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

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