Monday, March 30, 2015

Foiled Again

Pattern placement on you glass is something that should be thought out in many different ways.  We always want just the right sections of glass for each piece but we also want to be efficient in our cutting as well.  When we separate the pieces from the glass in the picture on the left we end up with an irregular piece of glass  that's not only difficult to store, but also likely to break as students flip through the glass in the bins.  If you position your pieces in a straight path along one side of the glass we end up with an easily stored and must sturdier rectangle of glass that will fit nicely into the glass rack.  Also remember to butt the straight edges of pattern pieces against the straight edges of the glass and against other straight cuts to help save time cutting and grinding.  Positioning you glass in a cluster in a corner is a no-no (picture on the left).  Positioning your pieces in as straight a line as possible gets you a gold star (picture on the right).

So let's start with Bonnie who completed her Large Dragon Suncatcher this week.  She wanted something child-appropriate which is to say, not very scarey.   I think she succeeded with this very storybook looking Dragon that can't help but bring a smile to a child's face, flames or not!

Janet completed her latest  Flower Hand Mirror both quickly and efficiently.  The nice soft curves are really what make this mirror so unique and Janet has the perfect touch for those curves.

And Brenda finished her final Transom Window piece.  I suspect that she's happy to have worked on these for the last time.  The good news is that she can now sit back and enjoy her handy work while thinking about how all of that work was worth it.

Mary Grace completed her Double Sunflower with a double border and I really love it.  The yellow border is different from the glass that she used for the sunflower but only in a subtle way.  Returning to the background blue was really the only logical choice there was in this color scheme and not only was it logical, but beautiful as well.

Rowena completed her latest Sunflower Lawn Ornament as well as a large Butterfly Suncatcher this week.  I've photographed them together and I think they'd look great as a single Lawn Ornament.  Something to think about for sure (Though perhaps with a smaller butterfly with angled wings.)

Bonnie also started her latest angel which started out as a suncatcher but which is now looking to become a window.   Next week Bonnie is going to ring a bell so this semi-Victorian styled Angel  can get its wings

Gale has her newest Window, a Louisiana Style Fleur De Lis,all cut out and basically ground.  She's done beautiful work on this and her curves flow nice and smoothly throughout.   For a second  project I'd say that Gale has more than gotten the hang of this.


Brenda also began work on this magnolia scene complete with VERY thin pieces.  It's a beautiful window that involves a lot of work, but as I always say, you get out of a window what you put into the window.

Becky S has her Bamboo and Panda Bear Window all tacked together and set about working on her double borders when she came into class. She went with a similar but untextured green glass for the thin, inner border and got that cut, ground and tacked. Next she cut a wider, clear border and will attach that and its green corners into place when she comes back in. With the front of this already essentially soldered I don't see Becky needing to work on this for very much longer.


Terry is working on a few magnolias of her own with an egret or two thrown in for some added style.  This window is already WELL underway and  I do believe that Terry has all of her glass cut out for this already.


Janet not only finished her flower hand mirror but also worked on the wispy white background glass for her Melon Window.  The center sections are cut and ground which leaves only the edge pieces to go.  Once they're tacked into place a final border will 'round' this project out.


Carol's latest Window takes her on another shape adventure--the Octagon.  She came in needing a border and I have to say that she made the perfect call for it in terms of color.  Then she got to see how you fit an octagon border perfectly.  It looked confusing while we were going through the motions but in the end I think that Carol completely understood what was going on.  And look-- it fits perfectly!

Sue worked on the second side of her feather themed window and has it all ground and ready for foil.  There's still the center flower section to grind but Sue took it home with her so perhaps it will return to class all ground when she comes back in.  We might see some background being cut or we might not.  We'll find out when Sue returns on Wednesday.


Linda L  is making excellent progress on her version of  the Wild Things Window having most of the crazy woman already ground and ready to be foiled.   The letters for the text will be cut out before the background so expect to see some wording on this window when Linda returns.

Mary Grace not only completed her Sunflower Window but she also started working on the Fruit Basket Window that she's been threatening to do for the past few months.  The glass she used for the bowl is a match to the tile in her kitchen and the fruit will be bright, colorful, and made from scraps of glass (which is always a good thing). 

Martha is yet another student who is also making a  Magnolia window which means that Magnolia's seem to be the flower to be making right now.  She's doing this as a round window and it's going to be wonderful as you can tell already.

Ann is making serious head way on her Flower Window and I do believe that nine out of ten of her flowers are ground.   I'm thinking that of she wraps and tacks them things will be more sturdy when she begins cutting and grinding her background pieces.

Myrt continued working on her outhouse window and has filled in the hole where the birdhouse goes with, of all things, a birdhouse!  She's working on the background scenery now and that means flowers,  Lots of tiny, little flowers!  But after those are cut it will be smooth sailing for Myrt since the rest of the pieces will be a nice, easy to manage size..

Rowena paused working  on her Baseball Window so we could make an adjustment or two on the design.  We've slimmed down the bat so that it more resembles a baseball bat rather than a softball bat.   And while this was going on Rowena cut out and began grinding this new Bee  Lawn Ornament.

Susan brought in  a window to be repaired and got the glass all set up for it.  Since it will have to be ordered she's started not one but two Sunflower Lawn Ornaments.  She's ready to start grinding the first of these and will most likely put one together when she returns.

And there you have it, everything that happened in our classes last week that we could print in a family oriented Blog.  ;-)

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Real Results

Back in the middle of  February we had a weekend workshop that four sisters attended.  Everything went well and one of those sisters, Judy, left with not only this window in tow but a lot of tools, glass, and accessories to make some stained glass at home.

The window is certainly gorgeous but people will always say , "She had a teacher there every step of the way."  Which, while true, means little as you are about to see.  What can a student who attends one of our Weekend Workshops hope to accomplish on their own?  How about this for starters.

Judy has been working on this incredibly detailed Pelican Window all on her own after taking only one 2 day class with us.  Her work on this project even has me speechless because this project is not a beginner window in any way, shape, or form.  I'd love to take the credit for this but Judy deserves it all.  This is a labor of love and Judy's talent runs deep.  I'm thrilled to say that she made her first window with us and I can't wait to see this when it's completed.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Johnny Angel

I always hate to see people waste glass and sadly they often waste it for all the wrong reasons.  Too many times I see patterns traced out as far apart as possible and when I tell people to position them closer they tell me that they can't possibly cut it out that way  As long as you allow yourself a straight cut between each piece it won't matter how close they are.  Look at the positioning in the picture on the left.  If something breaks  a second sheet of glass will be needed to re-cut even just one broken piece.  Now look at the picture on the right.  We can easily fit 8 more of the same pieces on the leftover glass.  "Wait," you say.  "I can't cut that out, I'm not as good as you!"  Then read on.

The left picture below shows how most people (98% of our students) would start cutting these pieces.  They'd start by separating the four pieces by cutting two straight lines through the center of the glass.  "I can cut a straight line," I hear people say.  Well, my positioning on the right cuts with all straight lines and it saves you 2/3rds of the glass to use for something else.  And as an added bonus, your first important cut on an inside curve (the point to point cut) is already made for you!  

Just remember to allow for a straight cut and you can position your pieces much closer and save yourself some money at the same time.  The positioning on the left used $7.00 of glass for four pieces.  The positioning on the right only used $2.33 worth of glass.  That's a savings of $4.65 for every four pieces of glass in this project. Tell me that doesn't add up to a good tip of the week!  Just remember to think ahead.  Try to put straight cuts on the edge of the glass when possible, also.

So then, what have we to look at this week?  Well, Gale completed her heron window which  she finished off by learning how to add brass channel and then some hooks.  After a quick bath she colored it and came back two days later to pick it up.  Now let me explain--  I had a gut feeling when I set the window aside in a cardboard sleeve that we'd forget about it when Gale left for the night, and I was correct.  Anymore they go straight to the car!   At any rate, it looks great and was truly a perfect first project because the cuts ranged from complex to easy and she got to slowly work her way into the hard cuts after gaining confidence on the easier cuts.  It's hard to fault this window.

Susan has completed her Abstract Rectangles panel which I like to call her Poly-Chromatic Non-configurative Askew-esque Parallelograms Window.  All I can say is that Susan's avant-garde went full tilt with this one.  It's actually very nice and the workmanship is spot on.  I know it took a lot for her not to tidy things up on this project.


Betty has another single sunflower knocked out and it looks every bit as good as her first one.   The only difference between the two is her background glass.

Carol finished another Bee Lawn Ornament and she put this together 100 percent on her own.  That's some excellent works she's doing!  It's been staked and is ready to decorate a lawn.  Carol wants to know if we can come up with another 3D design.

Terry completed  her V for Vendetta Window and is ready to begin something a bit more challenging as you are about to see.


So then, this pattern is Terry's  latest Window.  I know it's not the easiest thing to see since its been drawn in pencil so I'll tell you that it's a nice Egret Window with a lot of leaves and some water.  Terry is changing it up as she moves along so I can't wait to see what this looks like when she comes back in.

Ann worked on the remainder of the flowers for her large Flower Window and they're all cut now.  In fact, she's even moved on to grinding each of them.  She's making incredible headway on this window and I think she likes the bigger pieces of glass that she's dealing with.


Jeanne resumed work on her Winnie the Pooh Window and has even  cut out a few extra leaves that she plans to scatter throughout the tree to fill it out more.  With just the background (the sky) left to cut, Jeanne has shown us just how far along she's come since she first started classes with us.  She'll be grinding this before you know it.


Becky B came in and set herself right to work.  First she traced out her pattern, then she cut the paper pattern out before moving on to the actual glass cutting.  With the flower portion of her Bird Of Paradise Window cut, she's making good time on this project.

Linda F modified a pattern to make this stunning single square Sunflower design.  Although Betty finished hers first it was Linda F who came up with the actual design.  And all that Linda needs to do now is just wash and color her window (which she plans to do at home).


Betty cut out the background glass to her Stylized Fleur De Lis Window and even got three sides of her border cut.  The top section will be assembled when the sides are attached because the curved corner pieces need to fit exactly or the flow of the curve will be distracting and become a (negative) focal point.  We want the FDL to be what catches the viewers eye so we're going to stack the deck in our favor and cut the  top curve when everything else is tacked together to ensure a perfect fit.

I'm learning that Sue is a grinding demon!  When I saw what she accomplished during class I was more than a little  blown away by how perfectly she has everything fitting together.  She's taken this home to tack together and when she returns she can either work on her background pieces or start on the mirror image  that forms the other side of this feather inspired window.

Becky S  got all of the background that she had cut and ground wrapped and  then moved on to filling in the few pieces of her panda.  With the face fitting together perfectly she got the deep curves cut into the final background piece  and then moved on to tracing out two other patterns that she'll be making next.  When Becky returns she'll be adding the final borders to her Bamboo and Panda Window.

Janet  wrapped all of the pieces for her Melon Window and then tacked them together.  Handling it this was ensures that the pieces that she's already cut and ground won't be shifting around on her as she's grinding her background pieces, which are the only pieces left to go in this window.  I love the way this is fitting together.

Jeannette finished  the grinding and the wrapping of her Crab and then traced it onto a piece of clear waterglass that she's using for the background glass.  She got it all cut out save for 3 pieces that she couldn't fit due to the grain of the glass.  This window will most certainly be gaining a border next week.

Gale started a Louisiana Styled FDL window and has most of the hard part (the trim) cut out already.   She dropped in the other day and picked up some background glass so I guess it's safe to say that she's got her Fleur De Lis portion all cut out.  Gale is doing incredible work considering she's our newest student!


Shelley continued work on her ocean floor scene complete with treasure chest and mermaid.  She's got  most of this completed so I suspect it will be time  for a border when she comes back in for her next class.

Brenda is just about finished with the last of her Transom window sections.  This one just needs some solder and it will be complete.

And Myrt  resumed working on her Outhouse window.  The outhouse itself is all tacked together and it even has a birdhouse along with a nice moon in the door now.  Myrt's attention to detail is worth singing about.  Sha La, La La.  Sha La, La La!

Mary Grace's Double Sunflower is all soldered up and just waiting to get washed and colored.  Again, I like how the double border looks on this window.  It's almost as if she made a border for each sunflower.


Carol came in with the majority of her latest window all cut and ground.  She wasn't sure  if she should cut out the background pieces from her pattern  or if she should cut the background from one octagonal piece of glass that she would trace her finished pieces on to.  In the end we decided to not use her pattern pieces because she's using a rainlike glass for her background and cutting from one piece will allow the grain of the glass to match perfectly all throughout.

And then there's Martha who began working on her circular Magnolia Window.  It's the first round window that Martha has made and although it's different from a square window it really isn't *that* different--as she will see soon enough.   Once you've done one stained glass window you've sorta done them all.

And that brings us up to date.  We've been having a lot of posts lately and it's going to be good to take a break from sitting in front of the computer and typing all night!