Wednesday, January 20, 2016

My Girls Want To Potty All The Time

There are two types of lamps in the stained glass world: panel lamps and regular (curved) lamps. Most (nut not all) of the curved lamps that you've seen are made with glass that isn't curved at all. They are made much in the same way that a round building is made from rectangular bricks. Curved lamps are the harder of the two to make and requires precision cutting.  A panel lamp, although easier, uses the same basic principle just on a much smaller scale. You simply make four, six, eight or more angled panels and then join them together to form a lamp. The more panels, the more rounded your lamp will be.

The biggest problem with a panel lamp is that the angles on every side of each panel must match exactly or they won't line up when they join together. When you are grinding your glass for a panel lamp you MUST use a jig to ensure that each panel is identical or they just won't line up in the end. If you are off just 1/8th of an inch on each panel that 1/8th of an inch keeps growing with each panel you add. That 1/8th of an inch comes out to 3/4 of an inch if you are making a 6 panel lamp!

To make a jig just trace out the lamp pattern with a piece of carbon paper onto a flat piece of wood  and then nail strips of wood (we used a cut up yard stick in the picture below) along the top and side edges of the lamp. If you grind and assemble your lamp in this jig and push all of your pieces out to the sides you will end up with identical panels that will fit together perfectly when you solder them together. We'll be seeing Janet make this lamp throughout the next few weeks so keep reading week to week to see just how this jig is used.

Also, make sure that your edges don't hang lower than your pattern (indicated by the red arrows) or the two edges still won't align properly.

Doesn't Betty's Ribbon De Lis Window look great?  The subtle difference between the pink border and the pink Fleur De Lis works nicely as does the double border.  All of Betty's lines connect even when they are broken apart by background glass which is the 'make or break' section of this design.  Betty understands that the pattern was drawn to be followed, not used as a rough guideline.  And that is exactly why this window is so beautiful.

Linda L made these two Lawn Ornaments this past week and she came in with them just needing to have stakes added to their backs.  Beautiful cutting and nice, smooth curves make both her Parrot and her Cat easily identifiable.

Carol's Stylized Fleur De Lis was essentially made at home but what a job Carol did on this window. It's a very popular design and as you can see, Carol has it fitted and leaded together beautifully.

Vickie put this Cross together while she was in class this week and there's really not much you can say about it other than "Great job!"  Her soldering (though you can't really see it in the picture) is nothing short of perfection. Although she's our newest student she's already one of our best solderers.

Rowena was busy as can be also.  She has another Cross completed along with two medium sized Butterfly Lawn Ornaments.  Gorgeous work all around but that's always the case with Rowena's projects.

Ann's newest window features her popular blue/green cross and all it needs now is to be soldered together. Ann has a lot of the top side completed so there's a chance that this may be finished when she returns to class next week.

This clearly elegant Fleur De Lis window was started by Betty while she was at home.  She went through all of her clear textured glass until she came up with this combination of clears.  She's picked out a background glass and will get that cut out when she returns next week.

Becky B's Horse Shoe Cross is all wrapped and ready to be tacked together.  Once that is accomplished Becky will fill in the center section with a design that will differ from what has been drawn on the actual pattern and then begin soldering this piece!

Here's another look at our lamp jig that we discussed at the beginning of this post.  Here you can see that Janet has the pieces of one of the panels all in place and ready to be ground.  Janet will assemble six of these panels and when they are all joined together she'll have a complete lamp.  All of her glass is cut out so let the grinding begin!

Charlie is through with hand mirrors and back to work on his pair of Birds Of Paradise Windows.  This is actually the second window that he has completely ground which means that he's going to be wrapping for a week or two so he can then tack these together and get to his double borders.

Cindy's got two projects under way and both are looking very good.  Although I love her Alabama Panel it's her Harley Davidson Window that really impresses me.  We had to square it off and put it in a frame due to the straight lines that run through the window but it's nice and sturdy now.  Expect to see this one completed in our next update.

Just when I had a name made up for this window (Les Lignes Courbes) Brenda tells me that it's a symbol for eating disorders.  I like calling it a Les Lignes Courbes Window better.  Either way it's a nice curvy design that depends on the black sections being cut gracefully for it to succeed.  And it looks to me as though Brenda is succeeding with it!


Sue is making this colorful Mardi Gras Jester and it's frilly neck pieces have been cut usingVan Gough glass (mirrored, colored glue chip).  The effect is striking and I can't wait to see how this looks when Sue completes it.


It's been a while but we have another student starting a Peacock Window.  I love making these and everyone that has made one in the past has loved making theirs as well so I know that Jeannette will have a great time working on hers.  She'll be assembling this in stages starting with the teardrop peacock feathers.  You can see that she has most of them cut out and when she comes back in she'll begin filling them in.  Watching this window being created will be fun to do over the next few weeks and I know that Jeannette will certainly do a great job.

Linda L also began working on a Mermaid Lawn Ornament of her own this week.  The only difference between this one and the two that Sue completed last week is the size.  This one is about 25% larger that the pair that Sue made.   Linda made sure that she cut the pattern line off of the glass as she was cutting and at the end of the day she had everything cut out along with a good portion of it being ground.  Taking your time while cutting always makes things go faster at the grinder and Linda will now officially attest to that fact.

With the sky backgrounds all cut out for her two Duck Windows Martha is nearing completion on this pair of windows.  One is already ground and wrapped while the second is more than halfway ground.  Next week we'll be adding borders to these.  Since Martha used one piece of glass for the sky of each window the pattern in the glass runs smoothly and flawlessly through the pieces.  This detail is what makes this window look so good.

Susan has her second Tiger Window all cut out and tacked together meaning that Susan will now begin soldering this beast!  We'll add the zinc channel that surrounds it sometime during her next class and before you know it Susan will be starting her third (and final) version of this Tiger.

Myrt's Cat In A Window Window has all of its glass cut out now.  Even her border has been cut into strips which means that Myrt will have all of her glass attached when she comes back in.  This cat is nearly out the window door!

Next we take a look at Mary Graces latest Straight Cut Window. She may love her pistol grip but she's dealing with the soldering iron now.  The front is completely soldered and the back side is ready to go.  I wonder what Mary Grace will be starting next week.

Shelley's latest Duck Head is a bit of a challenge with all of those thin little green pieces but with only two left to go I think that we'll see this gain a border when we see it again.


Who is making this Butterfly Lawn Ornament?  You're guess is as good as mine.  Judging from where the picture was taken and by the tape that surrounds the board it's being assembled on I'm guessing that it belongs to Linda F but I can never be 100% sure.  If I've misidentified this project please forgive me!  That said, whoever is making it is doing a great job as you can see by how everything is lined up.


Now don't get all excited-- this is only a picture of a picture of the window that Terry will be making for her daughter.  It's not the actual window yet but in a few weeks it will be!  I can't wait to see this one completed but I have to tell you that it's HUGE!  It just about fills one of our work tables so transporting and moving this beast could become an issue.

And this is a picture of a picture of Bonnie's next design.  She has it all drawn out (she did it herself) and she even has bevels wrapped for it but I was a little too late with my camera so all I have to show you is the little black and white imagine that inspired Bonnie to work on this project.


And lastly, I didn't get a picture of Becky S's new project so I'll just show you this picture of her pattern instead.  We still don't have all the colors picked out but Becky will begin cutting this next week.  She's looking forward to using copper foil sheets in this project so expect something a little different.

Like a piece of glass after it's been foiled,  that about wraps things up here!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Power Down

We're going to start this year off with a tip that's simple yet incredibly time saving.  When wrapping your glass pieces with foil you occasionally get what we refer to as 'stair stepping'.  That's when the end of the foil doesn't line up perfectly with the start of the foil leaving a jagged edge.  I always make sure that our students cut these ragged edges off with a razor knife because once they're covered with solder they're going to be there forever and they are a sure sign that the window was made by an amateur. Trimming these stair steps takes extra time time but there is a place on a window where you can ignore these stair steps-- on your final border. But only if your window is going to be surrounded by a channel.  If your window will be finished with a brass or zinc channel then I recommend starting your foil on the outside edge of the final border.  Any stair stepping that occurs will (most likely) be covered by the channel and can be ignored.  Even if it isn't you can easily trim off the excess foil with a razor knife after the channel is in place.  The channel even helps keep your trimming even!  So any more when you foil your outer borders ask yourself if your window will be getting a channel added to it.  If it will then start your foil on the outside edge of the border piece and don't worry about any stair steps that occur.  It's fun to break the rules!

Wow, Terry's Louisiana Tiger Window is complete and she's done another wonderful job with this project.  The workmanship is top notch-- just look at that tiger's face (especially the whiskers).  And again, like so many of her patterns she drew this pattern up all on her own.  Call it whatever you want but I call it amazing work.

This wise Owl by Janet is one of my favorite Owl Suncatchers.  I just wish you could see how nice the eyes look outside of this picture and in real life.  We painted the black pupils with glass paint onto the back of the amber globs Janet used for the eyes and when you move you can watch the pupils  follow you!  It's a great effect that was completely unintentional but very welcomed. 

Rowena put together her 3D Poinsettia and once it was washed it sparkled beyond what I would have imagined.  She's decided to just use this as a table decoration and I think it's perfect as that.  Then for good measure she also made this yellow Butterfly as well.  Rowena's a glass making machine!

Sue's pair of Mermaid Lawn Ornaments are certainly striking.  Making mirror images of them will really help make these stand out when she places them in her yard.  Linda L likes these as well so expect to see more of these being made in the weeks ahead.  Great job, Sue!


Vickie completed her Geometric Window and then threw together this Butterfly suncatcher as well.  Remember when it took Vickie an entire class to make one of these?  Well, not any more!  (What is it with all of these yellow butterflies all of a sudden?)

Here's a look at Becky S's latest 3D Rose.  This has got to be the sturdiest one I've seen anyone make and it's all because Becky took her time soldering each petal and leaf together.  It's not just about the amount of solder-- it's about placement also, and I know that Becky understands the process completely.


Linda L's Christmas Tree Window really turned out nice.  She was concerned that the ornaments might be too big but I think they work perfectly.  Chalk this up as another great job by Linda.


Jeannette made this window a while back but wasn't thrilled with how it ended in a light green border.  She asked if she could add another border to the window and as soon as I said, "Sure!" Jeannette was ripping of the brass channel and adding a dark brown border to it.  Here it is with its second border attached and all I can say is that it does look much better this way!


Linda L also completed this American Flag window but she finished it right at the very end of class so I didn't get a picture of it all cleaned up.  But you can certainly see what she accomplished and there's little doubt of what this is.


With only one piece of background glass left to go Natalie's Pelican Window is really shaping up to be a phenomenal looking piece.  Her background glass is gorgeous and makes this look more like a painting rather than a piece of stained glass, and in this application I think that's a very good thing.  I'm going to try to talk her into a double border on this because it just looks too nice to frame it out with only a single border.


Jeanne's Ship in a Bottle is all ready for solder.  Jeanne has this fitting together wonderfully and we'll certainly see this completed when she comes back in.  This is a great design executed flawlessly by Jeanne who even replaced a piece of glass because it wasn't fitting as well as she wanted.  The replacement piece fits in seamlessly and I defy you to tell me which piece it is.

As you can see, Betty has been busy cutting out her Ribbon De Lis Window.  Picking a border proved to be somewhat difficult so we solved the problem using the old double border method.  Since we didn't have a pink glass that matched perfectly we simply made a thin border out of a similar (but different) pink, and then followed that up with a thicker border of her background glass.  As you can see, you can't lose handling it that way!

Wow.  Cindy's Harley-Davidson Window looks spectacular already and it isn't even completed yet.  We're going to have to square this out so that it will be sturdy but that only involves adding six or eight pieces of glass to surround it which means that this is just about ready for solder!

Brenda is currently working on this emblem Window but I hate to admit that I don't know what it stands for.  That's pretty bad, but to make matters even worse I don't even know if I have it upside down or not!  You would think that the person who drew up the pattern (me) would know these things. At any rate, it sure looks graceful!  I'll get more info on this window for our post next week.

Bonnie is making a Straight Cut Window and has picked out the bevels she'll be using for the outer border and an inner section.  All she needs now is a pattern!  (Which she'll have when she returns.)

Myrt's Cat Window is just about ready to be soldered. With everything wrapped and only the clear glass and a border needed to be cut there's a good chance this will be completely cut out in Myrt's next class. 

Martha has her ducks all wrapped and they'll be tacked together when she comes back in.  She has her sky glass picked out so I'm sure we'll get to see both skies (they'll be different) all cut and ground by the time Martha leaves from her next class with us. 


Susan's Tiger is just about ready for solder also.  With all her borders cut there are only three pieces of glass left to cut out-- an eye, a nose and the background glass that fills in the mouth which is a tricky one of I do say so myself.  After this is completed Susan will move onto her third and final Tiger Window.

Carol was as busy as a beaver during our Christmas/New Years Hiatus.  She came in with this Stylized Fleur De Lis tacked together needing only some background and a border.  As you can see she managed to get the background cut, ground, wrapped, and tacked.  Then, just for good measure, she got her border cut out as well.

Linda F is in the midst of making two medium sized Butterfly Lawn Ornaments.  She's got one completely wrapped and ready to be soldered while the second one isn't very far behind.  That's what I call progress. I like the way she's chosen to separate the two colors of glass in her butterflies.  It's a very natural pattern.

As you can see, Ann now makes short work of these Stylized Crosses.  This one is all tacked together and will get a background cut for it when she comes back in.  She wraps so fast I think she may very well get her border cut for this as well!


And Shelley's latest Duck Head Window is just three or four pieces away from being wrapped.    This one is a little larger than her first one so hopefully the grinding isn't giving her near as much trouble as the first one did.  Larger pieces are always easier to deal with and I think that Shelley will attest to that.


We're going to finish things off looking at Mary Graces latest Straight Cut Window.  She has all of it wrapped but has found a few lines that weren't quite square so she's going to re-cut those and then start soldering this when she comes back in.

It's a new year already but before this next weekend hits I hope to have a Weekend Workshop from last year posted.  Look for that soon!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Thinking Evil All the Time

Some people come here for the tips and some people come here for the pictures.  Hopefully you're here to see what everyone accomplished in the last week of 2015 because this post is seriously late and I have no tip springing to my head.  I promise to have a tip in our next post but for now let's just dive into things here.

Here's the final look at Mary Grace's Clear Textures and Straight Cuts Window.  She really took to the pistol grip like a fish to water.  Because she used the pistol grip for all of her cuts everything is nice and straight.   I really like the window but I absolutely love the quality of work that Mary Grace put into it.  She even  had so much fun making this project that she's making another already!


Paula's Ragin Cajuns window is complete and like I predicted in our last post, you can clearly see the letters that spell out the words now that it's up and off of the table.   Sometimes it's a bit scary when you're working on a window and all the colors look like they're blending into one another.  But as long as you hold your glass up to see what they look like with some light behind them (or use a light box), you'll always be fine just like Paula's Window here.


Brenda's final three Christmas Suncatchers were all completed in time for Christmas Day.  She did a phenomenal job on these but she says she's over them already and wants to move on to something that isn't red and green.  Maybe I can get her to make a zebra window.

Linda F put the finishing touches on her own Straight Cuts Window which is slightly different from the one above because it has a big circle in it.  It may not be all straight cuts but it still requires perfectly straight lines to make this window work.  And Linda F certain has this this window a-workin'!

Bonnie came in and put this quick and simple (yet elegant) card holder together within a half hour.  It may only be made up of four pieces of glass but it's sturdy and functional.  It's also a great way to use up those extra strips of border glass that you probably have lying around. 


Here's another 3D Flower that Becky S completed this week.  It features an unseen wire ring that surrounds the bottom and helps make this Rose far more sturdier than the Roses we've made without a wire ring.  These Roses are getting better all the time.


Ann's latest Hand Mirror shows just how perfectly Ann cuts and grinds.  And the reason I'm pointing out those talents is because Ann finished her mirror early and then loaned her expertise to Charlie by helping him grind  a hand mirror of his own.  Ann's come a long way and teaching is certainly in her blood because she was doing a great job teaching Charlie some of the tricks to grinding.

And speaking of Charlie, here's what's turned out to be his second to last Hand Mirror.  It's fair to say that he's got these down pat now so getting that last one finished should be fairly easy for him.

Here's a look at one of a pair of UL Suncatchers that Terry completed this week.  Cindy certainly started a trend when she asked for this pattern because everyone seems to like it.  And when people see how nicely Terry's turned out I'm sure even more will be done. 

Carol completed her latest Poinsettia Nightlight and Fleur De Lis Window.  The amber fibroid glass that she used was a perfect fit for this not large but not quite small Fleur De Lis panel.  The nightlight still needs a clip to attach it to it's base but it's essentially a completed project.

Cindy's making tremendous headway on her Harley-Davidson Window and all of the text cut out save for the word 'CYCLE'.  She's also got all of her straight border strips cut and ready to be sized so this difficult window has already proven itself to be not so difficult in Cindy's hands.

Sue resumed work on her pair of book end mermaids. She has them both ground and all they need is a little foil before she starts soldering these.  We have two weeks between classes so I won't be surprised if Sue has these foiled when she comes back in after the new year.  But since this is a holiday week she might be too busy to work on her glass.  Either way, these mermaids are close to being completed.

Janet loved the pair of owls that Gale made and was looking through the pattern draws looking for the same pattern when she stumbled across this owl that I drew up from a spectrum pattern a while back.  It was never actually made but I always liked the pattern and now that I see it all cut out and ground I like it even more.  Of course the fact that Janet has everything fitting together perfectly helps!   

Jeanne's Ship In A Bottle is all cut, ground and looking great.  This just needs some foil and solder to finish it off which I don't think will take long at all.  This is going to be another stunning project that Jeanne can add to her portfolio of stained glass accomplishments.

Linda L worked on this Christmas Tree insert and has all but a few small fill ins left to go.  She also asked if it were possible to add hooks to finished windows that weren't originally meant to be hung.  And the answer to that is a definite YES!  But before we add any hooks anywhere check out Linda's very tannenbaumish project.

Susan has all but one piece of her background cut out, ground, and (for the most part) tacked together.  she got all of these pieces cut out of one sheet of glass that was considerably smaller than the width of her window due to some creative placement.  We were still one piece short but Susan will have that in place before she comes back next week for her borders.  Yes, this window will get two borders-- it's the next version of this Tiger that will only have a single border.


Martha got her second Duck and Dragonfly Window all ground and only needs sky cut for both of these windows.  We're going to tack everything together first and make a continuous sky that flows perfectly.   Martha was concerned about cutting the small round eyes for the dragonflies but then I showed her the trick.  Straight lines cut easier that curves so we cut out four small squares and then just ground off the four corners which turned them into tiny, perfect circles. 

Terry's Louisiana Tiger is all soldered with just the border left to solder on the back side.  There's no doubt at all in my mind that this will be completed when she comes back in.    Look for this window to be featured in our first post covering events that happen in our first classes for 2016!


Myrt has everything cut out for her Cat in a Window Window save for the clear glass of the window which make up only a few scant pieces of glass.  I think that like Martha's window, we'll tack this together before we cut those few scant pieces of glass.

Here's Mary Graces newest window which is identical in design to her last one save for the textures that she's used.  The best part is that she cut all of this out in just one class.  Since she made sure to cut the line off as she was cutting her glass it already fits together without even having been ground.  All this needs is a quick skim on the grinder and Mary Grace will have this window ready for foil and solder! 

Jeannette worked on cutting out another Sunflower Lawn Ornament and she got really far along on it considering she started out the class with nothing started.  By the time she left she had everything cut and the main flower section all ground and fitting together perfectly.


Lastly, even though Charlie got all of the  hand mirrors he thought he needed made in time for Christmas he discovered that he needed to make one more.   With Ann helping him out he was able to get the his last hand mirror all cut out and ground.  He said he doesn't HAVE to get this one finished in time for Christmas but it's very close.  So close that he may be able to finish this one at home.  We'll see how he made out when he comes back in to class.

And that almost wraps up 2015.  I still have two Weekend Workshops to post that happened in November right before the Christmas rush hit us without any warning at all (it seemed to start early this year).  I promise to get those posts up as soon as possible but we may see our first 2016 post before that happens.  At any rate, we'll be be in less than a week so I hope to see everyone again then.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks