Monday, May 29, 2017

I May Never Eat Lunch Meat Again

Students are finding that our favorite marker for tracing pattern pieces onto  glass is becoming harder and harder to find.  Walmart used to carry them but they don't seem to anymore.  However, the biggest question is which Sharpie Marker do we recommend?   The answer is simple: Sharpie Ultra Fine Points.  Black works OK but we've all found that the blue colored Ultra Fine Points are the ones that work the best.  Any other color is practically worthless so stick to blue (or black if you can't find the blue ones.)

Ok then. Susan D has practically caused a three alarm fire with her Fireman Window which she completed this week.  The borders really tie in with the central theme and help bring this fireman to life.   Beautiful work all across the board makes this an impressive window indeed.  

Terry completed her latest Butterfly Window in record time. True, she works a on her projects a great deal while she is at home but she always manages to accomplish an incredible amount in class as well. This was a commissioned piece for her and I'm sure that her customer will be thrilled to receive it.

Brenda' Oval in a Rectangle Iris Window was finished this week and it's stunning.  The corner accents that she came up with really help sell the rectangalization of this project.  As always, her soldering is nothing short of masterful.   I love it when someone accomplishes so much without any help or guidance from me.

Well then, Sheri completed her Frog Suncatcher (which turned out perfect) this week and then moved along to her next project-- The Crane.   She has a lot of her colors picked out and she'll be ready to start cutting glass when she comes back in.

Cindy's small round Geometric Panel was yet another piece that was completed this week and it's a stunning design to say the least.   Everything just clicks with this window from the colors to the fitting of the pieces.  Beautiful.


Linda L has finished her last two Welcome Windows and her penmanship is off the charts!  Somebody else is already talking about possibly making one of these but in a larger size.  All I know is that they won't be able to top the work that Linda did on the three of these that she's made.

Jeanne has put the finishing touches on her latest Butterfly Lawn Ornament and she says she likes this one the best.  Next week she'll be traveling down a familiar street as she begins to cut out a few Bee Lawn Ornaments.  I have no doubt that she'll have fun putting them together because it will involve something new--curved wings and a curved body.


Carol's got two more lawn ornaments under her belt, a Sunflower and a Butterfly (that I didn't get a picture of).  She practically puts these together in her sleep now!


Jeannette began working on a large duck window this week and made an incredible amount of progress on it.  What astounded me was how precise her cutting was when compared to how quickly she got all of those pieces cut out.   This is wonderful work indeed.

Brenda has started a new Stylized Fleur De Lis Window and was loved Melissa's opened centers so much that Brenda will be doing the same with hers.

Melissa  started her Semper Fi (US Marine Corps)Window and due to the red glass crunch that's happening in the stained glass industry we focused on getting the largest pieces of red cut out first.   With the toughest cut behind her the road ahead looks like it will be pretty smooth from here on out.


Becky S has got another pair of birds cut out for her Birds on a Wire Window and as you can see, precision cutting is what Becky is all about.   You can also see the box of scrap glass that Becky is using.  We don't like to waste things in the shop and projects utilizing scrap glass are becoming more and more popular.


Paula's Wedding Box is soooo very close to being completed.   She got the hollow part of her hinge attached to the box top and then got it washed, colored, washed again and waxed.   Next the box bottom was made by taking its measurements directly from the box top itself.   With the bottom all tacked together and soldered Paula plans to touch up and color while at home   That means that these two pieces will be joined together with a hinge rod next week.

Linda L has flipped her Dragonfly and Water Lilies Window over after soldering the front side and is now working on putting lead on the second side.  When we flipped it around we got a chance to see it with some light behind it and it is spectacular.  I can't wait to show it to everyone else.

Rowena has all of her Clear Beveled Transom Window tacked together and she's well underway into soldering it.  With the front side completed and the back side started I'd say it's safe to say that this will be finished next week.

Roxane was back in class and she had her mind set on getting the remaining pieces of her Cardinal Window wrapped and tacked together.   And that's exactly what she did.   With her double border firmly tacked in place and her missing center piece filled in, Roxane will begin soldering this when she comes back.

Tracey's Address Window is all tacked together now.   She came in with all of her pieces wrapped and after they were tacked into place she picked out her border color and an accent color for the six small squares in the longer sides of the border.   Tracey will be soldering next week!

Mary continued working on her Bird Window and she's moving at a nice even pace.   There are a lot of pieces in this but  once all the birds are cut out the rest will go much easier and quicker.  It's actually the color choices that make cutting out the birds so time consuming.

Susan R is busy cutting away at the glass for her Spring Scene Window which she has about halfway cut out.  She's moving quickly on what will surely be yet another wonderful window to decorate her home.


Judy has officially completed all of the soldering on her large Seafood Fleur De Lis Window and will start all of the washing, coloring and waxing on this when she returns next week.  I see no reason why this won't be completed when you come back to read our blog next week.

Ann now has all of her Fleur De Lis ground and ready for foiling.   Once this gets tacked together she will be able to start working on her grid work background.   That will go a little slowly because she'll be cutting out a section at a time and then tacking it together before moving along to the next section.   This prevents the glass from slipping and sliding out of place which would cause the grid work to shift out of alignment.

Martha now has three inner borders cut out for her three Fleur De Lis Windows but since they are all stacked on top of one another it only looks like one window.  Once these pieces are wrapped (they've already been ground) Martha will be able to tack them together and then get the final border cut for each of these.

Linda L not only completed her Welcome Windows, she also began a pair of Cardinals.   After she left and I looked at the picture I let her know that she should hold off on cutting out the beaks to these-- it sort of looks like a buzzard's beak to me.   We'll fix that easily when she returns.

This week we also saw Shelley get all of her blues and greys cut out and ground for her Moonburst Window.  She also learned that you should never use paint markers on your glass because the marker needs to be scrubbed off of each piece of glass with steel wool before you can start wrapping. 

 And in the end, Betty has two more Sunflower windows started and one of them is very near completion.  With just the back side to solder on the taller window Betty will surely have that one completed upon her return.

And that's it.  I forgot to post the link to last week's Blog on Facebook so now I'm three posts behind on there because I still have to post what happened in our fusing workshop  last month.  the good news is that it should be up in two more days since it is all written up now.   See you then!


Monday, May 22, 2017

It Rubs The Lotion On Its Skin

I'm running a little late here so we're skipping the normal tip and heading straight into what happened during classes.   To do that we'll start thing off with Melissa, our newest student, who's first window turned out beautiful indeed.   Her Stylized Fleur De Lis taught me something that gives me a very good feeling about her-- she's not afraid to change things.   She liked the idea of empty spaces inside of the Fleur De Lis so that's exactly what she did when she made her window.  The end result is stunning and her work is wonderful.  She was so worried about having to solder her window this week and in the end that worry was all for naught.


Linda L finished the first of her three Welcome Windows and the first one is magnificent.   She's got most of the second one soldered so I know we'll see at least one more of these completed when she returns if not both of them.  The lettering looks great and that's the toughest part about making windows with words in them-- if your grinding isn't perfect then the 'hand writing' is sloppy which is not the case here at all.

Speaking of three windows, Jeannette has completed all three of her inserts this week which means that you can now see exactly how they will be placed.  The work on these is simple enough but straight lines can be VERY problematic.  Jeannette had no problems whatsoever and these are perfect.

Jeannette also found the time to solder together the Sunflower Lawn Ornament that she's had cut out for what seems like a long time, but was actually only a few weeks.   She did wonderful work on this also and I love the fact that she didn't go with the standard yellow color scheme.   Change is what makes the world go around!

Our second Lawn Ornament for the week was made by Jeanne and this is her first Butterfly.   She's got a second one almost completed as you will see a little further on in our post but this one is perfection.  She paid strict attention to making sure that all of the connecting points in the center of the Butterfly matches up from left to right and the end result is a a beautiful Ornament.

Lara is finishing up the work on her mother's Multi-Colored Tree Of Life Window and its front side is just about completely soldered already.  You know,  I have a sneaking suspicion that this will be completed when we next see it again.

Mary started a new project and although it has plenty of pieces you can see that she's taking things slow and steady which is the best way to tackle a window with a lot of pieces in it   Rather than cutting out all of her paper pattern pieces at once Mary is cutting it out one bird at a time.   Once the bird has been cut in glass she frees up another paper bird pattern and repeats the process.   This will prevent her from dealing with hundreds of paper pattern pieces and also from getting confused trying to figure out what is what.


Jan finished assembling her Checkerboard fused glass project and as you can see here it's ready to be put in the Kiln.   Once that was all put together Jan moved on to another Stained Glass project which is actually a pair of small windows which will each hold a small plant.  These I can't wait to see finished because it IS a first in here and I love originality.


So then, Linda F's Water Lilie's and Dragonflies Window is nearing completion.   She has a lot of the front side soldered together already and you can see that it already looks amazing.  When we lifted it up off the table to get some channel around the edges we were able to see what it will look like with some light behind it.  All I can say is that I can't wait to show you that very same view.

With the final pieces cut out in her Geometric Design Suncatcher, Cindy is all set to foil this and then begin soldering.  She says that she'll be able to wrap while she's watching the store throughout the week and I have no doubt of that at all.    She's taken her time at the grinder and it all looks nice and symmetrical so soldering this will be very relaxing for Cindy.

Tracey made incredible progress on her Address Window by grinding all the remaining pieces that she didn't get to last week.  Once that was completed she began foiling each of those pieces and what she didn't finish in class went home with her so she can come back ready to tack this together and get a border cut for it.

Susan has begun soldering her Fireman Window and aren't her border choices perfect?   She's used solder covered glass for the fire helmet emblem and it shines so brightly that you can't see it due to the camera's flash bulb reflecting off of it. Trust me though, it looks great and you'll see that for yourself soon enough.

Bonnie has changed her Airplane from a suncatcher into a window and it looks great.   Because this has background glass now it will much much sturdier than it ever could have been if it were made into a suncatcher.  Also, the struts that form the 'X" in between the windows were cut from glass rather than overlaying metal rods.   The only problem in making this was getting the X to line up nicely but you know what?  Bonnie has no problem at all with that.


Shelley has started her next window and it's a shadow version of her last one!   She's taken all of the bright colors of her sun and exchanged them for blues and grays turning this into a Moon Window.  With only one day of cutting under her belt and EVERYTHING cut out I'd say that she's moving far more quickly than she did on her first one.  This window is ready for a trip to the grinder already!


Rowena is yet another student who made incredible progress this week.  Her Transom Window is all cut out and she even got the last piece of her border wrapped before she left class.  That means that she'll be tacking this together next week, adding a Zinc Channel to it, and then begin soldering.  Doesn't this look great?

Terry's newest window is of a Butterfly resting on a large pink flower.  The pattern is by Terry (when isn't it anymore?) and her cutting skills go so far above and beyond that she's already got most of this fitting together already.


With the front side of her Seafood Fleur De Lis Window soldered, Judy flipped this monster of a window over and is now ready to begin soldering the back side of it.   I see one more class to finish soldering the second side and then a final class to wash, color, re-wash, wax, and then hang this beautiful piece.  Many people are anxious to see this completed and I suspect it will be ready for its close-up soon enough.


Speaking of large windows we next take a look at Ann's version of a Fleur De Lis.   You can really see what this looks like now that it's all fitting together and Ann is just about ready to begin wrapping the center of this window.   Once that is done the background glass should move fairly quickly.


Barbara is a good three quarters of the way through grinding the forest section of her Train Window.  There are only a few pieces to go (which should keep her busy for another class or two) and then she'll be able to wrap this and tack it together.  After much consideration I've decided that we'll be overlaying the train onto the top of this window.  My reasoning for this decision comes from the fact  the sky forms too many thin sections between the train cars which will be very prone to breakage while soldering.   Rather than risking the breaking Barbara's sky we'll do things the safer way.


Brenda has the front side of her Oval Iris all soldered and it is just awaiting a coat of solder on the back side before she can bring this home with her (next week).  Expect a completed picture of this when you see it again.

Well, we've already seen one of Linda L's Welcome Windows completed but these are the other two that she's got so very close to completion.   Here's hoping we see that last of these next week!  Wait a minute, that came out all wrong....

Martha now has all of her background cut for her three Fleur De Lis Windows which means that she'll be doing borders when she returns.   I see only three pieces left to be wrapped so there's no doubt that borders will be the thing for her next week.

Myrt's Humming Bird and Fuchsia Window is ready for it's final border now.   She's worked quickly and efficiently on this and her work has been nothing but the highest caliber through and through.   I will say that changing the bottom flower petals to a different yellow glass made a huge difference in the look of this window.  A great choice if I do say so myself.


It's hard to see just how much Susan R got accomplished this week due to the fact that the glass pieces are resting atop a colored pattern but there WAS a lot done.  Most of her leaves and flowers are cut and they're even fitting together nicely as well.  That's another reason that it's hard to see what she has cut out!


Here's Betty's latest Double Sunflower Window-- one that drove her somewhat mad for about a week.   Although she's made a few of these (quite a few of them to be exact) she never really looked at the pattern itself as she was working on it (a case of not seeing the forest for the trees).  While she was working on this one she believed that there was no stem holding the upper flower in place put it turns out that there IS in fact a stem.  It's made from the lead line that is formed by the split in the clar background piece below it.  Now that she sees a stem again she's happy.  :-)

And to wrap things up we'll take a look at Jeanne's second Butterfly Lawn Ornament.  As you can see she's only got ten pieces left to wrap on this one and that shouldn't take her long at all.  Once these are done she may begin working on Bee Lawn Ornaments which I think she'll have fun cutting, grinding, and especially assembling.

...Or else it gets the hose again!