Monday, September 28, 2015

You Listen To Your Husband?

Rulers.  When making stained glass it's important to understand measurements.  I was surprised to learn that most of our students don't truly know how to read a ruler.  This can be a problem so over the next few weeks we're going to S L O W L Y learn how to read a ruler.  It's far too easy to blast right into this and scare people away with too much information too quickly.  That said, here we go starting with the very basics.

A standard ruler consists of 12 inches or, as it's more commonly referred to, 1 foot.  Each inch is broken down into 16 smaller sections called sixteenths of an inch.  Since each inch consists of 16 of these little lines we can correctly assume that there are 32 of these little lines inside of two inches, and 48 of these lines in 3 inches etc. etc.

Any measurement can be broken down into 16th's of an inch.     In the picture below the first red arrow is at the 3/16's of an inch mark.  We arrive at this by counting the little lines.  The second red arrow is at the 7/16th's mark and the third red arrow is at the 11/16ths mark.  What do you think the measurement is at the fourth red arrow?  If you said 14/16's you are correct.

If you can count to 16 then you can always read a ruler.  Of course, it helps if you have good eyes especially if you are always going to be counting those little lines, but there are easier ways to do that as we will discover in the weeks to come.

Now I've been anxiously waiting for this one.  Vickie's Fruit Bowl Window is a wonderful example of an old pattern done in the more modern Copper Foil Method.  I think that we can all agree that it loses none of it's charm.  Vickie's work was spot on all throughout this project and  I especially love the color that she picked for her border.  It really gives the Window an feeling of old charm.

And Becky S is officially finished working on her Bird Of Paradise/Initial Window and it is nothing short of spectacular (and large!)  Becky is another student who's soldering is just about perfection which is convenient since it matches the rest of her work.  Look at that flower good because we'll be seeing it again next week somewhere else.

This week we saw Charlie put the finishing touches on the second window of his pair of Beveled Windows and while he was coloring his first window we found a crack in his second panel. :-(   It wasn't a big deal though because Charlie got to learn how to fix breaks in a window that has already been soldered.   Although it didn't take long to fix, Charlie was only able to bring one of these windows home with him.  I washed and colored the second one for him the next day so he can begin working on his newest project when he comes back in next week.  Here's a look at both of his windows.

Bonnie's Snowboarder is airborne and even possibly boarding a plane.   I never hold much hope for getting a window on a plane as a carry on because even pre 9-11 I've known people who have had problems bringing larges glass pieces onto a plane.  And I've seen how they handle your checked luggage and there's no way I'd trust a window to the luggage loaders.  That said, Bonnie's window is a perfect piece for the snow boarder in anyone's  life.  I know she'd like to make more of these because she had such a fun time making it.  Contact her if you want one!  :-/

Carol completed her Fleur De Lis Circular Window and brought it in already tacked together.  The  fact that she made this circle on her own and got it to stay circular is very impressive.  Circles and ovals are a true test of one's stained glass mettle.  As a testament to Carol's work I will tell you that she was expecting a channel to hide 'all' of her 'mistakes' around the outer edge but what Carol didn't know was that we can't bend channel around something this small.  She was upset at first but look how this turned out-- there ARE no mistakes.  Next week I'll bet that Carol comes in with a 4 by 5 foot Peacock Window, 5 Nightlights, a Dragonfly Lamp, and a rendition of Tiffany's Tree Of Life Window, each one ready for hooks!

Then we have Linda L who has all three of her Pair of Pumpkin Panels completed.  These slip into a nice heavy metal stand that gets pushed into the ground which will display each window as a lawn ornament.  And they can be removed from the stand easily enough to make exchanging them a piece of cake.  Is anyone else thinking of seasonal Lawn Ornament panels?  I think Linda might be.

Betty completed yet another of her Beveled Geometric windows.  I love the red-- it contrasts beautifully with the bevels and the textured clear.

Betty also finished working on her two Santa Faces.  Betty says that these are a lot more work than she anticipated and I completely agree with her.  She's going to be doing some 3D Butterflies soon and I think she'll find that the 'work invested until the completion factor' will be much more effective.  There's a good reason those butterflies are so popular!

Carol also managed to make this nightlight while she was at home.  I must confess that when I first looked at it I saw it as three 3D cubes rather than a star.  now I can make my mind see it three different ways which makes this a new favorite of mine because I love optical illusions. (Scroll to the bottom of this post to see what I see.)

Brenda's made HUGE progress with her purple Fleur De Lis Tiger Window.  When she left last week she was a little intimidated by the number of  pieces in it but as Brenda is like to do, she came back in with this project almost completely cut out.  About the only thing left to cut is the LSU that forms the bar of the Fleur De Lis.  This is going to look great when it's completed.

And speaking of tigers, Susan has the last of her stripes all cut out for her Tiger Window and  is also making great progress.  The darker stripes are the only pieces left to be ground so I believe she'll begin wrapping this before she leaves her next class.  I wasn't sure how I felt about her background glass at first but I have to say that it really gives the window a jungle/grassy looks which I really like now that everything is fitting together.  This proves that it's hard to judge a window when it's just a pile of pieces in front of you.


Jeannette got all of the glass cut out for her Pigeon House Window which  is all tacked together save for her last border. Once this is soldered (which Jeannette hopes to be able to do while she's at home this week) she will add a small bit of wire work to the bottom of this window.  She has her wire all tinned and ready to go so I expect to see that attached next week.

Linda F also has her border attached and has begun her soldering process.  She was a little worried about the humming bird's eye that she forgot to grind a hole for but we're going to make it work without any problem at all.  In fact, it may even be for the best that we're changing the way the eye will be made because it was going to blend in to the dark head and be hard to see the way we originally planned.  I think that our new idea is much better solution.

Myrt resumed work on her Cross De Lis Window  that was working on concurrently along with her Butterfly Window.  This week the  Cross De Lis got her full attention and it looks like she's making great progress.  I don't think it will be long at all before she starts tacking this together and cutting out her background.

Ann came in and set straight to work on her newest large Cross Suncatcher.  She always puts her own spin on the colors and always comes up with a nice pattern, this being no exception.  She's got this one all ground, wrapped and tacked together so she'll be soldering this when she comes back in.  Look to see this one completed when we return

Betty started  working on this black Fleur De Lis Window which features a wispy black baroque background.   The key to using baroque glass as an effective background is to cut it all out in one continuous piece so that the swirled pattern remains intact.  As you can see, Betty succeeded in doing just that.  Just look at the way the pattern of the background glass flows continuously throughout the window.

Jeanne has her Tiger all tacked and is officially ready to begin cutting her background.  Jeanne is going with a clear krinkle glass for the majority of the background and is considering using another clear textured glass for the ground portion of the tiger.  It's amazing how completely different this Tiger is from Susan's even though it's made from the same pattern.  Color choices can drastically alter how we see windows.

Paula is making a Hurricane Sports Logo at home but needed to re-adjust a few pieces while she was in class.  She had a little help at home and let's just say that her help really liked using the grinder.  But Paula's got it all coming together now and before you know it we'll see this cut into a background with the team's name spelled out in glass below it.

Martha helped Pampered Chef us in class this week along with her friend, Stacey.  They did a marvelous job providing us all with some great food.  And all the while Stacey was cooking Martha was cutting out her paper pattern for her Sea Food Window.  Before she called it a night Martha began cutting out actual glass and placing it on her pattern.

Rowena began working on a new Fleur De Lis  window featuring the FDL that was in her oval window.  This time she plans on placing it into a rectangle and as you can see she's already got most of the FDL cut and ground.  Once that's done the rest is like a walk in the park. 


Terry would have had her Humming Bird completely tacked together but she left a piece of the beveled border on her work table.  Just replace it, right?  Well wouldn't you know that we didn't have a single 6x1 bevels in the shop?   But that's okay because we simply  left a space for it and then got everything else cut and tacked into place.  When she gets home Terry will be able to wrap the 'missing' bevel and simply drop it into place.  I suspect we'll see this finished when we see it again.

Shelley's Aquatic Window is officially tacked together as of this week.   She still has a few fill ins to go (including the eyes which we  didn't forget about) and then she'll move onto adding a border or two.   I have a great idea for for a double border but it all hinges on whether Shelley has enough of her sea floor glass left for use in the outer border.

Sue is plowing through her newest LSU Window and got her borders cut, ground, and even somewhat attached.  She's decided to go with one large square in each of the corners rather than two.  She hasn't picked out what color she'll be using but I'm sure we'll have the answer to that question when she returns to class next week.

Cindy is a regular suncather machine and kept making more UL/Pepper suncatchers.  I don't know how she feels about all these little projects but I can't wait to see her start a full sized window.  Although her suncatchers are beautiful I feel her talent isn't being used to its fullest when she's making small projects like these.  

After completing her Bird Of Paradise/Initial Window Becky decided to do something a little smaller and has begun tracing out the pieces for 3 different  3D Roses.  She's got yellow, red and white lined up for the colors but since I couldn't see the marker on the red glass  I cropped that out.  But you get the idea of what's going on from the yellow and white pieces of glass.

And that's all that's fit to print for this week. We hope to catch you back here again after our next set of classes.


It's all in the eye of the beholder.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ridin' The Wave

Ok, let's try this one more time.  I had this more than halfway completed when a power flicker hit and caused me to lose everything.  Save, save, save!  Let's just jump on in here.

Ann's Triple Bordered Fleur De Lis Window is completed and it's really beautiful.  The black glass makes the amber look like a beautiful gold and the heavily textured clear glass brings it all together. The border was a bit complex but as Ann said, she loves it, and so do I.

Martha put the finishing touches on her second Angel suncatcher, this one in slightly darker hues from the first that she did.  Now that it's completed she plans on starting a big ol' Seafood Window!

Mary Grace completed her Baby Girl Window and matching the bonnet to the border was the perfect thing to do.  It made the border unobtrusive and kept the color scheme feminine.

Cindy finished another Cross Suncatcher along with two new UL/Pepper Suncatchers.  I emailed her the UL pattern on Wednesday afternoon and she wasted no time in getting two of them completed.  A labor of love for sure!

Rowena's got her own number down with this House Number window.  She flew through this project so quickly she even managed to impress herself!   I hope it gets installed as quickly as she made it because this is something all her neighbors should see and compliment her on. 

Natalie came in and immediately set upon cutting out this Frog Lawn Ornament.  A few minutes later she was grinding it and then she took to wrapping it, soldering it, and even finishing it!  It's always nice to see someone come in with nothing started and walk out the door with a completed project. 

And Paula made a Dragonfly Suncatcher which even though it looks simple enough it really isn't.  When you see it next to something for scale you realize that save for the wings those are some tiny little pieces.  The round eyes are only three eighths of an inch round.  But Paula's end results are perfection. 

This week also saw Rowena make another Butterfly Lawn Ornament.  If she has all of them in her yard she isn't going to be able to find room for her Street Number Window!   She says they make great gifts and Jeannette agrees which is why they are making so many of these.

A horse is a horse (of course, of course), unless Terry is making it for you.   This one, like all her others varies from the original pattern as Terry continually makes little changes to make it look better each time she makes it.

Susan managed to get her Tiger feet ground into her background glass and then went a step further and added a nose to this Tiger.  I personally think it was skipped due to a missed line while she was tracing it out because it's a night and day difference when this Tiger has a nose.  I think we'll be seeing stripes when Susan returns to class.

Becky S's  combination Bird Of Paradise/'C' Window is very nearly complete now.  The front side is all soldered and the back side looks like it's about a good third of the way finished so Becky is nearing the end with this window.

Here's the first look at all three pairs of Pumpkins that Linda L is making.  The borders have been attached and the channels have all been fitted which means that the only thing that Linda has left to do is to solder these and then add the wire work and leaves.

Susan has her LSU and its background all ground and has taken it home to wrap.  She made the football in the lower right corner a lot more symmetrical by learning a simple but very effective trick.  All this needs now are a pair of borders before she can solder it and wrap this project up.

Jeannette's Pigeon House Window is all ground and ready to be wrapped.  You can't see the details in the tallest building yet but you will when you see everything wrapped.  And just wait until you see how nicely the railings are going to work out along the bottom red portion of this window.

Becky B is back and she's started this Horseshoe Cross design.  I'm unsure if she plans on making this a window or a suncatcher because lately when I've assumed that something will be a suncatcher I've been wrong.  I won't assume from here on out!  Either way it will be beautiful and we already have students asking when the pattern will be available.

Although you can't see it there IS a piece of clear glass behind the Fleur De Lis that Carol got all cut, ground, and wrapped together this week.  She'll be putting this FDL into a circular window and will most likely have the borders on it when she comes back in.

Here's a look at Gale's latest Fleur De Lis Window with its three borders attached.  She has the front side completely soldered and a lot of the second side done as well.  Gale has picked up all the basics of making stained glass rather quickly and has even become an expert solderer already.  This will be out the door before you know it.

Terry began work on this Humming Bid and Fuschia Window that she drew up herself.  I love her choice of colors in this.  I tend to go for high contrast colors but the pink that Terry picked for her flowers is softer than anything I would have used and that actually makes the window look better to me.  I always make a mental note of great color combinations and have already filed this away for possible future use.

Vickie has the front of her Fruit Basket Window all soldered as well as a good portion of the second side.  I really want her to complete this next week because I'm dying to see what this will look like with some light behind it.  Something tells me that I'll get to see that soon.

Shelley continued wrapping her Aquatic Scene Window and only has one fish left to go.  She's taken those pieces home with her to wrap during the week which means that she'll be tacking this together and adding a border when she returns.

Bonnie has all of the glass cut for her Snowboarder Window and the inner yellow/orange border works perfectly.  There's not a lot to solder on this project so I'm expecting to see Bonnie start something new very soon.

Ann finished coloring her Triple Bordered Fleur De Lis and immediately began working on this Orange and Red Cross Suncatcher.  It's all cut and ready to be ground which I'm sure Ann will make short work of-- especially since she's made these before and is familiar with the pattern,

Brenda got her new LSU/Fleur De Lis Window all traced out and will be ready to start cutting glass for it shortly.  She's also working on another window at home so I guess you can say that Brenda is burning the candle at both ends!

This week we got to meet McKaila who is doing her Student Project on Stained Glass Window making.  Terry has been showing her the ropes and McKaila has had no problems at all making her first Fleur De Lis Window.  I was very impressed with what I saw her doing this week and now I'm worried that Terry will start teaching my classes soon!  But honestly, McKaila is doing wonderful work as you can see for yourself.

One of our students from a few years back sent us this picture of a Louisiana Tigers Window that she drew up and is working on.  It's plain to see that Denise hasn't forgotten anything about how to make stained glass since she left because this looks beautiful!  Hopefully she'll send us another picture when it's completed.

And that will wrap things up for this edition of our weekly update.  Hopefully I won't be so rushed next week to make up unsaved work.