Monday, October 28, 2019

A Reindeer Named Wolf

Curves and straight lines.   These are the two cuts that people get wrong all the time.  I've had many new students start by making patterns that require only straight cuts thinking that they easier than curves, but they couldn't be more wrong.  The beauty of a curve lies in the fact that the human eye has a hard time discerning curves. Look at the figure below.  Which was made by tracing out an oval and which was drawn by hand?  After careful consideration you will probably say that the second curve was drawn free handed, and you'd be correct.  By how many times did your eye go back and forth between the two curves to come to this conclusion?   If there was only one curve below would you believe that it was done free handed?   With nothing to compare a curve to, you have no clue if the curve is off of not.  That's the way our minds works.   Flower petals are never the same, merely similar.  Your eyes and mind adjust differences to become what you expect of the curve.

Straight lines, however, are not as lucky.  Which line below was drawn free handed and which  was drawn by tracing along the edge of a ruler?   I'll bet that you only had to look once to notice the imperfections in the bottom line.  And yes, I took my time to make that line as straight as I could and actually did far better than I thought I would.  Still, it's noticeably off.   Even people who claim to have no artistic abilities can spot a wavering line.
Finally, here's a perfect example of how curves can be off without affecting the overall pattern while straight lines can't.  Which heart is wrong?  Neither.  Although the curves are off on the first heart (even in terms of symmetry) it looks like a style decision and looks fine if not better that the perfect heart on the right. 

Now, which star is off?   Obviously the one on the right because it just looks wrong.  Also of note is that I am only off by 1/16th of an inch (the smallest mark on a ruler) on each of those bad lines and note that five of the ten lines that form the star are actually perfect.   In short, straight lines reveal all of your errors while curves that are off just blend into the design.

Well, I think we did some good there!  So moving along we start with a perfect window that shows how important straight lines are. Belinda's rays are perfection in her Break Of Day Window and the end result is beautiful.  You can say that she had a dawning of sorts when it comes to soldering because I didn't touch up anything but a few joints on this.   Yes, I think it's safe to say that Belinda has found her Stained Glass Groove!

Betty had most of this this LSU Suncatcher cut out when she came in but by the end of class she was able to call it a completed project after getting all of the wrapping, and soldering done on it.  It was quick work that led to a wonderful end result.

Also, these Crystal Hangers are really catching on as you can see by the two that Betty started and finished this week.

Now go ahead and try to tell me that this isn't precious!  Susan D's Reindeer Suncatcher is definitely going to be turning heads in class now that it's been posted on the blog.  And look at the cutting Susan achieved.  It fits together already!


This week we have a new Grinch Window on the scene and this one is a different pattern entirely.   Annette wanted a Grinch featuring his 'three sizes bigger' heart.  It took three pictures of the Grinch from the internet to get this pattern drawn up but I think the end result is perfection.  In the cartoon his heart ends up upside down but we've 'fixed' that so the pattern looks more realistic.

Cindy's begun work on another Box but this one is a Wedding Box rather than a Baby Box and it is a complex pattern for sure.  Still, Cindy is handling it with ease and is just about ready to get her borders attached.  That means that this Box's bottom will probably go together next week as well as its borders.

Jan's making a Unicorn and this is now stuck in my head: 

"A long time ago, when the earth was still green
And there were more kinds of animals than you've ever seen
They'd run around free while the earth was being born
But the loveliest of all was the unicorn"

 Does anyone else remember this Irish Rover's song?  Anyway, her Unicorn is truly lovely.


With his border pieces attached, his channel in place, and his front side soldered, Kerry is on track to finishing this Tractor Window when he returns next week.   I think it looks spectacular already!


And then we have Melissa's Train Suncatcher which has completely taken shape now even though it's not ground yet.  She's going to make the wheels of this train in metal so that's going to be a fun experience for her.  I'm betting that she uses the metal covered glass technique again somewhere down the line.  (Get it? Down the line..)

After getting her pieces all ground, wrapped and tacked together Jeanne L is so very close to getting this Beveled Cross Suncatcher finished.   With just a little soldering left to go this will surely be completed upon her return because the hardest part now will be getting the hook on it (and that's as simple as A, B C, easy as 1, 2, 3!)

Linda F resumed work on her LSU Window and it's a biggie.   With everything cut out she began grinding the center diagonal LSU section and then wrapped and tacked together those pieces to make grinding the remaining corner sections easier.   Why would this be easier?  Because there are two essentially straight lines involved which we don't want skittering out of place when she's grinding what's left. 

Our other Jeanne, Jeanne M, is working on a Cross of her own and now that her Cross and Treble Clef is all ground and fitting together perfectly, she's begun wrapping each of her pieces.   This week she very nearly completed that task so I'm fairly confident that this will be tacked together when Jeanne comes back in and then she can pick out a color for her border(s).

Jeff's Flowers have been wrapped and tacked together and now he's working on cutting the pieces that make up the leaves in his large sectional window.  It's all about to come together for Jeff because the rest of this looks fairly easy from here on out.


Becky S got all of her Egret Window tacked AND soldered as well!  Then she got her first border cut, ground, wrapped, and tacked into place but before she tacked the border she ran two lengths of Strong Line between the border and the scenery section of her window.  This gives her long thin window some added strength.  We're also going to 'seal' the zinc channel that she uses on this because that also adds strength and stability.  It's also a good tip idea for a future post.

Martha has her Wedding Box all ground and ready to be wrapped. Her attention to detail on this is flawless and although she's concerned that she has gaps, she really doesn't.   For the record let me say that her straight lines are amazing!

Mary's Heron Window got tacked together and then after the two missing pieces were filled in she had to decide what she wanted to do about borders.   She was sure she wanted to go with two because once you see a window with a double border it's hard to go back to a single border window-- unless you can't find the right colors.   In this case, after a little searching, Mary found the perfect combination.   Her first thin border is a heavily textured, clear, reeded glass.  As for the final border, well, you'll just have to wait until next week to see.

With all of her glass ground for her Louisiana Rifle/Arrow Window Mary Grace has settled down to some relaxing(?) foiling.  Now that everything is ground you can easily see how nice this window is going to look.  And just wait until you see how we get the year included in it.   It's going to drive you wild!

One Grinch two Grinch, red fish, blue fish.  We have Grinches appearing everywhere!   Tracey has hers all ground and wrapped which means that she's ready for borders now.  This week she also got the lines painted on Mr. Grinch because, as you can see, he's got wrinkles.


MiMi got her background glass and her border attached this week and is ready to flip this over and solder the back side of her Duck Window.  The colors already look great just sitting there on the table but just wait until this has some light behind it.  That's going to happen next week for sure.

Yep, Shawn is soldering her way through this Autumn Leaves Window very quickly and very efficiently.  I'm putting this at the bottom of this post because I know it will be up on top next week as a completed window.  We just need to decide how this is going to hang because in truth, it can hang in any direction!

To wrap things up I have two items to discuss that don't have pictures.  First I missed out on getting a picture of Becky B's Springfield Fish Window.   She managed to get all of her background glass ground, wrapped and tacked so her three eyed fish only needs a border and some solder to finish it off. 

Then there's Susan R's Seafood Window that made it out to her car without me snapping a picture.   I'm getting old and forgetful for sure!  Wait until you see it next week though because Susan is really getting far along on her window.

So that's it for this week.   Next up will be a Blog Post about the Weekend Workshop that we had two weeks ago, so expect another edition of your favorite blog sometime around the weekend.


As promised last week, this is for scale:

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