinding the green hops on the upper right section.  Soon enough the fun will REALLY begin when we get to figure out exactly how we'll mount the actual bottles into this window! As Alfred E. Neuman used to say, "What – Me Worry?"

Meanwhile, Terry has taken a page out of my book and redesigned her Tiger De Lis pattern.  (We just can't leave things alone!)  This one will be more sturdy than the first without the need to add wires to keep it secured.  She's also changed the mouth so this Tiger is in mid-growl.  It's hard to see what it will look like at this point but when she left it was almost completely cut out which means that we'll certainly get a better feel for it when Terry returns.

And lastly we'll take a look at Becky's version of the Pokeno Girls Window.  I'm going to be calling this window 'Two Short' for various reasons but mostly because it has only three women in it rather than the five women that appeared in the original version.  Becky has her pattern traced out (and numbered) so she'll be ready to start on this when she returns back to class after Christmas.


Wow, that was a lot of typing when compared to the past 2 weeks.  Maybe that helps explain why this post is a day late.  As I said above, with two classes left before Christmas things are really heating up here so expect to see a lot of completed projects in our next two posts.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

She Can Be Downright Vibrant

This week we had more than a handful of students learn the importance of cutting point to point.  Point to Point is a term we use to for the process of cutting an inside curve.  If a curve cuts into the piece you are saving to MUST connect the two ends of the curve with a straight  cut before attempting to remove the curve.  This simple process will more than triple the odds of your cutting your curve without the piece breaking.  It's a fact.

We have not one but two completed windows by Terry this week and I suspect that her latest Fleur De Lis will be very popular indeed.  Meet Terry's Tiger De Lis.  It stands about 12 inches tall and is so full of attitude that you can just about hear it growl.  Her execution of this design is flawless and the minute I saw it I had a big old smile on my face while thinking What a GREAT idea!  Beautiful!

And this is Terry's umpteenth version of the Cross in a square, yet oval-ish, but circular window.  As you can tell from the work, she's got this pattern down!  She also says she may need to make more of these.  It's a good thing she finds them easy to make.  :-)

Next up we start looking at projects that are still under construction and we'll start those with Mary Grace's Eagle Window which is ready for tacking.  Once tacked she'll cut three pieces of blue glass to make a lake under the eagle and then affix a border.  I'd say that all of that will all happen when she comes back in next week.  And then the soldering can begin.

Bonnie's Tiger Claw LSU window is  ready for borders.  This week she ground, wrapped and tacked the claws and then added the final strips of clear glass to square out what could be squared (the bottom left and right corners).  The claws cut into the borders on the top and the sides making it a little more difficult to add a border there, but it will only add a few minutes worth of work to the process which makes it barely an issue at all . 

Becky was so worried that her window wasn't perfectly square that she was afraid to work on it  between classes.  The amount that it was off was fairly normal for a piece of stained glass so she was easily able to cut and tack the last border in place after we made minor adjustments to the placement of the inner red border.  Now that it's all tacked together it's ready for some brass channel which will make the window perfectly square when it's completed.  And that will be soon.


Brenda's '57 Chevy is nearly road ready!  All but the border is cut and ground and Brenda spent her time in class wrapping the majority of what you see here.  She also pondered what she should use for the border that will surround this, and just when things were looking bleak a color appeared that made the border look like part of the window rather than a color that frames it (which is what you want).  And you'll see what that color is when we update again next week.

Janet saw Cindy's two Fairy Suncatchers and decided that she needed to make two of her own.  We enlarged the pattern a bit so it's now 12 inches tall and Janet began cutting out the 2 Fairies at once. The only difference between the two of them will be the color of the hair.  With almost all of the cutting completed Janet will surely begin grinding these when she comes back into class.

Meanwhile, Jeanne has decided to make three Curved Beveled Crosses.  She's got 2 cut out in a nice red/gold waterglass (which isn't showing its color in the picture) and another cut out in a nice shade of deep colonial blue.  The colors she used are light enough to allow light to pass through but very rich so that the crosses will have a lot of personality when they're hanging in the sunlight.

Linda L now has the 3 bottoms constructed for her Pink Ribbon Boxes.  The only thing left to do is solder them (which only consists of putting a bead on twelve 2" lines) and then coloring them.  Once that is done it will be a simple task to attach the box tops to the box bottoms with a piece of hinge.  These will easily be completed next week!

Martha has been on vacation and came in saying that she was sorry that she didn't get to work on her Costa the Dog Window while she was gone.  All I can say is that you should NEVER work on stained glass while you're on vacation!  With just the eyes of the dog left to go this window is really nearing completion.   The borderization of Costa may likely happen next week.

Susan has officially ground all of the background in her Abita Window.  It looks like she'll be filling in all of the missing colors as the weeks progress which means that we'll start to see some color appear in this project.  She has a lot of this cut out already so all she has to do is grind the rest to fit.

Next up we take a look at 3 different versions of Russ' Stylized Fleur De Lis pattern.  First off we see that Ann has just about completed hers.  All three borders are attached and one side has been completely soldered.  We ended up going with zinc channel around this window for extra strength because the triple border increased the size of the pattern so much.  Larger windows need a little more support and zinc channel really does the job.  Look to see this completed when we return in our next update.


Susie has started her Stylized Fleur De Lis and has made some incredible headway considering that this is her first project with us.  It's hard to see but she has all of her background cut out as well as a good portion of her FDL.  One thing that Susie will be thrilled to learn is how quickly and easily borders can be cut and fitted as well as how straight they can be made with the use of a strip cutter.  and from the looks of things that will be happening very soon for her.

Our last SFDL (Stylized Fleur De Lis) window is being made by Myrt.  We seem to have hit a little bit of a snafu because Myrt has used some of her background glass in the actual FDL itself.  The problem with that is that it will make the FDL appear to have holes in it when it's all put together.  To fix this  she'll either change some of the pieces she's cut or she'll pick a different glass for her background.  Either way is easy enough solution..

And Terry's Woman On A Horse Window is just about finished.  She didn't care for the look of the hair so she broke it all out and then replaced it giving the woman a new hairstyle in the process.  And since Terry does hair for a living I'm going to say that it's a job well done.

Now let's have a look at Shelley's newest project.  Her nude dancer is standing proudly between the sun and the moon.  It's a bit similar (well, maybe not all that much) to the Mermaid window that she made us us when she first started and I have no doubt that this will look great when it's completed.  As you can see it's looking great already.

And last, but not least, we have a quick sneak preview of the window that Lynn has begun working on that I forgot to take a picture of.  Since I have no progress to show you the best I can do is give you a peek of the photoshopped merging of 2 ideas that she liked.  This is the merged image that her pattern is based on.  This view will also give you an idea of how some of the patterns that turn up in class start out their life.  Expect a real look at Lynn's window when she returns to class next week.

And there you have it.  Our rundown on what happened during the first week of December.  The new year is just about upon us and with Christmas arriving sooner than you think I know we'll see some Christmas gifts completed soon.