Monday, February 20, 2017

My Face Needs Work

Crosses and Bevel clusters share somehing in common: a demand for accuracy.  The patterns that come with bevel clusters should always be checked for 'squareness' because most times what you've received is a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy etc.  Each time it's copied more errors are introduced.  By 'squareness' I'm actually referring to the degrees in a circle (360), or in layman's terms, the numbers on a clock.  When you make a cross it is very important that the top points at the 12, the right arm at 3, the bottom at 6 and the left arm at 9.  If you are off it will look crooked and even worse it will hang crooked.

Here is a bevel cluster design that's centered perfectly.  Notice how the points hit the border breaks perfectly.

Next we have the same bevel cluster that was put together by eye rather than with a template.  Look at the red circles and you can easily see how this window does NOT line up at all.  Next week we'll see how easy it is to avoid this common mistake.

Betty completed her Industrial Fleur De Lis and it is a absolutely beautiful.   The thick leaded lines in this always draw attention because they fit in beautifully with the design on and they have a unique look that no one else uses in stained glass.  Now that the window is off of the white paper we've always seen it resting on top of you can see that the two amber colors compliment each other perfectly.  Betty's decided to hang her window in portrait form unlike the last two of these we saw.  And that's more of the beauty of this pattern-- it can hang either way. 

Paula's altered the design of this lamp so it isn't nearly as busy as it initially looked.  The end result is a stunning Traditional Tulip Lamp that Paula can surely be proud of.  I love the look of this and the work  she did on it is without a doubt top notch.  Everything went smoothly on this and Paula has once again proven her skills at working on 3D objects rather than just flat windows.

Cindy completed this beautiful Easter Egg Suncatcher and went all out by grinding holes into the right-most egg and then filling them in with yellow circles so the egg appears spotted!   This is no easy feat and Cindy did it all on her own even figuring out how to get foil inside the small circles.  Amazing.

Jeanne put the finishing touches on her three Beveled Cross Suncatchers and hey turned out absolutely perfect.  She was concerned about one very minor inconsistency but when you're talking about only 1/16th of an inch it's just not worth losing any sleep over.  I defy anyone to find a problem with any of these.  If by chance you do have a problem then come talk to me and I'll set you straight!

Carol completed her two Owls and they both look wise than me.   From the precision cutting all the way to her professional soldering job Carol took her time and got these two Owls looking perfect.  There's no work needed on these faces.


Martha finished her Clear Textures Cross Window and  did quite a bang up job on it.  She always manages to spot an area or two that she's not happy with but as I tell all of our students, that's the way it ALWAYS works.   No one is ever 100% happy with their work and I am no exception.   Myself, I think this is beautiful.  Martha even helped to get the channel on this window which is a very big deal. (I'm sorry for the visible flash in the photo but the other view without the reflection didn't show any of the glass textures.)

 Bonnie worked on and completed another Cardinal Suncatcher.   I think it's safe to say that she's mastered this pattern.  I'm not sure what's next for her but I know it will be good!

Susan D finished her Santa Lawn Ornament this week and it's another winner.   Her attention to detail in the face of this Santa is perfection itself.  Faces are easy to screw up and twist out of shape since the pieces are so small (especially the eyes) but Susan handled it perfectly and has a beautiful Lawn Ornament ready in time for Christmas this year (February is almost beyond us already so Christmas will be here before you know it!)

About two weeks ago Cindy send this picture of these five Business Card Holders that she completed at home.  I promptly saved the picture to my computer but it somehow got lost on my desktop which I cleaned up the other day.  So, now that I found them I thought I should share them with you.   These are far trickier to make than you might think but Cindy makes them look easy.

This week we saw Sheri complete her mystery Window but I still can't show it to you.   Sometime mid March we'll give you a good look at this GREAT window that she made in record time.   Sheri will be undergoing a bit of surgery so we're going to be missing her over the next few weeks but she'll be back before you know it.

 Now we move onto projects that are currently works in progress.  Judy got all of the center Fleur De Lis section of her window foiled and then cut out the trim that surrounds it.  She tried various colors but in the end she's decided to use the leaded border technique that Betty used in her window.  Judy has the trim all cut and ground and she's even covered the top and bottom of these pieces in sheet foil already.   It looks to me as if some background glass will happen next.  Oh and trust me, this window is MUCH bigger than you think when you look at the picture.

Jeannette started working on a Mermaid Panel which is going to end up fitting into a frame that she picked up.  Because of this, exact sizing is going to be very important especially since the frame has less than a quarter inch lip to hold the window into place.  Jeannette has almost completely cut and almost completed grinding her work already and I know that this won't be a challenge at all for her.

Mary Grace got all of the colored sections cut out for her Beveled Pinwheel Window and then after it was tacked together she placed it on a square of glue chip glass and traced around the cluster.   Once her background glass was cut it only needed a quick skim to get things to fit together.   That's why Mary Grace has her background cut, ground, wrapped, and tacked together already!   Next week she'll see how easy it is to make her random angle cut multi-colored border.

Linda L started working on three Welcome signs and is doing it the best possible way-- by cutting them out all at once.  Cutting one, grinding it, soldering it and then moving along to the next one is the slow way to handle multiple versions of a project and it also wastes a lot of glass.   Linda's doing great here because, as you can see, she's put a major dent in the amount of glass that she needs to cut for these three complex patterns.

Terry's latest project is another self designed Cross suncatcher.  Since this won't have any background glass the arms of the cross would normally prove to be a weak spot in the design but Terry has handled that by soldering re-strip into the center rounded section of the cross which them trace along the centers of the arms.  It's all buried under the solder so you don't even know it's there.


Becky S got to see the fruits of her labor when she came in and we showed her what her spotted pieces look like after they spent a night in the kiln.  Two weeks ago we scanned the spotted pattern pieces that Becky had drawn into the computer and then added a blur effect so that the spots wouldn't have such sharply defined edges.These were then printed out as decals that were applied to each piece of glass AFTER they had been ground so that everything fit together. Next the glass pieces were fired in the kiln overnight to get a permanent marking on the glass.  Everyone agrees that they turned out wonderfully and that they add so much more realism to the window.  Becky got this tacked together and now her background is all cut out and ready to be ground.  


Mary finished the thin blue trim on her beveled Fleur De  Lis and then wrapped the pieces and tacked them onto her bevel.   Once that was done she learned how to use her new, wider Fleur De Lis as a pattern.  She got her background cut from one single piece of glass, traced the FDL onto the center of it and then separated the pieces.  Next all she needs to do is to skim those background pieces on the grinder for a perfect fit and then she can wrap them up.

Tasha has her Comedy and Tragedy Masks all tacked together complete with the border as well.   She's taken this home so she can work on it throughout the week and I think there's a great chance that we'll be seeing these finished when she returns.  Tasha has her next pattern picked out and we'll see that right after we see this hanging in the light next week.


Linda F is very close to finishing up the work on her latest Wise Men Window.   With only the soldering left to go on this I'll say that she moves along to a new project during her next class with us.  She had to leave early this week and because of that I'm showing you the same picture that you saw last week.  Look for a big difference in this when we return next week.

Tracey is doing marvelous work as she finished cutting out all of the glass for her Mardi Gras Jester and then moved over to the grinder to get this fitting together.   She's learning good work habits by grinding one piece from another neighboring piece which is the quickest and easiest way to get things to fit.  Tracey is doing great and will resume her grind when she comes back in.  There's not much left to go so she may be wrapping this before you know it.

Lara has the center sections of her Louisiana Parishes all wrapped and tacked together.  When she returns she will slide this to the left, add two parishes and then slide it to the right to add the other five.   After that it's all about the background and the border(s).   

Myrt has her background all cut for her Male and Female Cardinal Window and she's just about  ready to add her first thin accent border.    After that she'll add a final larger border which will match the background glass.   Myrt will be soldering this before you can say, "Can I get some brass channel on this?

Our second Cardinal Window is being made by Roxane who amazed me with how quickly she got her Pair Of Cardinals ground.   She did an excellent job and the only thing we need to add are the cuts that run through branches and the upper bird's body (which will give him some support and stop him from looking like he's just floating there in mid air.   By grinding everything first we ensure that the thin lead line branches line up perfectly.  If they don't line up they would just look like breaks in the glass that we were too lazy to re-cut.  


Susan R now has all of the glass cut for her Mardi Gras Mask and she's already about halfway through the grinding process for this project.   Susan excels in working with small and thin pieces of glass so she's pretty quick on the grinder.   This is another Mardi Gras Project which will likely be completed before Fat Tuesday gets here.

Rowena tacked together the center section of her Olivia Window and the measured and cut the background piece to the left of the 'O' and to the right of the 'a'.   It may seem silly not to just cut all of the background at once but since this had to fit within a beveled border that can't be altered this is the only way to assure that the final size will fit within the bevels correctly.   Once that was completed Rowena got all of her borders cut out.  She was even able to attach the bevels because she was able to wrap them while she was at home.    She's on the home stretch now with this window.

Brenda is soldering her Mardi Gras colored Comedy and Tragedy Masks now that her foiling has all been completed.  With the front side soldered and the back side more than halfway done I suspect that this gorgeous piece of work will be completed with time to spare for Mardi Gras.  And that double border that you see was all cut out by Terry and Brenda themselves!


Cindy liked Martha's clear textured cross window so much that she decided to do a small version of her own.  She's made quick work of this project because the only thing left to do is solder it and add a hook to hang it by.  And the nice thing is that Cindy's cross is lined up beautifully.

Barbara began working on this window which will look odd until it all comes together.  This is actually an Autumn Mountainside which, after it's all fitted and tacked together, will gain some impressive wire work that will create a railroad train track bridge complete with a train traveling across it.   Remember that a project is the sum of all of its parts.  Right now it may be hard to see what it will look like in the end but I do believe that this window is going to be spectacular.  (If you look closely you can see the penciled in sections of the bridge.)

And lastly, Ann began working on her next window which, as you can see from the pattern, is intense!   She spend the night tracing out the poster board pattern pieces for this intricate Fleur De Lis and will most likely start cutting glass when she returns.

Time is moving quickly and so are our students with their projects.  It amazes me how many pictures I end up with at the end of the week.   It's when I work on this blog that I really get to see what everyone has accomplished during the week and I hope everyone else reading this out there gets the same feeling of wonder that I do. 


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