Monday, October 31, 2016

Passing Glass

Stair Steps

Foiling is indeed an art form.  Getting foil applied evenly takes practice and even when you finally get it close to perfection you still end up with pieces that need trimming.  When the foil doesn't properly overlap you get what we call 'stair steps'.  The thing is, you HAVE to trim these or your soldering will look messy.  You may think that it's not that big a deal but it's something that people who don't make glass pick up on right away when they see it staring them in the face.  All it takes is a sharp razor knife or Exacto Blade and you can nip that problem right in the bud, but there's a trick to it and I'm going to show it to you now.

Don't do what most people do and try to star trimming at the small end.  Take your SHARP blade and place it where you see the red arrow in the picture below and then follow the blue arrows by pulling your blade downward.  It you apply just a little bit of pressure you'll feel the blade follow the edge of the foil that's underneath the step thus creating a perfect line.  It's not only easy to do but it's quick as well.  More importantly, it's the difference between a beginner's stained glass piece and a professionals.

This week we got to see Bonnie complete her version of a Candy Skull and although it's a bit 'darker' than the one that Cindy did  just as eye catching (or possibly even arresting).  This window will always get noticed and when you actually see it you can' help but think, "Wow, that's a job well done!"  And considering the fact that today is Halloween, it's timely as well!

Carol finished her cross window and did an incredible job on it.  Her lines are all straight as an arrow, the solder never pools at the joints, and the colors are impeccable.  Just look at that deep purple background.  This picture was taken in direct sunlight so you know it's a dark piece of glass!  Carol also made a rather adorable Frog Nightlight which she purchased it as a kit but now that she has the pattern it will be easy to do on her own any time she wants to. 

Susan D had a deadline when it came to finishing of this LSU Tiger and here we are near the end of October and the window has been completed with time to spare.  In fact, she not only finished this while she was in class this week but she also resumed work n her Flower Cornucopia as well.  This woman is all about progress.

Susan R put the finishing touches on her Christmas Tree Panel Insert and did a great job converting a suncatcher into a stand alone window.  She even handled the border all by herself so kudos for that! This will slide into a frame and decorate her yard nicely.

Cindy missed class this week due to a cold but she sent me these three pictures of her latest creations.   Beautiful work all done without a lick of help from me at all.  Nice job!


Terry completed the soldering on her two 'S' Windows and once we got some hooks attached to them she was able to get them both washed, colored and waxed in time for a photograph.

Ann came in with her pattern under her arm this week, laid out all of the pieces that she cut out onto it, and then cut the few remaining  pieces that she had left.  Once that was done she began grinding.  Now you see can without a doubt that this is her latest Cross Window.  Ann made short work of the cutting process and her grinding is going along smoothly as well.  (Get it?  'Smoothly')

Jeanne's background glass arrived just in time for her to begin cutting it out to square off her Tiger De Lis Window.  It's all ground and wrapped so next week Jeanne can add a border (or two). This background may look black but it is the same DARK purple that Carol used as background for her Cross window up above.  I can't wait to see what she has planned for a border.

Then we have Paula who got two more box tops completed.Although I love them both I am a bit partial to the piano one because (like me) it breaks the rules.   Once it's attached to its bottom you'll see exactly what I mean.   Paula also has her next pattern drawn up, sized and ready to go and you'll see what that is when she returns.


Lara finished cutting all of the glass for her African Woman Window and has moved on over to a grinder to get everything to fit together.  She's new enough to be overly concerned about how her pieces haven't fit together but that is par for the course when it comes to stained glass.  Even with 35 years of experience under my belt I still can't get things to fit without grinding.  Lara has done excellent work on this and her work at the grinder is easily fixing all the small problems that she sees in this project.

Sheri continued cutting the glass on her Peacock Window and it's all coming together just two weeks into this project.  Since the background consists of a checkerboard pattern Sheri will tack the peacock together before cutting any of the background.  This is not how we normally do things but it will keep the grid lines lined up perfectly which is almost impossible to do when you cut them out one piece at a time.

Shelley started cutting out a Kokopelli Indian Window and got most of the background out of the way already.   She's also completed her Flower/Puzzle/Autism Window and will bring that in next week so I can get a final picture of it.  Expect to see that when we return along with the black Indian pieces of this window cut out.

Martha began work on two separate mid size windows-- a Sunflower and a Pair of Pumpkins.  As you can see she's well underway on both of these so I won't be surprised to see her finish these very shortly.  She's gotten these wrapped while she was at home because I got a picture from her along with the words: "I can see so much better"!  Her eye surgery was apparently a smashing success.

Lynn M spent the night cutting glass for her Tree Of Life Window and this appears to be a window that I'm going to have to make for myself as well.  The colors and the meaning all make for a fun yet beautiful design that Lynn is doing a wonderful job with.  This one is going to turn heads for sure.

Linda F Got a whole boatload of work done on her Autumn Leaves scene leaving just the glass for her two borders left to cut out.  As we all know, we don't do borders until the center 'framed' section is all ground, wrapped and tacked so that is what Linda will being doing next on this window.


With all three sections of her flowers completed, Tasha is all set to cut the mirror and the glass for the tray and then put this mid sized vanity mirror together.  I'm going to state here and now before this gets any further along that this is going to look amazing when we see it again next week.  Just you wait and see.

Rowena's Peacock now has the second side of its final border all cut, ground and wrapped.   As I expected, this went far quicker than it did on the first side because now she knows exactly how to position everything .   Since the length of the top and bottom borders are about equal to one of the side borders I have no doubt that she'll get this all cut out next week and maybe even begin soldering it.

Roxane resumed work on the wrapping stage of her Duck Window.  Her foiling is flawless and that means that her lead lines are going to be nice, even, and consistent.  With only a few pieces left to go I have no doubt that we'll see a border get attached to this when Roxane comes back in.

Brenda has all but four small pieces of border attached to her Beveled Transom Window and is just about to begin soldering.  We've worked out the bevels for the two smaller side panels that will accompany this Window and we'll see Brenda start those as soon as this one is completed.

Mary Grace got all but the border cut out for her version of the double Pumpkin Window that is so popular right now.   She's decided to use a glass called 'Fractures and Streamers' for her background which gives this (and Linda's Autumn Leaves Window) a wonderful look.

Myrt has the front of her Mermaid Window all soldered and is ready to start working on the back side of it already.   She has it flipped over and ready to go so I have no doubt that she'll have this completed when she comes back in.

I didn't get a picture of Becky's Window before she left class but she's begun grinding all of her flowers and this is another window that is going to look spectacular.  When you see it next you you won't believe how colorful and elegant it looks.


And to wrap this all up, we take a look at the Pumpkin Suncatcher that Susan R started.  When you get right down to it she almost finished it because all this needs is solder on it now.

And that covers our last week in October.  The year is ending quickly and Christmas is already in the air as you will soon see in the pictures yet to come.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Sugar On The Doughnut

Never Forget To Wipe Your Glass

It's come to my attention that no one seems to clean their glass before tracing pattern pieces onto it.  Students worry about removing any marker that is used to price and identify the glass but the (supposedly) clean sections are never wiped down.  Taking a damp (lightly moistened) paper towel to the surface of your glass will help ensure that your marker lines don't easily wipe off as you are handling the glass and even grinding it.   You wash your walls before paint them, right?  Well the same rule should  apply to your glass as well.  Try it and be amazed-- it could change your life!

Well now, Mary Grace came in and was able to wash, color, wash and then wax her Welcome Window.  As you can see she did a great job on this rather large piece that contains many tiny pieces.  There was a crack in one section that we repaired by simply adding a lead line over it and unless you know where it was you'd never know that the pattern wasn't drawn that way to start with.   Working around minor problems is one of the things that keeps you on your toes when you are making stained glass windows.

Jeannette completed her two Fish Window and the colors match the light, whimsical tone of the window perfectly.  We painted the black dots onto the white eyes to give these fish some vision and now everything looks great.  Jeannette did a wonderful job on this (as always).

Brenda made this beautiful Louisiana Window during the week that we didn't have classes.   Started and completed at home, Brenda continues to show us just how wonderful her work is.  And would you look at those cuts in the bottom right green piece of Louisiana as well as the clear piece of glass that fits into it!  She did this work with a grinder and all I can say is, "That's amazing!"

Terry made these three beautiful Christmas Suncatchers but it's her Cross that really caught my eye.  And Brenda Pointed out that there are even Jesus fishes 'hidden' in the design.  Do you see them?  There are four of them.

Rowena was as busy as a bee and managed to make these two beautiful Christmas Suncatchers.  Although we've seen the Cross before, the Angel (made with 6 bevels) is new.  And the pattern is so nice that you could actually make this without using bevels. 

Carol finished this two colored bevel cross and did a masterful job with it.  She was unsure of where to add the hook since there were no lead lines near the top of the cross but since it comes to a point this suncatcher can have its hook attached to an area where there isn't a joint. 


And here's the second, taller version of the Nativity Scene that Betty likes to make.  This one fulfills an order and I know the recipient will be happy when they see it.  See, last week a dog somehow managed to get trapped in the fenced in section of Betty's back yard and was afraid to leave when she opened the gate.  The animal was very upset, foaming at the mouth, and barking so loudly that the neighbors ended up calling the police.  When three squad cars and two officers appeared at her door Betty explained the situation and the officers, after eying up the situation, ended up having to call Animal Control to handle the matter.  As they were waiting for someone to arrive to tranquilize the beast, Betty invited the policemen in for Tea and Butter Croissants served with a side plate of Cucumber Sandwiches.  While they were sitting down to eat, Officer Chauvin de la Frénière spied the Nativity Scene window that Betty had hanging in her Parlor window and inquired as to where she had purchased it (because the work was, as he said, exquisite).  Well, you can imagine his surprise when he learned that Betty had made it herself.  He immediately commissioned her to create one for his Great Aunt Juniper who lived just 2 blocks over and several blocks down.  And that, dear reader,  is how this window came to be!  But the icing on the cake to this story is that Miss Juniper Chauvin de la Frénière was not only the recipient of this gorgeous window, but also the owner of the dog that had meandered its way into Betty's yard!  It turns out that if that cute little pit bull named Jack Kerouac hadn't meandered into Betty's yard then this window wouldn't exist at all!  Sometimes the truth IS stranger than fiction.  (Just not in this case, however.)

Linda F Finished her latest Pumpkin Window and like the last one this is a work of art.  We're seeing a lot of these and we will most likely ban their creation after a few dozen of these are made.  ;-)

Becky S has the vase and flowers portion of her window all cut out and it's looking colorful, impressive, and elegant.   No one realizes just how many pieces it takes to  make this window until they begin cutting it all out (as Becky will attest to).  As you can see though, it's well worth the effort.

Judy has started cutting out the glass for her Shrimp De Lis Window and has accomplished quite a bit in just one class.   She's toying with the idea of trimming the FDL with lead rather than glass so for now she'll ignore that border off and then decide when she gets the center of the Fleur De List all cut, ground, and tacked together.


Jeanne has her Tiger De Lis Face all tacked together and has picked out a beautiful dark (DARK!) purple glass to use as background for this window.  hopefully it will be in next week in time for her to start cutting background.  If not, then she'll begin something else for one week and then move back to this which I can't wait to see completed.


Rowena came in and added all of the accent pieces to the long, left side, blue border of her Peacock Window.  Since this side was designed 'on the fly', the second side should go much quicker (now that we know what we are doing).  It won't be long now before this window is hanging in Rowena's house! 

Terry is always as busy as can be and this week we see that she's got not just one but two 'S' Windows almost completed.  They both have their borders cut so these are windows are all ready for soldering.

Well, it's official-- Linda L has begun soldering her Industrial Fleur De Lis Window and has the front side completely tacked together and the zinc channel already attached.   I'm fairly certain that she was pleasantly surprised that the soldering part of the lead trim was exactly as easy as I said it would be. This window is almost completed but we'll be seeing it yet again because Betty plans on making it next.

Roxane hunkered down and got the rest of her feathery Duck Window all ground.  There was a lot of grinding but Roxane learned the benefits of placing the piece that you're grinding UNDER any  adjacent pieces that are already ground.  Never guess where you should grind to when you can draw a line and accomplish it perfectly with just two trips to the grinder.


Myrt now has all of her glass tacked together on her Mermaid Window and will begin soldering it when she comes back in.  She was originally going to go with a bright color for the border but Terry had the same idea that I had-- match the border glass to the shell color.  Once Myrt saw the glass she loved it and now it's a done deal.

Susan R has her Christmas Tree Panel just about completed.  She's decided to add a fancy irregular top to the panel which accentuates the pointed tree top perfectly and she's done all of this by herself. This will surely be finished when we see it again.

Ann Started cutting out the glass for her newest Cross Window but since she accidentally left the pattern at home all of the glass she cut ended up in a pile on her work board.   We'll be able to see exactly  how much Ann  accomplished once these pieces are all laid out on top of the pattern in their proper places.  Just trust me when I tell you that a lot was accomplished in just one night.

Jeannette not only completed her Fish Window but also found the time to work on a hand mirror as well.  She's made some great headway on this project already so I expect to see her move on to an even newer project in a very short while.

Bonnie is really making quick work of her Candy Skull Window.  With the border now attached she has begun the soldering process.  I've talked to her since class ended and she's now working on soldering the back side of this so I'm thinking that this will be completed when we see it again.

Cindy resumed work on her large Parrot Suncatcher and was grinding like a fool right up to the end of class.  I'm not 100% sure but I think she may have gotten the final pieces completed for it AFTER I had taken this picture.   With her show only 1 weekend away I know for a fact that this will be completed when she comes back in. 

Jan's second section for her Bookcase Windows is officially all cut out and ready to be ground.  I brought up how much trouble I have when I'm trying to pick colors to make something appear to be randomly placed, but in the end Jan didn't have any difficulties at all.  The books look great and Jan will begin grinding this when she returns.

Brenda has the border all cut and skimmed for her Transom Window now.   Once these are foiled she will start soldering this project and then get a zinc channel added for stability.   All it takes is a simple little flex and this window will crack due to its length-- The zinc channel will make a big difference in how sturdy this window will be once it's attached.

Mary Grace has started working on her own version of the double pumpkin window and is moving right along on it.  She'll be using some art glass for her background and we'll see what that looks like when she comes back in next week.

Carol also worked on this Cross Panel Window this week.  She as worried about how much the lead would pool where all of the lead lines meet and converge near the center so she ended up re-wrapping some of the pieces with the thinner 3/16's foil.  She'll most likely solder this one at home so I think it will be finished quickly.


Betty worked on her shorter Manger Scene Window and she flew through it quickly and efficiently.  The back side still needs to be soldered but the hard part of this is behind her now.  She also worked on her own pumpkin window and just needs to get some hook on this before she can wash it to finish it off.

Tasha got two out of three sections of her table mirror almost completed this week.   With just the small section left to go we'll see this beautiful mirror really take shape when Tasha comes back in.

Susan D came in with the background of her Tiger all cut out, ground and even tacked together.  Susan no longer fears working with glass because she not only accomplished all that while keeping her window square but she altered the tiger tail even more to space out the stripes more evenly.  I think she's got this stained glass making thing down now.

Sheri has begun work on a new project this week and as you can see it's a Peacock Window.  She's got more than half of the darkest blue glass cut out already and will have it laid out on the pattern when she comes back in.

Linda F Ironed out all of the details for her newest window which will be an autumn leaves scene.  She has her art glass all picked out and her pattern ready to be cut so we'll start seeing some glass cut soon on this.

That's it for this week but be sure to come back next week for more progress and gossip!  We've got it all!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks