Monday, November 20, 2017

I'm All A-Tingle

Sometimes even a simple straight cut needs a little coaxing. When you cut sharp angles it helps to ease into that final break as I'll show you below.   If we plan on saving the section of the glass with the red star on it and we have to cut on the black line you might be tempted to cut score the glass and then break it off with your breaker/grozier pliers.  Don't do it!   There's a VERY good chance that you'll end up breaking the point of your glass off.  Instead, 'lean' into the curve by first cutting off and extra glass (line #1).   Then slowly add an angle to it by scoring and breaking off at line #2.  Repeat for line #3 and then make your final score.  This will ensure that the point of your piece remains sharp.

Is this overkill?  Well, yes, a little.  Myself, I know what my abilities are and would get this out in two cuts by skipping cut #1 and #2.  Practice by cutting some scrap strips that you probably have lying around.   And remember that even if you need to make four cuts to get your piece out intact, you can make all four scores at once and then break them off one at a time starting at line #1.  As always with glass, taking your time and not rushing into things saves time in the end.

Well now, Jan's Mother Mary Panel was completed this week and I have to say that I understand why it's so popular in class already.   There are two other students who have started this pattern before Jan completed soldering this!   Now that it's finished I suspect that other classes will be very interesting in this pattern -- I've made two myself already!

Betty's Rose Window is another gorgeous piece of work.  I like to think that I pushed her into doing something new rather than the same patterns, but Betty was the one who actually came up with the design.  Beautiful.

Linda F finished her Art Noueveau Tulip Window and it's certainly arresting .   It's such a nice simple design with beautiful flowing leaves topped by a simple tulip.  But I think it's really Linda's choices in color which make this finished piece of art.

Susan R finished her Pumpkin and Corn Panel and again the corn is what really makes this (to me). All of those random colors just come together beautifully and realistically which prove that attention to detail always pays off when it comes to your stained glass work.


Rowena completed her Mallard Window and this is a pattern that I've loved since I started making it way back in the 80's.   You just can't lose with this design and I think I'll be making one for myself eventually.  Great work indeed by a student who excels at her craft.


Rowena also made a few Suncatchers this week and they are equally beautiful.  She did everything herself from start to finish on these which includes making and attaching the hooks to hang them.

Brenda's pair of Transome Windows have been completed and she's looking forward to moving along to a new project.   She did wonderful work on these and I think she's capable of anything at this point.  And that's why she now has a studio underway at her house!

Carol began and finished a Magnolia Suncatcher this week that she does NOT like at all.   Me, I saw no problem with it but she didn't even want a picture to be taken.  Then she decided to not waste time in class by putting the finishing bead on it and moved along to this quick Candy Cane Suncatcher which she completed in record time.   How can you NOT like this?

Jeannette came in with a HUGE portion of her Joy  Window cut ground and foiled.   There are really only the bells in the upper left hand corner left to cut out and then the background and 2 borders.   I had no clue that this would be moving along as quickly as Jeannette is running with it.  I will say that it's a testament to just how good Jeannette has become at this.

Now that Martha finished her two Cross Windows she's moved back to her Daylily Window.   The cutting is just about competed so she'll be moving on over to the grinder when she returns.

Becky has her Geometric Window all tacked together now and it will get a border put on it when she returns.  You can't really see where the solid lead sections will be right now but once this is completed there will be no way to miss them!

Sheri's newest window is a variation of our standard medium sized Peacock that Sheri has modified all by herself. She has a great majority of this cut out and will start filling in the missing inner feathers when she comes back in.

Beth came in with a good portion of her Dragonfly Window background all foiled.   She didn't wrap the section where the dragonfly will go because she still needed to cut the opening for the dragonfly to fit into.   So the first thing she did was to grind and tack together the dragonfly that she's cut out last week and then she traced it on top of her background piece.  After making a few quick cuts everything fir into place beautifully.

And, as I expected, Lara got all of the glass cut for her Starry Starry Night Window and then moved on over to a grinder to get everything fitting together.   She's doing wonderful work and I do believe the hardest part of making this window is behind her now.

Tracey's one of the two other students (3 if you count me) who saw the Jan's Mother Mary window and had to make one also.  At this point Mother Mary is all ground and only needs to be wrapped and tacked so we can add the background glass and borders.

Bonnie worked on her Santa Face Window and is moving along quickly and efficiently with it.  With the beard all cut out and fitting together nicely before it even goes to the grinder, I'll safely state for the record that she'll be completing this window in record time.

Mary has gotten so very far along on her Octagon Iris Window this week.   With all of the pieces ground and fitting together she was able to begin the wrapping process.   As you can see her foiling looks great and it's going make this window really stand out when it's completed.


Barbara is student number 2  who has begun work on a small Mother Mary Window as well.  She's got most of the glass cut out and will very likely finish cutting and grinding this when she returns.   This is one popular design and even in this unfinished state it's easy to see why.

Terry spend the night working on these tediously small circular Poinsettia Ornaments.  Each 5" circle consists of 19 pieces of glass! That's enough to drive ME crazy!  But Terry is just about set to solder all of these already.


 Betty not only completed her Rose Window-- she also worked on a large Angel Suncatcher and a Virgin Mary Window.  She took my 'preaching' to heart while working on Mary and made sure she cut off the blue line then she spent just an hour and twenty minutes grinding it all to fit.  That's excellent!  

Susan D was so very close to completing her Santa Lawn Ornament this week that I hated to see it walk out the door unfinished.  The only thing left to do on it is to solder the second side and then add a stake.   I find it interesting that Susan shares my habit of 'priming' her Sharpie Ultra Fine Point markers on the side of her pattern before she starts drawing on her glass.   Her patterns look just like mine with all those little squiggles surrounding the subject!

Linda F also began another project this week and as you can see it's a Christmas Bell with a Green Ribbon.  Why not a red ribbon?  Well, Linda is a green kinda girl, that's why!  She's going to do the bell clapper in solid lead which will be a nice added touch.

Mary Grace got  all of her Tree Of Life Window foiled while she was in class this week and by the time she left it was all tacked together as well.   When she comes back in she'll be able to start cutting her multicolored border.

Myrt only has to wash and patina her Ribbon Bordered Fleur De Lis Window and that will take less than 15 minutes when she comes back in next week .  That means that we'll not only see this completed but we'll also get to see her start a new project when we return.

And Susan R didn't simply complete her Pumpkins and Corn Window, she also began a new project which is a Stained Glass Present Box.  When this is completed she'll fill it with lights and have a wonderful decoration for the table.   It's hard to see now but just give it some time and you'll fall in love with it-- I promise.

Shelley now has all of the glass cut for her own rendition of the Tree Of Life Window.   This week we saw her worrying so much about being able to get all of her background pieces separated after they were traced onto one sheet of glass only to have then  separated and completely cut out in under 15 minutes.   The moral of this story is to stop worrying and start cutting!  She was also worried that her Tree wasn't very bright, but it certainly is!

Cindy is also working on a Santa Face Window and she's starting from the top down.   We were out of white when she was in class but the new glass shipment arrived the following day and Santa now has white glass for his beard.

Lastly,  Melissa worked on more crosses but she ran out the door before I was able to get a picture of them.  The nerve of her!!!   I promise we'll see what she's doing when we next return.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, November 13, 2017

Terry? Terry?

We always stress how important it is to use squares to make sure the outer edges of your projects are straight and true.   We also suggest that you use yardsticks along the outer lines of your patterns (which I always make sure are square).   Shelley always has a beautiful jig set up for each of her windows that chad makes for her out of wooden yard sticks.   Below you can see how the same 4 pieces of yardstick can be used to frame out a variety of sizes without having to actually cut the yardsticks.  This helps BIG TIME in keeping your windows square so please check this out.

 As you can see, by just sliding the yardsticks around you can square off numerous sizes.

Always be sure to keep your outer edges straight and square.  It makes a big difference in your finished project.

So onto out completed projects this week.  Rowena, as predicted, completed her 'C' Window almost as soon as she walked into class.   Once all of the flux was washed off of the window Rowena was able to go over the lead with copper patina, re-wash it to get the patina off and then apply some wax to brighten up the copper color and seal it for a long lasting finish.  The end result is beautiful, just like all of Rowena's windows.

Cindy's Mermaid was finished this week as well as a repair that she worked on.   The Mermaid is based on a logo for a relative's navy fleet and the hat on the mermaid has been adorned with the numbers of his group.  I may have this story wrong, but its close.  The Window, however, is spot on.

Here's a closeup of the hat.   The numbers, letters and icon were  printed on a computer, transferred onto the glass and then fired on permanently by spending a night in the kiln.


Then there's Bonnie who was able to completed three Christmas Suncatcher Ornaments.  Using just two pieces of glass (which are identical) and a single 1" round bevel these were not only quick to make but beautiful as well. Once they were finished Bonnie began working on a large Santa Face Window which we'll get a good look at when we next return.

Jeannette was as busy as can be and ended up turning out three Angel Suncatchers.   She did all of the work entirely on her own which included making and attaching spiraled wire for the halo's and adding the hooks to hang these with.   I suddenly feel unnecessary!

Then Tasha made a pair of beer glasses that have me ready for a beer!  These are delightful and a perfect gift for any man who enjoys (the occasional) mug of suds.  The colors are perfect and the angled beer level really makes these look perfect since they hang at an angle.


Carol has returned and this week she worked on six mini Christmas Stockings.   She made these cute little ornaments in assorted colors with each stocking measuring a scant two inches tall.  They're a great way to use up small scraps of glass and they are proof that good things come in small packages!


Martha completed the work on her pair of Beveled Cross Windows and as you can see they turned out just fine-- beautiful in fact.  She took her time foiling these and had to admit that the soldering process went much easier for her on these two windows.   Good foiling is the most important part of achieving great soldering.

Roxane made these two Christmas Tree Suncatchers while she was at home and although she had a little trouble soldering around the outer edges it was very easy to straighten out within two minutes.   Now that she knows how to put lead around the outer edges I'm sure that she won't ave any more problems.  This is beautiful work for sure.

Melissa finished two more crosses this week and I think she's finding them easier and easier to make.   Like Roxane, Melissa now appears to have mastered the art of putting a bead around the outside edge.   Melissa is making nine of these Crosses so she's got a few more to go and we'll be showcasing them all in the weeks to come.

This week also saw Tracey completing her first Bumble Bee Lawn Ornament and I'm sure that whoever receives this will love it.  Whenever someone puts one of these together every one else is awed by all the curves this Bee incorporates.   It's hard to explain without seeing it in person but it really gives the Bee added depth and makes it special.

Tasha not only finished her pair of Beer Glasses-- she also worked on grinding her latest Cat Window.   I have no clue what style this is but it's already looking like another in a long line of stunning projects for Tasha.

Allow me to say that Beth, our newest student,  is a natural at this!   After cutting out her Dragonfly she began grinding each of the pieces that make up her background.    At first it was slow going as she learned how to use a neighboring  piece as a guideline but after she appeared to have the hang of it I walked away and came back later to find that she had ALL of it ground!   I was very impressed to say the least.  Next week she'll grind and tack together the dragonfly and then she'll actually cut it into the background.

Betty's Rose Window is so very close to completion.  She got her brass channel attached when she walked in the door and then she took her time soldering each of her lead lines which resulted in a nearly flawless soldering job.   As I always say, if you take your time and allow the solder to melt completely it will make a bead all on its own. 

So Angie came in with a Cross, Wine, Bread and Grapes Window all cut out, ground, and wrapped!   That's amazing work in a short amount of time for sure.  After she tacked the pieces together we got a brass channel put around the edges and before class was over she was able to get the front side completely soldered as well as most of the back side.   I sure hope we get to see a picure of this when it's completed because it looks stunning!

Jan's had all of her Madonna and Child Suncatcher wrapped when she walked into class so she was able to tack it together and then get a background cut for it.   She wanted a very thin border and that's exactly what she got when she cut some blue baroque into thin strips.  Once this was all laid out two other students decided that they had to make one as well so we now there are two more under construction.   I think that speaks volumes as to how nice a pattern this is, and how wonderful a job Jan is doing on it.

Mary is truly flying through the grinding process of her Octagon Irises Window and will be able to start working on the actual Iris Petals themselves when she comes back in.  Her ability to grind within the lines and get everything to fit without over grinding is incredibly impressive since I still consider her to be a 'new' student.   But she's never been afraid to challenge herself and her you can see how that is paying off for her.

Lara now has only one color left to cut in her Starry Starry Night Window and she'll be cutting those remaining pieces out of an amber glass when she returns next week.  Although this was somewhat intimidating to her when she first started it, here she is just three weeks later with 95% of the glass cut out.   I have a sneaking suspicion that Lara will be grinding this when we see it again.

Linda f now has all of the glass cut, ground and wrapped for her art noueveau Tulip Window.   She altered the top two pieces of clear glue chip because the purple tulip was a little shorter than the pattern.  Since we had no more purple to work with we simply adjusted the pieces next to it.   Had I not mentioned this you would never have known there was a problem, and that's as good a fix as there ever could be. With just the soldering left to go I'm pretty sure that we'll see this completed upon Linda's return.

Mary Grace has got all but two pieces ground in her Tree of Life Window and that's because the two pieces don't exist yet.  She's going to wrap what she has completed and once that's done she'll tack it together and then fill in those two missing pieces.  After that comes her multi colored border.  I really think she's going to have fun doing that.


Linda L made some extreme headway on her Easter Themed Mickey Mouse Window this week and her color choices are perfect.   She was unsure of which yellow to use for the Bunny Suit and in the end we all decided that a less brilliant and more pastel yellow would be best.  ASince she didn't have her background  or face glass with her she's begun the grinding process.  Sadly, (for us)  Linda will be out of class for a while-- she's on a cruise even as I type this.   We hope she has a GREAT time!

Roxane also managed to get all of her Compasss Rose ground this week and let me state for the record that it looks fabulous!  Her work is meticulous and once this is finished it will be the window that she will aspire to excel beyond.


Susan D started a large Santa Lawn Ornament last week and this week she finished up with the grinding on it.  It all fits together wonderfully and she'll be able to start wrapping this as soon as she gets home. 


Then we have Susan R's Thanksgiving Pumpkin Window which is now all tacked together and ready for solder.  The individual colored corn pieces are very stunning and really set this window off.   I cant wait to see it completed when it comes back in!

After completing her 'C' Window Rowena tacked together the Mallard Window that she's been working on while at home.  After it was tacked she then set upon getting the first thin border cut out for it.  I'd say it's a safe bet to say that she'll get her final border and channel attached when she comes back in next week.

Myrt got the final border attached to her Ribbon Bordered Fleur De Lis Window and then she got her channel attached as well.   Just about everyone has been cutting their own channel this week and our students are all doing a great job with it.  Myrt only has to solder this and then she'll be ready to begin a new project.

Barbara's Tulip Window is moving along at a nice steady pace.   Barbara is one of the two students who has decided to make a Madonna and Child Panel so she may possibly take a brief break from this window to work on Mary.  And in all honesty, it may be a good thing for her to take a break from all of these tiny pieces.

Shelley's interpretation of the Tree Of Life Window is also coming together at a nice steady pace.  In the end she's decided to plot out the positioning of her colors and there's nothing wrong with that.  She's started off using softer colors but she'll be moving along to deeper and brighter colors when she comes back into class.


Brenda got one of her Transom Windows soldered so hopefully she'll be ready to finish the second one when she comes back in.  She's got a number of projects lined up to do so I know she wants to get thee out of the way asap.

Lastly, well, there's not much to say here.  This is another Cross that Melissa is working on and possibly number four of nine if my memory serves me well (which it usually doesn't).  I promise to have my numbers right when you come back again next week to see what's happening her in our classes.


We're getting a lot done here and with Christmas just a few short weeks away that's a good thing.  Me, I already can't wait for the new year to get here so things can settle down and be less hectic.  Oh, and there's only 11 days left before we get to go see the Pyramids!!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks