Monday, October 29, 2018

You Can't Make A Window Without Breaking Some Glass

When deciding where to put breaks in your borders you have to plan ahead.  We normally divide the borders on each side equally which means that the top would be split the same as the bottom, and the left the same as the right.  If your subject cuts into the border you have some choices to make.  In the picture below, breaking the top border evenly results in some small pieces near where the steam comes out from the window and into the border.  

I usually omit lines if they are close to where the border would normally be broken.   This would result in the border below. 

There is no official right or wrong in these cases.   It's solely dependent on what YOU think looks good.   While making your pattern mark it one way and then the other to help you make your decision.  Rest assured though-- the viewers eye will focus on the subject matter and NOT the breaks in the border.  Only you will notice that. 

Okay now, up first is a variation of the pattern that we just talked about above and you can see that Sheri did, in fact, omit two of the lead lines in her border.  The central breaks were left in so that the other two pieces didn't appear to be too long.   We played around with omitting those as well but in the end we decided it was best to break the longer border strips.   No matter, the work that Sheri did on this entire window is wonderful and you can almost smell the coffee.

Becky B finished her Frog Lawn Ornament and finished it off with a wire mouth and some painted pupils on the eyeballs.   This pattern started off as a night-lite but Becky decided to make it bigger and mount it on a stake for her yard.   As I always tell our students, anything can be a Lawn Ornament!


I don't think that we've seen many Oil Wand Kaleidoscopes in the past few years but Susan R saw one that I made for a show that we just did and just HAD to make one!   Of all the stained glass kaleidoscopes that you can make this is the one that provides the best image because it's ALWAYS different and it never stops moving.  I've included a picture of what you see when you look through this, but it doesn't do it any justice at all since it's a still image.

Cindy put the finishing touches on her second Kaleidoscope Airplane and it's another winner.  I think that this is the last of the Aeroscopes for a while now, but Oil Wand Scopes and Traditional Kaleidoscopes will still be featured here over the next few weeks.  They make wonderful Christmas presents.

Up next we have three projects that just needed a little work left to go on them before they were completed.   I won't be able to photograph the finished pieces but I've asked everyone to take pictures of them once they are completed.

First we have Lara's African Woman.  With the front side all soldered and only the back side left to go I'm going to miss not getting to see this with some light behind it.  Even pictured sitting here on the work table it's looking awfully fine!

Next we have Melissa's Autumn Window.   This one only needs to be washed and colored (adding some patina to the lead, that is) before Melissa can deliver this to her friend.  Like the tree of Life that Susan did a few weeks back, this has the perfect border color for a Tree Window.

Carol has been as busy as can be as she ALMOST completed 3 Butterfly Lawn Ornaments this week.   The only thing left to add to theses are the bodies that run along the length of the center.   Carol made quick work of these and they each look lovely.

Even with a huge majority of her window being un-ground, Rowena's Tiger Face/Louisiana Window shows a fierceness that can't be ignored.   The pieces are merciless to cut and grind but the finished piece will be an incredible jewel in Rowena's stained glass crown.

Mary's working quickly through the cutting process of her Santa Window.   Last week we had decided on some green glass for some of the background but we were clearly not thinking this through.  Luckily Mary did while she was home last week.   With snow on the ground there wouldn't be any green-- so Mary will take the white snow right up to the horizon on this window.  Looking good indeed!

Speaking of Santa's,  Cindy's Santa Face Window is fast approaching completion.   When she left last week she only had the hat cut out.  This week it's all cut out and she's got probably 95% of it ground already. Talk about moving along!   Santa will be hopping down a chimney before you know it.

With the front side of her Rose Window completely soldered, Jeannette has taken this home to work on the back side and then she'll bring it back in for some patina and hooks.  Look to see this window completed real soon now!

Linda F has a lot of her Tree Of Life Window soldered now and hopes to get the majority of it done while she's at home.   With the leaves made up entirely of scrap glass Linda has discovered a GREAT way to clear space in her stained glass workshop AND end up with a wonderful window!

Susan D got the body of her Traditional Kaleidoscope put together and she was able to get the mirrors installed as well.   After that she worked on the first of the pattern wheels and even has the glass cut for the second, clear wheel.  It won't be long now until this is spinning in circles.

Roy is moving along nicely with his LSU and Tiger Paws Window.  With the majority of the subject matter all cut out and almost ground, Roy only needs to tack these pieces together before he starts adding the multiple borders that will be cut using the strip cutter.


Linda L's Mickey Window looks like something that was printed out!   Her grinding is perfection and her colors are nothing short of vibrant.  This is going to be spectacular and I know that because it already is.  Happy Halloween indeed!

Mary Grace made adjustments throughout her Birds and a Birdhouse Panel and everything is rock solid now.   I have no doubt that this will be completely tacked together and have a border attached when you see it again.


Angie's Mermaid Panel is just about finished even though we've never seen it before.  She came in with all but three pieces ground and fitting together wonderfully and only stopped three pieces short because she wasn't sure how to fit the 'bubble' that the mermaid is looking at.   We covered that small issue and the next thing you know Angie added a border and soldered the front side!

Martha ground the flowers and the branches for her Pair of Cardinals Window and she's doing a bang up job on it.   She's using one piece to mark the other as she grinds and is flying through her work while making perfect fits as well.

Shelley is wrapping up the grinding on her Once Upon A Time Window.  She'll need to wrap this and tack everything together before she can cut the face out (which you can see atop the window) but that won't take long at all! I can't wait to see this all come together!

With MiMi working on all of the thin clear trim pieces of her Industrial Fleur De Lis it's hard to tell what she's achieved this week.  Trust me though,  there's been a lot accomplished.  Look closely and you'll see a thick line of copper running diagonally through the center of the Fleur De Lis.   Believe it or not, it was a clear piece of scrap glass that MiMi wrapped completely in copper foil after fitting it into place.  Now that it's foiled MiMi saw how things are going to go together on this interesting window.

Betty is back and I was so happy to see her that I was eating the wrappers off of candies from foreign lands!  She was so happy to be back that she started working on another Mary and Child.  Will it be a suncatcher or a panel?   Even I don't know that but I'm leaning towards thinking that it will be a suncatcher.  I'll answer that question when we next return.

Wow, Beth cut out her background, ground all of her pieces, and then wrapped them all in one class!  And everything fits together wonderfully!  Color this iris purple and me impressed!

Well, it's official.  Tracey's latest Humming Bird has been completely cut out.  This week she was even able to start grinding a few pieces.   I do have a funny feeling that as beautiful a window this is, she's going to be over Cardinals by the time this one is finished.

This week Barbara started work on her version of the Santa Window that Mary is also making.   She's pretty much at the same point that Mary was at after a day of cutting glass so I'm expecting this to take shape quickly.   And, of course, seeing Mary's window will certainly inspire Barbara.

We're going to end this post looking at the patterns that two of our students are about to start cutting glass for next week.   First we look at the round Magnolia Window that Becky B will be working on upon her return.  It's always been stunning and I have no doubt that Becky's will be as well.

And lastly we take a look at the circular Butterfly Panel that Sheri traced out this week.   She's already thinking about colors and we will surely see some cut glass placed on this pattern when she returns.

Well, it will be a while before you hear from us again as we are shutting down for two weeks.   Don't fret though as we'll have a post up when we return to classes and fall back into the swing of things!


Monday, October 22, 2018

That's The Way The Croissant Crumbles

Positioning your pattern pieces on the glass you plan to cut requires a little bit of thought.   Although the pieces would turn out just fine in the picture below there's a much easier way to position these two pattern pieces.

If you have straight edges you should bump them against the straight edge of the glass you are cutting from.   Look at the piece on the left and compare its placement to the picture above.   By positioning the edges against the end of the glass you eliminate 2 cuts and get a nice even edge.   As for the piece on the right, never be afraid to rotate your pieces for a better fit.  Any piece can be rotated 180 degrees and still match the grain of the glass correctly.   By turning the right piece 'upside down' we can again use two edges of the glass for a perfect line.  

Okay, we've all been waiting for this.  Roy has officially completed his Traditional Design Transom Window and then went the extra 9 yards and made a wooden frame for it as well.   When you have a window this large (and beautiful) a wooden frame helps give it a degree of added stability that re-bar alone can't add.   Roy did wonderful work on this and learned a great deal by doing it completely on his own.  Impressive!

Angie completed her Ladybug Window this week and I have to say that I was impressed at how she extended the pattern all on her own.   It's a very vibrant window and Angie did great work on it.

Jeannette completed her Dove Window and added a black glass bead as an eye on both sides of her window.   Using the 1/4 inch grinding wheel would make an eye hole that's just too big for a bird this size so a simple glass bead with a thin strand of wire running through it and soldered into the lead line on each side of the bead works beautifully.

Tracey now has a second Cardinal Window under her belt and her soldering on this was (again) exemplary!  She's really honed her skills and this window proved to be very little challenge to her.   I can't wait to see what she decides to do next as all I know is that a different cardinal will be involved.

Rowena made another 3D Butterfly Lawn Ornament while she was at home and she brought it in so I could show her how to change it up by attaching a body to it. I love the end result and think that we'll be seeing many more of these Butterflies made with a body from here on out.  I just wish I had thought of it earlier.


Becky S  has cut out the water for her Heron Window this week and with the water in place her white Heron is now easily seen.   She's moving along quickly on this and I expect that the rest of this will cause her no problems at all.  This is really coming together quickly for her and I suspect that she'll be working on the companion piece to this before you know it.

Cindy has begun a second Santa Clause Window to match the one she made last year.  She has the hat cut out already and after she completes her Kaleidoscope (which you'll see later on) she'll really be focused on this Holiday window.

Jeannette got so much of her newest window, a Rose, cut and ground that she left me with my head spinning!  I mean, this woman is a speed demon!   Sometimes that can be a bad thing but as you can see her pieces fit beautifully.   This is an impressive window made by an impressive student!


Jan has all of her glass cut and attached for her Mary and Child Panel which is very similar to the one that Barbara completed last week.  The big difference is that Jan has decided to border hers with only one color rather than two.  With everything tacked together and her channel attached there's little doubt that this will be completed when she returns.


Becky B is very close to completing her Frog Lawn Ornament as she only has to wrap a few more pieces and then add solder.   She's sent me a picture of a window pattern that she likes so perhaps her next project will be a window rather than a suncatcher.  We'll see what she decides as soon as her Frog is staked out in her front yard.

Mary has begun cutting glass for her Santa Claus Window and made great progress in just three hours.  Although the bottom portion of the lantern has 9 pieces of glass in it, Mary has cut them out as one large unbroken piece.   Once everything has been ground and fitted into place she'll score the 'tic tac toe' cuts onto the lantern and break them into the 9  individual pieces.  This will make a perfect fit with a very minimal amount of grinding.  

 Carol's painted face and 3D lips have been fired in the kiln and then cut to fit inside that large opening that we saw last week in her Noir Window.  As you can see it looks absolutely stunning!   With the front side of this soldered and the brass channel attached, Carol only needs to solder the back of this window to finish it off.


Brenda is in the process of wrapping the pieces that she ground in her Caduceus Window and once those are tacked together she will trace out her rounded background glass from the pieces that she has cut already.  This will ensure a perfect fit with minimal grinding. Oh and this window won't be staying round-- she'll be adding corners to make it square and then add a second border to it before she's finished.


Terry has begun re-making a large window from her past, albeit in a slightly more manageable size.   This Flowing Flowers Design was a highlight in her stained glass repertoire and making it a second time will undoubtedly allow her to make an even better version of it since she now knows where the trouble spots can be.  Although this version is smaller than the last it's still longer than 50 inches so she's decided to split it into two panels. 


Linda F got her borders attached on her Tree of Life Window and as you can see she decided against a clear outer border and went with green instead.   Green borders may be predictable for Linda but I have to admit that they always work out beautifully!  With her channel already attached, Linda is ready to officially begin the soldering process.

Rowena has started working on her Louisiana Tiger Face Window and may very well have all of the small pieces cut out for it.  I know it doesn't look like much now but trust me-- it will.  Once other colors are cut and placed onto the pattern this will transform into a window that turns many heads.  I love it already.

Linda L  remembered to bring in her glass and was able to get most of the Mickey cut  for her Mickey in a Pumpkin Window.   We're making a minor change to the face and will cut the extreme right angle that forms the mouth with a glass saw.  The trick will be to keep the angle tight but also rounded so that the glass doesn't break when the heat of the soldering iron hits it.   I'm sure it will work out just fine and that Linda will enjoy seeing a glass saw in action.

Mary Grace is making great strides on her Bird House Panel and has already started to wrapping. She's going to have to re-cut 4 pieces that turned up a little short but that's an easy fix that she'll handle when she returns and gets this tacked together.  This is very close now and with a little luck Mary Grace will get the borders cut when she comes back in.

MiMi has the two shades of purple ground for her Industrial Fleur De window and will now move on to the clear pieces that reside in between all of the purple pieces.   There are a lot more clear pieces to this window than you might first imagine so MiMi still has her work cut out for her, however, slow and steady winds the race and this is a race that I know she'll win.

Martha  spent her night getting started on a Pair of Cardinals Window.   Her pattern was finalized and then traced out onto some VERY vibrant poster board.   Before class ended she was able to cut out the branches and the leaves out of both the poster board and glass.  Look how nicely it already fits without any grinding!  


With her Dog Window now a project of the past, Cindy began work on a second  Kaleidoscope Airplane.   She has the color wheels all cut out and ground as well as  having the airplane itself cut, ground and wrapped.   Hopefully this will be ready to fly out the door upon her return!


Melissa got all of the center section of her Autumn Leaves Window all tacked together and she even managed to fill in a few missing pieces as well.   After that was done she cut her border out of a mottled glass that mixes many of the colors that we associate with Autumn into one piece of glass.  The end result is perfection and Melissa hopes to have this completed upon her return.

Patrice spent her time with us at the grinder this week and did she ever make some progress on her Morning Glories and Humming Bird Window.   The majority of the subject matter has been ground and Patrice will easily finish grinding the few remaining pieces when she comes back in.  Once that's done she'll wrap and tack everything before cutting out her background glass.


Sheri resumed soldering her Coffee Cup Window and flipped it over to begin soldering the back side.    As you can see she's managed to almost completely solder the second side so I'm going to call it and say that this will be completed when she returns  next week.

Shelley is flying through her Once Upon A Time Window.   When she came in this week she painted some eyes onto flesh colored glass with enamel paint and then Russ took it to the kiln to fire it.  After that Shelley resumed grinding the rest of the pieces that make up her window.    Once this is tacked together she'll position the glass that was fired in the kiln under the opening and then trace around the perimeter of the face.   After a few quick cuts she'll be able to attach the final piece of glass  and be very near to completing this window.  

Susan R began working on a Oil Wand Kaleidoscope and she would have had all but the stand completed if I hadn't forgotten to show her how the mirrors get taped (yes 'taped' ) together.   It sounds simple enough to secure three small pieces of mirror but there's a specific under-over pattern that needs to be followed which can be tricky to accomplish-- especially if it is your first time doing it.  Look to see this completed upon Susan's return.

Susan D Is working on a Traditional Kaleidoscope and is very close to getting it all assembled.   the body has been wrapped and is ready to go together which means that she'll be working on the two color wheels when she comes back in.    I have to say that this kaleidoscope really has a spectacular view when it's completed.  Hopefully a picture will do it justice.


Beth was going to resume work on her latest Iris Panel but instead sifted through the patterns that we have (and do we ever have a lot of patterns!) looking for a window that has to do with birds.  In the end she found a double cardinal design that she squared off into a square during class.   Here's the pattern and it's what Beth will be doing next.

Barbara H was in between projects and when she saw the Santa Claus Pattern that Mary was working on Barbara decided that she had to make one herself.   She picked out all of her glass and traced out her pattern which means that she'll be ready to cut glass upon her return.

In ending this I have to say that Lara has been working at her day job so hard that she's been missing in action during her stained glass classes.   I hope she can get back soon because I'm starting to forget what she looks like and everyone is dying to see the two windows that she has started get finished!  We miss ya!