Monday, February 26, 2018

I Don't Like Wire Hangers Either

Our tip this week demonstrates when you should ignore the general rule of grain lines.   In most cases, when deciding upon which way your grain should run, you would draw the longest line you can on the pattern piece.  The thing is, like every other rule out there, there are exceptions to this rule.  In the pattern below you can see we have a leaf which is cut into two pieces because a stem is traveling across it.  Our general rule for determining the direction of the grain lines is to draw the longest line you can in each piece as you see below.

However, in this case that would be wrong.  Why?  Because the two pieces actually make up one leaf so the grain should match even though it is bisected by a stem.  Just pretend that the leaf is whole (that the stem isn't there) and draw the longest grain line you can.

Next erase the part of the grain line that runs through the stem and you will have correctly defined the grain lines for your two pieces of leaf.

Here's the finished result as the glass would be cut in both the incorrect and the correct manor.  Keep watching the bottom portion of the leaf and you can see how one lines up with the other to make the illusion that the leaf is whole behind the stem.  
It's a subtle difference but one that will transform your work from a beginners work to the work of a professional stained glass artist.  Remember that EVERYTHING counts in large amounts.

Okay then, now that we're done 'breaking' the rules, let's look at Angie's Beveled Horse Window which really turned out to be quite a head turner.  Only the horse head and the border pieces are beveled.  Aside from the solid black background, the remaining pieces were cut using transparent colors.  The hint of color you see in the background glass is only the reflection of a light behind me as I took the picture.  Beautiful.

Becky S's Peacock was completed this week and she did a phenomenal job with it.  Even the glass globs that make up the peacocks crest fits perfectly, which is NOT easy to do at all.  Becky used iridescent glass throughout this window, but it just doesn't photograph  unless there's light reflected onto the surface.  The second picture hopefully shows you what the glass actually looks like in person.

A while back I discovered this suncatcher on the internet and thought it would be a great way to use up some of the strips that I have left over from various borders that I've cut.   I made two of them and Carol thought the exact same thing when she saw them.  Now she's made one of her own and I have a sneaking suspicion that we'll both be making more of these further on down the line.

Martha started a new Deer Head Window this week and she's turning into a cutting machine!  With the head almost completely cut out in just one night I'd say it's safe to assume that she'll make short work of this project.

Linda L now has all of her Owl of Many Colors cut out and has begun grinding all of her pieces.  As you can see in the picture, she's working from the bottom up and it's fitting together perfectly.  She's decided to name this Owl Dolly because of the coat of many colors reference so from here on out we'll be calling this Dolly.

MiMi has officially ground all of her Bull Flag Window and has moved along to the wrapping phase of construction.  There's just one small piece missing and that's the tail.  It's a complex curve and her two different teachers have two different approaches to it.   Once her window is wrapped MiMi will get an idea for which way she wants to go on it.

Linda F's Victorian Design Window is certainly spectacular.  She's going to possibly frame this in a double border if the window opening she's putting this in will allow it.   The colors for the borders depend entirely on how many borders this window will incorporate so we'll see what she decides upon her return.

Susan R is making a 3D Pelican with wings that actually flap!  (I'm not kidding.)  This is actually the first time a student has decided to make one of these 3D birds and I have no clue if anyone else in class has realized that this won't be a 'flat' project.   I can't wait to see what they think when they see this in action.

Susan D's Peacock is now being ground and although the tail pieces have been cut, she didn't want to place them on the pattern until the top half of the peacock was fitting together and pinned down.  We'll see the bottom feathers start to fit together upon her return.

Our newest student is Patrice and she actually did a weekend Workshop with us a few weeks ago (that I still need to post!)  Because she's already made a window with us we didn't have her start with a butterfly as we do most students.  When she walked in the door she just jumped head first into this gorgeous stylized Sunflower Window.   In just one class Patrice got all of her glass cut for this project.  Amazing!


Terry's Geometric Design will surely be completed upon her return since all she needs to do is add a channel and some hooks to finish it off.  In fact, had I not been so busy during class I would have been able to get the channel cut to size for her.   I can't thank Terry enough for her patience in this matter!

Mary's Dream Catcher Window has completely taken shape now.  We had said that we were going to get the center circle section cut, ground and tacked together before tackling the feathers and the background that 'square' this window off and that's exactly what Mary is doing.   With the circle section all ground and fitting together wonderfully, she's taken this home to hopefully wrap while she's out for a month due to surgery.  We hope she does well and gets back to us soon!

Sheri's Tabasco Window is really taking shape now that the background to her lettering is cut and in position.  Her cutting is so good that it's hard to believe that this hasn't been ground already.  This is going to be another stellar window for sure.

Now that Lara has all of her feathers ground she's begun wrapping her pieces of glass that make up this beautiful Headdress.  She's still working out what she wants to use for a background glass and I'm sure that we'll see what she decides upon when she comes back in.

With all of the glass for her latest Sunflower Window cut and ground, Betty is just about ready to start soldering.   In fact, she had already started soldering the front side but  stopped to work on the final border which wasn't cut or even decided upon for that matter.   With the glass for that border cut and ground, Betty is now foiling it so she can then attach it and begin soldering again.

Tracey really hit the grinder hard this week as her Cardinal Window is steadily taking shape.  The most interesting thing about this window is that it was originally drawn as a Bluejay, but with a simple color tweak Tracey has changed it to a cardinal.  Once it's ground I'm going to make a very minor change to make it 100% cardinal.  All it will take is to short a piece of glass or two and to add another.

Wow, isn't Barbara H's Tulip Window looking absolutely radiant!  This week she cut her accent border and got it tacked into place.  She knows what she's going to use for her second border and that will easily be completed when she comes back in.  After that we just have a few fill-in pieces to go before she can solder this.

With her four largest background pieces cut, ground and wrapped, Myrt will begin the final fill-in sections of her Ribbon Bordered Fleur De Lis Window.  There are still 8 small pieces of background glass and then we'll move along to a new type of clear glass for the final 'border'.

Next up we have Rowena's Magnolia Window which, for all intents and purposes, is finished.   This really only needs some channel and a pair of hooks to be completed and that will surely happen when she comes back in.  Isn't this gorgeous?   

And speaking of Becky, these are the last of the 36 Medallions that she is working on.  She's obviously been working on these at home and even I can't believe how much progress she's made on them.   Part of the trick was to come up with the easiest way to put them together.  Once she worked that out the rest was just repetition after repetition, after repetition, after repetition, after repetition...

Lastly we have a picture of Mary Grace's Iris Pattern that she'll be working on.  It's a large window measuring more than 2 feet wide and although it has a fair amount of pieces to it they are all large pieces.  She's begun to cut apart her paper pattern and will start cutting glass for this when she returns.

It's been a tad bit slow with completed projects these past few weeks but that's only because the holidays and the flu season slowed things down.   We're currently on schedule to start seeing more finished windows each week so stay tuned for even more spectacular works of art in the weeks to come.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, February 19, 2018

Jump Around A Bit

I've found that many, many people orientate their patterns to the poster board that they will trace it onto without even thinking about trying to turn it the other direction.  Students also tend to center their pattern as well which results in MUCH wasted poster board.  This we know by looking at the pile of scrap poster board that we have in the shop.  Although the placement of the pattern below is completely serviceable, it's also VERY wasteful.

Here we've rotated the pattern and, as you can see, it easily fits in this direction while saving a large section of poster board for other projects.  In fact, you can easily fit three of these patterns on just one piece of card stock.

It may sound as though I'm being overly thrifty but why pay $1.00 for one copy when you can get 3 for a dollar, right?

So first up we have Mary Grace's beautiful and elegant 'B' Window.   Pay particular attention to how each of the curves lines up perfectly throughout the entire design.  that's called attention to detail.  Mary Grace asked me if it would be possible to do the same design with the letter 'A' replacing the 'B' so we may very well see a similar window made in the near future.

Martha's Oval Daylily looks fantastic and she easily avoided the possible pitfalls of this design.   Oval windows can't get a channel around them and have a tendency to 'sink inward'  at the joints that come to the edge of the window.  normally channel covers these gaps but when you can't apply channel to the window those spots become glaringly obvious. Martha's outer edge doesn't do that at all.  And 's not only that-- her soldering  was aces as well!

Then we have Susan R who put the final touches on her Mardi Gras Mask this week.  I must say that the colors and the workmanship on this are very impressive indeed.  There are a lot of small, thin pieces in this and Susan handled then all with aplomb.

Linda F managed to completed not one but two projects this week.  Her Quilt Square Panel is perfection indeed.  Look at how all of her straight lines line up together and you'll realize just how talented  an artist she is.   Then there's her Christmas Bulbs Panel which is just as impressive and utilizes lead covered glass.   It's an interesting technique for sure and one you don't see done very often at all.


Angie's Beveled Horse Window is all tacked together and the front side of this has even been soldered already.   Although it looks brown, all of the horse and the border is made out of clear bevels.  It's just the color of the work table that you see which is making it look brown.  I have no doubt at all that this is going to be completed when she comes back in. and once back-lit it will sparkle beautifully.

Beth's second project is very revealing to the fact that Beth totally gets it.   Stained glass that is.   Although she's still 'new' at this art she's already showing a retention of various techniques that impresses me.  Just look at how nicely her Address Window is moving along.  She not only tacked together the upper tree portion of the window this week-- she also cut AND ground the letter and numbers!   Color me impressed.

Rowena came into class with almost all of this beautiful Magnolia Window cut out.  She immediately set to work on cutting out her background pieces and then took it all over to the grinder where she then finished grinding her entire window.  That's fast work!  Once it was ground she pondered what she would do for an inside border and looking at the one piece of yellow almost dead center in the middle of the flower gave us an idea.   We found a subtle piece of yellow glass that went perfectly with the flower and you can easily see how wonderful this is looking already.

Tracey's Cardinal window is looking MUCH better than the pattern would have you believe.   The pattern itself has been' through the ringer' to say the least but now that the glass that Tracey cut is covering a lot of it we're starting to see the true beauty of this window.  Now that everything has been cut Tracey is free to begin grinding.

Here's another window that just looks better and better with each passing week.   Lara's Indian Headdress is so very close to being completely cut out.  With just four leaves left to go and a few background pieces I'm guessing that it won't be long before this is hanging in a window.

Susan D is back in action and as you can see, although she's been G.I.A. (Grandmother In Action) for the past 6 or 7 weeks, she's still managed to get work completed while she was at home in her limited free time.  She's tweaked a Peacock Pattern to her liking and as of this week she's got the majority of it cut out.  We'll be doing the background to this after the peacock itself is tacked together and then we will work out the fancy headdress that needs some minor changes to make work.

MiMi's Bull Window is also taking shape and she only has 2 pieces of glass left to grind before she can start wrapping this.  She's learning quickly and fully grasps how to skim new pieces and then place pieces that we've already ground on top of the new piece to trace around and get a perfect fit.  This is looking great!


Sheri's Tabasco Oysters Window is completely recognizable now that she has the letters for the text cut out.  And ANYONE can see that she has a bottle of Tabasco sauce standing in the center of it all.  This is really looking good and making me hungry for Oysters!


Geometrics are in and Terry's Window is just all cut save for the last border.   With the center section all tacked together she managed to get the first uneven border cut and ready to skim and wrap.  Next week we'll see the final border get attached for sure (since she already has the strips cut.)


Although you can't see it, Mary got the center round section of her Dream Catcher Window  all cut out.  Since this section is all about the lead lines forming a string that wraps and entwines throughout the circle we want to be extremely sure that everything lines up perfectly within it.  She's already begun grinding as you can tell by the dark circle border pieces. I think this is going to to be another standout Indian Window.


Melissa cut out the 8 small Fleur De Lis' that surround her geometric design and you can really get a feel for this window now that they are sitting on the pattern.   She'll grind these and then tack them together to prevent things from shifting. Once that's done she'll cut her final background.   I love Melissa's attention to detail because it makes for a flawless window.


With the center section all cut out and tacked together Jan has only 8 more pieces of glass to go before she's finished cutting.  She's created a 'dummy' piece to take the place of the curved plate because if she tacked the plate on now the window wouldn't lay flat on the table.  You could always use cardboard to build up the edges but our method is a far more efficient way to handle the situation.  Once the window is together and the front is soldered we will replace the dummy piece (which has NOT been tacked in) with the actual plate.  Easy peasy!

Becky S has the zinc channel attached to her Peacock Window and the front side has already been completely soldered.   With just the back side to go I'm thinking that this will SURELY be completed upon her arrival to class on Thursday.  Wait until you see this lit up!

A few weeks ago Betty saw Melissa's Sunflower Window and fell in love with it so she took the pattern home last week and came back in with only a few pieces left to be ground.  You can't see all of the yellow headed pins she's used to hold this together because they blend in with the yellow sunflower glass but trust me, they're there.  I'm impressed at how much Betty accomplished in such a short time.

Brenda got the first of her pair of Transom Windows tacked together and this one will get it's final border when she comes back in.  Once that's done she can either solder this or move on to putting together her second transom window.

Barbara H finished grinding her Tulip Window while she was at home and managed to get it all tacked together here in the shop.   There are a few missing pieces that need to be re-cut (with a project of this magnitude that's not unusual at all) but we are going to re-cut them after Barbara gets her borders attached so we can position glass under her tacked piece.  This will give us a perfect fit and deal with any slight variations she's made from the pattern.

As you may recall, Becky S was working on a Peacock window this week but she also worked on 36 'reward' medallions for a local Pickleball Playoff.  She got all 216 pieces cut for the background of the medallions which you can see all stacked up in the box next to the 172 globs that she wrapped which are in the bag!  Now THAT'S a lot of work!

Linda L is about to start working on this beautiful geometric design that she found  on the internet.   Since it's a geometric design the first thing we looked for are repeats in the pattern.  This has two repeats-- one on the left and the second on the right.  All Linda needs to do is trace out half of her pattern and cut two of everything-- one forward and one backward.   Doing it this way ensures a much more 'even' and symmetrical window.

Lastly, we have Carol who completed two Easter Rabbit Lawn Ornaments.   I didn't get a shot of them because she left so quickly but I'm sure you get the picture.  Or do you????  Never create and run before Paul's camera goes off.  lol

And there you have it.  All that's fit to print for the 3rd week of February.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks