Monday, February 24, 2014

Massage In A Bottle

Borders.   In the past few weeks I've been asked numerous times how to figure out sizes for borders on windows.  While there are no carved in stone rules there are a few things that I always follow so I'll list some of them here for you.

1)  The length of the border pieces on the top and bottom should be similar to the the pieces running up and down the window.  In other words, if your border pieces are 5 inches long on the bottom and top they should be close to 5 inches along the sides also.  You'll rarely get them to match perfectly but they should be within an inch or two of the same measurement.

2) If you are adding a second border, its pieces should be cut in the center of the previous border's pieces (so the borders resemble a brick wall.)

3) If you are using 3 or more borders you should not use corner pieces.    Should you feel the window really needs square corners (like in the 2 examples above) then DO NOT USE ACCENT COLORS IN THE CORNERS!  If you do you will create unintentional diagonal lines that distract the viewers view from the actual design of the window.  But the sizing rule for a third border is to match the lines from the first border.  Again, this makes a brick wall effect which is what you are striving for. 

With all that said I've still skipped many issues to make things a little easier (HA!) to digest and remember.  Things like: Your end pieces will never line up perfectly after the first border row so just use your best judgement and make do of it; When using two borders make the first border thinner than the second (outer) one; When using three borders make the center border thicker than the inner and outer border; and when using three borders cut the inner and outer borders from the same color glass.

Remember that there are no set rules to borders.  What I've listed are just things that I think make a window look best to me.   Feel free to experiment because that's the joy of creating.

Well, alrighty then!   Now that we have that confusing issue muddled even further along by my poor explanations, let's see what our students managed to get accomplished this week.

Becky's trio of Three Ladies are all completed.  Three separate windows all made from the same colors and pattern, but each one different from the other--  It almost sounds like a contradiction or puzzle of some sort.  Becky cut all of these out at once and simply cut out all three ladies in red, then another set of three in purple and finally a third set in blue.  When she started grinding them she just mixed them all up which gave her the three multicolored windows you see below.  And with barely any retouches on the soldering I'll say that Becky has this stained glass thing down pat. 

Shelly made a stained glass window with a single woman in it but I guess she couldn't decide on a color for the dress so she just removed all clothing from the picture!  LOL  Her window looks GREAT and I think it's tastefully done.  I believe she's making a flower window next but that may change when she comes back in next week.  At any rate, this one sure lights up nicely and I think her choice of color for the border is perfect for this window.

Jeanne's Beveled Fleur De Lis Window was completed this week and I have to say that she's also got a good feel for soldering now.  She had no problems soldering the front side of this project but the bumpy nature of the back side proved to be a little more difficult.  Nonetheless, Jeanne did a great job and both sides look fantastic.  Don't you agree?


Betty completed not one but two projects this week.  The first one being this wonderful LSU Tiger Claw Window.  Betty came very close to finishing this without any help from me and I suspect that she'll do that once I get around to showing her how to attach the finishing brass channel onto a window. 


And this is Betty's second window-- her Hot Air Balloon that I didn't get a completed picture for two weeks ago.  I can see so much growth in Betty's work from the day she first came in until now.  Look how nicely everything lines up in this window and then look at how perfectly symmetrical the balloon is.  Symmetry is always a problem that beginning students have but as you can see, Betty is no beginner student.

Remember that Duck Window that Susie started last week?  Well it's been completed this week!  Susie had it all ready to be washed and waxed when she brought it back into class and I was mighty impressed with what she'd accomplished.  There's no border on this window because it's going to be set in a wooden frame that I simulated for the picture.  My frame isn't as nice as the one Susie has but it gives you a good idea of what this final piece will look like when she hangs it up at home.

And the last completed project that we have this week is another by Susie-- It's a Fairy On The Moon Suncatcher that she came into class with all cut and ground.  When she got in she wrapped it, soldered it all on her own and then took it home after a hook was added to hang it from (which has been cropped out of the photo you see below).

Now that we've covered the completed windows let's look at what we still have under construction.  Brenda continued working on her Magnolia Window and has moved past the grinding stage and onto the wrapping stage.  There are a lot of delicate, thin pieces in this window which really adds to the beauty of it, but it's all so very hard to see at this point in time.  When it's completely wrapped all of the pieces will be easier to see because their edges will be lined in copper foil.  I suspect that all of the detail in this window will be visible when Brenda returns to class with it.

And Carol, our latest student, started her first true project with us this week and I must say that she's doing great!  In just one class she managed to get all of the glass cut for her Stylized Fleur De Lis Window.  That means that she'll be working on the grinder when she comes back in, and that part is easy compared to what she accomplished this week.

Cindy's Beau Dog is cut and ground.  Next up she'll begin working on the letters.  This week she spent a little extra time on Beau's eyes which involved cutting and grinding tiny little pieces of glass that are never easy to work with.  But they look great and so will Beau when he's completed.

Wow.  Let me say that I'm officially impressed with what Janet accomplished during the week.  She's started working on three Transom Windows, each of the same design but with a different colored Fleur De Lis' and accent pieces.  She has one cut and ground already and she started grinding the second one while in class.  I'm so thrilled to see Janet doing so well so quickly-- This is magnificent work!

Linda F has her Female Mardi Gras Crown completely cut now.  She only has to attach the last border and add some solder to finish it all off.  You can't see the colors that she used because they look black lying there on the work table but when it's held up you'll see that this is all Gold, Purple and Green.  And you may just see this held up next week.  (Note that her inner border is smaller than her outer border as I discussed in the beginning of this update.)

Betty has many fires going and this week she also has two Stylized Fleur De Lis' in the works as well as her Cowboys Star.  One of the FDL's just needs to be soldered while the second one still needs some background cut.  And the Star is now tacked together and waiting for some background as well.    These will be walking out the door real soon now.

Linda L repaired the break in her Breast Cancer Ribbon Box and got everything cut on her 'L' window as well.  She also brought in two pink Teddy Bear Suncatchers that she had cut, ground and wrapped while she was home last week.  She wanted to know what I thought of them before she tacked them together and I told her that I thought they looked great.  The only change we made was an additional piece of glass for the nose which will allow her use some wire to form the mouths.

Okay, I unknowingly told a lie last week when I told you that Martha had cut and ground almost all of the pieces in her Hummingbird Window.  The fact is that she only had the pieces cut, not ground, but they fit so well I assumed that they had also been ground.  My bad, but Martha's good!  When you can cut out glass pieces, place them on you pattern and have me believe they've been ground, well all I can say is, THAT'S GOOD CUTTING!  But it's official this week-- it's all ground and all of those yellow headed pins prove it.

Myrt said that she's been afraid to work with bevels but now that she has this window almost completed she's planning on making another beveled window shortly.  She has all but her final border cut now and is in the process of wrapping the inner black baroque border now.

With all of her hops ground, Susan decided to start working on the Strawberry section of her Abita Window.  And by 'working' I mean grinding.  She thinks that she wants to redraw the top center section and since she took it home with her I'm sure she will.  What will she come up with?  I don't know but I hope the pieces are BIG!  ;-)

Terry began working on her own L window this week which means that we now have 3 L's under construction.  And just to avoid confusion I'll state for the record that only one of those three people have a name that start with the letter L-- the other 2 windows are gifts.  At any rate, Terry's L is ready for a border and then some solder so I'm sure it will be completed next week.

Next up is Ann's version of an 'L' window which actually started the craze for all of these L's.  With all of her glass cut, and the soldering done of the front of this window, I'd say it's a safe bet the Ann will finish this when she comes back in.  I really do love the design and her color choices.

 Lynn's second Panel Lamp is very nearly completed now.  All she needs to do is attach the crown and it will be finished.  She did a great job grinding all of her pieces and getting them to fit together-- when we joined the last body piece to the first one everything fell in line perfectly (which isn't always the case with panel lamps.)

Mary Grace began working on the same window that she completed just last week with just one big difference--  This one is four times larger than the last one she made!  It's hard to see a size difference in a picture but I'll include something to help you see the scale of this window when you see it again next week.  I just didn't think of it this week.  Trust me though, it's big.

Holy crow we had a lot of projects this week.  With more and more students attending classes I'm going to have to start working on the Blog each night after class instead of doing it all at once.  All this typing is cutting into my internet time!  LOL


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