Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Passionate About Soldering

"Do you think I can cut this curve out?"  I hear it every week.   My first instinct is to say, "No" because the student is already doubting their ability by asking me if I think they can do it.  Still, there is a GENERAL rule that you can use to determine if you want to try to take that curve in one cut or not.  First you have to figure out the 'depth' of the curve.  This can be done in your head very easily without a ruler but I'm going to draw it all out for you to help explain it.

Start by connecting the two ending points of the the curve as I did in the illustration below with the red dotted line.  Next, measure the distance from that line to the deepest part of the curve (usually, but not always, the center of the curve).  This gives you the 'depth' of the curve.  An actual number isn't needed as you will soon see. 

If the 'length' of the curve (the length of the red dotted line) is MORE than three times the 'depth' of the curve you can almost always get the curve cut in one or two scoops with your cutter.

In the topmost example you can see that there are more than five 'depths' making up the 'length' curve.  That means that if even if you have moderate cutting skills you can most likely get the curve out in one cut.

In the lower example we can't even fit two 'depths' into the 'length' of the curve.   I would never try to make this cut without scooping it out a little at a time.

If you follow this simple formula:  "Never attempt a curve that is less than three lengths of its depth."  You won't have any trouble deciding if you should go for the curve in a single cut or not.

Well I have to say that Myrt had no deep curves in her Ivory the Dog Window.   This week we  saw her finish her tribute window from what I've seen on the internet it's a dead ringer for the actual dog itself.  I think Martha might have been calling Ivory to get the window to come over to her work table so she could pet it!   Myrt agonized about the face of this dog as she was making it even going so far as to rip it apart to make minor adjustments to the mouth.  In the end she captured Ivory's look perfectly and that is a testament to the detailed work that Myrt does.

Here we have our first look at the pair of Aeroscopes that Carol finished in class this week.  The one on the left was made for her husband, Totally Rad Richard, while the one on the right is Carol's.  As I said before she has more propeller wheels cut out so she'll be ready to begin a few more of these when she wants.   They're certainly becoming popular pieces as you will see in the weeks to come.  The image in between is what you see when you look through the back of these planes.  However, a single picture doesn't do it justice though as the colors and shaped blend in and out of themselves as you spin the propellers.

Here's Cindy's Sunset Fantasy Waterfall Scene all completed and ready to hang.  I found the image online in a fantasy art website and thought it would look great as a suncatcher.  there are a lot of little pieces but we all know that's what Cindy loves most in her projects.

Patrice finished her first Bumble Bee Lawn Ornament and it's the first one we've see done with green eyes.   As we all know, green and yellow go together wonderfully so there was never any doubt that this was going to turn out anything less than stunning.

Rowena's Flowers and Humming Bird Window turned out as perfect as perfect can be.   She knew she was starting with a great pattern (thanks to Carol) and did a wonderful job on her own interpretation of it.   And yes, this is bigger than you might think because when other students saw it hanging up in the shop they were all surprised at how large it is (almost three feet tall).

Next up we take a look at a pair of Mickey Mouse Silhouettes that Susan D completed this week.  A little further on down we'll take a look at the matching Minnie Mouse Suncatchers that Susan is making to go along with these.

Here's Tracey's Aeroscope complete with a view through the Kaleidoscope that runs through the length of the body of the plane.  These never fail to impress people even before they realize that it doubles as a kaleidoscope.  Tracey did a great job on this and her soldering is top notch.  I'm going to have to make a video so everyone can get the full effect of the kaleidoscope image.

Terry completed her Butterfly on a Flower Window this week but it was finished too late for her to wash and color it.   I don't know if we'll get to see this again next week so here is her completed window as we all saw it on the table (rather than back lit).  Even in an unwashed state you can see that it's a very beautiful window featuring beautiful work.


Mary is back!  It's been a while now and I have to say that everyone was all happy to see Mary return to class.   She had wrapped all of the pieces for the center circle section of her Dreamcatcher Window but she forgot to bring the glass that she was going to use for her feathers.   Rather than wasting time, Mary tacked together the circular section of her window and then put a finishing solder bead on it- but only the front side!!!   With the hardest part of this window easily behind her she should have no problems at all from here on out.


Betty has turned up a new Nativity Scene Suncatcher and had me print it out in two different sizes.  This is the larger size and after cutting out two of them she's decided that it's best to keep things this size since it's already tough enough to cut out some of the small pieces.

Beth has the bottom half of her Flower Window all ground and is now about to begin grinding the top half which contains all of the flower petals.  It may look like a lot of work but if she moves slowly and steadily then Beth will have no problems whatsoever. 

Carol also spent time working on a new panel lamp.   I believe (although I could be wrong) that it consists of six panels.   With these two completed she's already a third of the way to the finish line!

The glass Becky picked out for her final border is PERFECT!  I just love the combination of the two different greens.    With the front side completely soldered she's going to flip this over and finish adding lead to it when she returns to class.   Look to see this window in all its glory next week.

With the background all cut out for her Magnolia Window, Brenda has moved over to the grinder so that this all fits together perfectly.   Before you know it we'll be looking at this window in our completed projects section!

Linda L is going against the rules here because she's cut and ground and wrapped the pieces for her Sea Horse and Coral before the rest of her glass has been cut.  Why?  Because this will allow the grain of the glass she uses for the the ground that this coral is in front of to flow perfectly throughout all of those little pieces.  Sometimes you have to break the rules for greatness to occur (but only sometimes.)


Mary Grace did an incredible job soldering the front side of her window this week and I have no doubt that she'll begin the back side when she returns.  This window was causing her some problems in the beginning of it's development but not any more.  In fact, she's showing it who the boss is now!

Susan R is just about ready to get the border tacked onto her Chef window now.  There are a few pieces that she's going to have to re-cut for a better fit and there was a small break that she'll  repair by adding a new piece but after that it will be time to pick out a color for the border.

Melissa has her Sacred Hearts tacked together and she's got her sky cut and fitted as well. With just the 8 sections of ribbon(?) left to go I think that she's making excellent time on this project.

Roy made another change to his Wine Bottle Window this week by adding some wine to it.   Last week the bottle was empty but this week you can see that it's more than halfway filled.   It looks dark sitting there on the work table but when you see this lit up you'll agree that it's a perfect purple glass for wine.

Tracey not only complete her Aeroscope this week-- she also tacked together her address window and got the inner border cut out for it as well.   She has the color for her final border all picked out and there's a good chance that we'll see what that color is when we look at this again next week.

Cindy began work on this small address panel and already has the numbers cut and tacked together.   That leaves her with just four pieces of background left to go before she wraps this one up when she returns. 

Lara is about to embark on another stunning stained glass journey.  Since you can't see the colorful New Orleans style house that she traced while in class this week I've put a colored picture of it in the upper left corner.  I'll bet it ends up being spectacular.


You got to see the two Mickey Mouse Silhouettes that Susan D made at the top of this post and now we see the two companion Minnie Mouse Silhouettes.   These will most likely be completed upon her return.  Oh, don't let the bow tie fool you-- the top left Minnie is resting on the Mickey Pattern so it looks a bot odd.


Lastly, Martha returned this week and got the background for her Lighthouse and Sailboat Window all drawn up.  Alas, it's a little too big so she plans on scaling it down somewhat.   Once she has a size we'll work from there.


And that wraps things up for this week!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

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