Monday, December 17, 2018

Fishing For The Blues

Our tip this week is very easy indeed but something that many students never think about.   When cutting out your glass pieces remember to use the ILS method of cutting. 

Inside curves get cut first,

Long cuts come second,
Short cuts are last.

Cutting in this order provides strength for both your curves and the longer cuts.  Cutting in any other order usually results in broken pieces.

Well then, Patrice certainly followed those rules when cutting her glass because you can see she has a few inside curves in this window that are certainly intact.   Her Houston Texans Window is certainly unmistakable.   She did wonderful work on this Logo and is fast becoming a student whose projects are discussed throughout other class.

I have some good news and bad news here:  The good news is that Carol fixed the tree that she was working on last week.   The bad news is that we don't have a picture for it but I have no doubt that it turned out spectacular just as her two guitars suncatchers!  As you can see she has both a right and a left handed guitar. 

Mary Grace finished up work on a large Cardinal Lawn Ornament as well as an Ocean Sunset Scene.   She gets extra points for starting and finishing the Ocean suncatcher in just one class!


Here's a window that I made this week as an order for a customer out in Baton Rouge.  She wanted Daffodils and and a deep purple Iris and that's what we have here.  I must say that I really do like the design and it's actually smaller than you might think it is when looking at the picture.  It's only a tad bit bigger than a piece of paper.


Here's a look at two more beautiful Mary and Child Suncatchers that Betty made this week.   We also see that she's made a Mary, Joseph, and Jesus Suncatcher that we've never seen before as well.   I think this one will be very popular around Christmas next year.

Here we see that Jeannette has completed two more pairs of Mickey/Minnie Mice Suncatchers.  They're the perfect gift for any Mousketeer!  

Cindy finished two more of her Clear Textured Cross Suncatchers, one in all clear glass and the second using iridescent glass.


 Linda F finished her Modern Cross Suncatcher which has become a very popular piece here in our classes.   As always with Linda, this is a job well done.

Susan D finished working on her newest 3D Humming Bird and another Dragonfly Suncatcher as well.  I think she has the process for making these down for sure!

Angie's newest Stylized Fleur De Lis is all tacked together and ready for solder.   I'm sure it will be ready for its final picture when Angie brings it back in next week.

Betty also worked on this festive Holiday Angel Window which is just about ready for its border(s).   She was originally talking about doing a triple border but I think that's a bit of overkill on a window this small.   Triple borders are very nice but you never want the border to overpower the subject of the window.  In other words, it takes a large window to be able to handle a triple border.

Brenda added more pieces of hair to her Salon Window and even has all of the woman's face cut out so she's making some really good progress on this.   You can tell that there's some Stylist's Blood in Brenda's veins because she's changed some of the coloring in the hair for a more aesthetically pleasing look.

Terry almost has three of the six panels in her Christmas Panel Lamp ground.   I was sure she'd fly through this project and it looks as though I'll be correct on that.  There are 39 pieces in each panel which means that the entire lamp contains 240 pieces!  If you're doing the math at home you're probably coming up with six pieces less than I did but I'm including the crown that will top this off. 


Lara got the first of her pair of cabinet doors all tacked together and ready for solder.   She plans on soldering this one at home because she really wants to see the pair finished and installed in time for Christmas.   She's got the center of her second panel all cut and ground which tells me that she'll surely get them done in time.  Ho Ho Ho!   We'll see one of them installed when we return next week.

Sheri  started  a new project by  tracing out the pattern for a peony window, drawing grain lines, and assigning colors to the pattern.  Then she got all of the glass cut out as well.  Nice job!  She'll be adding additional cuts to her glass once everything fits together after she grinds what you see here.  This is will ensure perfectly joined lead lines where things criss cross.


Patrice also worked on her Ragin' Cajuns Window and has a great deal of it completed just one week into it.   Her attention to detail is what makes her work really stand out in the crowd.


Linda F also worked on this Flowerpot Suncatcher which has a HUGE PSI value (Pieces per Square Inch).   What really makes this so difficult isn't the number of pieces in it so much as the size of all of those pieces!   This is only 7 inches wide so take anther look at it and marvel at Linda's patience.


Susan R got a lot more cut out for her 1920's Woman and what we're going to do is completely skip the lips in this, grind everything until it fits together, and then cut out two lips.  When the lips have been cut out she can grind them until they look just right and then Susan will  trace around them and cut them into place.


Shelley began work on a Dragonfly Window and she spent her class time prepping the pattern with color and grain lines.   People don't realize how much work has to be done before you even cut one piece of glass.  After she finished that she cut up her paper pattern pieces and began cutting her actual glass as well.

Carol also worked on a few of these Christmas Santa Hat Suncatchers as well.   She's a regular Christmas ornament machine!

Barbara got all of the glass cut out for her Santa Claus Window and will begin grinding it next.  She's taken it home to possibly get some work done on it between classes but with Christmas being just around the corner it's hard to say if that will happen or not.  We'll see when she returns next week.  Either way, grinding WILL be started on this when you see it again.

Roy made major progress on his Texas A&M Window and has a unique and effective way of transporting it without having the pieces slide all around.  When Roy packs up he uses painter's tape to secure his pieces to his work board.   The tape  is sticky enough to hold things down but it's easily removed when he wants to work on his project again.

Becky B's Magnolia is coming together.  She wanted to begin grinding what she has cut out but as I always tell people, that leaves no margin for error on any pieces that you haven't cut yet.   If your cutting is 100% spot on or you don't mind gaps in your windows, then don't grind until everything has been cut.

Rowena has the front side of her Tiger Window all soldered which means that she got both of her borders attached as well as the zinc channel.   She accomplishes a lot while she's at home so I think we will see this among our completed pieces next week!   When she comes back in we'll add a few wire whiskers to really set this piece off.

Becky S is rocking and a rolling on her Egret Window.   This week she began work on the upper tree section and now that it's all cut out she'll begin grinding it.   She's making excellent time on this large window and I know that it's going to be spectacular when it's finished.   I believe that the companion piece is even more impressive (if that's possible) so I can't wait until you see the pattern for that one.

Tracey finished her first Mother Mary Panel  and then got the center of the second one tacked together.  She didn't have enough time to get the first one colored and she disliked the color of the hair on the second one so she's going to finish both of these when she returns next week. 

Martha has officially ground all of her Cardinal's feathers (and flowers) and has begun wrapping all of those pieces now.   Once they are tacked together she will use the glass itself as a pattern and get a perfectly fitted background cut out.

Jeannette also worked on this Dove suncatcher which is very nearly completed.   With just a little more wrapping and the soldering left to go I'm sure she'll have this dove completed upon her return.

Becky S also worked on a second Butterfly Lawn Ornament which is now ready to be soldered together.  This will be finished before you know it.

There's only one more set of classes to go before we hit the end of 2018.  It's been a quick year and 2019 should even go faster because after the first we are adding another class into the mix here.   I just hope I can keep up with who's doing what!


Monday, December 10, 2018

There's Something Lumpy On My Stomach

This weeks tip explains how the angle of your soldering iron controls how much leads flows off of it.  Many times I see students soldering with the iron almost parallel to their project.   When you solder with your iron low to the surface of your window the lead can't flow off the tip of your iron and your bead won't be smooth.

You actually want you iron to be more upright so that the ball of solder that melts at the tip of the iron can flow off of the tip easily to form a nice smooth bead.

With that in mind, when you touch up your window after all of the soldering has been completed you may find that you have excess solder in places.  To move that solder to other areas that might not have enough solder simply angle your iron so that the handle is closer to the window and the lead can be 'pulled' to other areas.   So then, while soldering you next window play with the angle of your iron and pay attention to what the solder does because you may find you have a new trick to help make your lead lines look better than ever.

First up in our completed projects is Roxane's Compass Rose Window which was certainly worth the wait because it is a stunning piece of work.  Roxane hasn't lost her soldering talents because the lead work on this window is every bit as great as the design itself.  Rumor has it that Jeannette is working on one of these also. I'll know for sure tomorrow when she comes into class.

Next we have Mary Grace who put the finishing touches on her Birdhouse and Blue Birds Panel.  Those finishing touches included adding two glass beads for eyes so that her birds weren't blind.  You just solder a thin piece of wire where you want the eye, thread the bead onto the wire and then snip the wire so it reaches the nearest lead line before soldering the loose end to secure the bead.   Hmmmmm, that sounds like it could easily become a tip of the week shortly!

Here's the newest Lawn Ornament pattern that we have thanks to Carol.   She brought in the picture and I patternized it rather easily since it was such a nice picture.   After she completed all of the glass work and soldering Carol asked me to put a stake on it for her and without thinking I attached it by running the stake behind the tail feathers to give them some added support.   Sadly, I wasn't thinking about how the bird would look AT ALL in that position and we had to remove it because, well, it just plain looked silly (take a look at the end of this post).  It looks great now though as you can plainly see.

Susan D was able to complete one of her Dragonfly Suncatchers as well as a 3D Humming Bird.   She's got her second Dragonfly all wrapped and pinned into place on a work board so don't be surprised to see that in with our completed projects next week.


Sheri resumed work on her second circular Butterfly Window and even managed to complete it before she called it a day.   The differences between this and her first Butterfly are subtle but noticeable when pointed out.   In this version the border is made from a clear textured glass, and the butterfly's body has been made out of blue glass globs.   Very nice indeed.


Speaking of finishing second projects, Roy  Completed his second LSU and Tiger Paws Window and it's every bit as perfect as his first one was.  Nice straight lines make this window a study in excellence.  Go LSU!

And we finish our completed projects this week with an Address Window that I made for Roxie who is a a former student.   The one she made is still in use 8 years later and she wanted her son to have one as well, albeit with his numbers rather than hers.  We may see more of this design later on because two students commented how much they liked this when they saw it hanging in the shop.


As for our projects that are in the works, this week we see that Terry has started making a Christmas Panel Lamp and she has a whole caboodle of glass cut out for it.   In fact, she may even have everything cut already.   There are a ton of pieces in each of these panels but if anyone can handle it, Terry can.


Susan R came in and tacked together the flower and the leaves in her 20's Lady Window and then started cutting out the hat and hair.  I keep playing around with the lips on her pattern so you'll be seeing them change week to week.   Currently I feel that they look too pouty, but I'll get them perfect by the time Susan needs to cut them out-- don't worry about that.


Our second 'Lady' window is being made by Brenda who began cutting glass for this Salon sign.  She's making the hair out of assorted (but matching) colors to give this a colorful and playful look.  I don't think that this will take Brenda very long because aside from the numbers in the lower left the rest of the cuts are Nice 'n Easy.

Patrice is VERY much into the whole stained glass experience because, as you can see, she's almost finished with her Houston Texans Logo and she's only two weeks into it!  She's soldering the back side of it now and she's already got her next pattern picked out so she's ready to move along.


♪ ♫ O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter!
Du grünst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit,
Nein auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter! ♫ ♪

 (Christmas Tree by Carol)

Lara is working on a pair of Cabinet Door inserts for her Kitchen and the design matches her backsplash perfectly.   She's got two thirds of the first window cut out already and the center sections of the second one ready to be ground so this will be a nice quick project for her.

Tracey moves very quickly these days and managed to get all of her Mother Mary And Child Panel ground while she was in class.  She'll wrap this while at home between classes and when we see it again she'll surely get a border attached and start the soldering process!


Jan's Three Trees Window was sort of cut out when we last saw it but this week she was able to get ALL of the glass cut, ground, AND wrapped!  That's a lot of work in a little time but there's a trick to cutting this window which I promise to show you soon.   Now that this is all cut and fitting together I can say that I was correct-- this IS a stunning window!

Mary is so very close to finishing her Santa Clause Window.  This week she tacked it together and then attached not one but two borders.   The only thing left to do is cut the glass for the face and eyes.  We saved that for last so she could tack all the other pieces together which would prevent the eyes from shifting as she works on them.   Nothing screws up a face more than eyes that aren't positioned perfectly.  She cut the beard in the same way that she'll do the face and as you can see the beard turned out beautifully.  First she cut one piece of grey to the size of the beard and then she cut that one piece up into the 12 individual pieces to give it some 'texture'.  You can see the piece before it was cut in the lower right of the picture.

With the center of her Houston Astro's Window completely ground and wrapped, Linda L was able to tack that together and then cut and grind the orange inner border.   Then she even got that attached as well!   Linda will start working on the large letters that spell out Houston Astro's next.   This is looking nice indeed.


With her background all cut out and tacked into place, Rowena is now working on her double borders.   She's already got the first one cut and the second one will go on when she returns.   I'm loving it!


Becky B  got even  more glass cut out for her Japanese Magnolia Window and it's starting to take shape now so you can really get a feel for the colors. Once the green leaves are in place the flower itself will really stand out from the pattern it's placed on so this is only going to look better and better with each passing week.

Barbara H is working on her version of the Santa Claus again and she managed to get a lot cut out in one class.  She's working on her cutting skills and it looks like she's getting the hang of it now because by the end of the class she was getting some nice complex cuts out pretty easily.  You can see that Barbara has Santa's beard still in one piece.   She'll cut that down into its individual pieces after everything is ground, wrapped, and tacked.

Martha  only has a few pieces left to grind before she starts wrapping her pair of Cardinals Window.   I'm still loving how she's getting things to fit on this project and as you can see she's only got 12 pieces left to go.

Becky S had to put her Egret Window on hold as her son needed a Butterfly Lawn Ornament for a gift.   In just one night Becky traced her pattern, cut out her 23 pieces of glass, ground all of those pieces, and then wrapped them.  Whew!!!   This will surely be completed upon her return.

Cindy is working on a new clear Cross Suncatcher although this one has a slight amount of color in it since she's using iridized glass.   Surprisingly enough, it's actually showing in the picture (which is something iridized glass rarely does in pictures).

Lastly we take a look at  Angie's Window.  Wait, she covered it up and took it out to the car before I could get a picture of it!  Nuts!  Oh well, here's a small pile of glass scraps that she left behind next to two cutters and my favorite broken straight edge.

And there you have it.   We have only two more weeks worth of classes before Christmas gets here so expect things to heat up as students finished their Christmas orders!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks