Sunday, November 17, 2019

The Color Of Desperation

Our students are often confused about when they can turn their windows over so they can work on the second side.   Actually, the rule is very simple:  When all of the GLASS that will make your window has been tacked into place and you've finished soldering the front side you are free to turn your window over and solder the back side.   You don't have to tack the back side (it's already one solid piece) --you just begin soldering it.  Tacking is only done to properly position each piece and turn all of those individual pieces into one solid window.   If you tack the second side you are just wasting a huge amount of time because there's no need to do it-- the window is already secured.

Can you solder the second side if you don't have a channel on it yet?  Yes.  As I said, you can solder the second side as long as all of the glass that will make up your window has been attached.  If you don't have channel on your window you just shouldn't bring your solder lines out to the edge of your window or the channel won't fit on.  It's that easy!

First up in our completed windows  is Mary's Heron which is an amazing example of what Mary is capable of creating.   Her lines flow smoothly and there's not a crooked curve in sight in this standout window that everyone in class loved.  Her colors and craftsmanship are both top notch on this.

Jan's Fantasy Unicorn Window is certainly going to make a little girl smile when she receives it.    The soft colors that Jan used along with an iridized mane make this a perfect delicate design.  And did Jan ever finish this quickly!


Sheri's back and she wasted no time getting her first Bee themed Suncatcher completed.  Once she had this soldered she worked on the wire overlays which define the wings and provide the Antennas for each bee. She'll be working on a different variation of a Bee Suncatcher when she returns next week.


Melisa's finished up all the work on her Train Suncatcher by soldering it and then adding all of the wires that were soldered into the lead covered wheels and the trim that runs the length of the engine.  It was a lot of work but the end result is magical.  You also have to love how she numbered the train with a '25A' for that personalized touch.


Kerry's Pink Flamingo was also completed and its simplicity has been perfectly offset by a burst of brilliant pink and lime green glass.  You can't say that this doesn't grab your attention!

Angie put her spin on our latest Santa Claus Window by cutting her border from a heavily textured clear glass that looks like snowflakes.   With each passing week it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Belinda modified her Cat/Wine Window to just plain wine bottles with a wine glass between them.   It looks just as great as her first Cat/Wine Window and you can see how her work is getting better and better with each passing week.

Lara made this beautiful Beveled Christmas Ornament from start to finish in one class while she contemplated just which lamp she plans on making.  She'll be bringing in a lamp base next week to determine what size lamp shade she'll need and we'll work from there.  There's no such thing as wasted time in our classes!

Rowena started with a standard Cardinal pattern and then removed the branch that it sits on and replaced it with two leaves.  Next she added a flower and another leaf on the Cardinal's back leaving her (and us) with a new Cardinal Suncatcher.  I've already passed out 2 of these patterns so there's a very good chance that we'll be seeing more of these being made.

This is Tracey's second Grinch Window and once again it's pure perfection.  I just love that the sneer on his face translated so wonderfully in glass.  This Grinch is full of character.

Mary Grace made a Crystal Hanger having started it while she was at home.   These go pretty quickly, especially once you've made your first one. 'm pretty sure Mary Grace will be making more of these in the weeks to come.

With his Flamingo Window under his belt Kerry has moved along and onto a Pelican Window that he hopes to finish before Christmas.  At the rate he's going I don't think that will be any problem at all because Kerry is almost ready to begin grinding on this

Cindy's Santa Claus Moon is all ground and she's close to the completing the foiling on this piece.   Cindy has texted me a picture of the next window that she'd like to make so I suspect that the lion's share of the work on this has been completed while she's been at home.  This is a wonderfully detailed face and Cindy has done wonderful work on it.

Patrice is back and she's making a very unique window indeed.  Her window resembles a Rorschach Test in which perceptions of inkblots are analyzed using psychological interpretation. Some psychologists use this test to examine a person's personality characteristics and emotional functioning.  Me, I see a Uterus.  How about you?

Becky S began making two Spinners and got all of her pieces cut, ground and wrapped.  Each spinner consists of six sides which Becky has grouped together so it looks like she's making two rectangular windows even though that's not the case.


Jeannette's Transom Window got a TON of work done on it this week.   First she cut the top border, then she attached it and even soldered the front side.  And let me tell you that her soldering is SUPERB!  She's used quarter inch foil on this which makes soldering tougher since there's more solder to melt onto the foil but that extra solder also gives her long window extra strength and stability.

With her border attached Linda F is free to begin soldering her large LSU Window (both front and back).  She found this pattern in our pattern drawers but didn't like the football that originally decorated the upper right corner so she swapped it out for a Fleur De Lis.  When this lights up you'll see how the purple border easily differs from the purple that she used in the Fleur De Lis. 

With the top (the Lid) of her Wedding Box completed Martha has moved on to cutting the sides of the box.  She has them ground and has taken them home to wrap which means that there's no doubt that she'll finish this upon her return and that she'll move along to another project as well.

Mary Grace has the front side of her Louisiana/Rifle/Arrow Window soldered and has turned it over to begin work on the back side.  Since this is the rear of the window you can't see how Mary Grace handled adding the year 2019 into the border but you'll easily see it when this is finished next week.


Rowena started this mini LSU Window (which technically is a suncatcher) and is ready to tack it together and then cut a border for it.  I'm not sure what color she's thinking but with the letters being  purple the border should almost certainly be cut from yellow.

Susan D's got 2 more Reindeer cut out and one even managed to get wrapped and tacked together this week.   This pair of black nosed reindeer will be finished before you know it. I can't wait to see what sled pattern she comes in with to go behind all of these reindeer.


Betty has the front side of her Sunflower Window soldered and all of her Santa Claus Window ground and ready to be wrapped.  I have to say that Santa is looking particularly good with that jolly expression on his face and his fluffy white beard.

And with her latest Grinch behind her Tracey's begun working on a series of Lawn Ornament Butterflies because Christmas is right around the corner.  This is just the first of a few.

MiMi's newest project will be a Cotton Blossom Window.  We've tweaked the pattern a bit and made it less 'line-y' to the point where the pattern now has an elegant flow to it.  I can't wait to see some glass on this!

Lastly, I didn't manage to snag a picture of Jeff's Window but it has been moved on over to a larger work board and he's now joining his three sections together.   I promise a picture of that in our next post.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, November 11, 2019

Who Let the Dog Out

Very often we have students asking the same questions over and over because they know that the answer doesn't have to be committed to memory since I'm always around.  Lately I haven't been answering these question right away, instead making the student think out the question and figuring it out for them self.  The answers are almost always readily apparent if you just look back in old blog posts, google a picture of the item, or even look at it in real life.

For the more technical questions our students can always go through our "Good To Know" papers that I've assembled.  That said, when it comes to a design choice there's rarely a right and wrong, just a more aesthetically pleasing answer.   But the technical stuff (for example: 'Do I do the edges of a suncatcher first or the top?')  should be committed to memory.  There's not a lot to memorize to be proficient in stained glass and learning those few simple rules is actually easy when you know WHY you are supposed to do it that way.

And with that out of the way I'm pleased to say that Angie completed her Nativity Scene Window! I can tell you that not only is it a hit here in our different classes, but on Facebook as well!  She has a lot of time and effort in on this window and it certainly shows.  For those of you thinking about making this yourself just realize that it's over 3 feet wide and really can't be shrunk down much smaller without making the pieces tinier and harder to work with.

Becky S put the finishing touches on her second Egret Window and wow, it is a sight to behold. If you thought that Angie's window was big, well, this one is even bigger.  Measuring 20" x 50", this is a window that demands your attention when you see it in person.  I'm thrilled to see this completed because it was drawn up for someone else who then rejected the pattern.   That was clearly a mistake!

Here we have a look at a new Santa Window that Rowena finished this week.  Although it was only seen in class two times, Angie decided that she was going to make one as well.   And two other people wanted the pattern also!  Rowena has started something here.

Jeanne M's Cross/Treble Clef Window is like music to my ears.   There's something about music themed windows that I've always loved and this is no exception.  Jeanne has really caught on quickly because this window took her no time at all to complete.

Cindy's Wedding Box is really a work of art but I just couldn't get enough light on it to do it justice.  That's the problem with some of the projects that are completed during our evening classes-- you just don't get to really appreciate them from the photos I manage to take.

Rose put the finishing touched on her Flower Window and came up with an ingenious solution to a common problem.   When it came time to color the lead she couldn't decide if she wanted to do it in copper or leave it silver, so she did both!  Yep, this beautiful window has copper colored lead on one side and silver on the other!  Now that's using your noggin.

No one will convince me that this Reindeer Lawn Ornament that Susan D made isn't the cutest thing.   And the red nose instantly identifies him as Rudolph (not Wolf!)   Since she's making at least two more of these for her yard the remainder of her reindeer will have black noses.

Barbara wasn't sure if she wanted to make this window when she discovered that the bevel cluster that it was designed around was no longer made.   I convinced her to cut it out of water glass and sure enough, it looks perfect!  This goes to show that you don't always need bevels for your clear windows, just two contrasting pieces of glass.

Carol's latest Crystal Hangers are different this week because rather than displaying crystals these are displaying Crucifixes. It's a great variation that goes together oh so well.


Jan is nearly finished with her Unicorn Window and the borders she picked are pure perfection.  The inner border is transparent champagne while the outer border is a wispy champagne.  What makes it work so well is that the iridized glass that she used for the Unicorn's mane has a lot of champagne color in it also.  And that's why we say that Jan has an eye for color.

Speaking of moving quickly, Kerry got his Flamingo Window all cut, ground, wrapped and tacked together in one night!  With just the border to go on this and very little soldering to do, there's actually a chance that he'll finish this upon his return.

Susan R has begun grinding all of the Seafood in her Seafood Window and wait until you see what she's going to use for her corn.   It's going to look stupendous, just like the rest of the window!

Jeannette's Transom Window is moving right along as she now has the right side nearly ready to be tacked.  There's only 6 pieces left to be wrapped and then she'll be able to join the two sides and then get the top border attached as well.   With a little luck she'll get some channel on this 6 foot window as well!.

Melissa's Train looks better than ever and I know that this will surely be completed upon her return.  Melissa has an eye for exactness and this large Suncatcher is just about ready to be soldered.  I can't wait to see her do the metal parts because students are always amazed when they see how it's done for the first time.


Here's the Cardinal Suncatcher that Rowena began working on after she finished her Santa Window.  She's going to change things up a bit and we'll show you just how she spruces this up when we come back to it next week.

Belinda has her Wine Window just about completed now.  Wait until you see this up in the air because her use of a lighter green and lighter blue behind the wine glass looks amazing!   It's too bad I didn't notice that the pattern is upside down under the window before I took the photo.  If I had you'd see the glass effect much better.  Rest assured, you'll see it in all of its glory next week when Belinda returns.


Here's another window that's about to get joined together.  Jeff's Summer Flowers Window needs a few pieces to connect his three sections and then he'll be able to add a border and begin soldering.


With her inner border attached and her second (final) border ready to be tacked into place, Mary Grace will begin soldering this when she returns.  She'll also get the year attached to it as well and it will be fun to show her how that's going to be accomplished because it's something completely new and different.

Our first Grinch of the week is a Smiling Grinch with a heart that's grown 3 sizes bigger.  In Whoville, that's a very big deal!   So who's making this?  That would be Annette and she's making great progress as her Grinch fits better and better with each passing week.

Betty is as busy as can be but with solo windows of two different patterns.  This is the first time that she's making this popular Santa Face and it just needs some background glass cut out before she starts grinding it.  Her Sunflower window is very nearly completed already with just the border needing to be attached. 

Tracey's Grinch is actually finished-- all it needs now is a bath and a quick hit with some patina.  Look to see this sneaky Grinch  among our completed window next week.

And lastly we have Mary's Heron Window to look at.  With the front side completely soldered and only a few lines left to go on the back side I'm going to consider this window a done deal.  Next week this will be at the top of our post in the completed windows section rather than here at the bottom.   I can't wait to see this lit up!

And there you have it.  A VERY productive week indeed because I couldn't fit one more finished project in our email notification for this post no matter how hard I might try!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, November 4, 2019

A Process of Annihilation

Just because a piece of glass fits into position, well that doesn't necessarily mean that it's correct.  As I always say, you can fit a square peg in a round hole if the peg is small enough.  The piece should ALWAYS match the shape of the opening it fits within.  If the piece is too small and you're comfortable with that, at least make it match the opening it will reside in.  

Below we see a piece that fits into place but is actually too small.  Me, I'd re-cut it but sometimes you can't.  Perhaps you're out of that color.   If you have to use the piece grind it so that it matches the shape you are trying to fill.  The center piece below has curves and wavers along what are supposed to be six straight edges.  Even though it will make the piece smaller you need to straighten those six sides.   That will ensure that the thicker lead line will look like the shape you need.

SO with that out of the way let's look at MiMi's Ducks Unlimited Window which is perfection.  She can always be counted on to deliver 110% in both effort and attention to detail.   I touched up about 5 solder joints but that was just nitpicking. MiMi is donating this to an auction this week and I'm sure that anyone who looks at it can appreciate the time and effort that went into it.

Shawn finished her Autumn Leaves Window and the end result really impressed me.   Shawn may be new at this but you certainly can't tell that by looking at this beautiful, vibrantly colored window.  Her foiling and her soldering really jumped up a couple of notches while she worked on this.


Kerry put the finishing touches on his Tractor Window by completing the soldering on the back side.   Once that was done we looked it over, applied some hooks and then Kerry washed, colored and hung up his most ambitious project yet.  All that detail paid off in the finish piece, don't you think?

Jeanne L finished her second Beveled Cross sun catcher this week and now she's gearing up to begin a Fruit Bowl Window which I know she'll enjoy making.   She's already picking out glass so the fever is high for her to begin something new upon her return.

Then there's Carol who started and completed these two Jewel Hangers in less than one class.   Once they were completed she called it a day so she could get home and decide what she wants to make next!

Susan D made another Jewel hanger of her own and I really like the jewel that she put in this one.  It's the first of its kind.


Belinda is taking on the advanced trait of being able to work on two windows at once!  She's modified her Cat/Wine Bottle window (as shown on the left)  so that the cats are officially Wine Bottles now.   I love the attention to detail she's done with the wine glass--  Rather than making it all clear she's made it transparent by using similar colors to the background so you can 'see' throughthe glass.

Susan R has the majority of her Seafood window cut out (although there's still the matter of a Tabasco Bottle and some corn) and will begin working on her background glass soon.  She says she wants to start grinding this so we may see her working at the grinder first.

Annette's making major headway into her rendition of the Grinch.  I love the colors-- they alone tell the viewer what the subject matter is in this window.  Now that she's grinding the Grinch will become easier and easier to see with each freshly ground piece.

Rose is making unbelievable strides with her Flower Window as it is all tacked together now.   This week she was also able to cut, grind, wrap, and tack a border into place and then begin soldering it as well.  Look to see this completed upon her return.

Susan D got her reindeer all ground and he's ready to foiled and finished.  She's making a series of these and will put them on stakes which will then decorate her front yard.  I do believe that his will be the only one with a red nose though.


With the top of her Wedding Box assembled and soldered, Cindy was able to move along to making the box bottom.  The glass has been cut and ground so this will be finished next week after we get the hinge attached.


Jeanne M was going to use purple for the border on her Cross/Treble Clef Window but when she set the glass next to her window everyone agreed that it was just to dark.  In the end she settled on a pink border and I think it's the perfect choice.  Once she attached the border she began soldering it which means that this may very well be completed when she returns.


Jeff has the bottom right of the third section of his large Flower Scene Window all tacked together and is ready to start on the cutting out the top leaves and sky.   Once that's done he can begin joining all three panels together by filling in the connecting pieces.

Jeannette tacked together the left side of her large Transom Window and then began grinding the right side of it.   She got all of it fitting together but then put all of the pieces into a box before I got a picture of it.    She's moving through this large window quickly and she's learned that sometimes you have to alter things during the creation process to make up for short comings that you just didn't plan on before starting.

Melissa's Train Suncatcher  is really coming together now and her reach for perfection shows clearly in her work.   I can't wait until she sees how the metal wheels are done because I think it's going to really excite her to do something so differently.

Angie's Nativity scene is big, bold, and wonderful.   She's done a stellar job on this and decided that with this much work involved, a single border would undersell the window.  So after picking a heavily textured clear class for an inner border she then went with the same brown that she used in the manger itself to frame it all off.   By the time she left class her borders where attached and Angie can now flip this over and finish her window off!

This week we also got to see Barbara wrap the final border for her Fleur De Lis Transom Window then get it attached along with some brass channel. She's soldered the front side and I'm sure the back side won't take long at all.  Before you know it she'll be working on something new.


Becky S got the front of her Egret Window all soldered save for the final border which isn't soldered only because she spent most of her night cutting, grinding and wrapping that final border.   She did get it attached and that means that we'll be seeing the back side of this when she returns. 

Linda F got all of her LSU window ground after she tacked the center diagonal strip together. With the lion's share of the work done on this it won't be long until this is completed and as you can see, it's looking GREAT already!

Mary has her borders finished and has moved on to the soldering stage of her Heron Window.   When she got the second border attached everyone (including myself) was surprised at just how big this window actually is.   Sometimes the addition of a 3/4 inch border makes all the difference in the world.   This is a very impressive window indeed.

Rowena wasn't technically in class this week but she did drop by to pick out a border for the Santa Window that she's been working on at home.   It looks great and hopefully we'll see Rowena back in class next week.  I love the border!


Mary Grace finished wrapping her Louisiana Rifle/Arrow Window and the tacked it all together.   I think I heard her mention a double border and we'll see what develops there when she returns.

Our second Grinch of the week belongs to Tracey and it is almost is almost finished now that she got her multicolored border attached.  With the face lines already painted and fired on this just needs solder to finish it off, and Tracey's an expert at soldering.

Betty's almost got another Sunflower under her belt.  She's made so many of these that as she ground her pieces she had to transfer them onto a fresh (unwrinkled) copy of the pattern.

And that brings us all up to date again!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks