Monday, September 24, 2018

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

Let's start off with a great tip that I use all the time.  Grinders will spin either clockwise or counter clockwise.  My grinders have only ever spun counterclockwise but there's a chance  that other manufacturer's grinders don't.  In the pictures below I'm showing a wheel that is spinning counter clockwise.

The water you add to your grinder acts as a coolant and is picked up and thrown in the direction that the head is spinning. This causes a river of water to form and run back into the grinder basically on one side of the wheel.  Since water will wash off your marker line you should always place the line where the water won't wash over it until AFTER that section of the glass has been ground.  In other words, pay attention to whether you should be sliding your glass across the grinding wheel from the left to the right or vice versa.


Sometimes the sponge will cause the water to pool on the opposite side so pay attention.  Watch where the water is flowing and grind accordingly! 

Up first in our completed section is Beth's Sand Dollar Window which really turned out to be spectacular.   The minimal use of color really helped make this a stand out window and her work is top notch.  With just a hint of color in the iridized inner border and the use of two different clear textures for the background, Beth couldn't lose with this!

Check out Jeannette's J Window.   You might think that the J stands for Jeannette but you'd be wrong-- it actually stands for Jillian (who's just a baby) and who will surely be thrilled with this window years from now when she understands that it was made especially for her.  Right now I know her mother is going to love having it hanging in Jillian's room.

Jeannette completed her 'J' window as soon as she came into class so she also had time to finish soldering her Cross Suncatcher as well.   If that weren't enough she also managed to get get hooks on both her Dove and Minnie Mouse Suncatchers as well!  Now THAT'S production!


Terry went above and beyond with her American Flag window.   She used a Cricut Cutter to make a stencil for the stars and then stuck it onto a blue piece of glass.  She then used white enamel glass paint to fill in each star and then removed the stencil around each individual star before the paint could set too fast and tear.   It was difficult and tedious work but when she was finished she popped the glass into the kiln and then had permanent stars appear on her glass.  She then positioned the blue glass, cut it to fit and this is the end result.  Stunning, isn't it?


Angie put the finishing touches on her Unicorn Window and her subtle use of iridized glass for the mane of the unicorn was a  perfect choice especially since the background glass is made up of the colors in the iridized mane.  Subtle is what it's all about of you ask me, and this panel proves it.

Carol got another in her series of Inspirational Hearts Windows completed this week.   I feel almost foolish telling you that it's a Hope Window when you can clearly see that for yourself.   I'm trying to talk her into doing COMPASSION next but she's clearly got this thing about too many letters in one window...

Well we haven't seen one of these 3D Butterflies done in a while but Rowena fixed that by making a beautiful yellow and orange Butterfly this week.  You know, I have an idea for the next time someone does one of these.   I just don't know why I didn't think of it sooner!

Next up we have Betty who made a second Noel Window.   Although it is extremely similar to the last one that she made they are not identical because this one has a much darker green border surrounding it.  I'm pleased to pass along the fact that Betty is currently off overseas and we hope she has the time of her life!!!


Well now, that may be all that we have to look at in terms of finished projects this week but we are far from the end of this post.   Now we look at what's under construction starting with Myrt's Address Window.   Her entire address is basically spelled out in this short and simple design.   She's going to make the three circled sections first and once they're tacked together she'll add the background and then her double border.   I must say that I really like this design but I also must say that I came up with it for her after she gave me the ideas of a 2 with cherries on either side of it.  I might be a bit biased.

Barbara H got her Mary and Child Panel all ground and even foiled.   She was going to tack it together but didn't want to start adding lead until she was ready to really begin soldering the entire window so she'll do that when she returns next week.  This is a very good habit to get into in general.

As you can see, Patrice is moving right along on her Humming Bird and Morning Glories Window.  She's even utilized some of the lines in the purple glass to make the petals of her flowers look more realistic.  Patrice has ordered a grinder so you know she's into it now.  Look out!

Sheri is making quick work on her Coffee Window as she got the bottom cup and table almost completely ground before she left class.  A few days after she'd left I got a phone call from her asking if she could drop by to pick up her window so she could work on it at home.  I can't wait to see what she walks in the door with when she comes back to class.

Although you can't see it the background for Cindy's Rosie the Dog Window is all cut, ground, wrapped, and tacked together.   That means that this window is ready for it's two borders.  This is actually a very large window as you might assume by the amount of text in it.  It's nearly impossible to do small letter in glass.

Eggplant.  That's the secret word behind this stunning Industrial Fleur De Lis that MiMi is now making.   All that you see below is the sum of just one nights work.  Also, all of the color that this window will incorporate has all been cut out already as the remaining pieces will be cut from clear textures.  O,h and there will be heavy lead lines as well.  VERY heavy!

Susan R has changed up her Woman Emerging Window ever so slightly by adding a border to it.  You can't see it yet but you will next week after she gets all of her background wrapped and tacked together.  The background glass consists of 17 pieces but we cheated a bit and made cutting and grinding them very, very easy.

With only a few lines left to go on her Underwater Scene, Linda L will surely complete this upon her return.  All it needs now are a few more straight lead lines and then a few baths to clean this up and hang it for its final photo shoot with us.  Just for the record, this is another window that's far bigger than the picture implies.

Mary got her final border attached to her Dream Catcher Window and even has the front side of it soldered.   She'll flip this over and get that back side upon her return to class and maybe, just maybe, get to take it home depending on how the soldering goes.   But soldering isn't something that you rush because if you do you end up having to re-solder which takes even longer.  Still, I never rule anything out.

Melissa's Autumn Leaves Window is literally coming together now.   There are only a handful of pieces left for her to grind and then she'll move over to the wrapping part of the stained glass process.   After that she'll do a single border and be all set to solder this!

Tracey began grinding her latest Cardinal Window and the left side of it is fitting together perfectly.   She wasn't thrilled with the middle feather of the tail so Tracey is leaving that out and will re-cut the piece so it fits better.   The second time is easily the charm for her as this window is flying together.

Susan D brought in an amber glass that perfectly matched some of the leaves in her Tree Of Life and once that was attached she got the final border cut.   She's decided to use a very heavy mottled piece of glass that has ALL of the colors of her leaves in it.   All she needs to do is skim the final border on the grinder, wrap the pieces, and then get ready to begin soldering.

We're seeing a lot of these large Duck Suncatchers being made and the nice part about them is that everyone has their own color scheme for it!  Gone are the days of the same project being made in the same colors.  Rowena has made this all her own!

What we have below is the same Duck with an entirely new look about it.  Carol is doing this one and I've only just realized that I had no problem discerning who made which duck!   I have a sneaking suspicion that we'll see both of these completed when we return next week.

Becky can now breath a sigh of relief as the third and final window in her Trio of Frank Lloyd Wright Windows is all ground and finished being cut.   All she needs to do now is skim her border pieces and then attach them before she flips this over and starts soldering the back side of this window.  The end is near.


Lastly we have Brenda's Aeroscope which only needs its two image wheels soldered together.  You can easily see one of them in the picture below but the second one is harder to see since it's made up all nothing but clear textures.   She's taken them home to wrap and when she comes back in this Airplane will certainly ready for take off.

That about wraps things up here.   We certainly had a lot of completed projects this week and we also have a lot of new projects started as well.   There's never a dull minute here in the Bayou when it comes to stained glass classes.  Come back next week and I'll show you some more.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, September 17, 2018

A Volunteer Cucumber

Our tip of the week deals with how I work.   That doesn't necessarily make it the 'correct' way to work, but here's my thought process and in the end what works best for me.  After I trace out my pattern onto poster board I only cut out the sections that I will be working on there and then.  In other words, I don't cut up my paper pattern all at once.  I find that pinning down all of those freed up pattern pieces onto my pattern slows me down immensely since I have to weed through my cut pieces of glass for the pattern pieces that needs to be cut next.   Instead I work one color at a time which also saves me time by allowing me to not number things.  By working with just a few pieces at a time I move quicker and much more efficiently.   Patrice is trying out this system with the window that you see below and you can see that she's cut out two of the flowers from her poster board pattern.   We'll ask her what she thinks when she's finished it and let you know the results.

Rowina's Fish Window is truly a work of art.   I'm usually not a fan of realism in stained glass but this is one of those windows that's the exception to the rule.   Everything about this is top notch and Rowena should be very proud of it.  It's even inspired me to make a fish of my own.

Well now, just look at this Crab Window!  MiMi made this as a gift and I can't imagine anyone being anything other than thrilled to receive it.  MiMi's work is outstanding and her glass choices are impeccable!  And just wait until you see what she's starting when she returns next week...


Becky has two out of three of her Frank Lloyd Wright Styled Windows completed this week and they are marvelous!  She's been so concerned about how everything lines up and that  solicitousness has paid off in spades.  Below is the window that will be repeated on both ends of her set of three windows.

And here is the solo window in Becky's set of three.  This one will be placed in between the other two windows.   When Becky completes the third window I'll post the entire set so everyone can see the full effect.

Shelley's Buxom Wine Ladies Window is finished and it's as charming as you could ever hope for it to be!   Now that it's been washed you can easily see these two women in all of their glory.   I will admit that they were hard to make out when Shelley started this project but now there's no mistaking them!  They look like fun.   If they have a third glass I might join them for a drink or two...


You've got to have Faith or at least that's what Carol is saying in her latest word window.  She's got a series of these inspirational windows in the works and although this week it's Faith while next week's will be.... well, I'm not letting the cat out of the bag.  Come back next week and you'll get to see what her newest window says. 

Next we have Rowena's Duck in Flight Suncatcher and it's another winner for sure.   This pattern is catching on as a third student asked for a copy of it this week.  Rowena's excellent work on it surely helps sell this pattern, that's for sure.

Flight School is almost officially over for Tuesday night class as Cindy, Martha, Myrt, and Terry each completed their Airplane Kaleidoscopes.   Martha made two of these so that explains the extra Aeroscope in the picture, but what about Brenda?   Well, when she returns we'll see what we can do to get hers off of the runway.   She's got a lot going on at home and we're sending both she and Donald our very best.

Sheri's Coffee Window is really coming together quickly as she now only has the background left to cut.  Once that's done she can begin grinding.   Now that there's glass on the pattern you can really see the word 'coffee' in the window.


With her hair all cut out, ground and tacked into place this Lady Emerging is looking better than ever.  Susan R has traced out a new background pattern for this and will begin cutting out the glass for it when she returns next week.  With no border on this window her cutting will need to be exact for this to fit in the opening that Susan designed it for.  That said, I have no doubt that it will work out perfectly,


Patrice has the first flower of her Humming Bird and Morning Glories Window cut out and she'll soon start a second flower.   By keeping her paper pattern basically intact, she won't have pattern pieces hogging all of her pattern as she's laying out her glass.  She also won't have too many pattern pieces to keep track of. 


Jan saw this Mary and Child Panel on the internet and after tracing out the pattern last week she got to cut some glass for it this week.  With all of her glass cut she's ready to move along to the grinding process which (as you can tell from the pins) has already begun.

As you may already know, Barbara has decided to make the same Mary and Child Panel that Jan is making and she's got 6 more pieces fitted together than Jan does so it's a little easier to see just what this looks like here.   Be sure of one thing though:  THIS IS NOT A RACE!!!!

With her final border cut out and ready to be ground, Beth's Sand Dollar Window is just about nearing completion.   I have no doubt that the final border will be attached when she comes back in and she'll surely get to soldering this as well.  How far along will she get?? come back next week and see!  

Look out because Linda L got the front side of her Underwater Scene soldered in just one class.  And when I say soldered, I mean soldered beautifully!  Because of the amount of time it will take to wash and color this it won't be completed next week but I'm fairly sure it will be the following week.  The bottom of this window really looks alive with each of those  different colors of sand.   All of those colors help add some realistic looking depth to the sea floor.

Well now, this may look familiar and that's because it's the third panel of Becky's set of three Frank Lloyd Wright Styled Windows.  It just so happens that this one perfectly matches one of the windows that she's already completed.   Everything on this has been ground and Becky is ready to start her foiling now!

Susan D has her tree of life all tacked together now and is ready to begin working on a double border for it.   She wants to go with an amber glass for the thin, inner border but what we had in the shop was either too dark of too light so Susan will be bringing in a piece of glass that she has at home next week.   Hopefully it will be right in between the shades that we have here in the shop.

Jeannette's J Window has its front side all soldered and now she's working on getting solder on the back side of her window (as you can plainly tell by the backwards J in the picture) .   I have little doubt that this window will be posted as a completed project when we next return.

Next we look at Roxane's Compass Rose Window which she was soldering this week.   Like Jeannette, Roxane has the front of her window completed which means that she'll be flipping this over and soldering the back side when she comes back in.

Last week Melissa discovered a small trick that helps to keep the marker line on the glass longer while she is grinding.  This week she moved quickly through her pieces getting far more accomplished than she did the week before.   This Autumn Leaves Window is really coming together now!

Mary came in and wrapped the final four pieces of background for her Dream Catcher Window and then worked on tacking everything together.   Once that was squared away (literally) she picked a color for her first border and got that tacked into place as well.   She's moving along quickly and I have no doubt that her second border will be attached when she comes back in.

Betty's doing a second Noel Window and she officially got it all ground and ready for foil.   She's a little unsure if she'll make it in next week but if she does I'm thinking that this will be completed.

And this is Tracey's second Cardinal Window.   It looks like she's just about got this all cut out so she'll be able to start grinding before you know it.  I know she's upset that it doesn't fit together better but this is par for the course when you cut out a window-- it NEVER fits together nicely until you hit each piece on the grinder.


Lastly we look at the next Butterfly Lawn Ornament that Rowena is working on.   She was grinding it when she came in but as you can see she's past that now and well into the wrapping phase of this Butterfly. 

When you realize that we had 11 finished projects this week you realize that things were hopping in our classes!  And things don't look like they'll be settling down soon either. Come back next week and be prepared for even MORE beautiful work done by our students. 

Bayou Salé GlassWorks