Monday, August 31, 2015

Soap Is A Four Letter Word

Two students have mentioned something in the past few weeks that has prompted me to put this tip in the Blog.  There is no need to remove your normal grinding bit to use your 1/4 inch bit.  Swapping between bits is time consuming and (most times) unnecessary.  Simply loosen the set screw on your normal grinding head with the supplied allen wrench and push the standard head down until about 1/2 inch of the shaft is showing.  Tighten the screw and then put the small 1/4 inch bit top of your regular bit.  If you have to use the bottom section of the wheel on your regular head you may not be able to lower it far enough for the smaller pit to piggy back on it, but in most cases you can keep them both on your grinder to avoid swapping heads.  Just remember to always use a wet sponge against the small head while you are grinding glass of your 1/4 inch head will loose all of its grit quickly.  The illustration on the right shows about the proper height for piggybacking your two grinding heads.  Also, put a little plumbers grease in the set screw and in the opening on the flat spot of the shaft to prevent ground glass and water from accumulating.  It will make removal much, much easier.

Terry's put the finishing touches on her combination Fleur De Lis and Cross Window.  Her choice of color for her border is perfect using the same glass she used for the cross which resides in the center of the window.  With the FDL cut from a wispy black the contrast is striking and allows for a separation of the cross and the border in a way that just clear background can't do.

Betty finished her beveled window with an entwining border which was a little more difficult than she thought it might be.  It came out perfectly though and the thicker zinc channel she added for support matched the window even better than we'd hoped.  The problem with this design are the two straight lines that run the length of the window on both the the right and left sides.  These are weak areas so we used the thicker channel to overcome this weakness.  Sometimes the larger channel can drawn your attention away from the window and make it look clunky, but not in this case at all especially since Betty decided to leave this window silver.

Martha has the first of her pair of large suncatcher Angels completed and it looks great.  She's attached two hooks to this (which are hidden in the picture) allowing her to angle the angel when it's hanging to whichever way looks best to her.

Mary Grace completed her version of a Double Pumpkin Lawn Ornament complete with twisted wires.  It's attached to its stake and ready to go in her yard.  She likes this so much that she's making a second one now.

Paula made three 3D roses while she was at home during the week.  She wasn't happy with the angles of some of the petals so we removed a few pieces and re-positioned them creating a perfect rose.  Paula placed the petals in her peach rose in a very loose, airy manor consistent throughout the flower and I personally love the look. Another great job by Paula.

Here's a look at Gale's first 3D Rose.  I'm not sue if she plans on making any more of them but I do know one thing and that is that Gale has the art of putting a bead around the outer edge of her pieces down to a science.  And she did it pretty much from memory recalling how I did the edges of her butterfly that she made when she first got here months ago.


As you already know, Terry finished her Fleur De Cross Window this week AND she completed this mid sized Cardinal Window as well.  She certainly manages to keep busy and I can't wait to see what she comes in with next.

Rowena completed another  3D Butterfly and has one more at home that she wants to put together herself. She has the wire for the antennae and the channel to make the post so she should be all set now.  If it comes out half as good as this it will be beautiful.

Linda F did a lot of cutting while she was at home during the week and now has all of the glass cut for her Hummingbird/Flower window.  She spend most of her class working at the grinder and when she left it was all fitted together.  There's even some foil on some of these pieces already!


Betty also began working on two Santa Faces each measuring about 8 by 11.  She's grinding as she goes so there's good reason why those hats, holly and berries fit together so well.  She picked out the perfect color for Santa's Lips (which is always a tough color to choose) and I suspect the rest will fall together easily for her.

Bonnie got the background cut for her second Iris Panel and then put the brass channel around the edges as well.  She's tried them out in her frame and they fit like a glove even though I measured one upside down (whew!)  She's taken these home with her to solder so I'm sure that she'll have these completed when we next see them again.

Brenda has everything cut and attached on her double  bevel window and when she comes back in she'll begin soldering it-- right after we add some brass channel that is.  Now that the window is centered on the pattern you can see how we spaced out the bevels from the original design to center them after we removed the inner border that I accidentally drew on the pattern.  But in the end it's worked out just as perfectly as if I had drawn the pattern correctly the first time.  Beveled windows rarely need a 'true' pattern because we just figure things out as we go from the finished measurement size.

And speaking of beveled windows,Charlie has pretty much completed his first Beveled Window.  All that's left to be done is a quick washing and then a quick go over with patina to color the lead.  He'll be starting his matching second window when he returns to class and we might even get a finished picture of this one should he decide to wash it when he returns.


Carol resumed work on her second Magnolia Lamp and managed to get it all tacked together.  She's even begun soldering it even though it doesn't have the correct cap attached. Her first lamp has a 3.5 inch cap and she had used the last cap we had on it.  We've ordered more but they weren't here in time for Carol's class so we just temporarily soldered a 3 inch cap into place to stop the top of the lamp from pushing in while she solders it.  Next week we'll pop it off and replace it with the correct cap.

Gale is all ready to cut the background glass for her  Fleur De Lis window.  With all of the center FDL cut ground and wrapped we'll just cut a piece of clear glass to the size of the background and trace this out on top of it.  This will make the job so much easier than if she cut each piece out separately.

Becky S has both of her borders cut now with the inner purple border being attached.  She's taken the wider clear outer border  pieces home with her to wrap and will attach it when she comes back in.  However, that may be a few weeks from now since Becky is currently in Germany as you read this.  We hope you have a great vacation, Becky! 


There's not much I can say about Jeanne's Tiger window other than the fact that she has it all ground now.  She's taken it home to wrap and plans on switching up the background of this design by making him walk on some ground rather than all being cut into the center of some background glass.  She may even use different colors for her background.  We'll find out for sure when she returns to class next week.

Vickie has her circular border cut ground and the glass she used really sets off the traditional look that the fruit gives to this window.   When you see this window lit up you're going to love it.  She only has 4 corner pieces left to go and then a final border so I think it's safe to say that the hard part of this window is far behind her now.


Shelley is making quick work of her Aquatic Window in the wrapping department.  There's not a lot left to go before she tacks this together and picks a color for her border. Now that I think of it I can honestly say that she's made short work of the entire project so far even though she doesn't think so.

Linda L has  all of the orange glass cut and ground for three pairs pumpkins.  She has the leaves cut as well and only needs to adjust the deep cuts on them before she can call them ready to be wrapped.  She's also opted to go with a tan/brown for the pumpkin stems rather than green and has picked out what I think may be the perfect glass for it. More on that next week.

Sue is down to one last border on her Tiger Claw/ LSU window so I'm expecting this to be ready for solder when she comes back into class.  I was especially impressed when she told me that one of the small pieces was too tight so she took the excess glass off of its neighboring piece so that the small piece wouldn't get lost in foil when she wrapped it.  Not many people think of that when they're grinding away at small pieces of glass.

And then we have Rowena who continued working  on her oval FDL.  She's  got the background cut, ground, wrapped and tacked and is about halfway done with grinding her border pieces.  After making this Rowena says  no more ovals.

Jeannette was going to start working on a nice Pigeon House window but ended up cutting out two 2 emergency 3D Butterfly Lawn Ornaments instead. By the end of class she had the first one all ground and ready to be wrapped and tacked together.  I suspect that will happen next week since she's taken the pieces home with her.  She'll be working on her pigeon window before you know it.

As I said earlier, Mary Grace liked her Pumpkins so much that she's begun working on another pair.  She even got it all cut and ground  in one class!  Now that's what I call progress.


Natalia, who you might remember from out last stained glass workshop,  came in to visit and started working on the project that Charlie (her husband) will resume when he's completed his second Beveled Window that he'll start next week.  Natalia traced out the pattern onto poster board, cut it all up and got the pieces cut out of glass that you see below.  Not bad for only her third day in class!

And Martha is about a third of the way through grinding her second Angel.  She's working her way from the bottom up leaving the tricky wing pieces for last.  THey slowed her down a bit on the forst one but she has experience with them now so I doubt that they'll cause her any trouble at all.  I think she's got the pattern down now.

And that's it for this week.  We'll have another post showing you what happened in our Fusing Workshop with Becky and Martha in just a few short days.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Richard, Richard, Richard!

One common problem we keep seeing occurs when someone starts a new roll of foil. What would be the lose end of the foil is secured with a two inch length of doubled sided tape (see B in the picture below).  A lot of times this tape is red and it's actually under the first wrap of foil.  To prevent the foil from coming off of it's backing a piece of clear tape is placed over it (see A in the picture below).  You should never wrap a piece of glass using foil that has either of these pieces of tape on them.  In fact, you should always throw the first full round length away on any new roll foil.  Solder will NOT stick to these taped sections of the foil!  I've had too many repairs to overcome this issue which has prompted me to post this as a Blog Tip.

First up in our completed projects is Jeannette's Kevin the Minion who is another fun looking cartoon character window.  The mouth was painted on and  Jeannette used wires to form the thumbs of his hands so there's a little extra work involved in this window.  The end result is (expectedly) wonderful and Jeannette's soldering is really taking shape now.

Terry's newest Tiger is certainly ferocious and has a wonderfully hidden cross in it.  It's easy to miss if you aren't looking for it and that may be the entire point in this subliminal window.  As always with Terry,  the work is top notch. 

And Linda L made this wonderful keepsake all on her own while at home.  She sent me the picture so I'm sharing it with you.  She took some sand and some small shells from a beach in San Juan along with a small scrap of paper with the details of her vacation and sealed them in a container that she made from 3x3x3 triangle bevels.  The end result is perfection!


Sue's Tiger Claw LSU Window is really taking shape here.  She has most everything ground and wrapped save for the seven clear background pieces surrounding the LSU. I think she'll be adding borders to this one when she returns to class next week.  And when we add borders we tack them on one border at a time.

Brenda's Beveled Window is just two small pieces away from its border and then she'll be soldering this.  I'm going to make a prediction here, and that prediction is that Brenda will have all of the glass cut for this when you see it again.


Ann's working on the triple border of her latest Fleur De Lis Window and it's very near completion as well.  The corners are still going to be a little tricky but  I have no doubt that they'll be cut when Ann comes back in.  She has some wrapping left to do but Ann is a very fast foiler so that will go quickly enough.

No, this doesn't say TOOT.  It's actually two beveled Crosses and two oval Bevel Suncatchers that Cindy completed this week.  You can't see the etched patterns in the ovals but hopefully we'll get a better picture of these when she makes a few more.

Vickie's Fruit Basket has 90% of its background cut out and it's reminded me of what a nice pattern this is.  I haven't seen this made since I was up in PA back in the 90's but I'm happy to see Vickie doing it now.  And not only is she doing it -- She's doing it beautifully!

Rowena's certainly been busy.  She has an Oval Fleur De Lis ready for a background and border as well as a Butterfly Lawn Ornament ready to be attached to a stake! And she's been cutting away at other projects that we'll look at next week as well.


And Shelley not only re-cut the glass for her top fish (in MUCH better colors than it was originally cut out of) but she manages to begin foiling this window as well.  It's a large window  standing more than three feet in length.  This may be one of those windows that needs a double border and if so, I have an idea.


Becky S joined the two large sections of her Bird Of Paradise/Initial Window and managed to get the inner border cut as well.  Once that's tacked together she'll only have the final clear outer border to go and then she'll be soldering.  She was toying with the idea of using two clear borders but we all agreed that it needed something to separate the central picture section.  I think it's worked out perfectly

Gale started another Fleur De Lis Window and she's matching her first one piece by piece, color for color.  I always say that the second time you do something it always goes quicker and this window is proving to be no exception.

Carol is also matching a previous project and in this case it's her Magnolia Lamp.  She has another table in the same room that a second matching lamp would look great on and this week she got 2/3rds of the way through that second lamp.  She also made the small Fleur De Lis Window that you see next to her two lamp sections and decided to add a second border to it. Expect to see this completed shortly as well.

Linda F started this Humming Bird and Flower Window and is moving right along on it.  Although we've simplified the pattern a bit from the original there's still more than enough subject matter filling out the window.  And with just one night of cutting under her belt there isn't all that much left to go before she moves on to her background glass.

We have a three different students working on Pumpkin Lawn Ornaments and we're going to start by looking at Linda L's.  She's making 3 sets of these double pumpkins and she's got two of them pretty much under control here.  I suspect that we'll see her third pair next week.

This is Martha's first of two Angel Suncatchers and I've forgotten to mention that we switched up the pattern a bit.  The original design had the angel blowing a trumpet but Martha didn't want the horn so we just re-positioned the top wing to make it stable without the horn and Viola!  This is nearly wrapped now and will be ready to be soldered before you know it allowing Martha to begin wrapping this same angel but in another color.

Bonnie now has the background glass attached to one of her Iris Panels and will get the second one cut, ground, foiled and attached when she comes back in.  She did the tougher one first so the second one will certainly be a breeze for her.

And Jeanne's Tiger is fitting together perfectly.  As you can see there's only the tail left to grind and I don't see that taking Jeanne any time at all.  Once that's completed she'll be able to start wrapping this and then tack it together.  And the background will be a piece of cake.


Natalie cut and ground a Dragonfly and now that it's all wrapped she's all set to solder this when she returns.  I think she said that she was going to make this a Lawn Ornament which means that we'll just add a stake to this when it's finished rather than hooks.  She plans on making more ornaments and I expect to see another one started when she comes back to class.

Here's another pair of pumpkins that were made by Mary Grace.  They were even soldered before the end of class MG is going to add a few leaves to these before she washes them and then impales them on a stake.  That gruesome act will occur next week for sure.

Myrt's Butterfly Window is nearing completion as all of her glass is cut. Everything is tacked together save for the border which will be done when she comes back in.  I have to say that Myrt's grinding abilities are through the roof as this window fits as perfectly as anything that I could ever do.  I think it's safe to say that Myrt has her act together even if she does stand us up for Garden Club meetings every now and then.

This border was a fun one to do because although there are only two layers to it, it's essentially a triple border.  It has the same entwining design as a triple border but the key difference is that some of the second and third border section have been joined.  This allows the entwining sections to stand out much better but it's just as complex to make as a three border window.  But as I always say, any extra work you put into a window will always show in the end.

Susan has Lawn Ornament Pumpkins of her own under way and although they are different patterns and sizes I couldn't pick one or the other as my favorite. Both are ground and that means that they'll only need  little foil before they can be tacked, soldered and then staked!

Susan has also begun working on her Tiger window as well and is doing it using the 'Completion Backwards Principle'.  She cut her background out first to be sure that she had enough glass to go with the color scheme that she has planned for this project.  Looking good!

And in the end we take a look at Terry's Fleur De Cross Window which is nearing completion as she only needs to attach the border before she can start soldering it. Both designs stand out prominently but they compliment one another perfectly.  And using the glass that forms the cross as the border is the perfect way to go on a window like this.

And there you have it.  The end of August is almost here which is why we're seeing so many pumpkins-- October is just a few weeks away!