Tuesday, July 28, 2015

There's No Method, Just Madness

We always seem to have confusion surrounding the terminology of the foil the surrounds the outside pieces of our glass.  When you have a foiled piece on the table in front of you the top edge (or the top perimeter) is the foil on top of the piece.  The side edge is on the narrow 1/8th section of the glass.  The bottom edge is under the piece resting on the table and therefore isn't able to be seen.  The diagram below should make things more clear for you.

Well, Susan's Zen garden is officially complete now that she's attached that astounding tree to it.  It's an incredible effect and Susan did it all on her own.  From start to finish Susan took this project and ran with it needing no help at all from me save for advice here and there. Color me impressed!

Beckie B completed her Bird of Paradise window and what a window it is.  Rumor has it that this will be a gift but I can't imagine who it would be for...

Bonnie's  finished her beveled Fleur De Lis Window and used just the barest hint of color in it.  The inner border has a very light pink champagne tint to  it which adds some color without detracting from the bevels at all.  But then again, a strong dose of color in a thin  inner border really looks great as well.  No matter, this window is perfect.

I don't think anyone in class (here in Louisiana) has ever made a nightlight before.  They were quite popular when I was up in Pennsylvania and now Betty may make them popular again.  Here's a look at one of Betty's twenty-four Angel Nightlights all lit up.  These are perfect gifts.  And note the beautiful twisted wire that forms the halo.

Brenda put the finishing touches on her Tiger De Lis and it's scary.  Scary good, that is!  All of her fears were unfounded because this looks great.  She's eying up a HUGE Fleur De Lis pattern but she also said that she may have to make another one of these Tiger De Lis.  I'll have to show her the easier on with just a single eye in it.  When you just give these things away you have to be practical about the amount of time it takes to make one.

Sue has completed her ladybug  and decided to make the  solder two toned by coloring the solder around  the lady bug  black but leaving the rest silver.  You can even see the effect in the picture of you click on it to make it larger.

Jeannette's Butterfly Lawn Ornament is completed and I think that Jeannette was amazed at how easy it was to finish this.  There's really nothing to these if you just treat each wing as one suncatcher.  Once the two wings are completed it's really a simple process to join them and then add the antennas.

Cindy completed two Fleur De Lis and a flying pig suncatcher while she was in class.  One of the FDL's was nothing but a pattern when she came in so you know Cindy is easily able to fly (like a pig?) through suncatchers at this point in her stained glass career.

Our other Becky(Beckie S) is also working on a Bird of Paradise window which she now has somewhat tacked together.   She'll do the background for this section of her window when she returns and will then start working on the initial side of this window. Once both sides are complete she'll just join them together.

Myrt has made tremendous progress on her 3 butterflies and Tulip window while she was at home.  The red flower will stand out nicely against the yellow butterfly that it's resting beside.   Myrt has really made some serious progress on this window already.


 Carol's latest lamp is certainly another winner.  In fact, we both like this one better than her Magnolia Lamp.  I have to say that I was amazed when she walked in the door with all eight of her panels tacked together ready for solder since she had just begun cutting these out in class just last week.  By the end of this weeks class it was together and just needed a little more soldering to go before it's completed.  The next time you see this it will certainly be lit up..

Gale has only one border to go on her window but before she gets that gets attached she needs to get her four corners together as much as possible.  In this border scheme sizes are dependent on pieces that haven't been attached yet.  And even though two of the borders appear to be the same size, they aren't.  We'll explain that one when we see Gale's final border attached next week.

Here comes another window that I'm going to love.  Jeannette is turning the Minion named Kevin into a piece of stained glass art.  She needs to paint the mouth on but that's easy enough.  Doesn't he look great?  (I've photoshopped a mouth into place so you get the full effect.)

Ann started working on a new Fleur De Lis Window and got all of the central FDL and it's surrounding amber tracing all cut out.  She's begun grinding her pieces and things are already looking great.

Linda F has got hearts on her mind.  With her Flart ready to be foiled she began working on two other hearts  including two hearts within a heart. The straight lines in the multicolored heart mean that we'll need to add some wire bracing around that particular suncatcher because straight lines just love to fold in half in stained glass.  But there are ways to fix that which we'll surely do with this design.

Vickie's Fruit Bowl has completely taken shape with just one week of  cutting.  In fact, most of this is cut already.  She's hasn't cut the grapes and might use glass globs for them to help eliminate some of the more tedious grinding.  There's a border system around this which turns this circle into a rectangle and fills out some of the space to make it more 'standard window' friendly.  Come back and see how Vickie does that in the weeks to come.

 Terry came in with the corners to her horse window attached but she was slightly out of square.  All it took was a simple adjustment and then Terry got her border cut and attached.  She's soldering it now so I believe that we may only see this one final time before she moves on to her next project, a Cross De Lis.

Linda L got the border attached to one of her three transom window inserts.  She's taken it home to solder and will work on the second one when she comes back next week.  These are really going to change the look of her house in a big way.

Susan spent a lot of the day at the grinder and has her two Scarecrows almost ready to be foiled.  As you can see in the picture they have two different bottom 'aprons'-- the one on the left has only three pieces while the one on the right has 14.  That sounds like it would take a lot of extra work to accomplish but as Susan found out it was very easy to do and best yet, she has to only skim the pieces to get get everything to fit perfectly.  If only every step were that easy.

Shelley has all of her Aquatic Window cut out and has begun grinding  it now.  As I've said before, I like this way this looks while it's on the table so I can't help but think that I'll love it when it has some light behind it.

Here's a look at the rest of the completed Angels that Betty accomplished this week.  What you see below are a Choir of Eighteen Heavenly Angels that just need to be attached to their nightlight bases before they can be gifted.  That  means that Betty only has about five or six more to go before she gets to move on to something different.


Mary Grace  got all of her large bee ground and wrapped and could have even gotten it tacked together, but since she wouldn't be able to solder it we decided that it would be best to wait until next week.  If you're dealing with a small project (like this one) it's best not to tack it together unless you can start soldering it.  The longer that flux sits idle on a project, the harder it is to form a bead later on.

And that's about it for this week.  We have a busy two weekends coming up.  Not only do we have our regular 5 sets of classes but this weekend we'll have a Weekend Workshop and on the following weekend we'll have a Fusing Workshop.  All of this means that there will be plenty to read about in the upcoming weeks so be sure to come back.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

It's A Flag, It's A Heart, It's A Flart!

Last week I mentioned that there is a limit to how big you want to enlarge something.  As a general rule you don't want a majority of large pieces in your windows.  Large pieces are fine for background but even then they should be broken up.  There's a point where scaling things up larger makes an awkward looking window.  Just because it looks good as a 16 x 20 panel doesn't mean you can quadruple the size and still have it maintain its charm.  To work around this add a few borders to the panel to help size it out.  And remember that the bigger you make your 'center piece', the more detail you can add to it.  Don't make a simple 13 piece window fill a 3 foot by 3 foot space.  Add to it!

Now just look at this. Carol's first lamp is completed and what a lamp it is. This is the finest soldering job I've ever seen on a student's lamp and this her her first shot at it.  I'd let Carol solder one of my lamps any day.  And don't you love the colors that she picked for her Magnolia Lamp?  This lamp teaches students a lot about how curved projects are made without being completely overwhelming them.  Looking at how this beautiful Magnolia Lamp turned out I'd say that Carol is ready for any lamp she wants to make.

Linda F completed her To The Moon and Back Again and I think he looks great as well.  She was worried about the outside section of the heart around the curve but as you can see there was nothing to worry about because it's perfect.  I've always loved the moon and/or sun windows that students make and this is no exception.

Cindy's Birds in a Row is officially completed this week also.  This is the second time that Cindy has made this and I think that it proves my adage that things will go almost twice as fast the second time you make something.  And I think the workmanship in this one is even better than that of the first one (and I had no problems with the first one.)


And Susan's completed another pumpkin Lawn Ornament.  I'm particularly proud of the fact that she did all of the wirework herself.  She gets a big shout out for that because that makes her the first student to do her own wire working. 


Mary Grace completed her second small 3D Bee and even with a bad arm she did a great job on it.   She'll be moving onto a larger version of this next.

Jeanne completed her quick and dirty Fleur De Lis suncatcher and then forgot to take it home with her.  I guess she was busy thinking about her next project!

Betty is really going to town with her Angel Nightlights because she has 12 of them completed with only(?) 10 left to go.  She had some problems getting the edge soldering just right but after learning that you need a drop of solder each time you touch your iron to the edge she got the hang of it pretty quickly.    In fact, her edges are perfect now.

Linda L has everything but her borders tacked together on her three Transom Inserts.  They already look incredible.  Next week she'll start adding the thin final borders one at a time and then start soldering them.  She's wrapped everything in black back foil so that means that she'll be using black patina on the lead for these and that's a great choice for clear windows.

Bonnie had her Fleur De Lis tacked together when she came in and then decided to add a double border.  A great way to add a little color to a normally clear window is to give it two borders with the inner border having some color.  The outer border should be thicker and match (more or less) the background glass of the window.  Bonnie added just a hint of color which you'll see when she returns to complete this in her next class.

Susan is another student who has the majority of work done on her project.  Her Zen Garden is all put together and soldered leaving only the gnarly tree to add to the upper corner section..  And wait until you see how that's made.


Charlie has begun working on new inserts using a bevel cluster that I haven't seen in a long, long time.  It used to be a favorite of mine but we don't have the bevel yet so Charlie cut out the background glass and wrapped most of the inner bevel border for it. When the bevel comes in he'll cut the background glass to fit it.

Brenda's  Tiger De Lis is officially ground and is now ready to be foiled.  She's had second thoughts about the pieces of glass she's used for the pupil of the eye because the dark section of the glass isn't dark enough to make they eyes stand out, but that won't matter because we'll just dot them when this is  finished. That tongue is perfect though!

Gale came in and immediately got the yellow border attached to her circle and then added corner pieces to turn this circle into a rectangle.  She has a three tiered border coming up next and that's where the real fun will begin.  But the end result will be amazing.


Cindy was also able to work on a flying pig suncatcher this week.  It's already ground and wrapped so all this little piggy needs is a coating of solder and it will be ready to fly out the door.

Linda F's next project is a flag and a heart all in one.  It's a Flart!  It's also her own design so she gets extra props for that (I'll take 'credit' for the name though).  It's shaping  up nicely and will be finished before you know it.

Sue got the Ladybug  she started working on  all cut out and learned the benefits of adding your glass globs at the very end. Sue ground her pieces as if there weren't any black globs involved and then, when everything  fit together, she placed the globs on top of the glass, traced around them and cut and ground her pieces a second time to ensure a perfect fit.

Jeannette came in and quickly cut out and ground  a 3D Butterfly Lawn Ornament.  She's taken it home to wrap and this will be done even sooner than Jeannette may think if she comes in with it wrapped.

Martha's pair of angels are all cut out which means that she's got a date with a grinder next.  I was impressed at how well she did when it came to cutting out all of clear wing pieces.  And remember, what you're looking at are two angels stacked up on top of each other.  There's more here than meets the eye.

Myrt started her Tulip and Butterflies window.  I wasn't sure how three butterflies would look in one window but they've balance out nicely.  I can't wait to see what colors she decides to make them.  The trick will to make sure there's enough contrast between the top butterfly and the flower. 

Terry's got her horse window is all rounded out.  That leaves just three corner pieces and a border left to go before this trots out the door.  She's made this before and again, it's going quickly for Terry.


And Rowena is moving right along with her six window inserts  This week she got two more ready to be foiled and then soldered.  That almost puts her right about at the halfway point of this project.  Before you know it we'll have the completed window in front of us.

Shelley's Aquatic Window looks better and better with each fish she adds.  I have no doubt that out of all the windows she's made with us that THIS becomes the one she likes the most.

Mary Grace decided that larger was the way to go so she started working on the larger 3D Bee Ornament.  It looks like the eye's will need to be cut out of glass for this one since the globs she's been using in the smaller bees are far to small for this pattern.

Vickie got  her butterfly completed this week but I didn't a picture of it!  Perhaps she can bring it back in so  I can share it with you next week.  Until then, take a look at the pattern for the Fruit Bowl Window that she'll be making.  She's got her paper pattern all cut out and all of her colors have been picked which means that next week she'll be cutting glass.

Jeanne has begun work on this  LSU Tiger Window.  She'll make the tiger, tack it together and then add the background to it.  There are a lot of stripes in this tiger and if you look closely you may be able to spot a hidden LSU in it.  If you can't see don't worry-- you will once the glass is cut.


Carol said that making her Magnolia Lamp was a bit daunting so she's going to start working on this panel lamp as her next project so she can 'calm down' a bit.  She did wonderfully so she really has nothing to be concerned about.

Wow, it's been a busy week and our students never seems to rest because there's an awful lot being accomplished.  Just keeping up with the pictures and the Blog is almost a full time job.  Don't forget to check us out again next week!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Pulling A Betty

Something that a lot of students don't tend to notice until they've made a handful of windows is that smaller is never easier when it comes to stained glass.  Our students tend to make their first project and say, "I'm NEVER going to make a big window because this was more work than I ever anticipated."  Then they make a series of small projects with tiny, near impossible to shape pieces.  Remember that the complexity factor of a project is directly related to the size of the pieces making up the window.  In general, bigger is better.  However, there can be a problem with scale when you get to enlarging a window and I'll explain that next week.

So Myrt's Outhouse Window is officially out the door.  The wheel on her Wheelbarrow which is made of nothing but lead lines came out beautifully.  And her OUT-er border couldn't be a more perfect color.  She's done a few other windows while she's been making this so it only appeared to take a while for her to get this finished.  Next up for Myrt is a Flowers and Butterflies window

 Ann's huge Flower Bouquet has also become a completed project.  I'm all for larger pieces but this is one BIG window.  We had trouble getting two people to work on one table while this was on it.  But Ann persevered and it is marvelous.

Charlie's  completed his 3 Hall Tree inserts and has them all washed and colored.  When he finishes the Hall Tree itself and has these panels installed I'm hoping that we can post another picture of these.

Linda F has put the finishing touches on her horizontal Sunflower window.  I like the layout of this one even more than I do the original design of this window because it looks more like a view into a field of sunflowers.

Sue's latest Sunflower Lawn Ornament is finished and she did a great job getting it all together which specifically means the 3D raised sections.  And the inner rim--wow, she did a great job there on what I feel is the trickiest bit of this design.

Terry's latest Horse window is taking full shape now.  There's just the backgrounds and borders left to cut and then she'll be doing the soldering.

Brenda has the top and right side of her Tiger De Lis ground and is making good progress with small pieces.  Brenda is a firm believer that you should never give away any glass that was gifted to you unless you never want to see it again.

Martha is in the process of cutting out two large suncatcher Angels.  She stacking the glass on top of each other until she starts grinding so you can see the two different color schemes that she's using in the picture below.   This is just a guess but I suspect that she'll be cutting her wings next!

Paula got the final border AND the zinc channel attached to ger Bathroom Mirror.  This is a large project and the picture doesn't give you any idea as to how large it truly is (almost 3 feet high).  Getting the zinc channel around it was a learning experience for sure but this is almost completed now.


Cindy came in with each of her birds cut out and ground with only the small eyes left to be cut.  Once those 10 tiny pieces were fitted into place she began wrapping everything .  This appeared to be another quick project for Cindy because it's almost complete.

Mary Grace is back in action even though she has a bum arm after her operation.  Even though she's taking things a little bit at a time she still managed to get this small Bee Lawn Ornament cut , ground, and partially wrapped.  Since the smaller Bee is much trickier than a large one I'd say that she's doing great.

Linda F's To the Moon And Back suncatcher is cut, ground and now being wrapped.  I've always been partial to Moon and/or sun windows  and think that this one looks great already.  And Linda likes this so much that she is talking about 'Pulling a Betty'.

Susan is someone else who's 'Pulling A Betty' by doing these two Scarecrow Lawn Ornaments.  She played around with the pattern a little bit and is going to make one as it was originally designed and the second one will be modified.  Once they're both completed she'll weigh the pro's and the con's and decide how she wants to make any others.


Betty has 22(! )Angel nightlights started but we aren't going to change the number in her catch phrase just because she's loves nightlights!  She actually got two of her Angels completed this week but it happened at the very last minute of class so she didn't get them washed or colored.  I promise that we'll take a closer look at them next week but for right now you can see them resting one on each side of the board that holds some of the the other angels that she's currently grinding.

Natalie is all finished cutting glass for her Crab Window and is ready to enter the soldering phase of her Crab's life.  Now she'll be able to sit down and relax throughout the rest of this project since the hard part is officially over with.

And Rowena has completed cutting out all 6 of her Leaf Window Pane Panels.  She put the first one in the jig and literally had it ground within minutes.  Once that was done she traced the leaf that she'd cut and ground onto the glass and then added the stem line and cut out the opening for them.  Doing it this way ensures that all of her lines will match up perfectly.  It's safe to say that Rowena has this down!


Carol came in and set into place the 'fill-ins' of her Magnolia lamp, attached the cap and then began soldering.  I must say that she's taken to soldering a 3D project like a fish to water.  I wish I had picked up this ability as quickly as Carol has.  She's taken it home to resume working on it there so I can't wait to see what she walks in the door with when we see her again.

Becky B is has started soldering the second side of her Bird of Paradise and has even gone as far as to pick out her next pattern.  I have no doubt that this will be finished when she returns to class next week so expect to see this one hanging up with some light behind it in our next update.

Gale  completed cutting and grinding her flowers while she was at home and this week she cut out her first border for the window.  Once the center circle is tacked together she'll grind the round yellow border pieces, wrap them and then tack them on to the circular section of her window.  Then the fun begins.  ;-)

Linda L  is moving along steadily with her three beveled transom windows and has learned how to work one step at a time to ensure a perfect fit.  Grinding everything at once may seem like an efficient way to do things but in the end if it's all about fitting things together a little at a time that will give your window a professional look.  From the top down we have a look at Linda's window without the back ground cut, then with the background cut and wrapped, followed by everything being tacked into place.  She'll be working on her second and third panel next week.

Our newest student, Vicki, had a memorable start to her first class and didn't get to quite finish her butterfly.  As you can see, it just needs to be soldered and on a butterfly that's just a 5 minute job.  I'm thinking that within 20 minutes of her second class she'll have this underway and then start working on her first real project-- a Fruit Bowl Window.

Jeanne made this quick Fleur De Lis Suncatcher as an interim project.  It just needs a hook to hang it by and a little finessing with the solder and it will be finished.  And I can guarantee that will only take 10 minutes or less allowing Jeanne to move on to an LSU Tiger Window when she returns.


That's all there is that's fit to print this week.  We'll have plenty more to see when we return next week. Same bat time, same bat channel.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks