Tuesday, April 26, 2016

You Don't Put On Your Makeup Before You Shower

This week's tip is simple and straight to the point.  The biggest problem people have when making stained glass is the failure to remember that glass is fragile and needs to be handled with care.  Brute force only awards you broken pieces.  They key to every aspect of making (and cutting) glass is to me gentle and apply as little pressure as possible.  The soft approach will always win you many more unbroken pieces, and the screw on your breaking pliers isn't there for decoration-- it's there to limit the amount of pressure that your cut receives.  Remember this and use it to your advantage and you'll be cutting glass like a pro in no time.

Cindy's Crab Suncatcher was something that she saw in a magazine and asked me to print out larger of just last week.  This week she brought it in all ready to have a real shell attached to its claw along with its wire antennas and eyes.  Within 15 minutes it was completed and I was shocked as can be that the foil stuck so nicely to the shell!  Wonderful work all around.

Betty re-made an old favorite of hers, the Single Sunflower.  What sets this off are the rounded corners in the center portion of the window along with the way the flower flows out of the frame and into the border.  True, a bit of glass is wasted while cutting the borders (which also stops you from cutting the borders on the strip cutter) but the end result is well worth it.

Jeannette's two Cross Suncatchers turned out wonderfully and were very quick projects for her.  All they needed were hooks and then Jeannette was able to move back to soldering her Peacock Window. 

Gale made a second version of the Magnolia Window that she made a few weeks ago and she did it in record time.  She started it last week and by the end of her second class she walked out the door with a completed project.  Amazing!


Judy made her first Sunflower Lawn Ornament and saw just how easy it is to make this 3D pattern.  As you can see she went with red petals and a nice bright textured yellow center.  The finished product turned out perfect and Judy has one more about to be completed that we'll see next week with a different color scheme.

Linda L finished her second Bumble Bee Lawn Ornament and the difference between this one and her first one, which she completed last week, is only in the eyes.  This one also looks great and Linda put it together completely on her own.  (The wings are cut from clear glass but you're seeing the gray floor through it in the picture below.)

Susan R completed this Butterfly Lawn Ornament this week making it our newest most popular project.  Aside from the 3D Butterfly Lawn Ornament this has already become the second most popular project that out students have ever made and it's easy to see why when you look at this one that Susan made.

And then there's our ever popular 3D version of a Butterfly Lawn Ornament.  This was made by Vicky in just two short classes and it also turned out perfect.  All of the joints along the center section align perfectly and her choice of colors really make this shine.

Becky B's Irises and Dragonfly Window is moving along so very quickly!  With just the wings and the background left to go Becky is making excellent time on this project.  And you have to admit that it looks beautiful already (and the flower petals aren't even ground yet!)

Brenda's Red Fish Window is really taking shape now.  With the fish itself all cut Brenda will begin working on the background components of this window next week.  She's been paying extra attention to the colors to make this as lifelike as possible.

And speaking of backgrounds, Jeanne's Mickey Mouse just needs its background glass and a border.   Since Mickey's foot steps out into the border we will certainly add the border before any soldering gets done on the front side of this window.


Cindy's Triple Bordered LSU De Lis was all cut and tacked together this week so Cindy will begin soldering it when she comes back in.  The fancy border looks great with this design and it won't be long before we see this among our finished projects.


After completing her two Crosses, Jeannette resumed work on her Peacock Window by beginning the soldering process.  Because it's been tacked together for a while Jeannette remelted the solder holding it all together before applying the final bead.  Handling it this way makes a bead much easier to form with the new layer of solder.

Becky has the spirals of her larger Spiral Window all cut and ground proving once again that things move MUCH quicker the second time you do a pattern.  There are subtle changes throughout this larger design and the clear oblong beads in the center look great in it!


Jan is our newest student and her first window is so very close to being completed that I know for a fact that this will be finished when she comes back in.  There were two problems stopping this from being completed this week:  1) We lost power for a little while forcing Jan to stop soldering, and 2) since Jan is coloring this black she'll need to let it set for 45 minutes before it gets its final bath in the sink.  We just need  to attach the zinc channel to the back side of this and that will finish this up.

Susan R is about to start on her Peacock Feather Lamp and has all of her glass picked out.  You can see the wooden jig on the right that Susan will be grinding her pieces to fit into.  It ought to be spectacular and we'll follow Susan's progress with this project week by week.


Mary Grace began cutting out her Beach Scene Window and decided to grind the palm tree's since the remaining pieces in the leaves of them are somewhat tiny.  Once the trees are completed the rest of this should go very quickly for Mary Grace.


Linda F's Study In Straight Cuts has been completed this week but the window didn't get washed due to time.  She'll clean this up when she returns and we'll have a completed picture when we do our next update.


We have another Mickey Mouse project in the works and this one is being done by Linda L.   The twist in this project is that this will be a four sided panel lamp.  Although the lamp has four sides it will feature two different alternating Mickey faces wrapping around it.  You can see the first pair of faces in the picture blow.

Shelley's Red Fish Window is all set for solder now and does it ever look great.  The double border was something we all had to talk her into but in the end she agreed that it adds a lot to this piece.  I'm a firm believer in a double border when the window 'supports' it and this window certainly does.


Terry's back side of her Spiraling Flowers Window is almost completely soldered.  I have a sneaking suspicion that this will be finished when Terry returns which means that the top half of this pair of windows will soon be seen.

Martha's put all the finishing touches on her Fleur De Lis Window and it just needs some hooks and a good bath at this point.  This will be another completed window when Martha returns next week.


Ann's got all of her Cross Transom Window soldered save for a small portion of the back side which means that this will be yet another featured window among our completed projects next week.  I can't wait to see this one back lit!


Myrt got her Cardinal all tacked together but didn't go any further because she wanted to take it home to allow the person that she's making this for to pick out the background glass.   So once this was tacked together Myrt was able to kick back a bit and laugh at all the incredibly witty jokes I was making all throughout class.  By the time she left she looked at me with a new found respect. 

Sheri's second project is moving along much quicker than I ever thought it would.  Sheri isn't afraid to just jump right on in and her cutting looks great meaning that she won't spend much time at the grinder.  There's background glass left to cut on this before the grinding happens but there isn't that much background so Sheri will be standing in front of the grinder before you know it.

Susan is about to start work on a very interesting project involving a lot of leaves and flower suncatchers.  When everything is cut out she'll solder each piece to a brass pipe and end up with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers.  We'll be watching it grow step by step over the weeks ahead.

And Betty not only completed her Sunflower Window-- she also got two more of her Butterfly Lawn Ornaments all cut and ground.  These have certainly become popular in class and Betty was the spark to that flame.

Linda F has a 3D Butterfly Lawn Ornament of her own all cut out and ground already and her colors look great.  Linda works quickly now days and obviously has a nice firm grasp of her cutter.

Hopefully I'll get caught up with our latest Weekend Workshop this weekend.  If not there's always next week!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, April 18, 2016

You NEVER Run In A Glass Shop!

Let's start things off with another quick but important tip this week.  If the sponge in your soldering iron stand singes and turns blacker with each wipe of your iron you need to add more water to it.  The sponge shouldn't be just damp-- it should be wringing wet.  Also, if you are using a sponge that has a scrubby side to it the scrubby side should face down not up.  You want water and sponge to contact with your iron, not  apiece of rough plastic that can melt and stick to your iron's tip.

Okay then, here's Vickie's Geometric design all completed and looking great. Vickie's kept everything symmetrical and her soldering is top notch.  Her grinding is nothing to sneeze at either because all of her lead lines look nice, precise and even.


Linda L got her three Rabbit Windows completed this week and they're all identical save for the color of the eggs around their paws.  Linda had a minor problem with these but she overcame it and learned that soldering the back side before the border is attached is a bad idea.   Luckily it's only a problem that slows you down though-- it's not the end of the world as this rabbit below proves.  And check out that iridised glass that she used for her background.  The pastel colors in it are perfect for an Easter Scene.

Janet completed two of the new Butterfly Lawn Ornaments and she's even gone so far as to name them May Belle and Otis.  Their colors are vibrant and they certainly won't be overlooked when they show up in her flower pots!  I'm just not sure if this is Otis or May Belle.

Linda L also completed one of her two Bee Lawn Ornaments.  She really seemed to enjoy assembling all of the curves on this Bee and learning how to do it.


Judy also completed a pair of Butterfly Lawn Ornaments but she made two different butterflies that matched in regard to color.  She did a great job on these and is getting better and better with each butterfly that she makes.

Butterflies are certainly popular now and Susan R's version of the new Butterfly features iridised wing tips with purple centers.  Looking good!

Becky B started cutting out her Irises and Dragonfly Window and is going with nice bright colors.  Even with just two different greens cut out this is already looking great.  I can't wait to see what it looks like when the flowers are cut out.

Sherry started working on cutting the glass for her new Crab Window.  She got most of her Crab cut out and then completed the green leaves before calling it a day.  And the nice thing is that she was unsure if she should even trace out the leaves.  It's amazing how much you can accomplish when you decide to go for it and put your glass cutter to the glass.

Gale started this second Magnolia Window and learned the value of cutting off the line.  In just one class she was able to get this entire window both cut and ground!  If the line isn't on your glass pieces everything will certainly fit together.

Jan finished wrapping her pieces and even got her window tacked together before she called it a night.  This means that when she returns she'll have a nice easy night of peaceful soldering ahead of her.  The lines are all straight on this window and it looks look Jan is a professional glass maker already.

Jeanne's Mickey Mouse is really coming together and it's only the second week she's been working on it.  There are just eyes and some background pieces left to go before Jeanne starts wrapping all of her pieces.

Carol's got the front side of her Nativity Scene all soldered and will flip this over and complete the back side while she's at home this week.  We'll certainly see this finished when she comes back in.

And Cindy is fast approaching the soldering stage of her triple bordered LSU Fleur De Lis Window.  There's only the final outer border and then the four corners left to work on before this is ready for it's channel and soldering job.

It was a happy day for Jeannette because she got all of her border cut and attached which means that she's finished cutting glass for her Peacock Window.  The soldering may take a little time but with the hard work of this window finished with Jeannette will be able to take her time on it from here on out.  This looks spectacular!

And speaking of spectacular, Terry's window has its zinc channel attached and the second side is almost completely soldered.  Let me just say that if you like the way this window looks now (as so many of our students do) just wait until you see the top section of it which will really bring it to life.

Myrt has her Cardinal all cut and ground which means that she'll be cutting the branch and background when she comes back in.  And if things go really well we'll even see a border get attached.

Rowena has just two pieces to go on her Beveled Transom Window.  She'll easily be soldering this when she returns but I don't know how much more of it you'll see because this picture was already taken with the camera up against the ceiling.  It's a HUGE window and I can't seem to get it all in the frame (until it's soldered and easier to maneuver onto the floor).

And Martha's yet another student who has all of her window cut out and tacked together just waiting to be soldered.  There are some thin pieces in this design so the trick is to solder slowly like we always do to get a nice rounded bead, but to also remember not to re-solder a line until the glass is completely cooled off.  Failure to do this will most certainly result in broken pieces.

This is Linda F's Study In Straight Cuts and it's already entered its soldering phase.  Linda tells us that she has one more of these to make which she's already begun working on at home.  The textures will be different but the pattern will remain the same.

Here is the second Bee Lawn Ornament that Linda L's is working on and it only needs some bead work done around the outside edge before it gets a stake attached to it.  Once that is completed Linda will begin work on her Mickey Mouse Lamp.


After Vickie washed, patina'ed and waxed her Geometric Window she decided to cut out a Butterfly Lawn Ornament of her own.  She only has two pieces left to cut and it already looks like it fits together so I think that's she's pretty much made short work of this pattern


Ann completed wrapping and tacking her Transom Window as well this week.  We'll have a zinc channel on this before you know it and Ann will begin soldering it next week.

And this is the first piece cut for Brenda's Fish Window,  As you can see from one of the patterns she'll be cutting out the glass for the fish first. 

And there you have it-- another week of classes completed and more projects about to get started on next week.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks