Monday, November 30, 2015

Real Men Don't Use Scissors

Hello again!  We're going to start things off with this helpful and insightful grinder tip that seems to surprise students at times.  When using a grinder the water in the tray will eventually need to be replaced.  Some of it sprays out while you are grinding and a lot of it leaves the grinder by clinging to the piece of glass you've just ground and removed from the grinder.  With all of this water leaving the grinder you have to remember to keep adding water so it's high enough to make a small twist of water at the bottom edge of the wheel while it is spinning.  It not only keeps the wheel sharp but it also allows the grinding head to cut into your glass quicker and more effectively.  A dry grinder will always slow you down.  And lastly, just because you filled the grinder with water 15 minutes ago doesn't mean that you won't need to add water to it again shortly.

Ok, so we're going to start things off this week by looking at Jeanne's Tiger LSU Window.  Where's the LSU?  Look at the center stripes and you'll see it hidden away in plain view almost like a subliminal message.  Jeanne did a great job on this with a very minimal amount of help.  

Linda F's Scrap Glass Owl turned out perfect as well.  This large suncatcher helps prove that colors (although important) need not be the focal point of your window.  Who would ever think to use red, white, and purple in an owl's feathers?  Look below and that's what you'll find.   Although the colors are abstract at times, the owl is instantly recognizable.   Great stained glass windows are a combination of good design and a good use of color.  This is both.  It's stained glass and color is something that you might want to run with from time to time.  Be daring!

Linda L's last Santa Window is completed leaving her with a new set of three windows to start. She knows what she's doing already and you'll see just what that is when you get a little further down in this post. This window has nice, even lead lines and beautiful soldering which gets Linda two thumbs up from me.  Merry Christmas!

Let's stay on the Christmas theme here and move along to Sue's two mirror image Candy Canes.  One was completed last week and the second completed this week.  Together they sure make a nice pair for decorating.  We've added some wire along the bottom of the Candy Canes to make sure they don't fold in half while being handled because straight lines and stained glass never mix well together.  However, the problem was averted before these were even finished so now Sue is ready to do her decorating with them.


This is the last of the Christmas Decorations that we're featuring this week and this one belongs to Mary Grace.  This is the second in a set of three Tree's that she's making as Lawn Ornaments.  This one looks fantastic and as you'll see down below (if you keep reading) Mary Grace has her third tree all cut out and ready to be ground.

Charlie came in with a hand mirror all cut out and ground save for the mirror itself.  He wrapped all the pieces, tacked them together and the we cut the mirror to fit opening that Charlie left when he tacked it together.  The mirror fit perfectly the first time it was ground and then he wrapped it, tacked it into place and soldered both sides of his mirror before class was finished.  The end result is this completed hand mirror which is spectacular if I may say so myself.


In the last of our completed projects, Janet managed to put together her latest Bee Lawn Ornament and now she's officially a pro at making these.  I think I'll let her teach the other students how to bend the wings and the body the next time someone else decides to do one!

Poor Brenda just can't seem to get away from these Tiger De Lis'.  Every time I turn around she has another one started on her work board.  The good thing is that these pretty much fall together for her now.  But after making five or six of them I'd expect nothing less!

Betty's been busy finishing up her LSU Tiger Claw Window and only has the back side left to solder on that project.  She also has two more Snowmen cut out and now they're both ground as well.  Someone is going to be finishing quite a few projects very shortly and that someone's name starts with the letter 'B'.

And Ann now has all of her Rose Bud Window ground.  She wants to add a double border to this and once it's wrapped and tacked together the borders will go on quickly.  The color that Ann picked for the bud really gives this window a completely different look from it's 'predecessors'.  I won't be surprised to see borders get attached to this when we see it next.


Becky S has been bust cutting away at glass and will have at the very least a garland of roses once she gets all of these flowers assembled.  Then for good measure she's got a few butterflies in the works as well.  I know someone who is keeping VERY busy!


Linda's latest project is shaping up to be a winner.  The original design for this Ship In a Bottle called for the ship to be made as a single piece and the bottle as a secondary solid piece of glass that would be tacked on top of the ship.  My problem with this approach is that water and chemicals always get caught between the glass and since the front piece would be clear, build up is a very real problem.  Our solution is to simply cut the bottle around the ship.  The design practically lends itself to this approach with only one difficult cut.  With just one night of work Linda is making this look downright easy!

Linda L is fast becoming our student who always works in triplicate!  She's done three Pumpkin Panels, three Santa Panels and now she's working on three Mardi Gras Mask Panels.  They all slide into metal frameworks that make changing the design easy so Linda is making multiple sets to change things up for each of the holidays.  These masks are the most challenging panels she's yet to make  due to the number of pieces but as you can see she's cut through this one about as quickly as possible.

Jeannette squared up her window and got the background glass cut and tacked into place just before adding her final border.  Although they look similar, the purple border on the diamond section differs slightly from the purple border on the border that finishes off the window.  You may not see it now but you certainly will when you see it lit up.  Once that final border is attached all Jeannette needs to do is begin soldering this project.

Well, Bonnie not only added a background to her Rose Bud and Stem Window-- she also added a border as well!   There was some creative finagling going down with this project but no one would ever suspect a thing.  And I'll never tell!  This will be completed before you know it. Have you recognized the rose bud?  Yep, it's a variation of the window that Ann is currently making and that Janet and Becky have made in the past. 

Vickie is moving quickly in class even though she's our newest student.  This is the Fleur De Lis that she decided to make and this is what she accomplished in just two classes.  The FDL portion has been cut and tacked together and she has the background cut and ground now.  That means that this will be ready for a border when she comes back in.  I call that working at top speed.

When life hands you lemons, make lemon-aid!  That's what Martha did this week as she cut and ground the glass for the lemon portion of her Seafood Window.  She's meticulously picked out  perfect glass for it and has even opted to use the rough side of the glass as the front side to give her window a little more texture.

Gale has begun working on this Owl Window which I know is going to turn out great.  I love the small overhangs of the branch and the Owl's tail feathers that reach into the background glass.  It means that she'll need to grind using the small grinding wheel but the end result will be very much worth it.


Sue started working on this Santa Face that she found online and then printed out.  The picture is slightly out of kilter but we'll address that once we cut the background and the borders.  As it stands this Santa is looking wonderful. 

And here's the third Christmas Tree Lawn Ornament that Mary Grace is working on.  It's identical to the first two save for the texture of the green glass that she's used.  This just needs to be ground and then she can fit the red globs into place.

Next we have Cindy who resumed work on her LSU Tiger Stripe Fleur De Lis Window and is (as always) grinding as she goes along.  It's a method that works for her and that's fine with me as long as the quality of the work doesn't suffer-- and Cindy's work doesn't suffer for it.   I just don't recommend this practice to beginning students because it limits your ability to make adjustments on the fly without re-cutting.

I was hoping that we'd see Shelley's Aquatic Window completed this week but we had a number of run thru's (lead that flows between the glass from the back side to the front side) that kept us from washing and coloring this mammoth window.  Rest assured that it's 100% completed now (except for it's bath) and that you'll surely see it lit up in our next update.

Lastly we have Terry who was working on something else while she was tweaking her LA/Tiger pattern but I can't recall what it was!  I obviously didn't get a picture of it or I would have that to jog my memory, but I do have a picture of her Tiger which is a lot easier to see than it was in our last update so I'll just post this here and apologize to her when I see her next week.

And that's what happened during our first week of classes in November.  My memory of some of these events is a bit blurry but I think I've properly matched each of the photo's to the students who were working on them.  But I'm not beyond being wrong on that...


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Hookin' Me Up

Alright, it's been a while but we're officially back on track. Between moving, going on a vacation to Rome and Greece, and not having internet on on my computer, I'll be the first to admit that it's taken me some time to get things together here. To be perfectly honest I'm not even sure how far behind I am but these pictures were taken during the last week of October so let's start there.

Let's start with Brenda who completed her LSU Tiger De Lis Window. I have to say that her soldering was nothing short of perfection as not one touch up needed to be done on this. She was concerned since the final purple border wasn't a perfect match to the rest of the purple but the SLIGHT shift in contrast is something that I always try to achieve in my own work. Since the corner Fleur De Lis sections are purple which butt against the purple border, the subtle color variation prevented the colors from bleeding into one another. This separation makes the FDL corners stand out rather than just become one blob of purple. Sometimes we learn great things through our 'mistakes'.

Linda L finished the first of her three Santa Windows and look how great this first one turned out. This is a another project that didn't need any touching up at all with the soldering. In fact, Linda cut and attached the borders while she was at home. Now that's what I call an accomplished student.

Paula's Hurricanes Window is officially finished. The two different whites work perfectly together (like the purples in Brenda's Window) but it's the lettering that really impressed me with this window. Paula is always ready to tackle a challenge whether it's small pieces of glass that have to fit together just right, or foiling someone else's window as she's waiting for her patina to 'dry'! This is another great job by Paula.

Cindy completed this four sided butterfly spinner and did a great job on it. You just make four sets of wings and assemble them together with one wing facing at the 12 o'clock position, another at the 3 o'clock position, another at the 6 o'clock position and the final wing pointing at the 9 o'clock position. It sounds confusing but I think the two pictures at different angles explain it all. Cindy went with two different color combinations for the wings so as it spins you'll actually see two different butterflies.

Carol made this FDL Window at home and brought it in for some brass channel, some hooks, and it's closeup for the blog. The soldering was perfect (as always) and Carol has yet another window under her belt.

Terry wrapped up the work on her flowing Cross design and made short work of it at that. She used 5 bevels in the cross to make this sparkle when the light hits it. It's geometrically and symmetrically perfect but we're used to that from Terry, aren't we?

Betty has a first here as she made an old snowman pattern come back to life. It's been years since this Snowman has been made and Betty learned that to make it you actually assemble the snowman, the holly leaves, and the bow as four separate suncatchers. Once they are all completed (soldered, washed and waxed) they are soldered on top of the Snowman to make one final suncatcher. After that we paint on a face and call him Frosty!

Betty also completed 4 more Angel nightlights bringing the grand total of Angels to 27 (or so.) That's a lot of wings and Halo's! And speaking of halo's, Betty twisted her own wire to make the halo's on these (final?) four Angels. It's a little tricky but in the end it's kind of fun to do.

Janet completed another Butterfly and from start to finish she needed no help at all. Next week she wants to take home three stakes which makes me think that she has three more of these ready to be put together. She's wasting no time at all on these and doing a terrific job.

Vickie got all of the copper wire tinned with lead and then cut and spun them around a sharpie marker to make the antennae/hook for her ten completed butterflies. I'd show you all ten but I think that might be a little redundant especially since they all share the same color scheme. Vickie did a great job on these and is ready to tackle another project when she come back in to class.

Ann has turned into a regular cutting machine. She has all of her Rosebud Window cut out and ready for the grinder. The pink/champagne class was a very tough glass to cut but Ann got it all out with glass to spare. Sometimes glass is just difficult to cut and this was definitely one of those times. And then, as if to add insult to injury, her background glass didn't want to cooperate either. But again, Ann persevered and put that glass into its place on her pattern.

And Becky S is becoming a 3D rose expert because she has at least 3 more of these traced out and ready to be cut. Here's a look at some of the yellow glass that she chose to use. You can see that she has most of the the glass cut with only a few left to be separated.

Bonnie has all of her Rosebud With Stem window all cut out and it's got a wonderful flow to it. She requested that it 'pop' out of the background glass and into the border which is an effect I've always loved. I'm pretty sure that this will gain a background when you next see it.

Carol also completed another of her bevel inserts while in class and plans on bringing them all back (once they are all completed) so we can get better pictures of them and assemble them correctly for you to look at.

Charlie now has one Bird Of Paradise Window completely ground and is just about ready to start grinding the second mirror image match to this one. He's begun wrapping this one but if he wants to box this and resume grinding on the second window there would be nothing wrong with that. Come back next week and see what Charlie decides to do next.

Cindy started working on cutting out glass for her version of Brenda's Tiger Fleur De Lis Window and she's moving along nicely. She's gotten the trickiest cuts (the L, S, and U) out of the way first but there's still a lot of stripes to do. But things like that never scare Cindy away.

Jeannette began working on her Grapes, Wine and Cross Window and has really done an amazing amount of work on it in just one class. She's got the majority of it cut out AND she has it ground as well! I have to say that Jeannette has really hit her stride on this window because I can't imagine anyone moving any faster unless the quality of the work were sacrificed.

Linda F has just about all but the final touches completed on this beautiful Owl Suncatcher. With just the final edging to go I know that we'll see this completed when she comes back in the door. This owl is set to fly the coop.

Mary Grace has one Christmas Tree under her belt and a second one almost there. She spent most of her time grinding the tree and then on fitting the red globs into her pattern. Working one at a time she got them all fitted into place in a reasonable amount of time. Perfect fits are important here because without that we end up with a lot of lead around the beads. Mary Grace is really getting the hang of this now.

Natalie continued working on her Pelican Window and now that all of the glass is cut for the bird itself she's set to start grinding when she comes back in. Her colors look great and I think this widow will be spectacular when it's finished.

Rowena has two panels almost completely cut out for her series of five inserts. Her last series based on this pattern totaled six windows but this set that she's working on has one longer section across the top that we've redesigned for this window. Rowena wanted a Humming Bird and a flower in the top section but we needed it to line up with the original panels or the leaves wouldn't flow correctly. And as you can see from the pattern, we've succeeded wonderfully.

Shelley got the second side of her Aquatic Window completed and it's looking perfect. She has a few runs thru's on the front side that will need to be straightened out before she can color this and wash it but that will hopefully be handled during her next class. Hopefully this will be completed next week.

Sue resumed work on her large Candy Cane Suncatcher and started a second mirror image version as well. With one completely soldered and the second one ready to be wrapped I'd say that these two projects are just about behind her and ready to be hung.

Our other (original) Susan worked on soldering her Tiger Window and made a conscious decision to apply less solder than she normally would and it paid off in spades. This window will be completed when she comes back in because all it really needs are a few more lead lines, a bath, and some patina to finish it off.

And speaking of tigers, Terry 's got her Tiger/Louisiana window pattern just about all worked out and will begin cutting glass on this project next week. Though it's hard to see, there's a lot of detail in that tiger face and you WILL see that once the glass is cut for it.

So that wraps up the month of October save for the two Weekend Workshops that we held. Those will be coming along shortly along with two other normal class posts which should bring us up to date. Mark my words when I tell you that you'll be hearing again from us sooner than ever!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks