Monday, August 27, 2018

She's Down To The Flesh

Lead lines.   They can be the bane of stained glass.   The trick is to minimize them so your windows look less busy.   Below you see a standard Cross Pattern that contains a lot of lines.  Some lines are needed to we can make certain cuts but a lot of times people get carried away and add lines where they aren't needed at all.   The four lines radiating outward from the center of the cross to each corner are not needed at all.   They don't make any cuts easier to get out of glass and they just make the pattern more confusing.

Now here's the same design with the extra lines removed.  Much better don't you think?  Still, we can go just a tad but further.

By enlarging the cross (or by shrinking the background) we can make the points of the cross touch the edge of the background and get rid of four more lines that clutter the subject.   Yep, I thinks we've cleaned this pattern up substantially.   The difference is striking-- inspirational even!  So remember to only add lines where they are absolutely needed and to try to keep them down to a minimum.   Next week I'll show you how to disguise lines that are needed to make certain cuts.

Well, it was a close race but Myrt did mange to finish her Cardinal Window before she left class.  This is the second time she's made this window and she made it look easy this time around.   Interestingly enough, Martha likes this window so much that she will be making one of her own soon.

Angie completed her Dove Window and decided to change things up by leaving the lead silver.   She's done a wonderful job creating the pattern for this as she went along (not unlike what Jeannette is doing with her Lawn Ornament this week).

Carol's two large Kaleidoscopes were each finished this week  but she still needs to make a stand for each of them.   The stands go together quickly because all of the pieces are cut using the strip cutter.   Why a stand?  Because the large color wheels hang lower than the body of the kaleidoscope which puts stress on the axle assembly when the kaleidoscope is resting on the wheels.

Roy has finished his variation of an Airplane Kaleidoscope and it would be a keeper for sure but alas, he's giving it away as a gift.  Patterned after his son-in-laws plane, Roy went so far as to substitute pontoons for the normal landing gear which makes this kaleidoscope a one of a kind.  I love his ingenuity.

Rowena's Fish Window is now very recognizable as a fish.  With a subject matter like this it's best to mix multiple green glasses to give the fish and extra amount of depth  that you could never achieve with with one static green glass for the majority of the fish.   This is inspiring me to make one of these windows myself! 

Roxane tacked together the center of her Compass Rose Window and then cut and ground the border for it.   However, her window doesn't stop here as Roxane has decided to square this project off so it will fit into a door that she has.  Look to see four corner sections get added to this when she returns.  Oh my, look at that-- I've inadvertently rotated the picture a quarter turn!  I'll be sure to give you a more accurate view next week.

Beth has begun cutting out the glass for her Sand Dollar Window and has some really wild curvy pieces in it.   As you can see she's having little trouble cutting them so I won't be surprised to see her working on her background pieces next.

Susan D is so very close to finishing up the grinding on her Tree Of Life Window.  What you see here is what she left class with but I've received a text from her telling me that everything is now ground and that she's ready to begin wrapping.  I just love the colors in this!

Jeannette started making a Pink Flamingo Lawn Ornament but has changed it to a Pink Flamingo Window instead.   She tacked her flamingo together this week and the traced its outline to create a pattern to 'square' this off.  next she'll add some water under the bird and some background glass.

Terry is all about stars and stripes forever with this stunning American Flag Window.  She spent the night grinding and I must say that her pieces are lining up PERFECTLY.   The flow of this flag is looking mighty good indeed.  And she'll even have stars on the blue glass.  We have a better method for firing the stars on now and I love the look that it achieves.

Susan R is making excellent progress on her Woman's Face Panel which I have no doubt will be very striking when it's completed.   It's already shaping up nicely and it hasn't even been ground yet.  You know, I started calling this a Woman's face Panel, but now that I've seen it with more colors added to it I think we're going to rename it 'A Woman Emerges'.

Barbara came in with all of the pieces wrapped for her Fuchsia and Humming Bird so she quickly tacked them together and then traced them onto a piece of glass big enough to form the entire background of her window.  Once that was done she learned how you can cut  directly through the areas of glass that the bird, flower, and leaves would replace.  With hardly any grinding needing to be done at all Barbara ended her class with the main  center portion of her window all ready to be wrapped.


Carol just about got her first LOVE Window completed this week.   The only left left to do on this is to wash it and then color the lead with black patina.  Since that takes 45 minutes Carol didn't have time to color it during class but she's promised to bring it back so we can get a good picture of it next week.

Sheri is busy making a kaleidoscope of her own and she's got the plane all soldered and ready for some wire work.  She's using a John Deere color scheme and since she already has her colored propeller  wheels cut and soldered I have little doubt that this will be completed upon her return.


Melissa got all of the clear background glass cut for her Autumn Leaves Window and spent her night at the grinder.  Right now, yes, this window looks a bit of a mess but trust me-- that's only because things have been shifted all over the place to make room in the bottom left corner where she's begun grinding.   This will easily come together as the weeks progress.

Patrice came in and got all of the glass cut out for her large Duck Suncatcher.   She had a small refresher course in cutting glass and she finished her cutting on a definite high note since her pieces are all fitting together nicely before they've even touched the grinder.

Lara finished up the grinding on her African Woman and cleaned up her new hair style.   As I said last week, those long dreadlocks were going to be impossible to cut (because of the glass Lara is using, not because of the curves) so a bun was formed thus eliminating the long thin wavy dreadlocks that you can still see on the paper pattern.  That  corner will be free of hair now.

MiMi is making wonderful progress on the grinding phase of her Crab Window.  With almost half of this ground it's really taking shape now and you can easily see just how nice this is going to be.  With all the work she does at home, I suspect this will be ready for foiling before you know it!

Linda L got her dolphins attached to the ocean floor (in a manor of speaking) with the glass that makes up the water.  Interestingly enough she only used one sheet of blue glass to get all of this done and she still has extra from the first sheet to do some of the smaller fill-ins.  I have a sneaking suspicion that she'll only need one more sheet to get the rest of the water done and that may happen next week.

Tracey got her Cardinal Window tacked together and the cut out two of the pieces that were missing.   From there she added her first border and when she comes back she'll get her final green border (for which the strips have already been cut) attached.   Getting solder on this will happen sooner than you may think!

Mary spent her night wrapping glass with foil and she's fast approaching the tacking phase of her Dreamcatcher Window.  She's having to skim a few pieces to get everything fitting back together since things are growing now that foil has been. That's to be expected when you have a lot of pieces in your project like Mary has.


Shelley's Wine Ladies is all tacked together and even got a border attached to it before she left class.   She wanted something to brighten the window up and there's no doubt that this yellow border does just that.  Look to see this completed and hanging up with some light behind it when Shelley returns.

Brenda got the final border attached on her Magnolia Window and then added the finishing Brass Channel around it.  That leaves only the soldering left to go on this.   We probably wont see this next week because our entire Tuesday night class will be making Airplane Kaleidoscopes!  Let's call it Flight School.

With all of the soldering completed on her Lighthouse and Sailboat Window, Martha will finish this very soon.  Maybe even before she gets out of Flight School.

Becky S has the first of her three Geometric Windows all tacked together and ready for its final border. All of her lines run straight and clean making this a perfect window indeed.  She's also ready to tack the second window so yes, she's moving along quickly on this three part project.


Cindy's lettering is finished on her Rosie The Dog Window and that means that all she really has left to go on this are two background pieces and some borders.  The end is near!


Jan's Poppies Window is all cut out, ground, wrapped and tacked together.   That means that she'll be soldering when she comes back in and Jan says that she can't wait to get this project finished so she can start something new.  It won't be long now.

And that wraps things up this week.  As you can see there will be even more completed projects next week so be sure to check back with us again for our next update!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, August 20, 2018

I Rode My Bicycle Past Your Window Last Night

What constitutes a fit?   Some people believe that if apiece fits into the opening they can move along to the next piece but I'm here to tell you that isn't always the case.   We look for pieces that fit well, not pieces that just fit.   You can fit a square peg in a round hole but that doesn't make it a round piece OR correct.   The orange pieces below fit into their repective places but as you can see they don't represent the shape that they should be.

Take your time and smooth things out.   Attention to detail is what turns people's heads and makes them 'ohhh' and 'awww' in amazement.   Any beginner can turn out shoddy work.   After a few weeks of lessons you should surpass beginners. 

So before we jump into things I have to say that Sheri finished her window this week and although I can't show it to you (due to a confidentiality clause) I can tell you that it turned out to be the finest piece in Sheri's stained glass repertoire.  And that's really saying something.

I have to say that I'm in love with Carol's Grateful Dead Window.   Her attention to detail really shines throughout this piece and the detail she's managed to capture makes this the best Grateful Dead Window I've ever seen.

Brenda's Freedom Prosthetics Window is finished and what a work of art it is.  This was a commissioned piece and she went all of the way with it by firing white stars onto the blue glass that forms the flag.  The window has been picked up already and Brenda can now breath a sigh of relief.


Terry's Spiderman window is officially complete and it really makes my spider-sense tingle!  (Spiderman really does have that!)  When it was washed and ready to be colored Terry decided to go all out and color the lead on the border black, the lead on Spiderman in copper, and his webs silver!   Can he swing from a thread?  Take a look overhead!

Jeannette finished her beveled Cross Window which she essentially designed on the fly.   It started off as just a 4 piece bevel cross cluster and then grew from there.  The addition of the deep cobalt blue glass was exactly what this window needed to catch the viewer's eye and as you can see she's used the same border glass that Terry used for her Spiderman Window.  Alas, there's no more Blue Baroque being made and this was our last piece so say goodbye to one of my favorite lines of glass- Baroque.


Mary Grace completed a small Tulip Suncatcher last week but I never got a picture of it.   During the week I realized that I had the same suncatcher made somewhere in a box so this week we'll look at mine and just pretend that we're looking Mary Grace's (whose Tulip turned out just as beautiful, albeit with a slightly different color scheme.)

Rowena finished another Bumble Bee Lawn Ornament while she was at home and what a great job she did assembling it in 3D!  Another job well done.

Barbara got all of the pieces for her Humming Bird and Fuchsia cut out and then even ground everything as well.  She's taken the pieces home to wrap so she can tack them together and then trace them onto a  sheet of background glass.  This minimizes grinding and really saves glass but is only possible to do when there's more background glass than subject matter- as in this window.

Angie had cut and ground a bird suncatcher while she at at home last week and when she came in she assembled some large bevel pieces to form a border for it.  She cut a piece of blue to fit the center and then cut the bird into the blue glass creating this wonderful window. It just needs a little solder and then this will be ready to hang.

Carol also worked on the 'tubes' for two stained glass Kaleidoscopes this week.  By the time she left class they were completed and ready to be washed and colored.   Since she already has the color wheels completed she only has to insert the mirrors and make the two stands when she comes back in!

 Last week it was an empty pattern but this week Melissa has filled in that patterns with all of her leaves.   By the time she left class she even had some of the tree branches cut as well.  This window is moving FAST!


Susan R  has begun making a new Stained Glass Women Window and it looks like it will be very stunning indeed.   She using dark but vibrant colors which don't really show up while it's resting on the table so this will be a treat when it gets some light behind it and totally changes in appearance.

 Terry also worked on an American Flag Window and has provided Russ with a stencil so she can (like her sister) get some white stars fired on her blue glass.  This is one of the nicest flags I've seen yet and I love it!

Lara has begun grinding the pieces that she has already cut out for her latest African Woman.  She's done this to partly get things into shape around the head of the woman since she's changed the hair style altogether and has no pattern pieces to continue working in that area.  Also, she'll be able to cut the oval from one piece of glass if she wants to later on down the line.

Rowena also began working on a Fish Window and was slightly shocked when I revealed my method to coloring stained glass fish-- pick out a bunch of greens and mix them up!    Just wait until you see this next week she she has even more glass cut out.


MiMi's Crab Window is literally taking shape now that she's begun the grinding process.  If you enlarge the picture you can see that she has the left side fitting together and is now making her way to the center of the window.   I've seen a newer picture that she posted on Facebook and she's got a lot more of this ground so she's moving along full steam ahead on this.


Susan D is filling in all of those leaves on her Tree of Life Window quickly now.   She's taken her time in cutting out all of her pieces and finding that all she needs to do is skim them on the grinder to get them to fit.  And that's exactly why this is going together so quickly for her.


Tracey got all of her Cardinal Window ground and she's really doing exceptional work.  There was a piece of two that got skipped over while she was cutting but we're going to re-cut those when the rest of the window gets tacked together upon her return.


Mary Grace cut and ground a new Lawn Ornament this week and then even got it wrapped before she called it a day.   That's very quick work indeed.  Sadly she won't have this completed next week because MG is having surgery next week.  We wish her the very best and hope to see her back in class soon.

Mary is someone who also  finished off all of her grinding this week.  She's taken her window home with her where she hopes to get everything wrapped so that she can add a border to this upon her return.   Wonderful work indeed.

Cindy is working diligently on her Rosie The Dog Window and got the background pieces cut out for the dog's name.  Next she'll tackle the background for the curved section which will be a little more difficult since the glass will be cut from small pieces rather than one large piece.  Nonetheless, it will get done and it will look stunning.


Myrt is well on her way to completing her male and female Cardinal Window as you can clearly see from the photograph below.   She handled a lot of this while at home and I have no doubt that this will be finished when we next see it.


With her commissioned Freedom Prosthetics Window now in the past, Brenda was able to resume work on the Magnolia Window that she began a few weeks ago.  With the first border cut out Brenda will attach the second one when she returns and possibly even finish this.

Shelley's got all of the pieces to her Buxom Wine Ladies all wrapped which means that this window is ready to get a border attached.   She still hasn't picked a color yet so that will be the first things she does when she comes back.  I can't wait to see how she finishes this off.


Martha has begun soldering her clear textured and beveled Sailboat and Lighthouse Window.   With the front almost completed she'll be turning this over when she returns.


Patrice started a flying Mallard this week and it will be a stand alone piece rather than an actual window.   I believe that she only has about 20 pieces left to go so this should move quickly for her but the problem with this pattern is deciding on colors.   You really can't lose but a lot of people tend to over analyze their picks (myself included) so we'll see where Patrice gets to on this upon her return.   Once the glass is cut this will be a piece of cake!


Roy has begun work on a large (50 x 25) Geometric Stained Glass Transom Window.   If you look closely you can see a section on the lower left that has been surrounded with orange highlighter.   This shows all of the pieces of the pattern that need to be cut out to complete the entire center of the window.   Roy will cut out 4 each of these pieces: 2 normal and 2 reversed.  He'll also build this in sections before joining it to make transporting it easier.

And there you have it-- one more week in our shop here in Bayou Salé.