Monday, April 24, 2017

Invasion Of The Saucer-Men

Something that we see happening in class involves the incorrect positioning of the marker while tracing around a piece of glass.   Most people angle the marker so that the point is away from the edge of the glass (see the left picture).   You want the point of the marker AGAINST the glass that you are tracing.   Even if you hold the marker in a perfectly vertical position the tip will touch the piece of glass that you are tracing.  Look at the illustration on the right for the correct angle of the marker.  The point of the marker MUST be touching the glass if you want an accurate tracing. 

Well then, Carol completed another wonderful Panel Lamp and I think she has the process down to a science now.  She even went so far as to design this lamp herself hoping that it would fit atop its Eiffel Tower base without looking out of place. I think it works beautifully and that she couldn't possibly do any better.  This is what I call an eye catching lamp.

Paula finished her Large Angel Suncatcher and what a beautiful job she did on it.   Her long flowing lines are smooth without a hint of any jaggedness.  Everything about this angle flows gracefully and that's a testament to good stained glass making.   Beautiful!   

And Cindy completed the first of her self designed hand mirrors and I'll state for the record that it's a keeper.  The colors are spectacular (she's used iridised green for the leaves) and the design makes this far more functional that the other flowered hand mirrors that we normally see done here.

Next up we see that Rowena got her two crosses completed.   The four angles in the turquoise  cross on the left each form perfect right angles, and the center lines on the cross on the right also form right angles and THAT is the sign of a great cross.

Susan R finished her Ladybug Lawn Ornament and as you can see her spots fit beautifully even though it altered from the pattern pieces dramatically.   It's all about taking your time and Susan did wonderfully with this.

Terry also completed 2 Crosses but they were finished just before class ended so she wasn't able to get them washed for a good photo shoot, but this picture more than gives you a good idea of what they looked like.   I especially like the Blue one.

Brenda has made considerable progress on her Oval Iris and has this almost completely cut out already.   She's a quick worker but more than importantly, she's a precise worker and that always shows in her completed projects.

Tasha got a lot accomplished as all of her Bowl of Hygieia Window (the universally recognized symbol of Pharmacy and medicine)  has been cut out.   We discovered that she had a large problem with her cutter but now that she has a new cutting head she should have a much easier time getting her glass to break correctly.  She's begun the grinding process so this project will soon be in her past.

Jan has taken our Fusing Workshop and had decided to make a Fused Checkerboard Platter which uses 3 colors of glass which overlap to form a fourth color.  It's made by cutting 180 precisely cut squares which Jan has cut out already.  As you can see from her picture she's already begun to assemble her platter which will be ready for a night in the kiln when Jan next returns.

Lara began cutting out her Scales Of Justice Window and she got all of the scale cut out pretty quickly of I do say so myself.  Before she started on the background she asked if she should use pattern pieces or if she could just cut the background from a square piece of glass that she would trace the finished scale onto.  After some consideration I figured that the latter choice was the best decision so Lara began grinding her scale leaving the background for later.  By the end of the night Lara's Scale was ready for wrapping!


Becky S finished the background pieces for her Double Sunflower window and then got it all tacked together.  Once that was done she got some strips cut for her border and then cut those strips into the complex shapes required to flower between her flowers.   Having the flowers cut into the border slows things down but it's always a nice effect and one that I use often in windows that I make.

Melissa started working on her first window with us and she decided to make a Stylized Fleur De Lis.   The wonderful thing about it is that she's putting her own spin on the design  which we'll talk about as she gets more cut out.  It's already looking great and her cutting is wonderful!

This Fireman Window is looking HOT!   Susan only has a few pieces left to cut and she might even had gotten them cut if she hadn't accidentally left her glass at home.   You know, it happens a lot and it's nothing to be embarrassed about especially since she was able to wrap a lot of the pieces that she already has cut and ground.  So in the end Susan had no time wasted and plenty of progress to show by the time class ended.


Jeannette started making this abstract window out of scrap glass and some bevels that she had just hanging around the house.   She began soldering it in class and with the front side completely soldered and the back side halfway completed I'll say that she finishes this next week.

Tracey accomplished quite a bit of work this week as she got the center number section of her Adress Window tacked together.  But that wasn't all she did-- she also got all but the background cut out.  That means that when she returns she'll get a lesson with the pistol grip cutter  and then hopefully finish off a lot of her background pieces.

We've already seen that Cindy had completed her Hand Mirror and now you can see what she's making next:  a second Hand Mirror but with a different color scheme.  I won't be surprised to see Cindy making a lot of these as the weeks and months go by.

 then we revisit Terry again who also worked on her Oval Day Lily Window.  I must say that it looks as though she'll be wrapping this project up any time now.  The colors are as stunning as the design.

So Myrt started working on a Humming Bird and Fuchsia Window of her own and she's got the flower all cut and ground already.   We've already decided that she doesn't need to cut pieces for her background because we'll handle this the same way that Lara is doing her background.  I'm also going to offer up an idea for a minor change and see what Myrt thinks about it when she returns...

This week we got to see Martha get her three Fleur De Lis' all ground and ready for foiling.  The backgrounds themselves won't take long at all to cut, grind and wrap so I'll state for the record that the hardest part of the work on these three windows is behind Martha now.

Susan R has started another  Mermaid Suncatcher which we've seen before and have always loved.   The design on this is so simple and graceful that everyone always comments about it.  In fact, I wish I drew this up myself!

Rowena got the center bevel of her next Transom Window tacked together and will begin cutting her background glass whenever the Glue Chip comes back in stock.  This transom won't be as long as the last one that Rowena made but it will still be a large window.  On the plus side of things, there aren't a lot of pieces in it!


Lastly there's Mary who resumed grinding on her Football Window and is a good quarter of the way towards having it all ground.   She's moving along at a nice even pace on it and is really getting the hang of using the grinder.  More on that later on!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, April 17, 2017

It Ain't Fittin', It Just Ain't Fittin!

This tip is going to be a tad bit on the lengthy side but only because of the number of pictures it takes to show what is happening.   Here we're going to show you the easy way to cut out the basket similar to the one that Mary Grace made for her Easter Basket Window. 

We start with the pattern piece for the basket itself.  Rather than cutting out 12 distinct pieces we're just going to leave our pattern as one large piece.
 After cutting our glass to the full size of the basket we grind it so it fits the pattern.
Next we trace one set of the lines onto the piece of glass as shown in the picture below. We then cut those lines with our glass cutter BUT WE DON'T SEPARATE THEM YET! 
 Next we draw the lines that curve the other direction onto our piece of glass.
After the lines are drawn onto our glass we cut on those lines starting at point 'a' and ending at the top of the piece at point 'b'.   We don't stop at any of the intersections-- we cut straight through them until we reach the top edge of the glass.
We're almost finished now.  Our next step is to start separating the glass in the same order that we made our cuts.  (Be sure to adjust your running pliers to put as little pressure as possible or you will surely break your points off.)
Our final step is to separate the remaining pieces one at a time again using very little pressure on your pliers.  When completed you will have pieces that look like this:
Now all you need to do is skim these pieces and you will have a perfect fit.   If you had cut each piece individually you would spend a considerable amount of time at the grinder trying to get this complex pattern to fit together.  One thing you need to be careful not to do is mixing up the pieces-- it's best to grind them one at a time because they will only fit back together one way and it gets VERY tricky trying to realign everything if they get mixed up.   So when you scroll down to Mary Grace's Easter Basket you'll know just how easily her basket went together.

Whew!  That was a long one.  But now we're ready to see what has been accomplished this week during our classes and we're going to start things off with a window that a lot of our students have had their eyes on.  Welcome to Louisiana and all 64 of its parishes as wonderfully illustrated by Lara.  This is another one of those LARGE windows measuring almost three feet by three feet.  My favorite touch was how Lara decided to use blue glass to signify the coast line of the state.  Beautiful!

Jeannette was certainly busy this week.  Her Humming Birds and Fuchsia Window got completely soldered (in record time with great soldering skill) and once it was washed and colored she was able to hang stamens from the fuchsia's bottom.   The stamen are actually wires with small dots of solder on the ends that were soldered into the lead line.  It's a small detail that adds a bito f realism and wonder to anyone who looks at the window who may know something about cutting glass since, at first glance, they look like impossible cuts.

Brenda completed another  Cross utilizing clear textures and brown and amber glass.   She wasn't completely sold on the brown glass but I think it's a striking combination.   Beautiful work really rounds this off and this project is surely no wrong number even if it started out that way (and that's a long story you'll have to ask me about).

Terry worked her magic on a beveled Cross Suncatcher of her own that was made from only three bevels.  If you look closely you will see that there is no bevel on the bottom! The beauty of this is that it's something you would never notice unless pointed out to you.   All told, Terry's cross works beautifully.

We had a new student begin classes this week and her name is Melissa.   She opted to go with a green Butterfly and, as you can see, it turned out wonderfully.  She had no problem making this and didn't break a single piece of glass even throughout the cutting lesson.   What's up next for Melissa?  Well, she's planning on making a Stylized Fleur De Lis Window and we'll watch that happen when she comes back in.

Myrt also completed a Cross, this one made from all clear textured glass.  I'll go as far as saying that it's both stunning and elegant all at once.  There's also a bevel in this and it's smack dab in the center of the cross.  Also, I want to point out that Myrt did NOT follow the grain "rules" for the circular section of the cross.  Normally the grain runs the length of the piece but by radiating the grain outwards Myrt made a much better looking design.   Sometimes the rules are meant to be broken!

This is Jeannette's last Rabbit Lawn Ornament.  Easter is over and Jeannette says that she's officially done with making anymore of these cute decorations.  In fact, she's so over these rabbits that she's given the pattern away (knowing full well that she can get another from me if she needs one later on).  Isn't he cute though?

This week we also saw Susan R get all of her Ladybug Window cut and ground.  Since she's using black globs for the dots she can't follow the pattern since the globs don't match the spots on the pattern.   Since globs are all different sizes they can't be drawn into pattern so to make this you grind the ladybug as though there were no dots.   Once it's ground and fitting together you place each glob, trace around it, grind the opening  and get things to fit perfectly.


Paula is putting the finishing touches on her large Angel Suncatcher.  Everything is cut and tacked so all she needs to do is solder this.  Since Paula can solder anything quickly and efficiently I'm calling it-- this will be finished upon Paula's return to class.


Susan D is making so much progress on her window that you'd swear there was a four alarm fire going on.  Well, in this project there may very well be.   With about 90% of her window ground we'll soon be seeing it get it's first layer of solder.


Carol came in and soldered the eight panels to her latest Panel Lamp.  By the end of the class she was ready to join all the panels together and that's exactly what she did.  We tacked a cap on the top and Carol took it home to solder the last eight lines that join the panels.  Now THAT'S what I call progress.

Tracy ground the center rectangle section of her Address Window and got everything fitting together perfectly.  She's taken her pieces home to wrap them in foil and once these are tacked together she will resume cutting and grinding the rest of her window.   We like to make our windows one section at a time working from the center outwards whenever possible and with  this window it was very easy to do.

Cindy designed her own Hand Mirror and now all of the pieces have been cut and ground.  She's used a beautiful iridised green glass in this project and it really works well with the yellow flowers.   Impressive.

Next we have Linda F who got all of her Dragonflies and Water Lilies Window ground.  You have to agree that it's spectacular, right?  This window went far faster than I thought it would and I know that the reason for this is that Linda took her time while cutting her glass and made sure that she cut on the line rather than outside the line.  This small amount of glass makes a huge difference in how long it takes to grind your pieces to a perfect fit..

Terry cut out, ground and wrapped this beautiful Daylily Window (which she designed).  The oval came from another pattern but fitting the Lily into the opening isn't near as simple as you might believe.   Terry did a wonderful job and her colors are breathtaking.


Bonnie Worked on this colorful multi-piece Fish Suncatcher and got it all cut and ground.  She was going to do the bottom fins in clear glass but she changed her mind when she discovered that they would just disappear when placed next to all of the colors in the body.   This pattern originally called for a similar colors with subtle shadings throughout but Bonnie transformed it into a vibrant, eye-catching piece by using multiple colors.

And here's Mary Grace's Easter Basket that we discussed at the beginning of this post.  Mary Grace's has more pieces but it was done the same way that the example was and you can see that it fits together perfectly with all the points lining up.  Also, as you can see, Mary Grace has decided to make her Basket into a window rather than a suncatcher.   She figured out the measurements by working from the final size to the middle (as we ALWAYS do) and then got the dimensions for the background glass.  After a few quick cuts Mary Grace tacked it together and then added her final border. Up next for this project  is soldering!

Shelley is also moving along at an incredible pace on her Sunburst Window.   She managed to get it all ground in just one class and has taken it home with her to foil (but she got a lot of that done in class also).  She's decided that she wants to make a multi colored border and if this is tacked together she'll easily get it all cut next week.

Rowena's got her Beveled cross all together now and all this needs is some solder.  We've had a minor issue with one of these Crosses developing a weak spot so we've made sure to incorporate some re-stripping to strengthen it.  Since it's between the pieces of glass you never even see it.

With the background to her window all cut and ground Becky S is ready to start foiling her pieces.  We'll get a border cut for this when she returns and then she'll finish this off with a nice even coat of solder.

Brenda is using the same oval that Terry is but the flower in the frame has changed from a Daylily to a pair of irises.   The original pattern was filled with incredibly thin, tiny pieces so Brenda is redesigning on the fly, so to speak, by combining pieces to make it a little easier on the eyes.   If you overdo detail on small windows you end up with  mass of lead lines but this window won't have that problem.

Martha is grinding all three of her Fleur De Lis' and once these are wrapped and fitting together the rest will be easy.  She's got one completely ground and another well under way. It won't be long now.

Barbara resumed cutting pieces for her forest of trees and plans to wrap some of the pieces while she is at home during the next two weeks (time permitting).  As I always say, if you can wrap while at home that's great but never feel bad if the spare time to do it doesn't turn up-- life is a very busy thing.

Lastly, Betty resumed work on another Christmas Bells window and she has everything cut out save for the holes where the holly berries will go.   She had forgotten the berries at home but rather than waste time she just wrapped and tacked any glass that wasn't touching a berry.  Doing it this way enabled her to even get a border cut for this window.

And that, I'm happy to say,  brings us all up to date.   We have a Fusing Workshop happening thjis weekend so expect another extra Blog post next week.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks