Thursday, December 26, 2019

The Circle Of Life

All of our students knew her and it is with great sadness and regret that I have to say that Miss Ethel (Effels) passed away on Christmas Day.  December was a hard month for her but on the 24th the sun was shining and Ethel was bathing in those warm sun beams as she watched us work on the new Kiln Building.  All the while we worked she was as affectionate as a young kitten.  At one point we said that she might be coming around again as we picked her up and and petted her throughout the day.   She even got a good brushing in (which she loved). All in all it was a perfect day for her and I have no regrets about how we spent that last day with her.  She will be missed.

Annette got her Happy Grinch finished just in time for the Holidays!  With his heart three sizes bigger than the last Grinch we saw, this one's literally bursting out of his stained glass borders.  Annette is flying through projects already and she'll be starting on a Dog Window soon.  Just wait until you see that one!

MiMi's Cotton Boll is officially complete and MiMi now knows how to make rounded corners the smart way (by NOT using a paper pattern).  Her use of amber glass for the border is a perfect choice since it matches a small amount of amber found within the actual subject matter.   That's always a safe way to choose a color for your border.

Carol was fretting about making these two Crosses as an order and right up until she handed them over she was worried that disappointment would follow.  But she was wrong!  Instead everyone was absolutely thrilled with her work (as we ALL predicted).   I mean look at these windows-- they are flawless. And now another student wants to make one.  That's what I call inspirational!

Jeanne M's Cardinal Suncatcher has turned many heads in class and now there are plenty of copies of this pattern floating around throughout our different classes so we may be seeing a few more of these.  I have to say that this is a wonderful design but it's the wire work that brings it all together both literally AND figuratively!  Jeanne has done a great job here.

Kerry's Pelican is ready to find a home in a window and it also turned out great.  I especially liked the fact that he wasn't afraid to use something other than blue for the sky because it's artistic decisions like these that can turn an ordinary design into a spectacular one.  And kudos to Kerry on his soldering abilities.   He really upped his game with this window.

Look at the beautiful lines in Linda F's LSU Window.   You couldn't ask for straighter lines and that's just ONE of the reasons that this window looks fantastic.  The other reason is because she used a purple glass that is different from the background for both the Fleur De Lis and for the Tiger stripes.   Had she used the same purple as her background the tiger stripes and the Fleur De Lis would have blended into the background and lost much of their definition.  However, what she's accomplished below is perfection.

Betty made her own Football themed window this week and hopefully the Saints fan that gets this is thrilled with it because that double border that surrounds the Fleur de Lis wasn't an easy accomplishment.  Of course Betty persevered and the end result is the gorgeous window that you see below.

Patrice's Uterus is certainly a conversation starter.  Why a uterus?  Because that's what the customer wants and that's what it all comes down to-- what the customer wants.  All in all you can't fault this window.  It honestly looks just like an illustration in a medical book. 

Angie made her own version of the size 3 Grinch with the only differences being the single border and the background glass.  You just can't lose with a happy Grinch!

Belinda's Church Window looks like it's almost completely cut out already.   Well, all of the cuts that she can make right now have been cut however, the wooden slats that make the church itself will be cut after she's got this all fitting together. We'll show you what that's all about in a later post.

Linda F started working on a Witch Window and although it's December 2019 right now, I'm saying that she's early for next year when this will be completed.   With just the four pieces of her background left to grind I'm thinking that his will be finished before you know it.

Lara's Victorian themed Window is moving right along and she's begun grinding her pieces already.   This window is about color and Lara has always had an eye for that.   Look out because this will be featured as a finished window before you know it.

And here's another window that is already colorful and impressive.   Melissa's begun grinding her Peacock Tail Window and has the first of 12(?) sections ground and fitting together perfectly.   A repeating pattern like this demands perfection because if just a single piece is off it will stand out like a sore thumb.  Mark my words though, this will be stunning because I have complete faith in Melissa

Okay so here we look at Shawn's Sunflower and Cardinal Window which she said would take her half of next year just to grind and do you know what?  It was almost been completely ground in just one night!   That's right-- Shawn only has a few more Sunflower petals left to grind along with a few pieces of background  and she'll be ready to begin wrapping which will surely take place in the first class of the new year, not the sixth month.  She's got this!

Now that we have an official finished measurement Cindy was able to get her border pieces all cut out.  They've also been ground and now she only needs to wrap and tack them so we can get a channel around this window and finish this up!

Jeff tacked together his Flower Scenery Window and is only missing one small piece of which no one has the glass for.  :-(  It's on order though so hopefully he'll have it in his hands during our next class.  Once that's done (or even if it isn't) it will be time to add a border.

Here's Barbara H's Bee Lawn Ornament all cut, ground and ready to be wrapped.  If she comes back to class with this wrapped she may very well finish this the next time we see her.  Alas, with Christmas and New Years here I surely won't hold it against her if she doesn't get this wrapped.

Jeanne L has been working on a Fruit Basket Window but I never seem to get a picture of it.   This week I snapped this while she was removing all of her pieces from the pattern so that she could pack it up and take it home with her.  Look closely and you'll see 4 pieces in place. 

Tracey is about to embark on a round Magnolia Window journey!   This is a stunning window when it's completed and I have no doubt that Tracey will do a beautiful job on this project.


And Jan has begun working on a variation of this Red Fish pattern.   She traced it out and has her paper pattern all cut apart and ready to trace onto glass.  In our next post you'll see this with some color on it.

And that ends the calendar year of 2019.  We'd like to wish everyone a happy New Year, a Merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, and everything and anything else that applies.  We'll be back in about 3 weeks.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, December 16, 2019

That'll Pull Your Eyes Out

Our tip this week is an old one that needs to be mentioned again because of the Christmas deadline that is looming over all of our student's heads.   The tip is:  Slow down, take your time, follow the lines.

You may have a  time schedule but rushing through the various steps in making a window only leads to problems that take more time to fix later on.   I can guarantee that everyone will finish what they need to if they just slow down.  This is especially true in cutting your glass and in soldering.   Rushing through cuts  leaves you with pieces that barely resemble the pattern  which always makes you lose an amazing amount of time when you get to the grinder.   Also, a window can only be soldered at one speed so your options are to either solder at that correct (slow) speed or you can rush through it and spend even longer trying to fix your bad soldering.  I often tell people that I can spend an hour soldering a window correctly or a half hour doing it half assed which means that I then have to spend another hour trying to fix it afterwards.

So take your time, do it right, and your windows will bring a smile to everyone's faces including your own.

Speaking of smiling faces, Betty put the finishing touches on her Santa Face Window and the Candy Cane border glass works so wonderfully with this design.   We've been seeing a lot of people using this glass and it always looks great, but on a Christmas themed window it is just superb.

Jan completed her own festive and oh so cute Santa Face Panel and her red/green border is the icing on the cake-- perfection.  I guess it's all about the borders-- Ho Ho Ho!

Jeannette finished her Monarch Butterfly and the colors are absolutely flawless.  The brilliant orange resides in stark contrast against the pitch black body and trim which sets this window off perfectly.  Also, note the excellent symmetry that she's achieved.

Next up we have Linda F's Saints Window which is barely wider than a foot across.  That small size makes the trim that surrounds the Fleur de Lis somewhat difficult to work with and it's why she only bordered it once in white glass.   I will say this though, it's a mighty fine looking window no matter how many borders surround the Fleur De Lis.


Lara started this pair of Scissors a while back and this week she brought it back in to class completed so that I could  get a picture of it.  As always, she's done beautiful work on this (or is it these?  Scissors always confuse me because they're referred to as a pair.

When Jeannette wanted a High Healed Shoe Suncatcher I didn't think much about it until I saw the finished pattern.  I have to say that I liked it a lot so I threw one together quickly and now I'm posting it here.

Here's another project that I made this week-- this one being a standing order that we receive each Christmas for a regular customer.   The size is always the same but the subject matter changes from year to year.  This time around we have an Indigo Bunting with an orange Freesia behind him.

Susan D wanted to work on this 3D Hummingbird Lawn Ornament last week but she had forgotten the pattern at home and for some reason we couldn't find a copy of it in the shop even though I know I had a copy somewhere.   Well, this week I scanned the pattern so we'll always have a copy on hand.

Terry's been gone for about a year now but she hasn't stopped making stained glass.  This wonderful window was made in a joint effort between Terry and her sister Brenda so that it could be completed in time to be gifted on Christmas day.  Well done.

Mary Grace got three more Crystal Hangers finished this week and then began working on her next window.   You'll see what that is when she returns next year!

Tracey completed two more Bee Lawn Ornaments this week so I guess it's safe to say that she's on a roll and that she thinks these are the Bee's knees!

Belinda started her church window early!  She told me that it wouldn't get started until next year yet here we are looking at her Church in 2019.  I really feel like she's going to have fun making this because she's going to learn a lot of shortcuts while making this window.  We'll probably discuss those shortcuts sometime early in the new year as she puts them to task.

Next up we have two Happy Grinch Windows starting with Annette's.   She really wanted to use two borders on this and knew that one of them would be green.  The inner accent colored border was a bit tricky to pick out but in the end everyone agreed that using blue really pulled the Grinch's eyes out!

And then we have Angie's interpretation of the same design.   Angie went with a high contrast color palette and a single border which works just as well as a double border.   Great work all around.


Next we have Rowena who started this Mardi Gras Mask Panel.  She already has the subject matter completely cut out and almost completely ground as well.   There will be beads hanging off of the mask that trail and loop to the bottom and back up again but that isn't visible- yet.


Lara's a lot farther along on her Victorian themed window this week and I love that she's going for a bright, vivid window rather than a subdued one.  With just the clear(?) background left to go it's safe to say that Lara is flying through this project.

Susan R has everything ground save for her tray of ice and the oysters that rest on that tray.   Once they're ground she can start wrapping her pieces or begin cutting out the background pieces to her Seafood Masterpiece.  I can't wait to see what she decides to use for her background.

Jeff is ready for a border on his Flower Scenery Window and all three pieces have joined together into one big scene beautifully.   With this so very near to completion I can't wait to see what he'll tackle next.


Cindy would have gotten a border attached to her clear Sun Window but she didn't have a finished size verification from her carpenter.   It's never a good idea to finish off a window while only assuming that the size you have is correct because pulling apart a window is HARD work.   So Cindy soldered the front of her window this week. 

Next we have an action shot of Jeanne soldering her two Cardinals.   Once she finishes them as two separate suncatchers she will bend some wires and join everything together into one finished piece that already has people asking for the pattern.

And with the front side of Kerry's Pelican Window all soldered and a good portion of the back side as well, I'd say it's safe to assume that  this will indeed be ready to be gifted on Christmas day.   And my hat goes off to Kerry for the excellent work he's done on his soldering process.  Slow and steady wins the stained glass window race.

Carol's first of two Cross Windows is so very near completion.   There's just a little soldering to do on the back side of this one and then she'll move on over to her second window which I think she already has ground and ready for foiling.  We'll see both of these Crosses at the top of the blog in our next and final post of the year.


Betty went the full nine yards on her version of the small Saints Window by adding a second border around the Fleur De Lis.  Then she added a Saints Logo across the bottom.  Now that it's been bordered and she's ready to put on a finished solder bead she says that she'll never do this again in this small size.   It's just too much work for such a small window!

After getting all of the clear water glass background cut out for her Cardinal Sunflower Window Shawn began work on grinding each of her pieces for a perfect fit.  She says that she feels as though it will take her forever to grind but I know she's wrong about that.   The leaves of the sunflower will go quickly and easily when I give her a demonstration of how to grind them.  It's all about moving in a circle.

And here's a look at the text that will reside in the center of Shawn's Sunflower.  Stained Glass may be a very old art but now days we get to add some computer assistance which is what makes this curved music center possible

It looks like next week is going to be filled with finished windows!   This is the back side of Linda F's large LSU Window and as you can see she has it just about halfway soldered already.  That means that we'll see this hanging with light behind it when we return.

Now Mary wasn't supposed to be in class this week but due to unforeseen circumstances Mary wasn't operated on last week which opened her schedule and allowed her to attend our last two classes of the year.    After getting her background all cut out of clear water glass Mary moved on to the grinding stage of her latest project.  She's working from the top down on this and it's looking so good already.

Melissa has her Peacock's butt all ground wrapped and tacked together!  I've said a lot of things in this Blog over the years but never that!  She's going to pin this into place and then begin grinding all of the feathers that radiate outward when she comes back to class.  It will be somewhat challenging because there are so many pieces but I know Melissa and if anyone is up for this job it's her.

Here we look at MiMi's Cotton Boll Window which got its border cut and tacked into place.   The curved corners make this only slightly more involved than a standard border and we cut it as so:  First we cut strips on the strip cutter and then joined two straight border pieces on each of the four sides of her window.   Then we placed some of the amber glass under the window, traced out the curve and  then extended the outer edge until it gave us the completed final piece.  MiMi did that for each of her corners and then ground and tacked them into place.  Yep, this will be another finished window next week.


Barbara has decided to cut out a Bee Lawn Ornament and what a good job she's done getting this cut out.   She doesn't even have this ground yet and it already looks like it fits together.   Taking your time while cutting ALWAYS saves you time at the grinder...

And that about does it for our second to last post of the year.  2020 is well on its way to us now!

Bayou Salé GlassWorks