Monday, October 3, 2016

My Goat Knows The Bowling Score

Knowing the Angle

We're reprinting a tip this week since we've seen so many people handing their soldering irons and rolls of solder incorrectly.  In order to get a nice even bead on your project you need to be sure of numerous issues but these two cannot be ignored.  Most importantly, the solder (from the roll) should be placed just barely above the point where the soldering iron tip is touching your project.  Secondly, the iron should be kept at an angle to the glass rather than held parallel to the project.   The picture below highlights both of these points perfectly.   If you position the lead high up on the iron it has to drip down onto the glass and that will never get you a smooth bead.   If the iron is at too low an angle then the lead can't easily get around the tip of the iron and the lead ends up pooling behind the iron.   With a little practice and a little patience this will happen instinctively without you ever having to think of it.

Okay, so Lara completed the soldering on her Mermaid Window and managed to complete it with PLENTY of time to spare.  So did she rest and take it easy the rest of the night?  Nope, she started a new project!  If her newest window looks even half as good as this one does (and I know it will) then we're in for a treat.  Scroll on down a little further and you'll see exactly what she's working on next.

Lynn soldered the border section of the front of her Tulip Window and then got the back finished as well.  By the end of the night she was washing and coloring this project so she could take it home with her.  I must say that I was VERY impressed with her soldering abilities and that's because she's not afraid to take her time rather than trying to rush it.  There's a common phrase that I can't state enough while soldering-- "Slow but steady wins the race."


Becky B got her Dragonfly Window completed and even though she had fears about the pieces fitting too loosely with gaps being apparent, everything came together perfectly in the end.  People worry too much about cutting off the line while they are cutting because they worry fear their pieces will be too short.  The thing is, if all the pieces are short by the same amount (the amount of the line) then everything balances out in the end.  This window is perfect proof of it. 


Linda F came in with her LSU Window all soldered and ready for its hooks.  Once they were attached she washed it, colored it and then I hung it up for its picture. The nice straight lines in this window surely speak for themselves.

Carol came in and had Crosses on her mind.  She's taken patterns home with her for quite a few different varieties and this is one that she made, start to finish, while in class.  Now that's great work! I can't wait to see what she walks in the door with next week.

As I said at the start of this post, Lara completed her Mermaid with plenty of time to spare.  This is the African Woman pattern that she started cutting out during the remainder of her class once her Mermaid was colored.  This has a lot of pieces but it's going to look wonderful in the end.


Brenda managed to get the majority of her Beveled Transom Window cut out and will begin on the final border of this beautiful window next week.  Although the picture is small, this window is huge (and elegant).

Brenda worked on her small Duck Window while she was at home and brought it to pick out a border for it.  The border pieces have all been cut and Brenda will have this finished before you know it.   I love the sky in this window and I'm super impressed with the quality of work that Brenda does on her own.

Next up I'm pleased to show you how Bonnie's Skull Window really looks like a skull this week.  With only two hours of grinding Bonnie has this window pretty much whipped into shape.  The different color teeth in the skull itself are a subtle but nice touch.  Bonnie made excellent progress on this and may very well begin wrapping her glass when we see her again.


Jan came in with all of her Cat In A Bookcase Window foiled and ready to be tacked together.  Once that was accomplished she attached a zinc channel and then proceeded to work on soldering the front side.  Once that was completed she flipped it over and started in on the second side.  By the time her roll of solder was empty the class was very nearly over so Jan called it a night.  Yep, this will be another window completed next week!

Paula got the top of her turtle box finished and she's altered the pattern to include many more smaller pieces than it originally had when I originally drew it.  Sometimes I worry and sacrifice detail for simplicity so I won't scare students away from a project but I should never do that with Paula because she never shies away from difficult projects.  I'm thrilled that she changed this because I know it looks much better this way.

Terry has begun work on her Pair of Birds but I'm unsure if this will be a suncatcher or a window.  It's large enough to go either way and I hate to make predictions about the overall design of a project, especially when Terry is involved.  We'll see how this works out when she comes back i n next week.

Well color me surprised!  Susan D walked in the door with a Tiger all cut out and mostly ground!   By the time class was finished she had a good portion of this frothy mouthed tiger wrapped.   And I have to point out how wonderfully everything fits together because that's important and Susan achieved it on her own yet again.

Linda F came in and practically completed another pumpkin window.   She has the front all soldered and will get the back side of this to match when she comes back in.   I love the fact that she echoed a phrase I always say: "The second one went much quicker than the first one".

Jeannette continued working on her Fish Window by tacking together the fish and then cutting out the background water by placing the fish and tracing around them.   She now has this all ground and wrapped which means that she'll be adding borders to this when we see Jeannette again.

Becky S was busy cutting glass for her Flowers and Vase Window this week as well as picking out colors for other sections of it.   She's discovering that there are a LOT of pieces in this pattern but the end result will certainly be worth the work.    This is a beautiful pattern and the  pink flowers that Becky cut out are just the tip of the iceberg of perfect colors that this will be constructed from.


Cindy got the background and border attached to her Cardinal Window and is now ready to start soldering.  She would have gotten further along but she was concerned that the background glass she cut was too thick to be used.   Width discrepancies between different glasses are always scary but they're never an issue as you can see in the picture below. 

And Tasha certainly got a lot accomplished this week.  She came in with the majority of the larger section of her flower border ground and then completed the other two sections as well.  She now understands that you should never look to see how a piece fits with the others UNTIL you skim it.  Once you've taken it to the grinder and ground off any lines you can then see exactly what needs to be done next to ensure a perfect fit.  There are no shortcuts in stained glass, only over ground pieces.

Myrt was back this week and she spent her night wrapping her Mermaid Window.   Once all the glass had foil on it she asked if the globs needed to be wrapped.  Since they do need foil on them she took them over to the grinder, skimmed them and then hit them with a twist of foil.  Next week she'll tack this together and put its border on.


Mary Grace started soldering the second side of her EMOCLEW (that's WELCOME backwards) Window and only has the lettering left to solder before she can wrap this project up.  This is yet another window that will most likely be completed next week.

Linda L still had bevels left to cut and although she was managing it certainly wasn't going easily for her until we pointed out a big tip about cutting bevels:  Don't cut the line off, just come close and grind the rest so the bevel doesn't chip.  Once she did that she had no trouble at all.  I did learn that Linda and I have something in common-- when something stands in our way we WILL conquer it to show it who the boss is!

Sheri has all of her Fleur De Lis and Flowers cut out even though it was looking a little iffy at one point in time.  She had two pieces that wouldn't fit on the piece of glass that she had and we didn't have any more of it in stock.  Luckily she was able to get her missing pieces from a sample piece that we won't be needing now that Spectrum isn't making glass anymore.  But more on that at the end of this post.

Roxane's duck window is all cut out and now it's in the process of being ground.  With the hardest part completed (the bottom right corner) I'm thinking that Roxane will surely show the remaining pieces how they should fit together and knock them into place as effortlessly as she's handled all the previous steps of this window.  This is going to look beautiful (and already does).

Rowena is now working on the inner border of her Peacock Window and if it were a plain simple border it would certainly be attached already.  However,  Rowena is adding a twisted 'cord' to the border which disguises the breaks that you normally see while adding another splash of color into the mix.  The orange border with red 'twists' look great together and her final outer border has been picked out as well.

Susan R is another student with the front side of her Pumpkin Window completely soldered. Knowing how much Susan likes to work on glass while she's at home I'm sure that when we next see this it will be completed and Susan will have some other project started.

Jeanne has her Tiger De Lis almost completely wrapped now and will most likely tack it and get her background pieces started when she returns.   I know she feels as though this has been a long haul but it's a fact that she's moved faster than she thinks she did.  All of those tiny pieces take time and she's worked through them at a nice steady pace.

And this week we also got to see Martha solder a good portion (the majority) of the back side of her Seafood Window.   With less than a quarter of it to go I'll climb out on a limb and say that we'll surely see this completed when she returns.  What's next on Martha's plate?  Who knows (but I'm guessing that it won't be seafood!)


Lastly, when Cindy came in with her Cardinal Window wrapped all I could see was her beautiful foiling.   I just had to take a closeup to show everyone what perfect wrapping is all about.  Nice even lines without a hint of waver is exactly what you should strive for because it makes your soldering look so much better.  An excellent job, Cindy!

And to wrap things up we'll pass on the information that Spectrum Glass will begin producing glass again sometime next year under a new ownership.   The new Spectrum Glass may or may not be the same as it always was-- that's something that only time will tell.   We'll pass along any news as more information becomes available.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

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