Monday, October 10, 2016

Draw Me Like One of Your French Girls

Symmetry and Right Angles

Placement is extremely important in stained glass.   Just because something fits together it doesn't mean that it's correct.   We're seeing a lot of crosses being made and when putting one together it is important that each of the four ends line up perfectly as right angles.   The cross on the left is perfect.  As you can see, each point of the cross falls onto the red lines which are right angles.   The cross on the right doesn't line up as the red arrows point out.   The cross may appear fine to you when the red lines aren't there to highlight its inaccuracies, but the cross will hang crooked thus exaggerating and drawing attention to its inaccuracies.

Many shapes (including bevel clusters) need to fall on right angles for lines to correctly join with them.   Even the popular Fleur De Lis design has two separate sections that need to land evenly at right angles for it to maintain its symmetry.  If the points of this Fleur De Lis didn't land exactly on the red right angle lines then cutting it into the center of a window will make the lines crooked.   You may not see it when the Fleur De Lis is standing alone, but when lines radiate outward from its points its inaccuracies will CLEARLY show.  So always be careful with symmetrical shapes and your windows look look all the better for it.

I'm pleased to announce that Martha's Seafood Window has been completed but I'm not happy because she's being far too hard on herself when it comes to critiquing it.  All she sees are flaws that don't exist and I'm not just saying that to make her feel better.   Just look at this window and tell me that it's not perfect.  A job well done no matter how you 'cut' it.

Sheri completed soldering her Fleur De Lis and Flowers Window this week and what a window it is.   We showed her how to touch up her soldering so that any  wrinkles could be ironed out and Sheri took to the touch up process  like a fish to water.   This is one beautifully soldered window with only minor help from me.  I can't wait to see her start working on her next project.

This week Jan finished the Cat Panel of her two piece bookcase window and it's a nice sturdy window.  Once that was completed she pulled out the pattern for the second section and I got to see just how many more books there were in that part of the design.   But there's no curved cat tail (which was actually a fun piece to cut) so even though there's more lines and color, almost all the cuts are straight which should make things easy for Jan.   If the second window turns out even half as good as this first section did (and I'm sure it will) then Jan will have done a phenomenal job.

Terry finished her Pair of Birds which turned out to be a suncatcher.  It's beautiful work and I loved that Terry was thinking ahead when she asked if she should fill in the opened areas between the branches with clear glass to give it more stability.   In the end we voted against the extra work because this project is certainly stable enough as is.

Brenda finished her Duck Window while she was at home and brought it in for its hooks and its closeup.   Her work on this panel is top tier and I hope that she can worry less about working on her Transom window-- although it's a big project the pieces are of average size.   Big or small the work to make a window is always the same.

Barbara completed her Candle Holder by adding some brass feet to it which really gave it an added amount of flair.  I have to say that I really like the looks of the tall feet on these tall bevels.  Barbara also  began foiling even more bevels so she could make another box and another candle holder.

Cindy completed her Cardinal Window and discovered that if you don't coat your brass channel with lead it won't color with the patina.  After the panel got  a  quick washing in the sink  and then a thin coating of solder it took the black patina nicely and now everything looks great.   

Susan R  finished her version of the Pumpkin Window this week and the two toned background  and border were perfect compliments to each other.   This i snow officially a popular  pattern because a third(!) student (Mary Grace) has begun working on one as well.

Carol knocked out another Cross Suncatcher and her cutting on this was nothing short of SPECTACULAR!  She even came up with numerous tricks to make fitting the nine pieces of the cross together seamlessly.   As you can see there's nothing less than perfect about it.  I must say that I couldn't have cut this out any better myself!

Mary Grace made this American Flag Lawn Ornament while she was at home and she did a great job of it.  There was a little smoothing to do on the soldering but in about 5 minutes this was completed and ready to be staked in her front yard. 

Becky S spent her time in class cutting more pieces for her Vase of Flowers Window.  There's a lot more cut out and you can already see just how nice this window is going to look when it's completed.   Becky also hammered out an idea on how to get spots on the glass she plans to use on her Cougar Window.   All in all it was a very productive night for her. 

Myrt got her Mermaid Window tacked together and started cutting out the few remaining  pieces that somehow got left out of the mix when she first started cutting the glass for this window.  Myrt also discovered that the real shells that she's using are not flat and therefore leave a few small gaps when butted up again the background glass.  These will simple cover with solder.   This is a normal 'problem' when working with items that aren't perfectly flat, but it  shouldn't discourage anyone from working with 3D items because these inconsistencies  won't show at all when the window is completed.

 Lara worked on cutting out more pieces for her African Woman Window and is really moving along wonderfully with it.  She's traced out a lot of pieces onto sheets of glass  which she's taken home with her so she can continue working on this project over the next two weeks.  I have no doubt that she'll have no problems at all working on this alone.

Susan D has bee busy working on her Flower Cornucopia piece at home and send me this picture of the progress she's making on it.   This is one lush piece of art and it's going to look amazing when it's all tacked together.  Remember that this is just the back layer that all the flowers and insects will be tacked to.  This shot is from behind the project so you can see the bard and the wires that everything is tacked to to keep it all together.  Amazing.

Jeannette has the front of her Fish Window all soldered and has the back of it well under way.  This will surely be completed in our next post and  then we'll get to see progress on Jeannette's newest  window which will feature Minnie Mouse (sans frills).

Shelley's Autism Flower Vase is all cut out and the four accent colors in the corners in her border are a perfect addition to this window.  She's done a spectacular job on this and we're sure to see this lit up when she comes back into class.

Terry, who is not one to rest and take it easy once a project is completed, worked on these two Christmas Suncatchers that both have enough pieces to rival some windows that have been made in class.  These are all ready for a coat of solder and they'll be completed!

And here's a look at the Pumpkin Window that Mary Grace has started.  Everybody loves this orange glass and it's a shame that it isn't available anymore.  But have no fear because a replacement glass will surely be found soon.

Well, it's official, Linda L has all of the glass cut and ground for her Fleur De Lis Window and all but 9 pieces of the glass wrapped.   She'll completely tack the front side of this window when she returns and get to see just how easy it is to solder this 'odd' window'  With so many of the pieces completely covered in foil I know Linda is anxious to see how this will come together once she starts adding the solder.   I know that she'll do just fine and that this window will look amazing.

Susan D got her LSU Tiger all tacked together and then altered it so that it would fit better into a smaller opening than the original pattern was drawn for. Yes, there was some tail amputation done (not that you'd notice it) to make it fit less snugly but after that little procedure this tiger works out perfectly for a smaller opening. Susan will start cutting her background during her time off.

Bonnie now has all of her pieces ground and fitting together perfectly for her Candy Skull Window. She's  this project  home with her to wrap over the next two weeks since we won' be having classes next week.  When she comes back in she should be ready to get this tacked and then get its border attached. 


Cindy started work on this large Parrot Suncatcher and is well under way on it already.  She wants it brightly colored and I have no doubt that is what it will be once it is finished.

Brenda did get her Transom Window tacked together which means that she's about ready to get the final border attached to it.  When that's been done the zinc channel will then be attached and if everything has been cut correctly (which it has) then the size will work out perfectly. There won't be any surprises here, that's for sure.

Mary Grace got the zinc channel attached to her Welcome Window and she's completed all of the soldering on it.   All she needs to do now is to do some touch up work which means that she'll certainly be able to color it and take it on home with her after her next class.

 Rowena has her first border attached to her Peacock Window and has the final blue border is all cut out into strips.   She's going to be adding clear pieces into the center of the strips to form a pattern that hasn't been arranged yet but from what I could see I love the idea that she is currently working out for it. 


Susan R started cutting out this large Christmas Tree Suncatcher which she will be altering so that it's a window when it is completed.   She has everything but the background glass cut out already so look to see this completed in the very near future.   Considering that she's just got one class of work in on this project I'd say that she's doing great!

Lynn traced out the pattern for her next project which turned MANY heads while it was pinned to the wall this week.   The nice thing about working on this Tree Of Life Design is that Lynn will be able to incorporate a lot of glass scraps thus cutting down on the cost of materials  immensely which is always a good thing.  And I have to say that I may just make one of these myself in the near future.

Birthday girl Ann worked on tracing out the pattern for her next window which will be a large cross design.  She's taken the pattern home to color in so she can see exactly what she wants to do with this color wise  When she comes back in she'll be  all ready to start cutting her glass.   Happy Birthday Ann!  It's not often that someone brings their own 'cake' to the party!

Lastly, Paula ironed out a pattern for the next box that she'll be making and it will be a bit different from other boxes that we've seen made in our classes because the top will not match the bottom.  And if that sounds intriguing to you then make sure that you come back to read our Blog during the next few weeks to see exactly how Paula makes these curvy piano keys into a square box.   It will be enlightening for sure!


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