Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Is E'vy Sing OK?

Students are usually in awe at how quickly I can foil glass and although part of it is the fact that I have 38 years of practice under my belt I also have a simple but effective 'trick' that I use.   In the past three weeks it's come up three times so I figure it's about time to mention it as a tip.  One way to speed up any repetitive task is to utilize your time more effectively.  When I foil I never press the foil down and over the sides of the glass until I have many, many, many pieces started.  In the picture below you can see that I have 11 pieces of glass (which is a small amount for me) that I've begun foiling but none of the foil has been pressed down around the top and bottom on the glass.  The fact is that when I foil my own pieces I'll frequently wrap 20 or 30 pieces before folding the foil over to the top and bottom of each piece. 

Here's a closeup of some of the pieces you see above.  Pay attention to the foil.

How does this save time?  I don't have to pick up my foil and find the edge of it each time I pick up a new piece of glass to wrap.  That may not sound like much savings but let's look at what happens each time you completely wrap a piece separately.  1) You lift your foil and start peeling away the paper backing from the foil. 2) you lift your piece of glass, position the foil and then surround the outer edge. 3) you drop the foil and fold over the edges of foil on your glass.  4) You lift whatever tool you use to press the foil firmly against the piece and smooth the foil out.  5) You set down the tool you used to flatten your foil and re-position your piece on the pattern. 7) You start over again at Step 1 having to find the end of you foil again as well as having to peel away the paper backing.

When I wrap 20 or more pieces at once I'm lifting and setting down only the glass piece itself.  There's no fumbling to find the sticky end of the foil. You can even save more time by pressing down the top sides of  all of your pieces in one fell swoop.  Then I flip all of my pieces (quickly and easily because there's no hunting) and repeat the smoothing process.  This saves a lot of time that becomes apparent when people watch me.  Charlie figured it out himself this week and verified it with me before he started wrapping all his border pieces. 

Try it and you'll see a definite savings in the time you spend wrapping your glass.  Imagine being able to save 7 seconds or more on each piece of glass that you foil.  It all adds up!

So with that out of the way I'm anxious to show you our first completed window of the week.  It's Paula's Flower and Butterfly Window and it's, well, beyond words.  Her attention to detail and her skill in following her pattern perfectly makes for flawless windows.  Here's her latest-- I think it speaks for itself wonderfully.  Note her excellent use of dark and light pieces in the flower petals.

We also saw Vickie complete her pair of blue/green Fleur De Lis Windows and they, like all of her projects, look great.  It's hard to believe that Vickie is our newest student with only a few months of classes under her belt.

Linda F put the finishing touches on her Easter Bunny Panel which will reside in a frame in her front yard during the Easter Season.   Linda did wonderful work on this window and moved quicker than ever through each phase of its creation without ever sacrificing the quality of her work.  We already have two other students who want to make this rabbit so expect more of these soon!

This is Betty's large Jester Suncatcher and for the life of me I can't understand why I didn't hang it up to back light it before I took the picture.  The workmanship shows but the colors are dark in the picture below and that's entirely my fault.  Rest assured that this looks even better when it's hanging up.

Charlie's first Bird Of Paradise Window is ready to be soldered now that he's got both of his borders attached.  This is technically the back side of this window because he's making two mirror images and this one was put together upside down on the pattern.  This is going to be a beautiful part of a stunning pair of windows.

Carol resumed working on her door inserts but not quite as she hoped she would.  We've been having a lot of trouble turning up the Fleur De Lis bevel cluster that she originally wanted and now that she's waited over two months for them to return to inventory she's decided to make one out of a different cluster.  Since it's smaller than the original FDL she had picked out she framed it with a thin border of clear glass that works wonderfully and brings the smaller cluster back to the size that she needs.  There's only one strip of border on this panel for a reason that will become clear when you see all six panels grouped together.

And Terry's Spiraling Flowers Window is just about ready to be ground.  Remember that this is the bottom panel of a two section window and the spiral is tight on this bottom section.  The top half will show the flowers start a curve towards the top center of the window creating a very graceful, flowing effect.

Brenda is working on a Justice of the Peace Initial Window and is just six pieces away from adding a border to it and getting it ready to solder.  Text is something that's much tougher than most people realize because crookedness and wavy lines make the writing appear sloppy.  As you can see, Brenda's 'handwriting' reveals her perfect penmanship.

This week saw Jeannette make incredible progress on her Peacock window.  She tacked together the bottom tail feathers, put them aside and then began working on the top part of the window.  This is almost a four foot tall window so working on it in two sections not only makes it easier to work with but it also makes it less likely to break due to the window flexing across its length.  I've added the bottom feathers to the top half so you can get a feel for the overall look of the window but they aren't attached (yet).  This is wonderful work and Jeannette is making it look downright easy.

Martha has resumed work on her Seafood Window but that may only be for this one week.  She has a Fleur De Lis Window or two that she needs to get done first but she's waiting on glass for them.  Meanwhile she's cut and ground her lemons which are incredibly realistic!  Talk about picking the perfect glass.

Vickie didn't waste any time at all starting her next window now that he Fleur De Lis' are completed.  She's making her own version of this Geometric window and it's already coming together wondrously.  I can't wait to see what the rest of her colors will be when she returns.

Linda F got her Bunny Panel out of the way and immediately went to work on this Beveled Cross Window.  She got the bevel wrapped and tacked together and then did the same with the background pieces.  That means that this window will be awarded its border when we see it again.

Susan is taking a small break from Tiger Windows and has begun working on these four Easter Egg Lawn Ornaments.  In just one class she managed to get all four cut out and one of them completely ground.  I have no doubt that she'll be staking these in her yard long before Easter.

Cindy's latest four sided butterfly is about to take shape.  She has them all soldered and will certainly tack them together when she comes back in.  The nice delicate flow of the curves in each of the wings show that Cindy's at the top of her game when it comes to cutting and grinding.  Look to see this Butterfly Ornament completed in our next update.

I suspect that next week will be a busy week when it comes to completed windows because Natalie only needs to add one small piece of glass to this window before she can wash it, patina it, wash it again and then hang it up.  She'll be starting something new when she returns to class and I can't wait to see what it will be because she's done a wonderful job on this window.

Sue's Winter Window has just a few pieces to go before she can solder it.  She's using an iridised grey glass for the background and the color fits within its Winter theme perfectly.  Last week when we looked at Sue's progress it was hard to tell what was completed and what was the colored picture that she was building it one.  This week I can say that what you're seeing is 99% glass that Sue has cut and ground into shape.

Bonnie's Study in Straight Cuts has its second 3rd all ground and ready to be wrapped.  The only slight snag is that we've had a run on silver backed foil and we're waiting for a delivery before Bonnie can wrap the center portion of her window.  It won't be an issue however since she can easily continue grinding when she comes back in whether or not the other pieces are wrapped.  (And the foil will certainly be here in plenty of time before she needs to start soldering this together.)


Shelley's got all of the glass cut and ground for her Fleur De Lis Window this week and what a wonderfully symmetrical window it is.  Shelley has learned that making nice smooth cuts with an even amount of pressure helps to make things go much easier the farther along in the project you get.  This is a perfect window that she's donating to an auction which I predict will bring in the big bucks!


Jeanne began working on two Beveled Cross Suncatchers, one of which she has ground already.  She'll be ready to grind the second one when she comes back in and I must say that her grinding skills are certainly worth bragging about.  She can make that grinder carve away glass to form the exact piece that she needs.

Myrt's begun working on a Cross De Lis Window of her own and she's also got her cross and bevels all ground and fitting together as well.  It's hard to see the pieces on the white paper since the glass she's using for her cross is white and the bevels are clear.  Rest assured that when she comes back in and begins cutting out the Fleur De Lis itself the cross will stand out nicely.


And Betty's latest Fleur De Lis Window is another 'all clear' endeavor and it's only needing a coat of solder on its back side.  Once that's done she'll add hooks, wash this and then it will be ready for a close up as a completed window (with some light behind it).


And in the end, Rowena's latest butterfly was cut out this week during class.  Then she ground it, getting everything to fit together perfectly.  Then she wrapped all of the pieces as well.  And if that wasn't enough she also got her butterfly tacked together--  all in one class.  Now that's what I call production!

And that ends things this week.  Next week is a big week for us as we add another class into our schedule to help with the backlog of people who are on our waiting list.  We'll be adding five new students over the next few weeks so expect to see a lot more projects in our posts!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

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