Monday, August 25, 2014

The Day The Music Died

Skimming glass is what we do when a piece of glass already fits the patten without having been ground.  This happens mainly on border pieces but sometimes it also happens regularly when you become proficient at cutting glass.   Skimming itself it an art.  You want to press the piece against the grinder with an even pressure all around the piece.  If you don't press hard enough the glass isn't roughed up enough for the foil, but of you press too hard to can end up making your perfectly fitted piece of glass look, well, deformed.   The biggest problem students have while skimming is slacking off on the pressure towards the end of their glass piece.  This leaves little 'burrs' on the end that (on borders especially) look uneven and unprofessional.  Here's an example of a rectangular border piece that wasn't skimmed evenly on the right hand side and then the same piece after it's been fixed.

It's little details like this that further remove the novices from the professionals.  Remember, it doesn't matter how long you've been doing stained glass-- if you always do it wrong you're still a beginner.
Okay!  So we have another completed Grape Window to look at this week and it was done by Jeannette.  Her window is a little wider than the one completed by Rowena last week and some of that extra space is filled with a cluster of leaves and branches on the left side.  The outer border glass wasn't Jeannette's first choice of color but the glass she fell in love with is no longer made and all we had left was a small piece.  But as you can see there's nothing wrong with the replacement glass she picked.  In fact, there's nothing wrong with this window at all!

Martha has the first of her two Stylized Fleur De Lis Window finished with the second one not much further behind.  This one has a clear Glue Chip background which contrasts nicely with the actual FDL.  It's great work, but Martha is concerned about the length of time it took for her to complete it.  I say it's all about quality, not quantity.  Besides, we haven't seen Martha in a month so if we subtract her down time we have a very reasonable time frame for completing this!

And our last completed projects are Brenda's pair of Initial Windows.  They both share the same letter font as well as the same glass for the letters and the borders but her background glass is different.  I know that she'll be working on a B window when she returns and possibly one other that I can't recall to save my life!  (Sadly, my memory just isn't what it used to be.)

With the front side of her Abita Window completely soldered and just the back left to go I think that Susan will be finishing this up when she returns for her next class.  The washing and cleaning will take a bit of time so I don't expect a completed picture until the following week, but you never know.  I'll admit that we've held it up and it lights up wonderfully.  I can't wait to see it washed and colored for the full effect!

Shelley has made so much progress in her time with us.  I remember when a window like this would have easily intimidated her.  Now days she comes in and gets down to work doing one section at a time.  And now she's got it almost a quarter of the way ground!  I think she's going to see how far she's come when she hangs this window up which, at this rate, will be in just a few short weeks!

And Jeanne's Stylized Cross Window is looking better and better each week.  She's wrapping the pieces of the cross now that she's got it all ground and once it's tacked together she'll be able to start cutting out her background.  A stunning window is what this will be, without any doubt at all.

Becky S began working on the last three of her sunflowers this week and has decided to do something completely different with two of them.  She's making a full fledged window with a pair of her Sunflowers and has the background glass cut out for them already.  Some of the flower petals will actually cut into the border that surrounds them which will help hide the number of lead lines she'll need coming out of each of the flower petals.  I think the arrangement is perfect and the finished window will look wonderful.

And Paula's Wise Men Window is moving right along.  In fact, far faster than I thought it would.  It looks like she's only got about two dozen pieces left to cut and she'll be golden!  The deep blue night sky and the dark brown mountain in the background had her a little worried that the window would be dark but I think the contrast in the colors of the Wise Men's robes will balance it out out nicely.  Besides, it's a night scene so you wouldn't want it all bright and sunny!  Next up Paula needs to pick out glass for her unicorn.


Ann has two completely different Fleur De Lis Windows ready to go.  They're both set to be soldered and I have no doubt that she'll make short work of that process.  I have to admit that I like the alternating border colors on the FDL to the right.  Then again, I like the flowing colors of the border in the 'B' Window on the left as well.


Bonnie's Magnolia Window is ready to be channelized (I completely made that word up) and then soldered.  Leaving this window round was the best possible choice and when this is hanging up I'm sure Bonnie will agree with me.  And I've also talked her into using black patina when it's finished.  The black will really contrast nicely against the white Magnolia and match the color of the zinc channel once it's colored.

And Carol, wow, what can I say?  I'm impressed at how quickly she's moved through this window.  I know it isn't completed yet but when she comes back in she's going to be adding her borders.  That means that in one class she's managed to cut out her pieces, grind them and then start wrapping them as well!  If all of this progress in one short class doesn't make her feel great about her work then I'm going to say that she's un-impressable!  (Which she isn't.)  There's nothing cattywampus about this LSU.

Cindy's only got a few pieces of background to go and then she'll be wrapping and tacking her Calla Lily Window as well as adding a border.  She's got so much going on at home that she has only been able to work on this during class, but her progress has been astounding.  Don't forget that everything is already ground which means that she's going to head straight into the wrapping process when she has her last background piece cut.   I've got the pattern for her lamp drawn out now and I think she's going to want to get onto that ASAP.

Betty's Sunflowers are wonderful.  They're all ground and she's about to cut out her border already.  I love the design, I love her colors, and more than anything else I love the quality of her work.  She's another student who's come a very long way in the past few months.  Everything flows smoothly in this window and it fits like a glove.

Terry's Heron Window is all cut out and is currently in the process of being ground.  She removed a piece of sky before I snapped this picture because the grain of it was off  making the sky point slightly downward in the upper left corner of the window.  She plans on re-cutting that piece so it lines up perfectly and that's something I try to impress upon our students.  If you see a problem, don't let it slip by-- fix it.  Yes, there are somethings you can get away with but grain direction isn't one of those things.  


Janet had her Angel all wrapped and tacked together so she cut a piece of glass the size of her background, centered the Angel on top of it and traced around her.  Then she added lines that enabled her to cut out all of the pieces and within a half hour she was able to start grinding.  This method made the grinding process VERY easy since everything practically fit together with just a quick skim of each piece.  Then she wrapped her background, tacked it together and got her border cut.  I have a sneaking suspicion that this will be completed next week!

Linda F worked on her Birdhouse Window and it already looks GREAT!  A subtle use of glass shading is what gives the bird house a three dimensional effect.  With just flowers and background left to cut I suspect that Linda will be grinding this before you know it.  Oh, and we fixed the tail feather on the upper bird that I originally colored it to look like a branch!   You can also see that Linda has her Sunflower Suncatcher started as well as her birdhouse-- it's pictured in the lower left of the pattern.


So what's this?  Well, it may not look like much now but it's going to be a Cylinder Lampshade when it's completed.  Jane has all of the background cut out and is in the process of grinding it all together.   Once it's wrapped you'll be able to see the pattern she's cut into the glass and then she'll tack it and add the upper and lower borders.  

Myrt is another student who just seems to have the stained glass process down.  Nothing I've been throwing at her takes her long to accomplish and her work is always spot on.  Just look at this Single Sunflower Octagon she's working on.  Once this is wrapped she'll be ready for a border and I believe she just started this last week!  Amazing!  And I love her use of pins as she's grinding.

Lynn's Terrarium is so close now.  There's nothing I hate more than washing and cleaning a clear window, especially if the project is a terrarium.  It's so hard to get everything clean but as you can see Lynn had no problem at all.  Except, well, yeah, we found a cracked piece of glass.  Sadly, it took a while to repair so Lynn didn't get to tack the top of this project together yet but she will when she comes back in.  Mark my words, this is going to be stunning.

And this is the backside of Martha's second Stylized Fleur de Lis Window.  With the front all soldered I have no doubt that she'll be taking this home completed when she comes back in.  And then she'll be able to begin working on her Octagon Iris Window.   I know she's anxious to start it so I'm sure we'll have a picture of that next week.

Mary Grace wanted to make a Fruit Basket Window but she wasn't thrilled with the 'arms' of the one that I showed her.  After poking around the patterns a bit she found one that I had drawn a few years ago that I'd completely forgotten about-- WITHOUT the arms she disliked!  So here's a look at the pattern she'll be starting when she comes back in.

Rowena finished her Grape window last week and decided to start on a Deer window this week.  She traced out her pattern, cut it all up into pieces that she'll trace out onto her glass and even picked out most (if not all) of the glass she'll be using in it.  The actual glass cutting will happen when she comes back in o look out!

And that about does it this time around.  It's been a busy but very fun week.  I've learned a lot about our students and I know our students have learned a lot as well (but not always about glass!)  I look forward to starting our next session of classes tomorrow and can't wait to see everyone return.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

No comments: