Monday, May 25, 2015


With this post we are officially caught up and on time once again.  However, there's no tip this week because I lost my list of tip ideas and am currently in the process of reassemble (reinventing?) them.  Expect something next week because although I have an idea I just don't have the time to make the illustrations for it this week.

So Carol's Kaleidoscope Window is completed and as I expected, it all lines up perfectly.  The trick to making this window work is to maintain straight lines throughout their joints and to follow the curves in the pattern perfectly.  If you're off on one side the effect of a mirrored image is destroyed, simple as that.   Carol has this window made perfectly and does it ever look great with light behind it.

Sue's first Featherized Window is also complete and doesn't it light up wonderfully?  This is a perfect example of how matching textures can add so much to a design.  Sue did a great job on this and will finish up the second of the pair when she comes back in.  I love this and Sue should be proud of it.


Jeannette's Mickey Mouse is finished and as I expected it looks fantastic.  Like I always say, cartoon figures work out very well in glass.  I love the way Mickey looks as though he's walking out of the frame since is foremost foot is stepping out of the border.

Brenda completed her stylized Cross Window in record time.  She opted to go with just two colors (and a clear background glass)  but was unsure of how it would look since she'd only ever seen it done with three or more colors in the past.  As you can see, it looks wonderful.  I hope this helps Brenda understand that changing up a pattern's color scheme isn't worth fretting over. 

Betty made her first Bumble Bee Lawn Ornament and had no problem understanding how the pieces are tacked together to give the bee it's curve.  Janet also made her first Bee as did Jane!  Yes, we had three Bees this week but I'm only posting one picture since they all looked fairy similar.  I think everyone enjoyed making these and I really hope that Janet did because she has a second one ready to be assembled next week.

Becky B  got all of the pieces foiled for the round section of her Bird Of Paradise window and then decided to make a few design changes to fill out the petals on the top flower.  Once everything was squared away and looked the way she liked she re-foiled her altered pieces and then tacked the circle section together.  That means that she's ready for her corner sections.

And Bonnie finished all of the cutting on her Elsa Window.  She's foiling this at home so she can begin soldering when she comes back in.  It looks like this princess is just about ready to  
♪ ♫ Let It Go! ♫ ♪

Ann has begun grinding and wrapping the bottom right corner of her window and has that section ready for solder.  Next week she'll resume another corner and keep doing so until this is all wrapped and ready for its border.

Charlie came in and worked out a pattern for some of the the inserts that he's making as his first project.  The design is simple enough but the corner clusters will stop it from being too easy.  Charlie will need to take his time shaping these small curves so they're all symmetrical and I have no doubt that he'll easily handle that.

Carol also worked on a hand mirror and now that the actual mirror has be cut and foiled she'll finish this one (and possibly a second one) when she comes back in.  You can even see that we didn't forget to trace out the mirror onto a piece of felt so it will be the perfect size to protect the mirror's back when it's finished.

Brenda  has started another of these Red and Black Fleur De Lis' at home and she's already soldering it.  Brenda is officially our Fleur De Lis Queen and I don't know what she'll do when she finds out that we're banning Fleur De Lis' in the very near future.  ;-)  Maybe she can turn her efforts over to Tiger Eyes...

Becky S has all of her flowers, stems and leaves ground and mostly wrapped.  She's taken the whole thing home with her to resume foiling there and when she comes in (after her vacation) she hopes to have this all tacked so she can cut her background without using any pattern pieces.  I'm so jealous that she's on a cruise and I'm not!

Cindy planned on working on her Tri De Lis Window but unfortunately forgot to bring in the glass for her border.  Luckily she did have the glass for her next project (an oval LSU Tiger eye) with her so she began working on that instead .  Again I was amazed at how much she accomplished in a single class because its already been cut and ground.

And Susan's  Shrimp De Lis Lawn Ornament is officially ground and ready for its foil.  I guess I'd best move on to drawing up her next pair of lawn ornaments (which will be bunnies!)


Jeanne's newest window is a Beveled  Fleur De Lis which she's finished cutting all the glass for (unless she decides to add another border).  As it stands it just needs the tiniest bit of grinding and then some foiling.  You've got to love working with bevels.  The add so much and really help pick up the pace.

Terry has made some amazing progress on her Iris Window.  All of the leaves and the background cut, ground and tacked as well as both the double borders! Yep, she's already begun soldering it.  It's amazing how fast Terry moves on her projects.

Martha got the round  border for her Magnolia Window cut and ground into place and then she resumed work on her Cardinal Window.   She had a white border cut and ground but when she started to wrap the pieces and saw them resting in place she decided that it sort of made the window look, well, blah.  So she put the white border off to the side and cut out an Orange/Yellow border that matches the flower centers and brightens it all up.  I think it's a BIG improvement and I know that Martha is happy with it now.

Gale, like Martha,  changed her mind about one of  the colors that she'd cut for a border so the first thing she did was pick out a new color and re-cut.  One she replaced the army green with a light blue she was back on schedule.  Before she left she had her window ready for soldering.  And if you ask me that's a nice relaxing way to spend a class evening.

Myrt resumed work on her smaller than normal but bigger than small (Shall we call it 'medium sized'?) Stylized Fleur De Lis window.  She not only has her double border cut and attached but her channel as well  With the front side soldered she'll resume soldering the back when she comes back in.  She plans om finishing it so she can take it home, pack it, and ship it out in the mail sometime next week-- And I have no doubt that will happen.

Shelley made excellent use of her time and got her the entire front side of her Flower and Bird Window soldered.  I was even able to pry her away from it so I could put a brass channel around it for her.  I have no doubt that she'll finish this in her next class and then be ready to start her next project.

This week we saw Linda L begin to solder her Wild Things Window in a very official manor.  She's done tacking this window and has moved on to the official soldering process.  With everything in place and the zinc channel attached this Wild Woman is hoping that she'll soon be ready to knock back another drink and party down!

And in the end we take a look at Sue's second Featherized Window which is actually a mirror image of the first one you saw way up there in the start of this post.  All it needs are a few minor touch ups and then a bath.  Look to see it completed when we come back.


And there you have it.  Everything that happened last week in our fun but busy classes.  I can't wait to see what our next set of classes brings us.


Friday, May 22, 2015

A Red Snapper!

What's with all of the different fluxes out there?  Well, I've just about tried then all and I've formed an opinion that I'm going to share here with you.  I base my preference on my years of experience and the fact that when students use flux other than what we sell they ultimately have a bad soldering experience.  I believe the most popular fluxes out there are Blu Glass Flux and Classic 100 Gel Flux which are not easy to work with.  Hobby Lobby carries these so the fact that they're readily availability is what I largely believe is what's made them so popular.   I prefer to use Glastar Glasflux.  The difference between Glastar and the other fluxes are astounding when forming a smooth and even solder line.  When I'm repairing something was was soldered poorly I'll use the Classic 100 Gelflux ONLY so that my lines will match the other lead lines and not 'outshine' the work on the rest of the repair.  Consistency is what we're striving for and in the 35 years I've been doing stained glass I've found no flux that comes close to Glastar Glasflux.  If you're one of my students I not only recommend but insist that you use this brand.  (And no, I'm not getting a kickback for that!)

Onto our students now.  Janet's Melon Window is officially completed and, like on her Peaches Window, the wire work that forms the spirals adds so much to the finished design.  Don't get me wrong though-- her work on everything from her glass cutting to her soldering is far above average. Yet she's strives to be better with each passing week.  And she puts up with me which is REALLY saying something!

Terry finished her Geometric Window which is another pattern that she came up with on her own.  She started with the bevel cluster in the center and then worked outwards from there. The four square 2x2 bevels in the corners helped Terry change this from a circular window into a square one.

And we're pleased to announce a new student this week.  His name is Charlie and his butterfly says it all.  I was most impressed with his ability to cut nice smooth curves without making sudden changes in his cutting angle.  That's the tricky part to cutting which most students seem to have the most trouble with early on.  Charlie will be working on a few windows to fill in the opening for a piece of furniture that is being made as you read this.


Carol's Kaleidoscopic Window is an exercise in precision cutting.  All of her glass is cut and ground and this window is just about ready for some solder.  I think everything lines up beautifully  and when this is hanging I think that Carol will surely agree.

Brenda's Stylized Cross is two classes into being made and it's already taken shape.  Once the background and the corners are ground and tacked into place Brenda will cut a border and be ready for solder.  This is another project that Brenda seems to be flying through.

I was amazed when I saw how far along Cindy got with her window by the time class ended this week.  She got her all of her background pieces cut and ground and her oval border is cut and ready to be ground.  Cindy isn't sure what she'll be doing with her final border but I'm leaning towards a mixture of purple and green.  We're going to throw this into Photoshop and see what it looks like with various color combinations before we actually cut glass.  It's the safest way to handle this situation.

With only background glass left to go I'd say that Becky S has this well under control.  Her subtle green shading of the leaves stands out perfectly against the bright yellow Irises.  It's no wonder this is such a popular pattern-- there are so many ways to go with it!  Next up Becky will start wrapping these pieces and tacking it together before she cuts into her background glass.

Janet also managed to work on two Lawn Ornament Bees (which are stacked on top of each other in the picture).  The bodies are all ground and that just leaves the wings which will surely take less than 5 minutes to do all eight of them.  Then she only needs to cut 4 eyes and she'll be set to bend those bodies and wings!

Susan's working on a Lawn Ornament of her own and it's one we haven't seen in a while-- The Shrimp De Lis.  She's got this all cut out and will begin grinding it when she returns.  I must say that it looks like it's fitting together nicely before she's even started her grinding.


Jeanne's newest project is another Fleur de Lis Beveled Window.  She started by making a border out of pencil bevels.  The inside glass will be cut to fit inside her border.  Beveled borders HAVE to be done this way because bevels only come in certain sizes.  You can't just cut out a square or rectangle and make bevels fit around it.  It's a limitation but it's easy to work around if you know about it from the start.

Terry's newest window is an Iris (again of her own design) and she's used a piece of purple glass that is absolutely beautiful.  The only problem with the glass is that there was far more white in it than purple.  Because of this most people have looked at it and then put it right back in the rack.  But Terry had a unique way of looking at it and decided that even though it contained far more white than purple, she could use it to make something spectacular  And look at what she's done.  By carefully positioning each of her pieces Terry's transformed what most people thought was a piece of glass that would never be used into a stunning work of art.

Shelley's Bird and Flower window is ready for its border.  She had a small break in her background but we just added a fourth leaf to the flower and used the glass that the leaf displaced to fill in the small missing section of the background.  Rather than re-cutting a large background piece with glass she didn't have she was able to fix the problem by adding a small scrap of green glass.  Perfect.


Sue's Featherized Windows are really close to completion now.  Everything has been attached, including the brass channel which means that Sue has begun soldering one of these already.  With a good portion of the front side completed I'll bet that we see one of these windows finished in our next update.   I liked the fact that Sue was willing to change the border layout. It takes nerve to change things up at this stage in the game but if you aren't happy with it on the table you certainly won't be happy with it when it's in your window.

Ann had all of her flowers cut ground, wrapped and tacked together.  We took the time to cut out a piece of poster board to the size of her back ground and then laid her completed pieces on top of the poster board and traced around everything with a pencil..  This gave us pattern pieces that EXACTLY match the flowers and stems that Ann had completed.  She cut up the paper pattern that you see in the picture below, traced them onto glass and then cut them out.

And here's Ann's window after she cut out her background glass.  It isn't even ground yet but you can barely tell since everything fits together so nicely.  And that's the payoff to taking the time to redraw her background glass pattern pieces.


Martha's got two projects going on at the same time.  Her Magnolia Window is almost all wrapped now and once that part is done she'll be able to cut her border.  And her Cardinal window has it's bevels tacked together and is now waiting for it's five background pieces to be cut.  I guess you can say that Martha is burning the candle at both ends!

Gale's back and her Soldier Tribute Window is ready for borders.  She got it all tacked together in class and decided to finish this off with not one, but two borders.  She's picked a thin inner border of army green and will finish it off with a wider border of brown.  She's taken the rest of the green pieces home with her to wrap so I'm sure she'll be soldering this when she comes back in.

Myrt took a quick break from her Outhouse Window and came in with the center of a Stylized Fleur De Lis all cut out.  She wants to make it smaller than the pattern but she wants to also add another border to it as well.  And, as you'll see, that isn't a problem at all.  She tacked her FDL, she added the background glass, and then she cut a thin inner border.  Next week she'll add the last border and then start soldering. 

Check it out!  Linda L's Wild Things Window is all cut out and her final border is ready to be skimmed, wrapped and tacked.  All of her hard work has paid off because, as you can see, it looks great already.  And it hasn't even been soldered yet!

Jane's begun working on this large oval window of Roses and they're going to be a colorful assortment.  She has the flowers cut out already but I wasn't quick enough with my camera to get a picture of the glass laid out on the pattern.  So I guess you'll just have to live with looking at the pattern itself.

Ok, so this brings us pretty much up to date.  We'll have another timely post on Monday or Tuesday and we'll finally be back on schedule here. See you then!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Back Up, Back Up, Back Up!

Well, we're late again, but I can explain- really.  This post is a week behind due to a hard drive melt down on my computer  I lost about a months worth of posts including the pictures that you'll be looking at in this post.  Luckily I was able to recover them by running an un-delete program on the camera's memory card a few days after I got my computer up and running again.  So, without any further ado, here's what happened in the shop two weeks ago (not last week).

This is Betty's completed Geometric Window.  She loved the flowing design when she first saw the pattern but wasn't really thrilled while making it only because it turned out to be a bit harder than she'd thought it would be.  On a flower window it doesn't matter if a line moves up or down an eighth of an inch but in a window that's based on symmetry along 2 axes (yes that's the correct spelling-- I looked it up), well that's a whole other ball of wax.  Precision is the word when making a window like this and as you can see Betty did wonderfully!

Carol's Saint's Fleur De Lis Window may only symmetrical on one axis but it's perfect no matter how many different ways you look at it.  Lettering can be another problem to work out in glass because you certainly don't want sloppy hand writing in a window.  The Saints letters look great and Carol has walked out the door with yet another masterpiece.

Terry's Opposing Forces Window is finished and you're getting a look at it only because her daughter Rhonda happened to snap a picture of it and sent it to me so I could include it in this post.  Un-delete programs are apparently not perfect if you've taken other pictures on top of the old ones.  Terry did another great job with this window and we've come to expect nothing less from her.

Jeanne completed her Winnie The Pooh Window and it's certainly going to bring smiles to peoples faces when they see it.  Her extra leaves fit in seamlessly and Jeanne managed to made a perfect window even though she battled a bum knee throughout this projects entire creation. And the grain in her sky lines up perfectly all the way across.

Linda F's Celtic Knot Logo is even more impressive when you see it in person and realize that it's only 9 inches in diameter.  Small pieces are never fun but small symmetrical pieces are even worse.  But, like Betty, Linda managed to work through it and make it look easy.  She claims it's not very round, I say she's crazy.  :-)

Susan's American Flag Ornament is finished and ready to be staked in her garden.  Most people assume that a flag is easy to do in glass because you can make one with nothing but straight cuts.  But that would be a rookie mistake because straight cuts bend easily and fall apart quickly.  Susan avoiding that problem by making her stripes with curves so the entire flag is sturdy and ready for any punishment that mother nature dishes out on it while it's in the weather.

So next up we're going to take a look at Carol's next project.  We like to call this the Kaleidoscope Window (for obvious reasons).  Again, precision cutting will be extremely important to maintain  the mirrored view so it doesn't become twisted and distorted.  Carol has most of this cut and ground and will be wrapping and tacking her inside pieces before she resumes cutting the final background pieces and the borders.

Becky S's Irises and Dragonfly are really taking shape now.  The flowers are ground as well as the dragonfly so Becky has moved along onto cutting the green glass.  With her stems cut and ground she'll move over to the leaves next.  Becky will be doing something a little differently from the other windows we've seen made from this pattern but I won't tell you what it is until she begins cutting the glass for the newly changed section.  Are you curious?  Then make sure you come back to see what Becky has planned.

Cindy has three of her Fluer De Lis' cut, ground, and almost wrapped in her Tri De Lis Window.  She'll be working on cutting out her background next and then this window will fly!  I feel the need to state for the record that Cindy's cutting and grinding has hit a new plateau.  These are perfect.

And Becky has the center circular portion of her Bird Of Paradise Window all ground and ready to be wrapped and tacked.  Tacking the center circle section will prevent anything from shifting as she cuts and grinds the background pieces that will turn it from a circular window to a square window.  She's decided to take my advise and add a double border to make it look more complete and less empty around the edges.


With only five pieces left to go (and then the borders), Myrt's Outhouse is looking better than ever.  I know you can't see the detail of the wheelbarrow's wheel in the picture below but it worked out perfectly.  Oh, and the bottom strip of green is just a piece of glass that we're using as a straight edge to ensure that the border will line up nicely.  Just wait until the sky has been added to this.  It's really going to come alive.

Mickey Mouse is all tacked together and his front side is mostly soldered at this point in time.  And the best thing is that his lead tail turned out perfectly!  There's glass under that tail but it has been completely foiled over so we could solder over it without breaking that tiny, thin, long piece that would surely break if it were made the normal way.   Just wait until you see this completed and hanging up. 

With her borders attached Mary Grace is ready to solder her Fruit Basket that she's been threatening (and fearing) to make for the past few months.  We held it up and the color of the basket is much lighter than you'd expect when you see this sitting on the table (as Mary Grace already knew).  The inner, thin border is cut from red water glass and when this has light behind it, well, look out!

Now that's a lot of flowers!  Ann's Flower Bouquet Window is tacked and ready for its background.  This is a large window measuring almost three feet across but the background will cut fairly quickly since we've remade pattern pieces for them by retracing all the flowers onto some poster board.  And Ann will be cutting these pieces when she return to class.


Subtlety.  That's what Bonnie's Elsa Window embraces with it's two tones of blue which are VERY similar.  The lighter blue helps give the illusion that the 'cloth' is more sheer than the dress and that's exactly the look that Elsa needs.  When this is lit up the effect will be readily apparent.


Terry only needs to add some brass channel to the edges of her Geometric Window and then solder the backside before she can call this completed.  It's nearly out the door already and I know that it will be completed in our next update because I already have a picture of it on the camera!

Sue has both of her windows almost completely bordered now and will double check the measurements before we tack the side borders into place.   The most perfectly created window will easily be ruined if it's made to the wrong size.  But that won't be the case with Sue's pair of Feathered Windows. 

Linda L's Wild Things Window is almost finished as well.  She'll be working on the remaining background pieces that surround the green letters while she's at home and then she'll be ready for borders.  Pay attention to the dotted 'i' in the word 'Things' and note how there's no lead line running from it.  I'll point it out again when this is finished and explain how it was done as well.

Janet's got her Melon Window completely under control as the front side is all soldered.  And the good news is that the back side has not only been started--it's a good 90% of the way finished!  Janet worries about her soldering but I think she understands that slow and steady always wins the smooth soldering award because 99% of her soldering requires no touch ups at all.  Look to see this as a completed window in our next update.


Linda F has begin working on a vibrant Multi-Colored Pinwheel Design and is ready to begin grinding it.  We used Photoshop to see how to align the colors and this was by far the best variation of the color scheme.  This is going to be nice and bright (eye catching even) when it's finished.

Natalie's Crab Window is tacked and just waiting for a background to be cut.  She's going to add some air bubbles as well but that will happen AFTER the pieces are cut and ground into place.  Handling it one step at a time ensures that everything will line up nicely in the end the same way that Myrt's Wheelbarrow Wheel worked out.

And last but certainly not least we take a look at Brenda's newest creation, a Stylized Cross Window.  She'll be making this as a two color cross and will see when it's finished that there is no 'correct' way to color a window.  Wait until you see this when it comes back into the shop (I've already checked it out).  It's spectacular!

And that's that.  With classes starting again the day after tomorrow I'll need to shift into high gear to get this blog back up to date.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks