Monday, August 28, 2017

I, For One, Enjoy Roman Numerals

Sometimes you need a third hand when you are dealing with a small projects so I'm going to show you a trick I use from time to time.   All you need is rubber band and your Running Pliers.

First, set the adjustment screw on you running pliers so that they completely close.   Next wrap the rubber band around the end of the handle grips of the pliers so that it holds them closed  (you may need to wind it around two or three times depending on the size of the rubber band.)

Now you can place a suncatcher or a piece of glass inside the pliers so that it holds the piece for you, thus freeing up your hand!   I've even used two pairs of pliers (each at opposing ends) to hold larger pieces.   This has helped me MANY times in the past and hopefully will help you as well.

Okay then!   Jeannette completed her beveled window this week and what an incredible job she did from start to finish.  You just can't lose with a beveled window and this certainly proves that point.   When you make a window with a beveled border like this you should start by tacking the border together and then grinding the rest of the window to fit inside.  It prevents any nasty surprises from happening later on in the window making process.  As you can see, Jeannette got this to fit perfectly within its border.

Carol made a large Pumpkin Suncatcher this week and it's sure to be a popular item as October/November roll around.

Rowena completed her Mallard Window this week and everything from the design to the color choice is perfection.   This is a popular pattern for a very good reason and Rowena's rendition of it highlights everything that is right about it.  

Becky S finished her second Birds On A Wire Project this week and she did another wonderful job putting these birds together.   Although these are similar to the first one that she made there are a few color differences throughout since she made these out of scrap glass.   Nonetheless, you just can't lose with this pattern-- especially if you're Becky.

Susan R completed her 3D Hummingbird Suncatcher and discovered that working with tiny pieces can indeed be time consuming.   The end result turned out wonderfully and it hangs nice and straight from a single hook between the wings.  Another fine job by Susan!

Then we have Bonnie who finished her three Angel Suncatchers and topped each of them off with halos made of spun wire.  Aren't they lovely?


Tracey continued grinding her Deer window and is getting closer and closer to the wrapping stage of this project.   It already looks great but just wait until this is completely fitted together (which won't be long now).


Betty resumed working on her oval Day Lilly Window and it's just about ready to get wrapped.  She's replacing one piece of the flower because it was filled with straight lines which broke the illusion of a flowing flower petal.  We'll see an example of why you should avoid that as our tip for next week.

Lara's ground all of the pieces for her African Woman and has begun wrapping them.   I knew that this would be a challenging project because of all of the small pieces that it consists of but Lara is making this look easy.  3/16ths foil will certainly be coming into play with this window.

It's official, Mary Grace is working on a Hibiscus Window!  I can hold my own when it comes to making stained glass but I have no talent for identifying flowers (or birds!).  Regardless, Mary Grace began grinding her window this week and what INCREDIBLE progress she made!   I showed her how to grind one piece by using the next piece as a guideline and she just flew through the grinding.   It's a beautiful window and Mary Grace is doing excellent work on it.

Melissa managed to complete all of the grinding on her large Birds With A Nest Window and has done a great job on getting everything to fit together.  She's boxed up a lot of these pieces and taken them home with her so she can hopefully tack this together when she comes back in.  Once it's all tacked solid Melissa will begin working on the border for this.  

Speaking of borders, Mary got her borders attached onto her Birds Window and even began soldering it already.   There are a lot of tiny pieces in this project but Mary didn't let them scare her away.  She just set her mind on getting to the end and that's almost where she is with this now.

Janelle came in with the pieces to her Seagull Window all wrapped and ready to be tacked together.   Once that was done she even managed to get her first border cut and ground.  Now she's taken those border pieces home to wrap and will get the final border attached when she comes back into class.  This window will get some soldering done next week and I have no doubt about that.

Terry's begun wrapping her Blue Flower Window and now that it's all fitted together you can see that this is going to be another spectacular window.   I love the design and Terry's sparse use of color gives this a distinctive look indeed. In fact, it reminds me very much of Blue Ware plates and bowls.

Jan began cutting out her Sunburst Window and has done great work already.   Once all of her cutting is completed she will assemble her beveled border and then grind all of this to fit within the border.   there's nothing worse than attaching a beveled border and discovering it doesn't fit.  Since the bevel;s can't change size you have to make adjustments on the center 'finished' section.   That won't be the case here with Jan though.

Rowena is working on a Zebra Head Lawn Ornament and at only 8 inches tall you can see that this is chock full of pieces!  I had eliminated a few when I drew it up and Rowena has managed to eliminate a few more but this is still a very complex design.  But that's how it goes when you're working on a zebra.   There aren't any short cuts...

Roxane has her Cross Window tacked together and her first border attached.  She also cut and ground the final border which she's taken home to hopefully wrap sometime during the week.  Since this window consists of mostly straight lines the soldering should go easily for Roxane (that's not to say that she can't handle any 'hard' soldering).   With her next pattern all picked out Roxane has some extra incentive to get this window done quickly so she can move along!

Linda F has both of her borders cut for her Flowerpot Window and has even begun soldering it already.  Since Linda can easily hold her own when it comes to soldering I have to say that this project is just about completed.  I can't wait to see what's next for Linda.

Then we have Brenda who has decided to NOT go with a second border on her American Flag window.   Since the border that we cut last week was cut thin she's re-cut the border using thicker pieces and spend the night getting ready to tack this new border into place.  After that there's just some soldering to do before this window is completed.

Bonnie started this Pansy Suncatcher after her Angels were completed and she already has it ground and ready to be wrapped.  She won't be adding the stem and leaf so all of the cutting is over with on this project.

Jeanne's pair of glass Boxes are so very close to being completed.  They would have been finished this week but she's using feet to lift the box up off the table and they just need to be tacked on when she returns next week.  Once that's done it's a simple case of attaching the hinges and calling these completed.

Linda L was going to start a LOVE Window but needed to get something done quickly before she starts on that project.   She decided to make a beveled Fleur De Lis as a gift and it's ready for its double border already.  That's what I call making good time!

Martha has her Deer Window all tacked together and will be adding a border to this when she comes back in.   She's done a great job on this needing no help whatsoever.

Shelley also got a lot done in class this week as she tore through the background and border pieces for her Humming Bird Window.  The bright yellow border is halfway wrapped which means that this is just about ready to be soldered.   I'm thinking that this will be completed when Shelley returns!

Sheri is all set to wrap her Heron Window.   I've been calling it a Crane and as I stated earlier, I don't know my flowers or my birds!  Sheri likes wrapping at home because of the light and the magnifying tool that she uses so she'll most likely come back in with a good portion of this foiled.   There's a lot of window here so I'm thinking that it won't all be completed but Sheri has begun a Dragonfly Suncatcher that she can work on while in class if this Heron isn't ready to be tacked together.  It's eye is bandaged in the picture because we painted a black dot for a pupil just before Sheri left and we wanted to make sure it wouldn't smudge before it dried during transportation.

Susan D is a Flower, Bug and Leaf machine!  She's managed to knock out three more multi-petaled flowers and has them all soldered already.   Amazing, and most certainly impressive, because she does it entirely on her own.  I think she has this down!


And Cindy has another panel for her lamp all cut out and she's already started to grind it.   I think that she's finding each successive panel to be a little easier to make than the one before so in two more weeks she'll be an expert for sure when it comes to making panel lamps.   When all the sides are joined together there's still a small border that will hang straight down from the bottom edge.   

Carol worked on a 3D Bumble Bee Lawn Ornament and got as far as assembling it and getting the front side soldered.   These are always fun to make and they always turn out great. I love how Carol threw herself into the curving of the body and the wings.  Carol ended up with some beautiful curves!

Susan R loved Linda L's Welcome signs so much that she's making one of her own with a twist--- she's turning the sun into an eclipse.  How very 8-21-2017 of her!

Lastly we look at what Barbara is making.   She spent her night tracing out, numbering, and cutting up the paper pattern pieces to a Tulip Window.   There are a lot of pieces in this but I know it's going to be beautiful when it's completed.  The key to making this window look great is to use only subtle color changes through out the glass that she picks.   You'll see that unfold as this window develops.

And that's about it here.   All our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in Texas who is affected by Harvey.  It's hard to watch this happen yet again.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

OMG, I Said From The Waist UP!

I have another quick and simple tip this week which involves the foiling of bevels.   If you do as I do and look through the bevel to see if your foil is centered correctly, make sure you look through the flat side of the bevel.  It really makes a difference in getting your foil properly aligned which is so very important when foiling clear glass.   Never forget that EVERY foiling mistake shows on a clear pieces.

Well, it's officially completed--  here's Barbara H's Autumn Train Scene in its final form.  Now that everything has been put into place you can easily see how the sum of all of it's parts make the scene come alive.  Now you can see the mountain on the left that the train is emerging from  and how the trestle disappears into the trees on the right side of the window.  I love it and think it turned out even better than I can put down in words.

Here's a closeup of the train trestle and the silhouetted train.   I think her husband is REALLY going to appreciate this piece as it takes him back to a time and place he loved.


Betty has completed her Iris Window which is has become one of my favorite patterns.   This design flows so wonderfully and her color choices are perfection. I've even changed my mind about the glass she used for her background as it's always been one of my least favorite colors, but it works beautifully for this.

Then Linda L put the finishing touches on her Address Window by soldering the back side of it when she came in this week.  After slowing down, her lines changed from having bumps in them to completely smooth.  Once she hit her first few lines with a second pass her soldering was pristine.    Now that she's made this I can honestly say that I've got her number down.

Carol has been making large Fish suncatchers for the past two weeks and now she's assembled three of them into a hanging school of fish which are obviously tropical because of their vibrant colors.   Kudos to Carol for chaining them up all by herself!

Meanwhile, up in the air we have a flock of Birds On A Wire that Bonnie completed this week.  Everyone loves this pattern and Bonnie slyly smiled when she saw these hanging with light behind them and said, "I may just make another one of these."

Rowena completed two large suncatchers all on her own with the beautiful Tiger Head being a Lawn Ornament.   She even attached the stake herself and did a great job doing it so pretty soon Rowena won't be needing me anymore.  :-(  I think her fish looks great also and I love how the light somehow managed to catch the iridized colors in the tail and fins

Betty also worked on her Day Lilly Oval and is ready to begin grinding it.   Two different blues have been used in the border sections of this window but they are hard to differentiate while the glass is resting on white paper.  When this is lit up you will easily see the variations in texture and color between the two blues.  Yep, this is another pattern that I love.

Well guess who's back?   Mary Grace is back in action and she's got almost all of this Geranium Window all cut out and ready to be ground.   She left the center pattern pieces of the flower at home but that didn't stop her from getting everything else cut out.  It was good to see Mary Grace again and it's nice to see her working on a complex window like this to get back into the groove of things.  As for what kind of flower this is I must say that I'm guessing and that I'm not very good identifying flowers so I may have the name wrong.


Last week Terry got her full sized pattern for a  Blue Flowing Flowers Window and this week she got all of the glass cut out for it.   This complex window is all ready for a date with the grinder after Terry began working on it in just one class.  I think this is going to be stunning.


Meanwhile, Lara has the lion's share of her grinding completed on her African Woman Window but that head wrap has a lot of pieces which are intricate and demanding.   Still, Lara's speed is amazing as she works quickly and efficiently on this beautifully detailed window.


Jeannette only had a bevel cluster wrapped when she walked into the door and after we straightened out the pattern so that the bevel was symmetrical she tacked it together and then got her beveled border assembled.   She cut out a piece of background glass the size of her opening then cut out her background glass.   This is ready for solder as everything else was officially completed in just one class.  Amazing.


Becky S has all of her glass cut and ground and she's now begun wrapping her second Birds On A Wire Panel.   It's colorful, it's complex, and it's another winner in my book.  Becky's attention to detail ensured that none of the birds had twisted faces and that everything lines up symmetrically.  That's very important in any window that has faces in it.

Mary got her Bird Window all tacked together this week and even got the inner border cut, ground, and wrapped.   She'll attach this blue border when she comes back in and then get her final border added.   Once that's done she'll begin soldering (which is actually easier on windows with small pieces-- I guess it all balances out in the end).   This is almost complete now!

Sheri has just about all but a few fill-in pieces to her Crane Window ground and ready for foil.   That means that the hardest part of this is essentially done and she'll be able to breath a sigh of relief and take a bit of a break while she's wrapping all of these pieces.

Myrt has started a Fleur De Lis Window that we haven't seen made in a long time now.  The Fleur De Lis itself is easy enough in this design-- it's the ribbon border that makes this pattern so tricky.  You'll get to see more of that when Myrt returns.

Shelley finished her cutting and grinding and is now working on wrapping her Humming Bird and Flower.  Once they are tacked together she will cut her background from one piece of glass and then be ready for a border.


This looks like a good place to put these.  Odd?  Most definitely so.  They had a very full and 'thick' taste about them.  Thanks for taking us to new places, Carol!   Also, I'm sorry I didn't make that half a mustache more 'salt and pepper' colored-- my bad!


Linda V wrapped all of the pieces to her pair of Mickey Mouse panels while she was at home and was able to tack them together as well as getting them soldered while she was in class.   Her first panel went well but her second panel is where she really shinned with her soldering.  I think she's already got the hang of it!


Susan R began work on a 3D Hummingbird and is set to begin assembling it when she comes back in.   I think we should consider this project finished because she'll surely be starting something new when she returns.


Brenda got the inner border for her American Flag Window cut, ground, and wrapped, but she had left the glass for her final border at home so she was unable to cut it.   Nonetheless, this window will be ready for soldering when she returns next week and gets that final clear border attached.


Martha got the final background piece for her Deer Window ground into place and has started wrapping all of her pieces.   Everything looks great on this and this deer's face lines up perfectly.  The wrapping (although hard to see in the picture) is almost complete on this so a border will surely happen next week.

Linda got her final pieces cut for her Flower Pot Window and even got it all tacked together.   Her thin accent color border has also been cut and when she returns she'll get the final border attached.   She's free to start soldering the front side of this so it will be interesting to see what she manages to accomplish while she's at home.  It's been hot and rainy so that may very well slow her down, but you never know.

Cindy now has a fourth panel for her six sided Panel Lamp ground and she's begun wrapping all of these pieces.  Up next, Panel Number Five!


Melissa has gotten her grinding skills under control as she is now getting even the toughest pieces to fit perfectly all on her own.  Learning to place a piece on top of another piece is the key to quick and easy grinding.  Melissa thoroughly understands this and it shows in her work.

Rowena also got her two borders and a brass channel attached to her Mallard window which means that she only has the back side of this left to solder before she completes it.   Since she loves to solder at home this may be completed when she returns but as I've said earlier, with this heat wave we've been having not everything is possible!  Even if she can't solder at home there's still a very good chance this will still be finished when she returns.

Next we have Tracey's version of the Deer Window and she's opted to go with a blue sky for her background.  When she traced out her pattern pieces she laid them out on the glass the way they fit on the pattern so the pattern of the glass lines up to form a natural sky.   Right now it's hard to see but once this is ground the sky will look very life like.

Bonnie has started working on three small Angels which she has all cut out and ground already.  The picture to the right shows how she has all three stacked on top of one another.

And lastly we have Ann who has five different Crosses traced out onto her various pieces of scrap glass.   Next week she'll begin cutting and we'll get to see these two different sized crosses take shape.

We're a little early with this post because we'll be headed off to see the eclipse this weekend and won't be arriving back home until early Tuesday morning (unless REALLY heavy traffic comes into play).    It's a little odd having this completed on Friday afternoon but it's definitely a good feeling!  I will leave you all with a little advice:  Don't look at the eclipse without having a good pair of eclipse glasses on!  See you all next week.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks