Monday, January 12, 2015

How Do You Paint Behind A Toilet?

Before we get into our students work I'm going to show you how to draw a nice symmetrical pattern.  Many people eyeball things but our eyes are easily deceived and should never be trusted, especially when symmetry is involved.  When I draw a pattern I like to use a somewhat transparent paper.  I've found that butcher paper (you can purchase large rolls of it at Sam's quite cheaply) works great.  (Just keep the waxy side down when you draw on it.)  If I were going to draw a Fleur De Lis I'd start by drawing a line down the center of my paper and then roughly sketch out one half of the design.  I then take my time touching up my rough design by smoothed things out and making sure all of my lines flow nice and evenly.  Here you can see the start of a fancy Fleur De Lis.

Next I fold my paper on the center line that I originally drew leaving the drawn section of the Fleur De Lis facing upward rather than hidden inside the folded paper.

Once the pattern paper is folded I place the drawn section face down on the table so the blank half of the pattern is facing upward.  Sometimes I'm lucky and can see a faint image of the drawing through the paper.  Most times I'm not that lucky so what I do is place my paper on a window so the sunlight allows me to clearly see my drawing through the pattern paper. (A light box is an even better solution but not many people have one.)   Then I just trace over all of the lines with my pencil leaving me with a complete second half of the Fleur De Lis.

Just unfold the paper and you'll now have a perfectly symmetrical drawing. 

If your pattern is symmetrical both horizontally AND vertically (like Cindy's Geometric Window that you'll see further down the way) just draw a quarter of the pattern, fold it, trace out the second quarter of the patten, and then fold your pattern along the other axis to trace the top two quarters onto the bottom.  That's it.  Using this simple technique will certainly make a big difference in your finished windows.

Okay, so onto our students work.  Susan managed to complete her Traditional Bevel Design this week and I don't have to tell you that it's a stunning window.   It's hard to explain but the words that pop into my mind when viewing the actual window itself are 'sharp'  and 'elegant'.  At three foot by three foot, it's not easy to ignore--this is a window that demands respect.

Cindy completed Her Pink Flamingo Window and it's eye catching, that's for sure.  Everyone loved it and her work is top notch.  I knew that she wouldn't have any trouble completing this window but she even impressed me on this one.  And it's absolutely, 100% square.  THAT's the sign of great craftsmanship.

Betty has finished her first  of two nativity scenes and it's another Nativity winner. Although the next one has been made from the same pattern, the colors are different so they won't be identical.  We'll show you the second once its back side has been soldered which I'm going to guess will be next week.

Paula began working on this beautiful red Hand Mirror while she was at home and brought it in to get the mirror section inserted and then to solder it.  By the end of the class her mirror was completed and she even had felt applied to the back side of the mirror to protect it from scratches.  And she came up with an idea to use contact paper on the back side which would probably be less stressful to apply than the felt is.  It's something to consider for sure.  

Rowena made two lawn ornaments this week.  Both are in shades of yellow and both are very summery which, in this cold spell we've been under, is like a breath of fresh air.  Here's her 3D Sunflower:

...and this is Rowena's Butterfly.  They both turned out perfect, don't you think?  Rowena certainly isn't afraid to tackle projects on her own which is sure sign of a student becoming comfortable with the process of making stained glass..

Becky S attached her final border and added the brass channel that protects the edges of her window this week  She used the same glass in the border that she used for the actual FDL itself which  makes blue the only color in this window.  I've never been a fan of using color just for the sake of adding more color, and this window shows that less can be more.

Betty managed to get the border cut and ground for her Sunflower Window.  Most borders are a quick affair involving the strip cutter but the border on this particular window are curved and have to be cut out by hand making it a bit harder to deal with.  But Betty got hers cut, ground, and even partially wrapped before the night was through.

Brenda has the first of her two identical Transom Window inserts ready for solder and the second one has its background glass cut and fitted to its beveled center.  Once she has the fancy corners cut into place she'll have this one ready for a border.  I have no doubt that the third center section will surely be under way shortly.

Carol's Birdhouse Window got its background glass all cut out and fitted into place this week.  She also drilled eye holes into the birds heads (THAT sounds painful) and filled them with the smallest pieces of glass you could ever hope to work on.  Round eyes are easy if you know the trick though.  Just start with a small square and grind off the corners.  They can be completed in under a minute by simply starting them off as squares.

Our newest student is Natalie who started a cross window this week.   You might have noticed that Natalie skipped making our standard butterfly but that's only because she's already worked with me during one of our Weekend Workshops.  There are differences in teaching methods and I always like to make sure that all of our students are on the same page.  Since Natalie learned how to cut in one of our classes I know that she's doing things the best possible way.  And look, she's already started to grind her window already.

Janet now has the background cut for her Peaches and Dragonfly window.  She's freaking out a bit because she says her tacking doesn't look good but  whose tacked window EVERY looks good?    I love that Janet is worried about how everything looks though because it means that when it matters most her work will be beyond acceptable.  If you look closely at the picture you can see  where the wire work will go on this once it's completed to take it to the next level.

Linda has the front side of her wise men completely soldered and will finish up the second side when she returns.  She'll have a new pattern when she comes back into class also and all I can say is wait until you see it--  It's quite the opposite of this particular window that she's working on here.

Then we have Myrt's window which kept me running to the bathroom every time I looked at it-- I don't know why.  But isn't it looking good!  The two similar yet different browns she's using compliment each other without any sharp contrast that a lot of beginners seem fixated on.  But then again, Myrt is no beginner.

Mary Grace came in and got to work grinding and wrapping her sky.  Once that was tacked together the few remaining pieces that make up the eye were completed.  Now Mary Grace has a deer that only needs a border and some solder.  Just look at how nicely her sky flows.  She considered going around this with bevels but that's something that needs to be decided on before a window is started so the window will match the size of the bevels.  We were off too much to make bevels fit so Mary Grace may use a thin, clear inner border followed by a wider, outer border.

For some odd reason I think of Superman every time I see this Flying Pig being made. Maybe it's the cape wing.  Terry started this in class, coming in with the pattern and leaving with all her glass work complete with only the soldering left to do.  I think she'll be finished with this when she comes back in.  Terry has an Indian/LSU faceoff window coming up and I can't wait to see what she does with that.

Cindy's Geometric  Suncatcher  is all cut and ground.  She started wrapping all of her tiny pieces while she was in class and since she has her next pattern picked out already I wouldn't be surprised if we see this Suncatcher completed next week.


Shelley began working on this black cat window as a spur-of-the-moment project.  She wanted to do a beach scene and started drawing one up but then decided to do this cat while she was in class and work on drawing her beach window at home.  Currently her cat looks like a silhouette, but once it's ground and some lead lines are added the detail will emerge through all of the black.

Lastly we take a look at a window that Bonnie made a while back and is now repairing.   This LSU Window had a slight accident and has limped away with somewhere around 9 broken pieces of glass.  Bonnie has 2 repaired and one more knocked out so she's well on her way.  I've suggested that she just do one piece a week so I think we'll see Bonnie working on an Owl when she comes back to class.

That's about covers it this week.  We look forward to seeing you again in seven days.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

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