Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wrapping It All Up

Our students never seem to know when it's safe to solder to the edge of their project and when it's not.  Yes the rules change but they are always consistent.  If you need to add any more glass or a channel to your project you should NOT solder to the edge of your window.  If everything is attached then feel free to solder to the edge.  The only time we don't solder to the edge is when something else needs to be added to the project.

So Brenda completed her Bordered Rose Window this week and all I can say is that it's a good thing that a picture is worth a thousand words because all I can come up with is the word, WOW!   I think this window very much speaks for itself.

Becky S  has completed her Octagon Iris Window and the double border (as always) really makes it special.  It's a great design and I like how she made both small and large changes throughout to make it  a different variation rather than a copy of a previously made window.  I like when someone takes a pattern that's already been done and makes it their own.

Betty finished two more Sunflower Windows this week.  She says that they make wonderful gifts but I think she gives gifts that are far more elaborate than they need to be.  She needs to learn the joys of gifting with suncatchers or nightlights!

Cindy has wrapped all up the work on her  Circular Fleur De Lis.  I'm surprised no one has made this FDL in a larger version because all of those cuts allow for some nice color possibilities. (As evident in the picture below.)

Cindy also has her Kaleidoscope Suncatcher  all cut out  and is currently wrapping it.  She's made a few tweaks to it from the original design which I think make it better and even more stable.  I like her use of glass globs which add some added depth to the window.

Becky B has all of her glass cut and is currently wrapping the last (thicker) border on her Bird of Paradise Window.  Soldering is just one class away on this project.

Charlie  now has two down and only one left to go with his Hall Tree Inserts.  These two will be colored next week and I'm fairly sure his last one will be all cut out by then.

Ann's Flower Bouquet is completely cut ground, wrapped and tacked together.  She got her border attached and the zinc channel is in place which means that it's a nice relaxing soldering job from here on out.

Myrt is officially ready for solder on her  Outhouse Window.  She's done a few other projects in between while she was making this but with the majority of the heavy work done on this window I'm sure we'll see a new project on Myrt's spot on the work table soon.  And be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a completed picture of this window shortly.

Jeannette is officially ready for the border on her Pelican Window.  There was a slight issue with a crooked line that we easily fixed by adjusting the other pieces around it.  The difference no longer shows and the only reason anyone knows about the change is because I decided to talk about it.   It's all a balancing act in stained glass.  You just need to decide what the most important aspects of your window are and then focus on those areas are first.

Gale has a lot of the clear round back ground glass cut and ground for her Humming Bird Window.  Once the flowers are cut and fitted into place Gale will add corner pieces to make it a rectangle and them start adding all of the fancy borders that really makes this window shine.  And she'll do that one section at a time.

Linda F is ready for a border on her Horizontal Sunflowers Window.  She  wasn't sure what came first, the border or the tacking, but she  knows now.  The only way to ensure a good fit with a border is to solidify the inside of the window first and add the border on afterwards.

Brenda, with great trepidation, has begun work on a Tiger De Lis Panel. All I can say is that this will be easy compared to the other windows that she's made in the past (especially her Rose Window which we looked at in the beginning of this update.)

Terry has all of her Tiger/Cross Window all cut and ready for wrapping.  Now that it's together you can see exactly what the effect is that she was going for.  It all fits perfectly and Terry now has another skill under her belt-- pattern merging!

Rowena is working on a window with six panes featuring flowing leaves.  The panes will all be separate but connect visually by the leaves that flow between and throughout them.  Rowena learned how to use the pistol grip to get her lines all straight and will fit the leaves into each pane AFTER each panel is ground without the leaf.  We'll explain how and why in the weeks to come.

Linda L has all of her bevels wrapped for her pair of Transom Windows. The center piece is doubled up (one bevel cluster atop the other) and resting on a piece of bright white paper which is giving it a slightly blue tint in the picture when compared to the other outer bevels. Sadly, we don't think her background glass will be here in time for her next class so Linda may be starting a lawn ornament when she comes back in.

Natalie got all of her background cut out and ground and even added some bubbles for good measure.  That's when she ran into a slight problem with the border.  Sometimes you just can't find the right color and that's what happened here. We tried a lot of glass and even though the red looked good everyone agreed that it was a little too overpowering.  In the end Natalie did the safest thing and made a thin border out of the red which will be followed by a wider clear waterglass border.  It's a great trick to remember if you can't decide on a border color.

Shelley's  Underwater Scene is looking fabulous!  With her background cut it looks like she's almost ready to grind this project but there's still a lot to be done before that happens.  Although the fish and the leaves look complete they haven't been cut yet-- what you're seeing is the colored pattern through the openings in her background.  But Shelley is moving along at a great pace here and her cutting is getting better and better with each project she tackles.

Which brings us to our two Susan's who are both working on Lawn Ornaments.   Susan D has her  pumpkin almost ready to solder.  It's tacked together but I believe she said that she needed to cut out a second leaf for it.  No matter-- that will take just a few minutes and then this Pumpkin will be ready to be staked in her yard!

And Sue's Bee Lawn ornament just needs a little more soldering done before it's a completed project.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say that nothing will prevent this from BEEing completed next week.

And that's all the news that's fit to print.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Knowing the Score

Ok, let's talk about cutting and pattern placement.  Cutting glass is always dicey but there are things you can do to make the odds be ever in your favor.  A straight cut is the easiest cut to make and if you can make a nice even score the odds are instantly stacked in you favor for it to break correctly 99 times out of 100.  On the other hand, a deep curve that cuts into the piece you are trying to save is the hardest kind of cut you can make.  So what can we do to make things easier for ourselves?  The answer is easy; leave yourself some extra glass behind your deep cuts to give the piece strength and support.  Take a look at the pattern piece below and note that there are two areas where the curves come dangerously close to the edge. 

Placing the pattern on your glass as shown in the picture below gives you a nice straight line for the bottom but unless you're a glass professional you'll most likely break your piece when you try to scoop out those deep curves.  See the (small) green lines at the bottom of the two curves?  If we had some more glass behind them the glass would be much sturdier and less likely to break.  So the question becomes, what can we do to give our piece some added strength?

The answer is actually very simple.  Just position the pattern on the glass as you see below.  Notice how long the green lines are under the curves now.  I'm not saying that you won't ever break this piece while cutting it this way, but the odds are more with you now than against you.  But remember that you should NOT cut the straight line first! If you do you are back in the same position you were in when we showed you the second picture.  Always handle all of your tough curves before you make your simple cuts and you'll save a lot of time and a lot of glass.

So, Rowena is back and as you can see she wasn't just sitting home doing nothing while she was away-- she was busy completing this Baseball Window for Kyle.  As I was checking it over Rowena kept apologizing for her bad soldering which I didn't see at all.  So when I went to flip it over I got worried for a second until I saw how wonderful the second side looked as well.  All I did was tack on the Zinc Channel, drill some holes for hooks, and this was perfect!  If everyone soldered nearly as well as Rowena I wouldn't have a job anymore!

Carol's Teddy Bear Window has a very similar story.  We have a few students out there that think they don't know how to solder when they actually solder beautifully.  There's nothing out of place with any of the lead lines on this window.  Carol did another great job from the cutting to the soldering.

I find it interesting that the three students that worry most about their soldering popped up first in this post.  Janet is another student who worries far too much about her abilities.  But that's a good thing because it means that she isn't putting 'it' on cruise control while she's working.  And these two Transom Windows, which she began just last week, are perfect.  Again, I wish everyone could solder as 'badly' as Janet thinks that she does!

Linda L completed her rendition of the Wild Things Window and it worked out beautifully.  She wanted to add the name and I think it fits perfectly where we 'hung' it.  We tried 'Wild' at the top and 'Things' on the bottom but it was just too broken up.  Fitting it all on one line made the text too small but where it rests now is just perfect.  And pay attention to the dotted 'i' in the word 'Things'.  There are no lead lines coming off of it because Linda literally drilled a hole into the glass and then inserted the green dot into it.  She used the 1/4 inch grinding wheel for that and then learned about the fun of foiling a piece of glass that is technically inside out.  But the end result was well worth it since it stopped her from running another lead line between 'Wild' and 'Things'. Another job well done.

Jeanne's knocked out yet another Beveled Fleur De Lis Window.  She wasn't entirely sure if she wanted to use a double border or not but it really makes a huge difference at little cost (in terms of money AND time).   Jeanne came up with the bevel placement and the positioning of the bevels on her own which is always nice to see.

We has quite a few Bumble Bee Lawn Ornaments made this week.  Gale made 2 of them and this is one of hers.  She made hers using a standard piece of black glass for the eyes.

Mary Grace and Sue also made Bees but they used green glass globs for the eyes.  The rounded quality of the globs gives another nice 3D effect to the overall design.

Bonnie completed her Knotted Cross Sun Catcher and also resumed work on her all clear Beveled Window design.  She's about ready to tack the beveled window but I missed getting a picture of it.

Terry is working on a New Tiger Window design.  The profile of the tiger rests in one of our standard bowed backgrounds that normally displays a cross.  And guess what?  The cross is still there!  This is going to be a very interesting merge of designs.  I can't wait to see it a little further along when we can pick out more of the design after it's been ground.

Susan is working on another Pumpkin Lawn Ornament which she now has all cut and ground.  With not that much left to go I'll wager a bet that this is completed when she returns to class.

Gale has started work on a Humming Bird Window featuring an elaborate border design.  I accidentally omitted a section of the border when I was drawing it up which has thrown things off a bit but we don't use pattern pieces to do the border anyway so it won't matter at all.  Gale will make the circular section, tack it together, and then work out the border details as we add them layer by layer.

Shelley has decided to do this 3 foot tall Seafloor scene complete with Nemo (can you find him?)  She's got some of her bottom sand cut and it's looking great.  I suspect that Shelley will like doing this design as there aren't many small, curvy pieces in it to ruin a glass crafter's day.  

And since we're dealing with aquatic windows, let's take a look at Natalie's Crab Window.  Her background has officially been cut and her bubbles have been ground into place meaning that she'll be wrapping these pieces when she returns. Once that is done she'll be able to tack this together and get her border attached.

Cindy's latest Circle De Lis is ready for it's border, Mr DeMille.  This is just eight thin pieces away from needing a soldering job.  What's next for Cindy?  I have no clue and that's what will make seeing what she comes in the door with so much more exciting.

Jeannette continued working on her Pelican Window and with just a few fill-ins left to go I'd say that she has this completely under control. I don't know why so many people are against this blue/white glass for a sky-- I think it's perfect sky glass and admire Jeannette for using it.  Who knows, perhaps she'll start a trend because this isn't the first time that she's used this for a sky.

Charlie has one of his revised windows all tacked together and has taken it home to solder.  We'll see that completed when we return in time for our next update.  This one in the picture below just needs to be tacked together and then get two small fill-in's cut and fitted. If he solders this in class he may very well have TWO completed inserts next week.  But if he decides to bring it home to solder then he'll get a good start on his third and last larger version of this design.

Becky S went all the way out on a limb and did a double border on her Octagon Iris Window.  Octagon borders aren't nearly as easy as a rectangle or square one, but once you get it down it's not THAT bad to go.  Just make sure you grind as you go and to use a lot of pins.  Becky tried quite a few different colors to use on that final, larger border but in the end everyone agreed that the final border needed to be a textured clear.  And that's exactly what it is.

Brenda's Ornate Rose Window is all tacked and being soldered.  I have no doubt that this will be completed by her next class.  Brenda says she's over it already but all the work involved in making those ornate borders is what really makes this window so wonderful.  And check out the symetry on those borders!  Nice!

Linda L has begun working on a Transom Insert of her own which involves a lot of bevels. Aside from background and borders, there's not much to cut for beveled window designs but they always turn out beautiful  There's an elegance about bevels that you just can't be beat.

Carol has begun making a lamp and she's got it nearly all cut out at this point.  This is a fun lamp to put together but it can get a bit frustrating when it comes time to solder it.  But once you learn how to solder a lamp you can really claim to be a Master of the Solder.  Or in Carol's case, a Soldering Queen.

Ann's Flower Bouquet Window is ready for it's border.  We probably would have had it attached this past week but we were unsure if the finished size we had written down was the size of the window before the channel is added or after. I think it's the overall size but it's best not to take chances.  You might think that the night was somewhat wasted for Ann but she made the best of it and just began soldering the front side of her window.

And Martha's begun working on a large Angel Sun Catcher  which has a bit of an optical illusion about it at this stage of its development.  It actually looks like she's facing towards the right with her head looking down and her hair blowing in front of her!  This 'effect' will go away when the rest of her dress and her sleeve is completed.  This is a beautiful flowing design and it's good to see it being made once again.

We had another Fusing Workshop this weekend and that's why this post is a day late.  It was a long weekend but it was a fun one.  We'll go over what happened in that class very soon.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, June 15, 2015

Different Rules Apply

We're interrupting our regularly scheduled Tip of the Week to bring you a repost on how you should properly lift your windows when they are resting flat on a table.  There are certain do's and don'ts when it comes to handling you windows and this week we're going to go over the basics quickly.  Just remember that the worst thing you can do is place you hands on opposite sides of your window and lift.  This allows your window to bow in the center and very easily break.

This picture shows the two worst ways you can lift a window.  You hands should NEVER be on opposite sides of the window.

You should always grasp your window with both hands on the longest side and then lift upward leaving the side opposite your hands on the table so the window hinges upward.  The movement is the same as opening a hinged box. Glass is flexible and very easily broken if it bows so we want to support it as much as possible.
Once the window is standing as it would if it were hanging you can then transport the window from the top edge, holding the window vertically (as if it were hanging).  To set the window back onto a table simply reverse the process by placing one of the long sides of the window onto the table and then pivoting in downwards while keeping both hands on the opposite side (as you would close a hinged box).  Whether you pivot it towards you or away from you is your decision.

The most important thing to remember is to keep both of your hands on one side of your window.   Never carry your window as though it were a serving tray-- it should always be transported in its vertical hanging position.  Knowing these simple steps will prevent you from having to make repairs on your finished work.  Trust me!

So with that out of the way we'll start things off by looking at Terry's completed  Daylily Window.  As always, her use of color is stunning.  She liked the oval border from a previous window she'd made and came up with her own flower for the center of it.  Then she pulled out the red used in the flower by using a similar red for the corner pieces that rectangle this out.  Beautiful work.

And this week saw Martha busy with two windows of her own.  Her Magnolia design is perfect in all aspects including the fact that her window is a true circle.  When you decide to make a window in an oval or a circle you MUST stay within the lines of your pattern or the mis-shape of your window will painfully obvious.  Squares and rectangles are difficult to spot discrepancies in but very few people can't tell when something isn't quite round.

And here's Martha's second completed window- her Cardinal.  It's a simple but very nice design complete with an inner beveled border to give it a little something extra.  Matching the final border to the flower centers was pure genius.

Cindy certainly didn't disappoint this week either.  Not one, not two, but THREE completed hand mirrors.  Beautifully executed with colors that contrast in just the right ways.  Amazing!

Sue's first Sunflower Lawn Ornament was a learning experience for her but it was something that she picked up on right away. Once you see one of these put together once it's very easy to do over and over again.  And like anything else,  the more times you do it the more confident you get. But confidence doesn't seem to be a problem for Sue as you can see in her Sunflower.

Linda's put the finishing touches on her second Rainbow Iris.  It's such a simple design but the colors really bring it all together.  I think she's got this design down now!


Here's Betty's first of three Sunflower windows.  Since she's worked on them all at the same time it's all come down to just the soldering now.  I suspect she'll have the other two completed when she comes back in and then we'll see what's next on Betty's list of things to do.

Becky S is doing something a little different with her Octagon Iris Window by making the background two toned.  She has a darker, water section underneath the flowers and above that she'll have clear skies.  Her bottom section is already cut and ground so she'll be moving onto the top half when she returns.

Brenda's Rose and Ribbon Window is being wrapped as I write this.  Brenda has taken this home and very well may have solder on it when she returns to class Tuesday.  This is one of Brenda's show stopping windows because students in other classes are all talking about this one.  Some were even disappointed that they couldn't find it hiding under the table with the other unfinished projects.

Bonnie also has two irons in the fire as she works on two different patterns.  She has the center of her  clear window ready for tacking and her cross is just about ready for solder.  In fact, I'll be honest and say that I've already seen this completed as she brought it by the shop Sunday.  We'll post a picture of it next week.

Myrt has all of the glass cut for her Outhouse Window!  She was going to go with a red final border but in the end it was just too much.  After much consideration she chose green and it's a perfect fit.  Even with two thins borders the double effect makes the window look so much better than a single border would.

So next up we're looking at the back side of Carol's Teddy Bear Window and it's so close to being completed that it almost hurts to say that it isn't.  There's only a little soldering left to go and then she'll add hooks, wash it, and move onto her next project which will be..... (insert drum roll here)............a Magnolia Lamp!  I know Carol can handle it and I can't wait to see her start it.

Linda F began working on this Horizontal Sunflower Window and it's looking great to me.  I like the fact that it's been changed up a bit-- you can only make the same window so many times before you get familiar with them and the challenge is gone.   Sometimes all it takes is a little change to make things become 'fresh' again.

Speaking of changes, Charlie changed all of the yellow accent pieces in his Hall Tree Inserts for amber.  It's a more subtle color and I have to say that when I compare the two colors I think that this is the better choice.  And the really impressive part is the fact that Charlie managed to re-cut and grind all of those pieces in just one class.  Now that's called progress!

Jeannette began working on this Pelican Window and it's moving right along.  She's become a student who grinds as she cuts so this is even further along than you might think because all of the glass you see in the picture has been ground and is already fitting together perfectly.

Cindy's also started another of her circular Fleur De Lis Suncatchers.  She's using some of the same glass she used in her last window and I call that a good use of glass.  Waste not want not!

Becky B is ready for her final border.  She's taken a few of her inner pieces home to wrap but there's no doubt whatsoever that she'll begin soldering this when she comes back in. The double border really completes this window and if you can't tell  now you certainly will when this is completed and I do a side by side comparison.

Gale had taken a Bee Lawn Ornament pattern home with her and when she came into class she had a pair of bees ready to be tacked together.  I showed her how to angle all the pieces on the first one and she assembled the second one on her own as I watched.  And what a great job she did.  There's just a little bit of soldering left to go on this pair of bees which she'll easily accomplish next class.  The picture above the red line is a side view of the bees so you can see just how much the body and wings curve on these. 

Then we have Jane's Flower Bouquet Window which is almost completed.  She would have worked on the center ribbon but forgot the glass for that on her work table at home.  But that didn't slow Jane down at all because she just made sure everything else was ground and then worked on cutting out the border.  This window is much bigger than you might think-- It stands almost 3 foot tall.  Russ is coming up with a way to add a curved channel to the edge of this window and we'll  see what happens with that when Jane returns in two weeks.

Janet took the remaining glass from her Transom Windows and came up with a quick design for the side transoms.  She really wanted to use the exact same glass and with just a tweak of a line here and there we were able to get both panels cut out using almost all of the scrap that Janet had left over from her Fleur De Lis Transoms.   It even looks like an old window!

Next we take a look at the back side of Jeanne's latest Beveled Fleur De Lis Window. She's got the front side completely soldered and looking good which means that with only a few touch ups on the back side left to go, this window will be out of here before you know it.

Here's your next to last look at Betty's final two Single Sunflower Windows.  One of them got cropped out of the picture a bit, but you can still tell what it is.  With the soldering just about completed on the one on the left I'd say that it's a safe bet to say that we'll see this pair hanging up when Betty comes back.

It was a birthday week in the shop and I'd like to thank all of our students who brought in Cakes and Chocolates to help us celebrate.  There were 2 Birthdays on Tuesday night as I turned 45 and someone else turned 76!  (Just remember that you can't believe everything you see and read on the internet!)

Bayou Salé GlassWorks