Tuesday, July 22, 2014


We're going to start this update off with a quick lesson on lifting your stained glass windows.  I see so many students taking unnecessary risks while moving their projects so we're going to cover the correct way to lift your windows.  In the examples shown below the starting position of the window is lying flat on a table (as it would be if we had just finished soldering it).

Okay, so first and foremost, we NEVER pick up a window by positioning our hands at opposite ends of the panel.  The two examples below show the hands positioned in ways that are sure to place extra pressure on the glass and allow your window to crack.

Now that you've seen the wrong way to lift a window let's show you how easy it is to do it correctly and save you from having to deal with broken pieces of glass in your finished project.  Any time you  lift a window both hands should be on the same edge of the panel.  There is no exception to this rule-- we NEVER lift with our hands at opposite ends of the glass.  If your window is square it doesn't matter what side you lift from but if the window is rectangular (as shown below) you must position the panel so that the longest edge is closest to you.  Slip both hands uniformly under the closest long side (if you've positioned it correctly it's the side closest to you) and lift upwards while keeping the far end on the table.  The movement is the same as opening a hinged box.

Once the window is standing as it would if it were hanging (with the opposite long edge still on the table) you can then lift the window from the top edge, holding the window vertically (as if it were hanging).  To set the window back onto a table simply reverse the process by placing one of the long sides of the window onto the table and then pivoting in downwards while keeping both hands on the opposite side of the window (as you would close a hinged box).  Whether you pivot it towards you or away from you is your decision.

The most important thing to remember is to keep both of your hands on one side of your window.   Never carry your window as though it were a serving tray-- it should be transported in its  vertical hanging position.  Knowing these simple steps will prevent you from having to make repairs on your finished work.  Trust me!

So the first completed window that we look at this week was made by Carol and it's a show stopper.  Tabasco is the theme it's unmistakable.  The thin green border that matches the small hint of green in the label of the bottle is a perfect accent color.  Carol wasn't sure this window was looking good until she got it all washed up and then she, like everyone else, fell in love with it.  It's amazing how much a window changes when it's off the table, cleaned up, and hanging in the sun light.

Bonnie's Horse Window is now officially completed this week and I really think that the final brown border ties it all together perfectly.  The thin orange border was also a nice choice because it adds another color while staying within the color range of the rest of the window.  I have to say that I really like this design and that Bonnie did a great job with it.

Our last finished project of the week was made by Myrt and the workmanship on her Stylized Cross and Dove Window is impeccable.  When she told me that the circular window would have to be split in four sections to fit into the frame I wasn't sure how well the cross would show but I obviously ended up worrying over nothing.   A fun little story about making this was that after all four sections were completed Myrt discovered two pieces that were out of place in the alternating green and blue rays.  Within 15 minutes we had the problem fixed and what you see below is her final product.  And I must say that her soldering is really top notch!

Becky S had hoped to get her C window completed but ran into a slight snag when she took it home to work on it there.  A small crack appeared while she soldered her first lead line on the second side!  She decided not to panic and simply bring the window back for repair before moving along any further and then she started working on this Autumn Leaf Window.  I love the colors and even though it hasn't been ground you can see how well Becky has this fitting together already.  Taking your time while cutting your glass really pays off in the end because it greatly reduces your time at the grinder. And this Leaf Window is proof of that.

Brenda has everything finished on her Baby the Dog Window save for his eyes.  I know for a fact that the positioning of eyes can make or break a window (figuratively speaking) so my recommendation is to leave the 'sockets' empty and get everything tacked together before grinding the glass that forms the eyes.  Handling it this way ensures that you have a rock solid window that won't allow the eyes to shift slightly out of place giving your subject crossed eyes.  Also, it allows us to put red glass underneath the window and then laugh about how Baby looks like a possessed devil dog!

And Paula's Scissors are just about completed.  There was a lot of grinding involving the smaller quarter inch grinding head which can be a pain to work with but Paula got everything fitting together nicely and as you can see in the picture she has most of it wrapped as well.  I'm sure we'll see these hanging up and featured next week!

Jeanne's Stylized cross is starting to take shape.  She's decided to grind as she cuts so each of the pieces you see pinned to her pattern is already fitted into place.  I know she was cutting out some more amber glass and has another green picked out as well.  We'll see those pieces next week.

With most of her Terrarium cut out and ground, Lynn wrapped all of her completed glass and then moved on to the last 36 pieces of textured glass.  By the time she left they were all cut out and skimmed on the grinder so I think we may very well begin assembling this when she comes back in.  And now that the pieces are wrapped in copper foil you can actually see what she's accomplished in our picture this week!  And there's more there than you might suspect because all those pieces are actually stacked up three pieces high.

I hardly saw Shelley at all during class because I was so busy with other people, but that didn't stop her from making great progress on her Mermaid Window.  She has a lot of the glass picked out and most of the mermaids cut out (save for their hair).  That leaves water, bubbles, and background landscape left to go.  I think she's having fun making this window even though she's just getting her feet wet on it!  On another note, let's hope we can remind Shelley to take her LSU Window home next week.  This is the second week in a row that she's forgotten it at the shop!

Carol didn't waste any time in class this week.  With her Tabasco Window under her belt she began cutting glass on this butterfly suncatcher.  I believe that she'll be making two of these and with her first butterfly just about cut out she'll need to decide if she wants to start grinding her pieces of if she wants to keep cutting and knock the second one out before heading to the grinder

Cindy's latest project is really looking great.  A circle within a rectangle, this Cat Tail Window looks stunning already and it isn't even wrapped yet.  Cindy hopes to be ready for a border when she returns and knowing her I don't doubt for a minute that it can happen.

Well, Linda F certainly knocked my socks off when she came in this week with her Coke Window completely ground!  With all she has going on at home I never expected that to happen but it did.  She had one casualty with a pieces of red glass that we'll replace when she tacks this together next week.  After that it will be ready for a border and some solder.  Linda is really flying through this (difficult) window and I'm impressed!

Then we Linda L's Mickey Mouse Window and it's ready for two borders, one of which is already cut and ground!  She's taken the pieces home to wrap during the next two weeks and when she returns she'll add the final border and begin soldering this beast.  ;-)

Betty began this Iris Window last week and as you can see she's made some serious headway into it.  The colors are perfect and she paid an incredible amount of attention to getting the water to line up so it looks as though it was cut from a continuous piece of glass (which it wasn't, but you'd never know that if I hadn't pointed it out)  I won't be surprised if she needs to add borders on this when Betty returns to class and since it's a stretched out octagon that it means that Betty will learn how to do angled borders.  Yippee!

Janet's Rooster Window is all tacked together and has its channel on as well.  This week she added her two final borders and did something a little fancy with them.  Since the pattern for this window is based on irregular lines (nothing perfectly straight save for the final edge) she decided to make the last two borders match that style and cut curves into them.  It took a little longer but in the end the extra effort was well worth it.  It may be hard to see in the small picture below but I know you'll see it very well when you see this completed next week.  I love this window!

I was all set to get Susan's 2 bottles tacked into place on her Abita Window but when Susan came in she asked if it would be a bad idea to add a few more pecan's trailing upward on the right side. Since it isn't completely tacked together it was fairly easy to do and that's what Susan did. And now the moment of truth is upon her because we're ready to add the two bottles into this window and see what happens. I love a challenge so I can't wait to get to it!

Then there's Terry's Cross Design which is just about completed.  She used some old glass for the border which involved scraping off  paint from the edges of the glass but once that was removed it looked great, as does her window.  She just needs to solder the second side and then Terry will be on to a new project.

Mary Grace has all of her background glass cut out and most of it is even tacked into place.  What's missing are the pieces that she took home so she could come back with them wrapped and ready to be tacked onto the window.  With just border(s) to go I think it's safe to say that this window is just about completed.  And judging by the responce it's gotten in the other classes I'd say that Mary Grace has a hit on her hands.

It's official-- the hardest part of Rowena's Grape Window is officially behind her now.  With only the background and border pieces left to go she's going to be having it pretty easy in class now!  And that also means that this window is near completion.  Just wait until you see those grapes light up...

With only her final border left to be wrapped, Martha has all of her glass cut and almost ready to solder.  These two Stylized Fleur De Lis Windows are a perfect example of how different a window can look by simply altering the colors and textures of glass.  When you get right down to it the only thing different between this pair is the color of the background glass-- the rest match perfectly.  Martha is going to be missing classes for a few weeks and we're going to miss her but we also hope she has fun!  I hope she gets well rested because when she returns she'll be soldering her heart out!

And that wraps things up here.  But I have to wonder if the rain here ever end here in the Bayou.  If not we'll need a machete to get to the shop because I've yet to be able to cut the grass out there.  And today the sun was shinning while we were in town but the minute we arrived home we were hit with another downpour which has the yard flooded again.    Wait a minute, I'm supposed to talk about cutting GLASS not GRASS!  Nevermind.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

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