Monday, February 25, 2019

That's What I Just Did In My SpecimenCup

While grinding many people know that they have to pay attention to the water level in the grinder but did you know that if you have a sponge behind your grinding wheel that you need to pay attention to that as well?  I've tried the sponge-less systems but in the end I always put a sponge behind the grinder wheel of my Inland Grinders because I find that it just works better.   What most people who use sponges don't realize is that you have to rinse them out from time to time because they become impacted with glass which prevents the sponge from doing it's job.   Also, when adding water to the grinder put a little on the sponge as well.  Your grinder head will love you for it!
Okay then, Mary is another of our students who can work her way quickly through a project.  Her Rose Window is most certainly beautiful and the the dark green border that frames the bright flower and leaves was a perfect choice.   Everything from Mary's cutting to her  soldering is top notch work.  Let's face facts here- she's got it down!

Cindy finished her beautiful Art Nouveau Window this week and boy, did she ever do a great job on it.  From the colors to the fitting of the glass, this is just one flawless traditional piece of work.


Mary Grace put the finishing touches on her Eagle/Flag Panel and then took it home to hang.   I was particularly impressed with the fact that she replaced the eagles feathers when she realized the color didn't suit her.   I always tell people that if they don't like something they need to replace it because it will always bother you whenever you see it.  In the end Mary Grace's Eagle looks fabulous.


Tracey got her two Cross Suncatchers completed this week meaning that she more or less  completed  a cross a week.  These are stunning and the work she did on them is perfection.  I've made these in the past and posted their pictures on Facebook and the question I get asked the most is, "Are these 3D?"  And the answer is no.   The illusion works due to good workmanship and a perfect color choice.

Angie got two more panels completed this week; another Fleur De Lis and a beautiful hanging flower panel whose pattern came from (Thanks to MiMi).  Then Angie even found time to make a Mardi Gras Mask as well.  Look out because Angie is on a stained glass roller coaster of production!

Terry knows someone who was working on a stained glass window and then stopped working it.   Well, Terry convinced her to bring the window in and between them they finished this project that without Terry would probably have never seen the light of day!


Rowena was as busy as a bee again this week completing a Butterfly Lawn Ornament, two Bee Lawn Ornaments, a Mardi Gras Mask, and a Sunflower Lawn Ornament.  She's really making headway on building up stock for that show she's going to be doing...  

Brenda, the stained glass Cross Queen, finished another elegant Cross suncatcher using iridised water glass mixed along with bevels for that perfect look. 

Becky B is cutting her way through her glass and making some solid progress on her latest Magnolia Window.   With the petals all cut out this week I'm sure that Becky will move along to some nice bright green when she returns.   The good news is that the line she needs to cut on will be much easier to see on the green glass. 

Jeanne M has begun to work on a Blessed Virgin Mary Window and she's currently undecided as to whether she'll have Mary standing on a snake or not.   Right now she's concentrating on the other parts of the window and we'll she what she decides when I pencil something in for her next week. 


Martha completed all of the grinding on her Peacock window this week and then moved along to the wrapping process.  Once the Peacock itself is tacked together the rest of this will go easily for Martha.

Cindy also started on a combination stained glass and faux mosaic Bird Window.  This is going to be interesting to watch come together over the weeks to come.  


Melissa is making great progress on her Pieta Window however the fused pink lips changed color during the fusing process and her lips look red now.  Sooooo, we're weighing our options and leaning towards painting the lips on with enamel (which won't change).  For the time being there's plenty of glass left to cut so Melissa will work on the background while we sort this tiny situation out.   

Sheri's Traditional Stained glass window looks better and better each time I see it.   Her colors are impressive and she's already begun grinding pieces.  In fact, she's cut so nicely that her grinding isn't taking any time at all.   She wants to get this to be a little larger so I'm going to suggest a three level border.  We'll see what she thinks about that when she returns next week.


Kerry's Ukulele Window is all cut out and he's already grinding it.  There are two parts of his ukulele that we will be using a glass saw on but that won't happen until all of this has been ground.  I'd much rather fit things together as best we can and make adjustments to the part we have to saw rather than the other way around.  And we'll go into detail on that once we get there.

This week we got to see Terry start working on an American Flag window.   She plans on adding stars using white enamel paint and then firing them on to the blue glass in a kiln.  To do that she's enlisting the help of a Cricut Cutter to make a stencil of the stars.  And perhaps that will be covered when she comes back in next week.


Susan R is making a three dimensional Hummingbird and in just one class it's been cut and ground.   That means that  once it's wrapped, this will be ready to be assembled.


Linda F began working on an Rectangular Abstract window and although she got everything cut out in just one class production is about to slow down on it because Linda will be taking a 'break'.  Knee surgery will be keeping her out of class for a few weeks so we'll just have to wait and see how long it takes for her to feel good enough to come back in.   We're all hoping that she feels better real soon!

Lara has the majority of her Deer Window cut and ground leaving her with just four pieces left to go.   I have a sneaking suspicion that we'll see some borders on this when she returns. And I have to say that this is looking so good!


Roxane got a lot accomplished this week as all of her glass is officially cut for her Penguins.   She's moved on over to the grinding portion of this project so it won't be long now.  I just noticed this morning that she had send me a text message asking of she should change the sky to a clear glass but after looking at it again I say no.  I think this looks much better with a blue sky and white snow.


MiMi is moving quickly and cutting so perfectly that her window practically looks ground already.  With all of the colorful background cut out MiMi will move along to the snorkel and Oakley's face when she returns.


Linda L has 2 bird suncatchers all cut, ground, wrapped, and tacked together which means that next week these will be out the door and ready to hang.  She's toying with the idea of making the beaks out of solid lead and I think that would work out well.   We'll see what she decided on when we return in or next post.


Betty's got the bevels for her version of the small Peacock Window all tacked together and she's got the background glass cut and ground as well.  I'm thinking that this will be finished before you know it!


Upon finishing her Eagle/Flag Window, Mary Grace resumed work on her long tall Flower Window.  Her cutting has never been better as you can see by examining how nicely her flowers fit together before they've even been ground.  It looks like leaves will be cut next.

Patrice is so very close to finishing her Ragin' Cajun Window that I can guarantee that it will be completed upon her return. With the back side soldered and looking good she only needs to go over the soldering on the front and then wash, color and wax it, before she moves along to another project.

Barbara H has her Santa Claus Window all together and is now working on her borders.   In the end she picked a clear iridised glass for the thin inner border and then once that's attached she'll finish it off with a wider border made out of the same glass that she used for the sky.   Santa has a blank expression right now but once this is completely finished we will paint his eyes on.

Shelley is almost finished grinding her Dragonfly/Water Lily Window which means that she'll soon start wrapping her pieces to prepare for solder.   I have a sneaking suspicion that it won't be long now until this window is finished.

Becky S is so very close to getting borders cut for her window that we actually picked the glass out and almost started cutting out strips.   In the end we're going to wait until this is tacked together because jumping ahead could easily make the border not line up perfectly which would be a shame since everything else about this window is perfection.  Look to see at least the first border put in place one week from now.

Finally,  Jeanne L  managed to run out the door without me managing to get a picture but she's ready to tack her humming bird scene together.   It looks as though she'll be able to cut out her background glass upon her return.

And then there's Jeff who had to leave while I was out of the shop.  I may not have a picture of his weather panels but trust me when I tell you that they are looking great.   He's shown me his idea for his next project and if you ask me he's going t be one of those students that everyone else pays attention to as he picks and makes his patterns.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, February 18, 2019

Get It Away From My Face

We're starting off with a tip that we've shared numerous times but really needs to be stressed.   One of the most important things to remember is that solder will not conceal bad foiling. In fact, bad foiling ALWAYS leads to bad soldering-- this is a fact.  When you overlap your foil at the end of your piece you should never go much further than 1/4 of an inch over the foil. Any more is just asking for trouble. Next, burnish the outside one eighth edge of the glass with your burnishing tool of choice followed by the top and then the underside. If your foil doesn't line up perfectly (as in the image below) you MUST trim the overhang with a razor knife or an Exacto blade. Start with your blade at the large end of the overhang (the red arrow) and then pull downward while applying firm pressure. With a little practice the blade with follow the edge of the foil underneath the overhang giving you a perfectly clean straight edge. Eliminating these 'stair steps' will make your soldering look less like a the work of a beginner and more like a professional.

Jeanne M finished her first window and this Geometric Design turned out beautifully indeed.  Her lines all connect nicely and her soldering was incredible when you consider that this was her first real go at it.   Jeanne is advancing nicely in class and even has a new pattern picked out already which, like this window,  will turn heads when people see it.

Susan R's 1920's Woman is an impressive window indeed.   I love the design and the beaded necklace sets it all off in a very rich way.   Susan went with very demure colors for the majority of the window which brings the vibrant red rose, green leaves, and pink lips out nicely.   This is a study in color as much as it is a woman's profile.  


Linda L put the finishing touches on her Houston Astros Window and the level of precision she's achieved on this is nothing short of impressive.  Perfect curving circles surrounding lines that are as straight as an arrow make this Linda's newest standout piece.  Let's just say that she knocked this window clean out of the ball park!


Linda F's Flower Basket is officially behind her as she added some small hooks and then washed and colored it while in class.  Measuring only 10 inches tall, you know that the pieces in this are minuscule indeed.   This was a labor of love but as much as Linda loves it, she's thrown the pattern away because she knows that she'll never make one of these again (unless it's considerably larger).


Susan D was true to her word and came into class with all of the pieces to her Owl Suncatcher wrapped in copper foil.  She then set upon soldering this multi-colored bird and by the time class ended she had it completed.   Susan's colors are striking and her symmetry is perfection in this one of a kind Owl.


Jeannette put the finishing touches on her Mardi Gras Window well ahead of time so it can decorate her house for Fat Tuesday.  She's been working on different themes in this size for a while now and each windows gets done quicker than the last one.  And this wasn't all she accomplished...

Jeannette also started and completed this modern Cross suncatcher which she's embellished with fancy preformed wires that also act as hangers. Beautiful.

Rowena had all of the glass cut and ground for two of these beautiful 3D Bee Lawn Ornaments.   By the time class ended both Bees were finished and ready to be sold at the show that Rowena will be doing soon.  She's really churning out the projects and I know she'll do great because she never does less than perfection.

Betty's two Cross/Heart/Rose Windows make a lovely pair indeed.   And just look how perfectly they match one another.  I honestly had to zoom in and check the textures on the glass to be sure that I didn't take two pictures of the same window!   That shows how perfectly Betty followed the pattern which attests to her ability to follow a pattern.

Roy has made INCREDIBLE progress on his Cane Window and I will state loud and clear that this is one of my favorite windows ever.  Lately we've been seeing some incredible designs that most stained glass enthusiasts would find intimidating but our students regularly take the bull by the horns and power on through tough but beautiful projects.   I'm already in love with this!

Barbara H has all but the face of her Santa Claus Window tacked together.   The beard will go quickly so there's actually a good chance that all of the glass for this (save for the borders) will be finished upon Barbara's return.  I know she's anxious to begin something new and it won't be long now.

Betty is also busy working on this popular peacock pattern that Martha is working on as well.   As you can tell by the number of yellow pin heads in the picture, Betty managed to get all of her pieces ground before she left.  It will be interesting to watch these two Peacocks come together because they are both being made with different color schemes.

Lara worked on getting the deer portion of her latest window ground and when that was accomplished she began wrapping her glass.  Once the Deer is tacked together the background will go very quickly so this is nearing completion already.  


Jeff has one of his cloud panels all ground and tacked together while the second one is extremely close to becoming completely ground.  There's a sun in his immediate future as these clouds will soon be parting and then Jeff will move along to 2 new panels.

Melissa's Pieta Window gained more human definition this week as Melissa cut the lips for Mary and then laid them out on the glass which we will be firing for her before she comes back in.   Once all of the pieces that surround Mary's face have been tacked together Melissa will slide the bottom part of the face under the surrounding pieces and position it until it looks natural.   Then she'll trace it out, cut it, and fit it into place.


Tracey  began working on two Cross Suncatchers and with one completely ground and the second one almost finished, she'll surely be soldering these when she comes back into class.   This is a favorite pattern of mine and Tracey's rendition is a good as it could possibly be.


Terry, never one to slow down,  only has the second side of her latest flower window left to solder.   Her use of baroque glass is what really sets this window off and makes it so memorable.    I'm hoping to see this when it's finished but Terry may very well complete this while at home and bring in something new when she returns. 


MiMi's work has gone to the dogs, literally!   You have to admit that the colorful life preserver has completely prevented this from becoming just another dog design.  And just wait until you see the snorkel get cut out!


Kerry started working on his Ukulele Flag Window and made some great progress in just one class since he basically just has the blue and brown pieces left to cut.  The cutting of one of the ukulele inset will involve a glass saw but everything else will be cut by hand. The pattern itself was sketched out by his son which means that this is a special window for Kerry to be working on.  

Mary's Rose Window is proof positive that Mary is now a master of the art of stained glass.   She's moving along at an astounding rate of speed on this project without sacrificing her high standard of perfection.  I have no doubt that this window will be completed upon her return and I cant wait to see what she decides to do next.

Cindy was so very close to competing her Art Nouveau Window.  I'm actually happy that it wasn't finished this week because this is another post which features a large amount of completed windows that this might just have gotten lost in.  With just the channel and some hooks to go you can rest assured that this window will be completed upon Cindy's return. 

Jeanne L has finished grinding all of the pieces to her Humming Bird panel and this is anther example of a student paying attention to every little detail.   It's a fact that detailed fitting is absolutely essential when you are making a small window.   The slightest miscalculation on a small piece actually affects a larger  portion of the piece which in turn can throw off the entire look.   Jeanne has nothing to worry about at all because this looks GREAT!

Martha  got all of the glass cut out for her version of the Peacock Window and she's already begun grinding.   Her pieces are fitting together wonderfully and I think that she will be going with an inner border of bevels on this because, well, I'm pushing for it!


Becky S found the perfect green for her Egret Window in our last glass order and began cutting and grinding the last few remaining pieces of this large (tall) window.  It won't be long before we see what border choices Becky makes for this beautifully detailed window.  At this point she can't lose because this looks GREAT!

Jan has been grinding away on her Jessie Tree window and she's working her way steadily to the halfway point on it.  Her fitting is flawless and I have no doubt that this window will be a high water mark in her stained glass portfolio.  

Angie worked on two panels this week and got so close to finishing them that I know we'll see something new from her when she returns.   Her Flower and her Fleur De Lis Panels both only need channel and hooks to finish them off. She's been working a lot at home and isn't concerned about figuring out any problems she has on her own.  That' how you learn!

Shelley continued grinding away on her Dragonfly and Flower Window and she's making excellent progress.  As you can see it's all coming together beautifully and I don't think that she'll be on this window much longer since she only has a few more pieces to go on it.  Foiling is just two or three grinds away at this point.

Brenda is working on another textured cross but most of this glass is iridized rather than textured.  Iridized glass is tough to photograph but when it's in direct sunlight it's beauty really comes through and thus will make this cross shine indeed.

Becky B has her pattern all colored in and she's cut out those pattern pieces and traced them onto a purple/green glass which she'll begin cutting out next week.

So until next week, may all your scores lead to very little grinding!