Monday, May 30, 2016

This, That, and The Other Thing

Last week we looked at Jeanne's Completed Mickey Mouse Window and I had explained that she added wires to the finished window to give some of the solid pieces a more curved effect.  The thing is, unless you see the window before the wires were added and then afterward, you don't get to  appreciate what a difference the wires make.  So on the left you can see how the window looked  after she soldered it and washed it off.  Nothing to complain about there, huh?  But now look at the picture on the right and notice what a difference the wires make in Mickey's hands, boots and in the corner of his mouth.  Suddenly there's a depth to Mickey that wasn't there before.   As I always say, it's all about the little things.

Okay then!  This week we saw Terry finish her Curved Transom Window and the baroque glass she used in it makes it look absolutely stunning.  Russ did as great a job curving the zinc channel to fit this large window as Terry did with the construction of it.  This window is what elegant is all about.  (Oh, and it IS all clear glass-- you're just seeing grass behind it.)

Barbara H is our newest student and this is our newest Butterfly.  She had no problems at all making this and I'm sure we'll see big things from her as the weeks progress.

Betty has the sky all cut out for her Pelican Window and even got the orange inner border cut as well. The orange will act as an accent color which pulls from the pelican's beak while the final border will be made from the blue/green glass that she used in the water. 

Becky B resumed grinding the pieces of her Iris and Dragonfly Window and it's really coming together now.  There are a few missing pieces that we're going to fill in once this gets tacked together although they're hard to spot in the picture below.  It's getting to be about time for Becky to consider what color she wants for her border.


Carol is working on a window which looked so pathetic that I didn't want to take a picture of it and embarrass her in public here on this update!  Okay, the truth is that she sprinted out so fast that I wasn't able to get a picture of her work.  Do you know what that means?  That means that I get to post (and say) whatever I want.  Without further ado here's my mouse drawn, on the computer (using Microsoft Paint) interpretation of the window she's working on.  It's either a clump of Irises or the side view of an elephant.  This ought to teach her not to run out on me!

Rowena's got everything cut and ground for her Dragonfly window and although it's hard to make out where the lines will go I can guarantee that this will be stunning.  I'm leaning toward a double border (I always do) but we'll see what Rowena thinks.

Bonnie has all of her Circular Cardinal window ground and has begun wrapping all of the pieces in it.  The circle itself is is perfect so her final border will be a breeze.  The color of the beak on this Cardinal is nothing short of perfect--  It's practically life life.

Brenda has her Red Fish almost completely ground now.  The importance of grinding off the line really came into play this week as she learned just how quickly and easily you can get a piece to fit into place without making multiple trips to the grinder. 

Ann was the only person to arrive in class Thursday and she made the most of it.  Her windows borders got cut, ground, and attached, then she got a brass channel around the edges followed by a completed solder job on the front of the window.  The border on the back side is already soldered so this is easily going to be finished when Ann comes back in.

Jeannette's turned all of her attention to her newest Peacock Window and it's all ready to be soldered now.  Although this is much smaller than her last peacock it's just as pretty.  

The pieces for Cindy's Birds On A Wire panel are currently  being wrapped and the colors in this one are spectacular.  This window is very similar to the peacocks that I enjoy making so much because you can really go crazy with color without having to worry about overdoing it.

Tasha came in with almost all of her Hand Mirror ground and set to work on completing the remaining pieces of that project.   Once everything fit into place she switched over to grinding her Fleur De Lis Window which she also got completely ground.  She's taken all of her pieces home with her to wrap so that she can begin soldering these when she returns next week.

Mary Grace filled in the missing piece of her water while she was at home and then got her borders cut while she was in class.  The thin inner border is the perfect accent color for this window and her final border compliments the color of  the leaves in her palm trees without being a perfect match.

Martha has all of her glass cut, ground, and tacked together  in her Yellow Rose Of Texas Window.  She's going to soldering this and finish it all up next week  which means that she'll have this completed in time for the deadline that she had for this project.  She avoided the common pitfall of waiting until the last minute on this which is a good thing.

Linda L has all four sides of her Mickey Mouse Lamp tacked together AND soldered.  Next week she'll tack the four panels together along the edges, add a cap to the top and then this Mickey Mouse will be completed.

Charlie got all of his second Bird of Paradise Window tacked together and then began soldering this beast.  He has the front side all soldered and will begin the back side when he comes in again.  With a little luck he MAY finish this during his next class.  I originally said he wouldn't but I had forgotten that he's leaving the lead silver on this which means that we get to skip two long, drawn out cleaning processes.  Let's keep our fingers crossed in the hopes that Charlie gets to take this home with him next week.

Shelley worked on her Duck Head window but had issues with the background glass.  She broke a piece and then I broke one as well.  Since there is no more of this glass available we're going to have to think outside the box on this design to make up for our shortages.  I believe that the best thing to do is leave the inside of the head iridized while the surrounding glass can be cut from the same pattern (Krinkle) without the iridized sheen to it.  Shelly is also worked on a Dragonfly which is looking good!  She's used the broken krinkle iridized glass for the dragonfly's wings.  Waste not want not!

Terry also resumed work on the top panel of her Spiraling Flowers window.  She's got the majority of it ground and will begin wrapping and tacking this together very soon now.

Susan D worked on the last bug for her Flower Cornucopia window.  With just leaves left to go, Susan asked if she could cut out more of them than the pattern called for to help make it more full.  Of course the answer is 'YES!' because the more pieces there are the more sturdier this project will become. And as we all know, more is never enough.

Susan R  was busy working on another Butterfly as well as a Dragonfly this week.  I think we'll see these three bugs completed when she returns because she really knows how to knock these sucker out!

Jeanne is beginning her Tiger Face Fleur De Lis Window and she'll be using the same lead technique that Becky S has been using in her spiral windows.  This tiger is going to be unlike any other stained glass tiger you've ever seen before.   Me, I think it's going to be stunning.


And during class this week we discovered that Myrt was at the Garden Club rather than with us so we lose again.  :-(  No Cardinal for her!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, May 23, 2016

New Directions

We'll start off this week with a tip that I see too many of our students not following.   The positioning of your pattern pieces onto the glass your cutting from is very important in making your cutting and grinding easier.  For example, you should never rest the curve of a piece against a straight edge of your glass.  Instead, place the points against the straight edge.  This is ALWAYS the way to handle a cut like this.  Why?  Because your first 'point to point' cut is already cut for you and you have more glass behind the piece to allow for the curve to come out without breaking. 
But there's even a better reason to position your glass this way.  When you cut a curve that rests on a straight edge of the glass you will ALWAYS end up with two shards on the curved end of the piece you are cutting (as seen directly below) which will need to be manually ground down the make the piece curve smoothly.
If the piece is placed with the points on the straight edge you can easily get this outside curve to come out with just one cut and avoid having those shards which will need to be ground (as seen above).  Why grind needlessly when you don't have to?  Always think ahead as to how you will position your pieces on your glass and also in what order you'll make your cuts to free each piece from the sheet.  Doing this will save you a substantial amount of time while your at the grinder.

Well, it's official, Jeannette has done it!  When she started classes with us she said her goal was to make herself a large peacock window.  At the start of this year she decided it was time to begin that project now that she has enough experience under her belt.  This week she got to see all of her hard work pay off in spades because this is one beautiful peacock.  It measures a large 25" x 41" and is one of my favorite windows that a student has made.  What wonderful work Jeannette has done here-- she should be very proud of her accomplishment.

Carol's got a nice Religious Window completed and the alternating grain in the two different borders help set them apart perfectly even though they are the same color and even go so far as to overlap.  Again she worried about her soldering but again there was nothing to worry about.  Pass the wine, please!

Jeanne has completed her Mickey Mouse Window and added wire accents which really bring out Mickey.   You can see these accent pieces in the white gloves, the yellow boots and in the corner of Mickey's mouth.  Next week we'll cover this technique as a tip and show you before and after pictures to illustrate how something so little can make such a big difference.  Great work!


 And Cindy completed her third etched Suncatcher.  As you can see this one features roses in a nice red frame.

Betty got all of the ocean water cut out for her Pelican Window and began grinding those pieces.  Once the water and bird are tacked together she'll be able to put this on top of a piece of lighter blue glass to make cutting out the sky easier.  At least that's what I'm currently thinking-- we'll know for sure when I look at it again and we decide if the lead lines in the sky will allow for this process.

Bonnie continued work on her round Cardinal Window and now has it all cut out save for the border.  She's begun grinding all of her pieces and is moving along at a nice speed on this-- faster than I would have thought.  She says that she'll be making a sister window to this after it's finished so expect to see Bonnie making a similar window right after this one.

Jeannette's second Peacock window is much smaller but equally attractive.  She'll be cutting the background for this when she returns and then add its final border.


Then there's Cindy who is working on another line of Birds.  She's made this project once before and I distinctly recall that it turned out beautifully.  As things stand, and looking at the work that she has done on this one, I can't see why this one will be any different!

Our newest Student, Lara, began cutting out her 'Fleeting Stillness' Window which is also known as a Poppy Window.    She has her flowers cut out and has figured out just how to hold her Breaker/Grozier pliers to get the glass to bend to her will.  :-)  She also has her background pieces all traced out and will cut those out when she returns.

Linda F got all of her Shell window cut out which includes the border.  Her choices for glass on this are absolutely perfect and we'll certainly see this lit up when we next see it again.

Linda L has a her four Mickey Mouse Lamp Panels all cut out and is now working on wrapping all of the red border pieces for each of the four sides.  Below is a look at one of the panels for this lamp.  I believe that it's going to be wonderful (as in 'The Wonderful World Of Disney'.)

Martha has most of the background cut, ground and attached to her Yellow Rose (Of Texas) Window.  She had two sheets of Rainwater glass to work with yet we were able to place all but two pieces of the background one just one rainwater sheet of glass.   She'll most assuredly be adding a border to this when she comes back in.

And speaking of borders, Becky S is ready to cut out the eight pieces that make up the final border to her Spiral Window.  She's doubled the red jewels that she'll be using in the last lead border and I think it balances it all out much more nicely this way. I always say that 'less is more' but too little is always less than enough.

Terry has made huge strides with her Transom Window and has it all cut out and tacked together.  She even has the front side soldered already.  Russ is going to bend a zinc channel to fit around this which should prove interesting due to its irregular shape.   I, for one, can't wait to see how this turns out.

Shelley is cutting out the same smaller Peacock suncatcher that Jeannette is also making.  Shelley may or may not turn this into a window before it's finished but I really don't know for sure right now.  We'll uncover more about this mystery when Shelley returns next week.

Tasha had a small stained glass incident when the pattern she was working on last week managed to stay at home rather than coming to class with her.  We've seen this happen plenty of times before but Tasha didn't panic-- she just shifted into Hand Mirror Production Mode. She's moving along quickly on this blue flower hand mirror and is putting her own artistic touch to it.


Meanwhile, Charlie (Tasha's husband) has all of the glass cut out for the borders on his second Bird of Paradise Window.  He's taken the clear outer border pieces home with him so he can wrap them during the week and was smart enough to number each piece so he knows exactly where each one will be placed when he comes back in and then moves along to soldering this window.

And Ann's Rosebud Window is now ready for it's borders.  I had hoped that she'd go with two borders and it turns out that the pattern was drawn up that way to begin with.  Since she didn't have her border glass with her Ann decided to solder the front of this window to help save time later.  She'd also solder the back side as well, but of she did that the border wouldn't attach evenly.  Remember that you never solder the second side of a window until all of the glass you will be using in your window is tacked together.  On a side note, if you look closely at the bottom left of her pattern you can get a hint as to what Ann will be working on next.

Mary Grace is finishing up the wrapping process of her beach sunset window and will most likely add a border to this when she returns.  She has one broken piece of water but we're going to replace that when this gets tacked together to ensure a perfect fit on the first cut.

Then Brenda resumed the grinding process of her Red Fish Window.   And how do you grind your pieces in the most effective manor?   By placing  one piece on top of the other and tracing around it. It also makes for a wonderfully fitted window as well which is what Brenda has here.


Rowena is starting a Stylized Dragonfly Window and it's done a little differently than most windows.   She's cut all of her background glass while omitting the Dragonfly from the window completely (at this point).  She's begun grinding these pieces and will again omit the Dragonfly even during the grinding process.   However, before she starts wrapping her background pieces she'll make the dragonfly as a completed suncatcher and then position it on top of the curvy background pieces.  Then she'll trace around the dragonfly and recut the pieces it overlaps ensuring for a perfect and easy fit with minimal effort.

Susan got more grinding completed on some more  decorative insects for her Flower Cornucopia piece.   She'll be working on leaves before you know it and when that happens you'll know that this will be completed soon after.   I can't wait to see how this all fits together because I think it's going to be turning heads in our other classes.

And lastly, Susan R worked on a monarch Butterfly Lawn Ornament as a replacement for one that hit the ground during a wind storm.   She's added traditional monarch dots into the wings of this version and has everything cut and fitted together for this.

And that brings us up to date on our weekly classes!

Bayou Salé GlasssWorks

Friday, May 20, 2016

Doomsday Prepping

For those who missed class this week, you missed a very important newsflash that sent shock waves through the entire art glass industry. Last week Spectrum Glass announced that they will be permanently closing. They will continue to manufacture glass for about 60 days, sell off their remaining stock and close the door. This means that many of your favorite colors and textures of glass will be disappearing forever. Some of the popular favorites that will be going away are, sunflower yellow, root beer textures, LSU colors, black & clear wispy, wispy colors, krinkle, rainwater & most of the other clear textures that we normally carry. This has created a nationwide frenzy to stock up on favorites before they are gone. Our sales people at Delphi have dubbed this frenzy 'Doomsday Prepping'. This frenzy has reached even to our remote area of the bayou as we have sold an unprecedented quantity of glass this week. After receiving the news I placed our largest ever glass order to build up our stock. In addition, I have also been taking special orders from our students who want to stock up on their favorites. At the moment, prices from our supplier are stable, this will probably change as supplies dwindle. We are offering to special order glass for our customers in half sheet quantities. Half sheets measure 24"x 24" and the order must be paid for when it is placed. If you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, contact us as soon as possible. I am currently compiling yet another crate order and it may be the last one for some time.

While this change may be a bumpy road for a while, it is just a transition and the industry will survive. This isn't the end of art glass, it is just a change. Hopefully when the road smooths out again it will be traveling through an even more beautiful area. The other glass manufacturers have a wide open door to expand their lines and a huge void to fill.  Spectrum's demise will be their competitors salvation. While I will deeply miss Spectrum's glass, I can't wait to see the beauty that blossoms in their ashes.  Farewell Spectrum, we will miss you.
Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Plumb Ghetto

Two weeks ago I promised a tip about hiding lead lines.  Since I didn't deliver last week I went a little overboard with my example and really went to town on hiding the lines.  Let's look at a simple Cattail and Leaves Window.   There's absolutely nothing wrong with it at all and everything flows nicely.  Still, there are all those extra lead lines coming from the points of the leaves that could (for the most part) be easily hidden.

All I've done in this next version is to either extend or shorten the leaves so they end at another line.  I've also shortened the lead line coming from the left lower Cattail by swinging it to the right.  This makes it far shorter than it previously was and hopefully less distracting.

Now, in the next picture you can see I've added an entirely new element: a circular border within the original framework.  By doing this we have many more lines that we can end our leaves at and we may now completely omit the extra line coming from the left lower Cattail.   It only adds 10 extra pieces of glass to the window and the end result is that there are no unsightly leads lines that exist solely to make cuts possible.  This is what I strive for in windows, although it isn't always possible.

Okay then, so let's look at Sue R's Lamp!  This will go in the same room that her Peacock Feather Transom is in and it matches perfectly.  Her work on this was top notch and it all fit together perfectly without any regrinding required at all.  This is the way I like to see things go together-- flawlessly.  Sue got to see how we tin a brass cap so that it matches the rest of the lamp and I know she was excited to see this project completed so she can put it on its pedestal table at home.

Rowena's Beveled Transom Window was completed this week and it's a long one!  Sixty-eight inches long by 12 inches high makes this one extensive window.  Rowena replaced the center oval bevel with the number 179 and it blends in beautifully. There's wonderful work all throughout this window especially with her soldering.

Shelley put the finishing touches on her Red Fish window and it also looks great.  She's made this window entirely on her own with no help from me at all.  She's done amazing work on it and it certainly shows.


Myrt Finished the first of her Cardinal Windows and the next one will have flowers mixed into the leaves.  This one looks great even without the flowers but for some reason the brown border glass didn't photograph well and makes the window appear much darker than it really is.

Cindy's been busy sand blasting and these are her first two suncatcher creations.  She's got one more in the works that we'll see a little further down in this post.

Our newest student is Lara and her butterfly was made with the kind of colors I would pick-- subtle but distinct.  Lara had no problems with any step of the stained glass process and I was impressed at how she immediately understood all the concepts that revolve around each step.  I predict that we're going to see great things from Lara.

Bonnie's Round Cardinal Window is coming together beautifully and she got all of the cutting you see in the picture below done in just one class.  Not only that-- she's managed to begin grinding some of her pieces.  Next week she'll get the background cut and then start grinding.

We have another Red Fish cut out but this one is a fish of a completely different scale.  Brenda now has all of her glass cut out and will move on over to the grinder when we see her next.

Betty has all of her Pelican cut out as well as the splash at the bottom of the bird.  She's changed the splash color from white to a blue that is much lighter than the glass she'll be using for the rest of the water which I think is going to look great.  Next up for Betty will be the water and then her sky.

Jeanne's Micky Mouse Window is all cut ground and wrapped.  She changed the glass in Mickey's mouth above his tongue to black and it really makes a big difference.  Look out solder-- here comes Jeanne!

Becky S's large Spiral Window is getting its last lead border all cut and wrapped.  You can easily see all of the pieces that Becky has covered in copper foil and next she'll add her final glass border.  This window is almost finished!


Linda forgot to bring her first two Miky Maoys heads in this week but that didn't stop her from working nonstop throughout the class.  She has her four background pieces all cut to size and next she'll grind the heads into place as you can see in the bottom mouse head.  And all of this will happen inside the wooden jig that we made for it this week.

Carol started a new window while she was at home and when she came in all she needed was two borders and four corner pieces.  It's all together and Carol will be soldering this and maybe even completing it next week.  I just hope that Richard likes the border color.  ;-)  Also, note the border within a border which helps cut back on extra lead lines.

Ann got all of her Rose Window ground and has even begun wrapping her pieces already.  When I look at this I keep thinking one thing:  A double border would really look great on this.  Just saying!

Next we have Jan's Bird in A Tree Suncatcher  which really looks amazing.  She has all of her globs wrapped and positioned so when she comes back in all she'll need to do is cut out the remaining five pieces that form the sky, the land and the tree trunk.  Once they fit into place she can begin soldering this intriguing looking window.

Linda started working on what will be a Shell Panel and she managed to get the shell portion all cut and ground.  Aren't her colors perfect? 

The good news is that Jeannette has her Peacock completely soldered.  When she returns next week this will be washed and colored.  She'll be adding a wood frame to it (for stability) and I can't wait to see this hanging up with light behind it.  Jeannette has also started working on a much smaller peacock window (over to the right) which only needs its background cut at this point. 


Martha's Rose window is all ground and she'll be wrapping and tacking this when she comes back in.  Since the Rose is tightly grouped in the center of the window she'll tack it together and then trace around it while it sits on top of the glass that she'll use for her background.  There are a lot of lead lines, but they all travel horizontally which will make the cuts easy.

Mary Grace tried to raise the ocean level of her window but made a slight error in design by doing so.  In the end we put it back down where it was and then she added a sky color that I NEVER would have thought about using.  And in the end it's gorgeous.  I'll be making a mental note of this because it's a beautiful change from the standard blue skies that we always see.

Then we have Sheri who has all of her pieces ground.  She's changed the bottoms of the two Crab Claws from blue to red and I like the new look.  She's got three missing pieces that we aren't going to replace until all of these are tacked together.  This will ensure a perfect fit since the pattern no longer likely applies with all of the grinding that was done to this.

Susan is making great strides with her Flower Cornucopia and she has two more insects ready to be wrapped.  This is an odd project in the sense that there is no real pattern, just an idea that comes to life as we start tacking everything together.  Because of this no two will ever be quite the same. 

We have a second Transom Window in the works and this one is by Terry.  She's already begun grinding her borders so she's making real quick work of this design.  I assure you it's bigger than it looks here in the picture partially because it all won't fit in the camera viewfinder because the ceiling is in the way!

And this is Cindy's third Etched Suncatcher which is still in the works.  It's kind of hard to tell that it's a rose while it's sitting on the table like that but I suspect you'll see it more easily when we return next week and it has some light behind it. 

Lastly, we have three different Butterfly Lawn Ornaments that were completed this week.  The butterfly on the left was made by Betty, the one in the middle was made by Linda F and the one on the right by Gale. Each is beautiful, and so are the butterflies.  :-)

Now that we're at the end of this post we're going to take a deep breath and brace ourselves for the classes which are starting all over again even as you are reading this!