Monday, April 30, 2018

Some Assembly Required

Although we've covered this once before it's a very important tip so we're repeating it again.  While grinding it is important to trace a line using another piece of glass as a template.  When doing this make sure that the point of your marker is angled inward towards the piece you are tracing.  If you angle it the other direction the line will be off and you'll cut your piece short which results in gaps throughout your window.

Below is the correct way to angle your marker to get a line that not only matches the piece you are tracing from but also allows you to get a perfect fit on the first pass without gaps.

Moving along to our students I will say that technically this is MiMi's third window with us but it's the first window where she did all of the wrapping, grinding and soldering herself with no teacher intervention while she was working on any of those processes.  This window is all about curves and MiMi did a fantastic job making everything fit together perfectly and curve elegantly.

Jeannette wrapped up work on her latest Beveled Window that was made from two different shade of solid gray glass--  A lighter gray for the background and a darker gray for the final border.  You have to admit that the end result is striking.  Further on down you'll see that Jeannette is working on another one of these beautiful windows.


Beth has been a very busy woman!   She came into class this week with a second Iris Window all cut and ground and then spend the night fixing a few minor issues, wrapping her pieces, and getting border cut out.  She's hoping to finish these next week and I say "Let's go for it!"

Shelley came in and started work on one of the nicest Cat Windows I've seen.  This is a tribute piece because Shelley lost one of her cats last week and she wanted to do something to memorialize him.  She's made a few adjustments to the pattern to allow it to match her cat better and I have to say that this already looks great.

Roy has the stained glass fever and I know this because he's printing out his own patterns, cutting all of the glass and grinding it all while at home!   This Heron Window has only about 8 pieces left to wrap before he starts soldering it and he told me that he'll get that accomplished before he comes back in.

Terry's latest window is anther Geometric design that she's cut from glass using only one quarter of the pattern.  I love that so many students are recognizing repeats within their windows!  With the center piece all cut and ground Terry will be able to wrap and tack this if she wants.

Cindy was all set to start working on a small circular Shark Logo but then a relative called and requested a window for their bathroom vanity.   The window is all cut, ground and wrapped so Cindy will be finishing it when we see her again in two weeks.  Although it's hard to see Cindy does have the paper pattern to her Shark Logo all cut out and ready to go as well.

Rowena is making a Victorian Window design that incorporates rules from geometric Windows.  She also recognized almost instantly that she could just trace out just a quarter of this pattern and then cut 4 pieces of glass from each paper pattern piece-- two on one side and two reversed.

Susan R is in the middle of making her own Owl Of Many Colors and she's using techniques that I've posted here in the blog.  Give that woman a gold star!   Now that she's almost finished wrapping it, there's a chance it will be finished when she comes back in.


Lara is in the midst of making what I think is going to be a very interesting window.   It will consist of three long sections repeated three times (similar to Frank Lloyd Wright's Tree Of Life Design.)  Since the majority of this is background glass all Lara has to cut out initially are the top and bottom panels.  We'll see how this all works out as her work progresses.

I have to say that Mickey Mouse looks downright terrifying without a nose.  Needless to say, Linda L will get that nose cut into her Mickey Mouse when she returns to class because I don't want to look at him like this any more for fear of nightmares!  He's like Mickey Voldemort (only happier).

Patrice's 4H Clover Window is all cut, ground, wrapped and tacked!   Before class ended Patrice was able to get channel on it as well which means that she's going to be putting a final bead on this when she comes back to class.   And since this is mostly straight lines I think she'll move quickly on it.

Mary Grace is making steady progress on her Iris Window and will soon get to the wrapping phase of this large window.  There are still more than a few pieces left to grind but she knows what she's doing so it won't be long now.  She's not thrilled with how long this is taking her but I know she'll be thrilled when she hangs this.

Martha has all of the borders cut for her Deer Head Window and even got the first one attached before she left class.  With all the pieces now in place she'll begin soldering this when we see her again.

Melissa is so very close to having her Geometric Window completed!   With the final border attached and the front side soldered the only thing left to do is to affix the round zinc channel (which we curved before she went home).   She plans on having the back side soldered when she comes back in and I have full faith in the fact that she will walk out the door with this as a completed project when she comes back in next week.

Although we only had two windows completed this week it looks as though next week will be a busy week when it comes to completing windows.  Susan D's Peacock will likely be among the finished windows because she accomplished a lot on it while she was in class.   The front side is soldered and she has the majority of the back side completed as you can see in the picture below. 

Jeannette had all of her bevels wrapped for her second bevel window and made short work of tacking the bevels together and getting the background cut and ground.   There's only one border left to go on this and then she can begin soldering it.   The interesting thing about this window is that it was made from the same colors as the one she completed last week (see the beginning of this post).   It's a perfect example of how different a window will look when it actually has some light behind it.


Barbara H made the most of her night with us as she ground her Sunflower, tacked it together and then got the first border attached as well.  She's going to add a second (final) border to this when she comes back in and it will be cut from the same glass that she used for her background.

Lastly we take a look at the Hummingbird Window that Carol has started.   This will have a beveled inner border featuring two bevel clusters in opposing corners.  Because we've been having difficulties with beveled borders fitting, Carol has her border already tacked together. The pattern itself was drawn within the perimeter of the bevels assuring a perfect fit.  It just makes things so much easier down the road.

Even though we didn't see many completed projects this week we had VERY busy classes since everyone was trying to get to a point where they could continue working at home of to just come into their next class for a relaxing few hours of soldering.   Come back next week and see what happens next with each of these projects and a few new ones as well.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, April 23, 2018

Peanut Butter Song

Before we hop into things I'm going to mention that we have a Fusing Workshop scheduled for next month with just two openings still available in it.  The dates are May 19th and 20th and classes run from 9am until approximately 4pm (depending on how quickly things get accomplished).   By the end of the second day 5 projects will have been assembled.   Some will be available to take home on the 20th with the others being ready the following weekend after they spend another night or two in the kiln.   If you are interested give Russ a call at 337-350-0244 to reserve yourself a spot.  Below are an example of some of the projects that you will make in the workshop.

OK then, I have to say that Lara's Indian Headdress Window has been a very popular window among our students.   Students are always asking if it's in the shop so they can see it in person and they're always disappointed when I tell them that Lara has it at home with her.   Now we get to see it 100% completed and it's another show stopper.  Lara always manages to make make intricate and unique windows and this is surely no exception.  I think that this is nothing short of stunning.

I wish I could show you how the wings on this Pelican flap but a static picture just can't do it justice.  Actually, I must confess that we I ended up giving up and soldering the wings onto this Pelican's body so they don't move at all.   Yes, I have to admit defeat because even though the instructions for this project were followed perfectly (and gone over by three different people) the wings would not flap.   It certainly didn't help that the illustrations didn't match the written instructions and that there was even one wire that was attach to the head and then never instructed where to attach it from there.   Since Susan R didn't realize that the wings were supposed to flap she was more than content having them permanently affixed to the body.  Even though the wings don't flap I must say that in the end it still is an incredibly nice piece of work that Susan made flawlessly.

Next up we have Rowena's Heron Window which is pure perfection.   From the cutting to the fitting, to the soldering, there is not a piece out of place in this.   Her choice of border colors compliments the subject flawlessly and adds to the window without stealing the focus.  Another job VERY well done.

This is an adorable little Sunflower Panel that Tracey completed and I have to say that as a panel it turned out even better than I thought it would.  And to think that this started off as a quick sketch of a Sunflower to illustrate the right and wrong ways to utilize the grain of your glass.  Out of the smallest ideas magic can grow- if Tracey is the gardener!

Myrt finished the wrapping and soldering on her pair of Angel Wings and they certainly are inspirational.   Her use of iridized glass is nothing short of perfect as is the workmanship that went into making these.   The curves all flow smoothly and the outside edges all line up perfectly which makes me very proud of Myrt's work indeed.


A while back we had a student that our longtime readers will certainly recall.  Janet's shined brightly with all of the projects that she made with us but she sadly moved away.  Luckily she moved near Armstrong Glass so when we drive through Georgia and stop for glass we give her a call so we can meet and catch up with each other.   During our latest get-together she showed me these pictures of a fireplace screen that she made not too long ago and I told her that I needed to post them because, Wow(!), has she done a beautiful job on this!   Janet is easily one of our biggest successes because she's doing stained glass all on her own and doing a wonderful job at it as well.   And that's what makes me appreciate  being a teacher.

Next we have Rowena's latest Modern Art Suncatcher.  These are pretty popular here in class.

And here are four more Modern Art Suncatchers that Cindy made this week.  These certainly prove that worrying about color is a flat out waste of time because you just can't screw these up.

So check this out!  Beth is one of our newest students and she came into class Thursday night with this window all cut out and ground!   And to think that she worries about how she's progressing.   I say she's doing wonderfully and can't wait to see this completed when she comes back in to finish it off.

Although it's hard to see because the background is clear and the heart border that traces out the yellow flowers is white, this is going to be one beautiful window.  When Linda F showed me this pattern I had to laugh because I had already saved it on my computer a few months earlier as a window that I would possibly make some day.   Linda is already grinding this so she'll be finished with this before you know it.

Patrice also has a lot of clear glass in her window which is invisible in the picture below but all of the glass has been cut out for her 4H Clover window and she's already begun grinding by starting at the bottom left corner.  I suspect she'll begin wrapping these when she comes back in because this already fits together pretty darned well!

Rowena also started a new Window this week and she gets extra points for realizing that she only needed to trace out pattern pieces for 1/4 of the window.   By cutting two of each pattern piece and then reversing them and cutting two more she's able to get all of the glass cut out for what is surely going to be a beautiful window.

Linda L only has a few scant pieces to go on her 4th of July Mickey Window and then she'll move along to the grinding process.   She's taking her time while cutting out her pieces and you can see that it almost fits together perfectly before a single piece has touched the grinder.

Further on down you'll see another window that Tasha has all ready to be colored and waxed.  Because she didn't have enough time to do that in class Tasha resumed working on grinding her Abstract Poppy Window that she had started a few weeks back.  This only needs a few more pieces ground before she gets to wrap it

Martha spent her night replacing a few pieces in her Deer head Window and is ready to get a border attached to it now.   That won't take long at all so she'll begin soldering when she comes back into class next week.


Susan R's Owl Of Many Colors is so very close to being completely ground already.   She's really flown through this project (no pun intended) and I have no doubt that she'll begin wrapping it when she comes back in.  Her use of color in this is absolutely perfect.


Mary Grace is missing a few pieces but she's moving along at a nice steady pace on her Iris Window.  She isn't missing all of the pieces that you see left opened in the picture below so she still has some grinding to do before she starts wrapping what she has.   Once you begin grinding a window and you discover that you're missing pieces it's best to just tack the window together and then use the openings in the window itself as a pattern for the missing pieces.

MiMi finished the soldering on her Rose Window just as class was over so all she needs to do on this is to wash it and add a coat of patina to it.   Even though it's not washed yet you can easily see that this is going to be one stunning window.  Next week we'll see MiMi get this completed and another window started.

Here's another look at the Seahorse Window that Becky S is making.   With a good majority of the pieces already ground she's doing very well indeed.   This is a complex pattern and once the grinding is completed she'll begin cutting a lot of those pieces in half to give it even more detail.


Look at this!  With just 8 pieces left to go (or 16 depending on what Melissa wants to do) this window is so near ready to be soldered that it isn't even funny.    Her eye for exactness is dead on and this makes the original that she found on line look downright bad!   The end is certainly near on this.

Myrt is working on a Modern Art Suncatcher of her own and she's gone patriotic in her version of this popular design.


With the last border all cut out and tacked on to her Peacock Window, Susan D is ready to move on to the easy and relaxing task of soldering.   This week she also got the Peacock's crest cut out and if I were to say that it went together perfectly then I'd be understating the fact.   When Susan returns we'll add some zinc channel to this and then she'll complate the soldering. 

Lastly we have another window that is so very close to being completed.  With just a quick washing and coloring left to go, Tasha will easily finish this when she comes back in.  That means that we'll be see this among our completed windows in our next post. 

We'll be back next week on Monday with the latest pictures of all of our students wonderful work so be sure to come on back.  We'll be sure to light up a window or two for you!


Monday, April 16, 2018

She's Got The Whole World in Her Hand

Our tip this week goes out to ALL of our students because I see this happen probably 20 times a week.  When using your flux brush to apply flux to your project there are 2 things you NEED to remember. 

1) Wipe off the brush after it comes out of the flux.  You don't want puddles of flux on your window-- that makes it hard to get a nice, even bead.

and most importantly,

2)  Don't press the brush down so hard that the bristles splay out all helter skelter as in the picture below.

You should apply the flux the same way you would brush paint on a wall.  The ends of the bristles should flow over the copper foil, not be smashed down into it.   The picture below shows how the brush should be positioned.   If you apply your flux like this the flux will work better AND your brushes will last FAR longer.  Remember, it's stained glass, everything requires a gentle touch.

Ok, it was a busy week here at BSGW and we're going to start things off by looking at  Shelley's Chef Window which was completed this week and which everyone loves.   In fact, the pattern is already out being copied to be in use again in the near future!  Check out that wire moustache-- it's awesome!

Roy put the finishing touches on his round Humming Bird Window while he was at home and I must say that everything (right down to his photography) on his second piece is picture perfect.  He's certainly got the hang of this Stained Glass thing already.

Beth started working on this cross the week before last and ended up walking out the door with it being ready to hang this week.   It all balanced out beautifully but Beth is ready to work on a window or two before she does any more suncatchers.   Suncatchers are always misidentified as quick, easy projects but windows are truly the ideal way to hone your soldering skills.   Suncatchers keep the heat and make multiple passes with your soldering iron trickier and trickier.  That said, I dare you to look at this Cross and then tell me that Beth didn't do an incredible job!

Well now, Cindy has been busy, busy , busy!  This UL Suncatcher is her first of  seven different suncatchers that she completed this week.

These three Interlinking Suncatchers were also finished by Cindy and she even added a forth link to one of these unique suncatchers.

And finally Cindy has finished three more Dress Suncatchers-- each on a wire hanger(!)   I just can't get enough of these dresses!

Since good things appear to come in three's lets look at the three Stylized Crosses that Betty completed this week.   She says she loved making these and with more cut out already I'd say that we'll be seeing a lot of these over the weeks to come.

Then we take a look at Betty's LSU Tiger Claw window.  It all turned out great and although it didn't go as quickly as Betty had hoped it would, she has nothing to be concerned about.  When she makes this again she'll be ahead of the game because she now knows that even though the subject matter may cut into the border we still add border pieces AFTER the center section has been tacked together.

Why wait until next week to see another of these lovely Stylized Crosses?  Let's just look at the one that Linda F finished while she was in class this week.  These have traditionally been done in multi colors but I like the fact that Linda put her own spin on things and made hers entirely out of different textured clear glasses.

Terry completed another Angel this week and made one small (but big) change to it.   Look closely and you'll see that this Angel explains the title of this post!  Terry also cut out and made a Geometric Suncatcher during class as well.

And the last of our finished projects this week comes from Angie.  This is her first Lawn Ornament and she plans on making another of these while she's at home Once you know how these 3D pieces go together you realize just how easy the effect is to achieve!

Now Patrice did some incredible work as she managed to get the center portion of her 4H clover cut, ground and wrapped all in one class.  And let me tell you that some of those pieces are TINY!  With just four more pieces left to grind she she will then tack this together and start working on the remaining pieces which are all straight cuts.


Susan R has begun working on a Multi Colored Owl of her own  this week and she's moving along at a nice steady pace.  These are becoming very popular in class and Susan is one of the early adopters to this pattern.

As I suspected, MiMi came in and blew me away with what she accomplished on her own at home.   Since everything was ground and wrapped to perfection she was able to get a border cut and attached to her window this week.  She's already begun soldering it and should be finished with it before you know it.


Then we have Becky S's Seahorse Window which is altogether recognizable now.   A lot of this has been ground already  (as you can tell by the use of pins scattered throughout the pattern) so it's safer to say that things are moving along swimmingly (get it?)


Rowena worked on two projects this week and has almost completed both of them.  First she has her Heron Window which she's soldering the back side of, and secondly she has another Modern Art Suncatcher that you'll be seeing more of later on.  I have no doubt that these will both be completed upon her return.


Myrt wasn't sure what she wanted to make when she walked in the door but after looking through some of the patterns that we have she decided to make two angel wings.   They're all cut out and ground already so Myrt took them home to wrap and possibly tack together as well.

Susan D has all of her Peacock Background cut and ground.   She's well underway wrapping these pieces and once the bottom section is secured with solder she will move on to working out the Peacock's Crest.   That will surely happen when she comes back in.

Tracey is moving along in leaps and bounds.   She got the remaining pieces of her Small Sunflower Panel cut out and then she ground everything perfectly!  She's taken this home to wrap and there's a good chance that if it's wrapped when she comes back in that it will leave the shop as a completed project!


Jan started grinding the pieces to her Jesus Window and she's about half way there now.   She's decided to change the color that she had picked for the halo because the orange she cut it from makes it look like Jesus has red hair!  (The name Carrot Top was mentioned several times.) Look for an amber/yellow halo to be cut when she comes back in.

Mary grace is close to the halfway point on the grinding of her large Iris Window.   She's now using my tried and true method of using the next piece to effortlessly get a perfect fit for each of the pieces.   Once you understand the concept it's a piece of cake and Mary Grace surely had a slice or two of cake as she worked at the grinder this week.  Look how nicely things are fitting together. 


Angie also worked on her own version of the Modern Art Suncatcher.  I told you that you would see more of these!   Popular and easy, these pieces are a great way to use up scrap glass.  And the best thing is that colors can go any way you please with this pattern.

Brenda now has all of the glass cut for her second (and last) Beveled Transom Window.   She even has everything ground and only has a few border pieces left to wrap before she can tack this together and then get along to soldering it.

This is Barbara H's version of the Small Sunflower Panel and this week she managed to get all of her pieces cut out.  She's taken them along home with her in the hopes of getting it ground and possibly wrapped, so we'll see where she stands on this when she returns.  She's done great with the cutting so I doubt this will cause her any trouble at all.


Melissa think that you can't see any progress on her window but I surely beg to differ!   She is so very close to being ready to tack this together and then she'll be able to tackle the missing pieces under the arms of the Fleur De Lis'!   She's dying to get to that step and I think it will happen before she knows it!


What's this?  Another Modern Art Suncatcher?   Yep, as I said, they are popular!   This one is being done by Cindy (I think--it's hard to keep track of them all!) and since it's all cut and ground I know we'll see it hanging up next week.


Lastly we take a look at the pattern that someone started this week.  If you've been following the blog for a while you might be able to guess who is making it from the subject matter.   Let me give you a hint: Her name starts with the letter 'L'.   Lin, Lind, LINDA!!!!!  Yep, Linda L is making another Mickey Mouse and this one is very patriotic.  Expect to see glass on this pattern very soon now.


Bayou Salé GlassWorks