Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Blood Pool

We're going to start things off with a quick and simple little tip this week.  As we all know, the solder (or lead) that gets applied to our windows during the soldering process doesn't adhere to the glass at all.  It melts onto the copper foil that we wrap around each piece of glass.  The quality of your foiling (a process also called wrapping) determines how nicely your solder looks since the solder will cover the lead.  Flaws in your foiling result in flaws in your soldering.  Students tend to fixate on the front side of the window while paying little to no attention to the back side of it which can easily cause problems when they get to the second side.  I always keep my project on a piece of paper slightly larger than my window so I can slide my project by moving the paper which in turn stops the foil on the back side from getting caught and torn or even peeled back from the glass.  Torn foil causes gaps in the solder and gaps are a sure sign of a novice at work.  If you take your time and are careful when making your windows you'll certainly have something you be be proud of. 

Well, Janet's Rooster Window is officially completed.  The irregular borders really tie in perfectly to the rest of the curved lines in the window and the colors choices are nothing short of vibrant.  Janet's soldering has come a long, long way since she first started and I believe that doesn't have to worry about her soldering abilities any more. BTW, this is a large window measuring in at just under 3 foot high.

Becky S put the finishing touches on her Monogram 'C' Window and now that it has some light behind it you can see the beautiful green/blue glass that she used for her thin borders.  I'm a sucker for interlocking borders and this window prominently highlights that design.  Becky made smooth curves and perfect circles look easy in this project as there is not a single piece of glass or angle out of place in it.  This is a quality piece of work.

And then Becky S also made these stunning Sunflower and Cross suncatchers during the week as well.  She's certainly keeping busy! and again her attention to graceful curves and straight lines shin through.

Next up is Paula who has managed to complete three projects this week.  While she was at home she cut, ground, wrapped, tacked and soldered two Christmas Candle Suncatchers that look incredible.  It's hard to believe she's our newest student!  And I love her stained glass Scissors.  I've never seen scissors done in glass before but they are definitely unmistakable,  remarkable, and (dare I say it?) cutting edge!

Linda F now has the border to her Coke Window cut out and attached.  That means that all she needs to do is solder this and she'll be finished.  I love all of her choices in this window including her clear border color.  I can't wait to see this lit up from behind so we can really see that red glass sparkle.  Sadly, we wont see that happen for two weeks since she'll be out next week.  But it gives us something to look forward to.

Ann has been as busy as can be in class this week since she's managed to get two Fleur De Lis Windows almost completely tacked together.  All she needs to do is wrap her border pieces and then add some channel-- she's got most of these windows soldered already!

And let's return for the last time this week to Becky S who not only got her Monogrammed C Window, Sunflower and Cross completed-- but also got her Autumn Leaves Window completely cut out and ground as well.  I'm thinking that there's a chance that we'll see this completed next week.

Betty had a busy week at home but she was able to complete the cutting and grinding of her Iris Window during class.  The clear sky is now all cut out and once this is tacked together she'll be adding a border to it.  I love showing people how angled borders are attached.  It's very easy but the first thing people do when I show them how it's done is to say, "huh"?  Then by the third piece they understand what's happening and the rest comes out easily.

Brenda's Baby the Dog Window is ready for solder.  This week she got Baby's eyes completed and then the front got soldered.  What you see below is the back side waiting for its share of solder.  This is another window that we may very well see completed when Brenda comes back to class.  And Baby's eyes look wonderful.  There's nothing worse than a cross eyed, stained glass dog.

Carol continued working on her Stained Glass Butterflies and she now has a pair of them all cut out.  I snapped a picture when she got the first one ground and fitted together and what you see under it are the pieces for her second Butterfly.  And then under that 'heap' of pieces we see that second butterfly (again) as Carol begins grinding it (it's all one picture thanks to Photoshop).   These are looking nice and colorful and Carol is quickly becoming more and more proficient with her work as evident in the picture below.

Bonnie's Magnolia Window is really taking shape quickly.  I think one of Bonnie's greatest strengths is her ability to use the grinder.  She makes it seem effortless and she always gets a beautiful fit with smooth, flowing, graceful curves.  She only has her secondary green leaves left to cut and grind and then she'll be ready to wrap it all up!


Look out because here comes some great news.  The Abita Bottles fit into Susan's window perfectly with no need for regrinding any background pieces at all!  Susan only needs to wrap them and then she'll cut her the first (I think she's doing two) of her borders.  Don't forget that these are actual bottles that protrude from the front of the window as well as behind it.  We've placed the window on top of sheets of cardboard the she's cut holes in so that the window is perfectly centered on the bottles which are resting on the table.  The cardboard stops her window from sagging while keeping the bottles perfectly positioned and steady so she can add the final borders and then solder this beast!

Next we have Jeannette's Grape Window which is just about behind her now.  With more than half of her background glass cut and tacked into place I expect to see her adding borders when she comes back in next week.  All of Jeannette's extra work is beginning to shine through as this window gets closer and closer to completion.


Cindy is just about ready to have her Cat Tails Window soldered.  She's made cutting those long thin stems look downright easy.  She's added her final border which is a little more difficult than most borders because the cat tails actually cut into the border and break it up naturally.  Next week she'll add some brass channel around the edge and then some hooks and call this finished. 

Janet, like Becky, didn't think about slowing down when she completed her project this week.  Instead, she marched right into making 2 beveled crosses.  She's started some of these at home once before but had problems dealing with the symmetry of the design.   I showed her the easier (but still time consuming) way to handle it and she now has one ready to wrap with a second halfway ground.  and They're looking perfectly symmetrical!

And Jeanne's Stylized Cross is REALLY coming together now.  This is an exquisite pattern and I can't wait to see it finished.  She's making sure everything fits perfectly and as you can see she's doing a wonderful job.  I have no clue what colors she'll use next but her choices so far have been exceptional.

Shelley's Mermaid Window is really looking like Mermaids under the water now that she has some of the blue glass cut.  She's going with 2 different shades of blue to give it some depth (no pun intended).  Don't you just love her pair of 3 dimensional starfish that the mermaids are holding?  They're going to solder in nicely.  The bubbles are going to be the toughest part of this window and to make them easier we're going to skip them until the window is all ground.  We'll show you why in weeks to come.

And this week we get to see Lynn's Terrarium really take shape as it enters the assembly phase of its building process.  All of her glass is cut and wrapped so the only left that Lynn needs to do is attach one more row of glass rectangles to the bottom of the terrarium and then add the glass bottom that will make this nice and sturdy.  Oh, and just to make things a little confusing I have to mention that the terrarium is upside down in the picture.  We'll see it standing correctly next week when its sturdy enough to flip around.

You may think that Rowena's Grape window is just  a smaller version of Jeannette's design but those smaller grapes give this window a decidedly higher difficulty factor.  When it comes to stained glass you want to work with larger pieces of glass, not small ones.   It's amazing how quickly Rowena ground her background pieces and then wrapped them as well.  Just wait until we add the curls in the grape lines (which we'll add in the end).  As it stands now Rowena is all ready for borders!

And then we have Mary Grace's Iris Window.  Mary Grace has a date with a soldering iron when she returns because all of her glass is cut!  That means that she's just about through with this project and is already thinking about working on her next master piece!  I love her final border glass and can't wait until this is completed.  I think it's easily her nicest window so far.

So that's going to wrap things up here.  We have another Weekend Work Shop coming up so we'll be having a double posting shortly.  I just hope I can remember to take pictures as we move along through the weekend so we have a lot to show you.  Have a great week!


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