Monday, May 31, 2021

Having Too Much Exposed

We're jumping straight in here because I never worked out a tip for this week.  Susan R  has completed her Mini-Trellis which features 3D flowers, a 3D Butterfly and a Bee mounted on top of a background of assorted leaves.   It looks spectacular and I've also included a side view so you can see just what I mean about the flowers being three dimensional.


Angie's Praying Hands Window was finished and the bevels that make up those hands really sparkle and shine.   Set into a powder Blue Sky these Prayer Hands show what true devotion is all about.
Mary Grace's latest Hoop project is a Flower that extends beyond the hoop for an even more striking  effect.  More than a few people have been confused about how you would attach something that is larger than the hoop but as you can see it's a design idea that works wonderfully.

Lara  made this fancy suncatcher featuring an iridescent triangular centerpiece.   The beauty in this lies within its simplicity and Lara's use of clear textured glasses.

Annette loved the flower suncatcher that Melissa made last week so she  took the pattern home with her in hopes of making a few of them on her own.   She came in with all her pieces ground and wrapped, and by the time she left class she had three of thee popular Flowers finished in three different colors.  Beautiful.
Cindy created another  red, white, and blue Bicycle Wheel Spinner and only has one more to go before she ends her Spinner series.  Practice makes perfect and as you can see Cindy has had a lot of practice making these.

Kerry began working on a Butterfly Window which will feature a beveled border.   To achieve that we had to alter the pattern just a bit by cutting down the height and extending the width of the pattern to accommodate the bevels that he plans to use.   Never forget that a beveled border can't just be added to any window--  you have to plan out the size in advance just like Kerry has done here.


Lara also managed to worked on her Flower Pot Window this week.  She had ground everything while at home and spent most of her night wrapping her pieces and then tacking them all together.  With just a border or two to go this will easily be completed before you know it.
Shawn got an incredible amount of work done on her Scuba Diver Octagon Window as it is now completely ground.  She's altering the head apparatus of the diver from what was drawn on the pattern and the diver still needs some fins on his feet but we're going to tend to those pieces AFTER this has been tacked together so we can work with a window whose pieces won't be shifting around.
Judy  had cut out most of her large Angel Suncatcher last week so when she came back in she only had a few pieces of the wings left to cut out.   Once that was done she began grinding her Angel and by the end of class she had it all fitting together perfectly.  That's impressive work done impressively quickly.  It won't be long before Judy will have to decide what she's making next.

Mary Grace has another Hoop Project well underway.  All that's left to be done is to grind the eyes and beaks of her two Cardinals after which she'll be able to  wrap and tack them together.  This is another pattern that extends beyond the perimeter of the hoop as the tail feathers of these birds will hang below the hoop as pictured below.
Our newest student, Kate, has decided to make a Dragonfly Panel.   She traced out her pattern, cut out the paper pattern pieces and then began cutting out the actual glass pieces.  She's undecided as to whether the body of the Dragonfly will be red or orange so she cut the body out in each color and will decide which she likes better once the blue water has been cut out.  Green is also another possible color selection for the body...

Roxane got the second scene in her three section Nativity Window all tacked together which means that the third section will be started when she next returns to class.  This is going to be a large window once it all comes together.
Mary's Redfish got it's lure cut out and then she was able to cut, grind, and almost completely wrap her border pieces as well.  She's used a nice heavily textured clear that's really going to sparkle when it gets some light behind it.  Actually, it already sparkles just resting there on the pattern!
Linda F is making an oversized Flower Hoop of her own and now that she's seen Mary Grace's rendition of it perhaps it will all make more sense to her as to how it will look with the leaves 'poking' out of the hoop.
Susan D's Summer window has moved along QUICKLY!  She's only got a few more pieces left to wrap and then she can begin soldering it.  I love how she  took her time and carefully cut the rays of the sun into the blue sky without running lines out from each point.  That's some serious determination there. 
Having cut out all of her clear textured background glass Tracey's Hummingbird Window is now ready to be ground.   In fact, if you look closely you can see that she's already got a start on that process in the bottom right hand corner.   You can never say that Tracey doesn't work quickly and efficiently. 

Linda F did manage to complete her Louisville Cardinals window but it still needs to be colored.  Since she's doing this in black patina she has to let the patina set for about 45 minutes after she applies it and she just didn't have enough time left to let it sit that long this week.  Rest assured that this will be colored and hanging up when we see it again.

MiMi has the first column ground for her newest Hexagon Insert.  The first column is the toughest because it involves slicing numerous hexagons so that they end at the proper width of the panel.   Once that row is cut and ground the rest of the window is just the same piece over and over and over and over and over.  And that is where MiMi is now.   


This was what Sheri's Chakra Yoga Window looked like when she took it home to wrap.  Sadly though, tragedy has struck and Sheri actually fell while transporting it.  Luckily Sheri is fine save for a bruised tailbone however  I don't know exactly how much  broke.  All she said was that  she needs more of the blue glass and more of the textured glass that semicircles the man.   Please stay tuned as more details will be provided as information comes in.

Martha's Wedding Box is taking shape quickly now that she has the lid section all tacked together and ready for solder.   With a little bit of luck this will be completed when she comes back in-- if not it will be very, VERY close to completion.  [Now that I know that we will be having a small class Tuesday I believe that I can safely say that this WILL be completed.]

Cindy's already got her newest Bicycle Spinner cut out so all she needs to do is to wrap those pieces in copper foil which she likes to do while at home.   With extra class time on her hands she's started her next project-- a Franklin Streetlight Window. Judging from her phone call to me she may very well have this mostly cut out because she told me that she's wrapping pieces in copper foil already.

And to wrap this post all up we'll take a  look at Cheryl's Mr. Bingle Window which has been completely soldered now.   She has to fix a few run-throughs on the front side but other than that this window is finished.   This will be washed and looking festive when Cheryl comes back into class two weeks from now.
So there it is, everything that happened in our last set of classes.


Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, May 24, 2021

Paul's Two Cents

When making suncatchers a lot of students have a tough time blending their lead lines into the lead bead that surrounds the outer edge of the suncatcher.  In most cases people drag lead off the edge of the glass creating a 'waterfall'  and other times they stop short and don't connect the lead line to the edge bead.  The picture below is what we're actually looking to achieve.  You want a nice smooth joining of the lead line to the edge perimeter of the piece.

This is actually not hard to acheive.  All you need to do is to rest your iron on the lead line about a quarter of an inch from the edge of the glass and wait.  Watch and you'll see melting lead radiate outwards from the tip of the iron to the edge of the glass and when it connects GENTLY lift the tip off of the glass leaving behind a perfectly smooth joining of the top and the edge lead beads.  The key word here is GENTLY and I can't stress that enough.  Sudden moves will always leave irregularities in your lead.  If you lift the tip of your iron from the lead slowly you'll get a perfect line every time.

Linda's Watering Can Window is finished and the careful cutting of her sky really makes this window flow beautifully.  Alas, the only picture I got that didn't turn out blurry was the one that had the flash on so the glare is taking away from the continuous flow of her sky in this particular picture but trust me, it's as natural and realistic as a stained glass sky can get. 

Although it may not be your cup of tea (so to speak) Annette's Falcons Window is certainly going to turn heads.   She did a great job on this window every step of the way which leaves her with a project that can't help but to become a show stopper.
Kerry's Bobwhite Window was completed and I have to give credit where credit is due-  Kerry has really stepped up his game when it comes to soldering.  That said, this is a fantastic job all around no matter how you look at it.
This is the first of two completed projects that Lisa made.   It started out as a single Cardinal in a hoop but then turned into a flower and a cardinal in a hoop.  Then, at the last minute, Lisa decided to add a prism hanging from the bottom of her Hoop design and it would appear that the third change is the charm!
After that Lisa went off and completed her latest Lantern Insert Panels featuring an almost 'woven' design.   Here it is all lit up and looking mighty fine.
Melissa called me just before class started and said that although she was coming to class she had forgotten to put her pattern in her car for the Butterfly that she was working on last week.  Rather than wasting a lot of class time by going home to retrieve her pattern pieces she decided to make something quickly in one class as a present.  She loved this flower design and by the end of the night she had crafted it perfectly. 

Sheri was certainly busy while in class because she completed her Cross/Heart/Rose Panel.  Measuring slightly larger than a piece of paper, this design always sells well at shows.   Here's hoping Sheri has luck with hers!

Cindy's latest Bicycle Wheel walked out the door as two more blank wheels walked in.   Like I said last week, she's on a roll with these things!

Betty walked out the door with three more Crosses under her belt (so to speak) and they all look fantastic.  As Betty often says,  "You can never have too many suncatchers in the house because you never know when you'll need a gift!"

And for our last completed project we look at a butterfly which means that we have a new student!   Kate sure has a sense of style because I honestly don't believe anyone has ever made an all clear butterfly before.   She even colored the lead with black patina to really give the lead some contrast. This was made with the greatest of ease and I can't wait to see what she decides to make as her first window with us.

Linda L is making a Flower Window utilizing Depression Plates as the flowers themselves.  We saw the pattern in our last post but this week you can easily see what this is going to look like since everything but the background has been cut out and laid in place. 

Speaking of having everything but the background cut out-- that's exactly where Tracey stands with her latest Hummingbird Window.  She has her pattern all traced out onto a beautiful piece of clear onami glass which is actually resting on top of the flowers and bird in the photo below.  Look closely and you'll see the blue outlines.   Next week they'll all be cut out and Tracey will begin grinding.


I always frown when I take white on white pictures but Bee's Dove is currently white glass on white paper so it is what it is.  That's not to say that this won't be stunning when it's completed-- of that I have no doubt.  It's just going to be hard to see just what Bee accomplishes each week until this is finished and hanging up. 

Judy wanted to do something a little smaller than a window so she's making this large Angel suncatcher. She's only been working on it for one class and she's already got most of it cut out which means that she'll surely begin grinding this Angel when she returns.


Mary Grace has begun working on another Hoop Design, this one being a pair of Cardinals.   I may be able to talk her into adding a few simple leaves to 'round this out' when it's finished.  We'll see what happens when she comes back in.  It will be easy and it will add so much to the finished project.
Linda F not only completed her Watering Can Window-- she also got a lot of work done on her Louisville Cardinals Panel as well.  This is all cut out and she's now well into the grinding portion of this piece.

Shelley's got her Flamingo Window all ground save for the beak of the bird so she's taken this home in hopes of having it all wrapped and ready for beak work when she comes back in.   The beak will be easy enough so we should get to see a border get cut for this as well.  This will be completed before you know it.

Susan R finished the soldering on three of her six 3D flowers which means that this Flower Sculpture is almost finished now.  Once the remaining flowers have been assembled she'll color them and then tack them onto the leaf trellis section after which she'll be able to call this a completed project.
With the side panel all  cut out for her Wedding Invitation Box Martha is ready to to grind her background glass, tack this together and then get a border cut out for it.   I have to say that the hard part of this project is well behind her now.

Mary finished wrapping almost all of the pieces for her Red Fish Window and now that we can clearly see what things look like I think that we will be cutting the lure into both the window AND the border.  We'll show you what that looks like when we post our next blog update.

Here's the back side of Cheryl's Mr. Bingle Window about half way soldered.  When we flipped it over after she completed soldering the front of her window I could tell that all of the Strong Line we added throughout the window had helped to sturdy things up a bit.   That's not to say that she won't have to be careful with this, but it will in fact be stronger than most windows this size (almost 4 foot wide).

It looks like Cindy has at least two more full sized Bicycle Wheels to stud with glass.   She's been accomplishing one or more a week so these shouldn't take her long at all.
And last but not least we take a look at what Lara accomplished while at home throughout the week.  Not bad at all.  This is definitely coming together and looking great!

And there you have it- all the news that's fit to post.



Monday, May 17, 2021

I Love Crime

The sponge that rests behind your grinding wheel is an integral part of your grinder and should never be forgotten about or taken for granted.   People don't realize that it can easily become plugged with ground glass which then prevents water from reaching the wheel.   I always pour some water directly over the sponge whenever I add water to my grinder to help clean it but even doing this isn't enough for truly good maintenance.  Actually, you should remove the sponge and wash it out regularly.  If you find it to be solid rather than 'spongy' simply hold it under running water while squeezing it until all of the ground glass trapped within it has been removed.  Doing this will prevent your glass from chipping and make your grinder head last longer.

Now take a gander at this!  Bee's Cardinal Window has officially been completed and you can't tell me that all of the work she put into this wasn't worth it.  The design itself is original and outstanding--those wings fanning outward just give a beautiful grace and balance to this window.  I can't wait to see what Bee comes up with next!

Once washed and hanging up with some light behind them, these Texas Boots sure do shine.  The red, white, and blues centered into amber and brown hues really draw attention to the patriotic nature of this window.   Judy did wonderful work on these boots and that's a fact.
Ann made a few tweaks on her Angel Hand Mirror pattern and ended up with this design.  Although it's extremely similar to the last one she made this one features a bit more mirror therefor giving it a better view.   You can't go wrong when you start with a great idea.
Lisa's newest Lantern features a musical motif with a Treble Clef inscribed door panel and piano keys that wrap around the remaining 3 sides of the lantern   Those piano keys were a challenge because of how close black keys resided to the lines separating the white keys but Lisa was determined and her end result is fantastic.
Here are Cindy's newest Bicycle Wheels but these feature a bit of a twist-- they are made from a child's bike!  These frames are only about a foot wide so they went together VERY quickly. 
Betty got all four of her Humming Birds completed and learned how to make eyes that are cut into glass rather that tacking beads on top of the glass.   Although it seems tricky it really isn't as long as you keep your half circles lined up every step of the way.  I think that these four birds prove that you can't screw up your color choices when making this pattern.

Linda's wrapped up the work on her last two Butterfly Hoop designs, one with blue/purple wings and the other with wings made from a burgundy swirl.  With these under her belt she's leaving behind hoops and moving on to plates as you'll see later.

With a fifth Cabinet Insert installed MiMi only has one left to go for this section of her entertainment room.  She's already well underway on that sixth panel of glass and I know that MiMi is very much looking forward to seeing this entire section of her room completed.

Angie's Praying Hands Window just needs to be soldered and then it will be out the door.   She cut her blue background out of one piece of glass cut to the size that she needed the background to be.   She then traced that praying hands in the center of that glass and cut it out starting from the bottom and running to the upper right side of the glass.  After that the rest of the cuts were in God's hands so to speak and in the end the grain of the 'sky' was perfectly aligned throughout the window.

Martha has begun work on a Wedding Box complete with an intricate side panel that matches the invitation.  These make wonderful wedding gifts and this one is set to be spectacular. Talk about a personalized gift!
Jan found this pattern of a Pelican and loved the look and the size of it.  This week we see that she's got it all cut out and that she's begun grinding everything as well.  I like the way she offset the sky and the water with colors that match yet are not too similar.   Look close enough and you can actually see the sky reflected in the water.
Lisa started off thinking that she'd put this Cardinal into a hoop but then she felt it looked a little empty.   What to do?  Add a flower!  This is going to make a perfect pair and I love the fact that Lisa isn't afraid to think outside the hoop.

After getting her background tacked into place Annette found herself working on her border pieces.  I have to say that it didn't take long before she was ready to start soldering her Falcon's Skull Window.  With the front side started there's a chance that this will be finished during her next class.

With all of the glass officially cut out for her Flower Pot Window, Lara has begun grinding.  She's on a deadline to get this completed but she has absolutely nothing to worry about because she has plenty of time to finish this and get pretty far along into her next project before her time runs out.  Let's face it, this already looks like it's been ground so how much grinding will this actually need to get to the next step in its creation.
Mr. Bingle now has his double border attached along with plenty of StrongLine between MANY of the pieces in this window.  Cheryl then took her time soldering and got most of the front side of this huge window completed.   We'll flip this over when she returns to do the back and I think it's safe to assume that this will be finished in about two more weeks.

Mary Grace got her flower all ground and tacked together for her newest Hoop Project.   With just a little soldering to go this will easily be finished when she comes back in and then she'll be able to work on her Cardinal Hoop pattern.  She sure likes those hoops!

Shawn's Diver and Manta Ray Window is coming together better than ever as she carefully grinds each piece for perfect fits.  She's working from the ground upward on this and I think she'll easily get to the diver himself by the time we next see this window.

With the 3rd panel of her Nativity Scene practically completed, Roxane will come back in, tack this together and then lay the three panels out to see what she wants to use for the sky and the wood beams of the manger.  It won't be long before all three are connected into one big Nativity Scene..

Sheri had another productive class as she was able to finish all of the cutting for her Chakra Yoga Window and then get a large portion of grinding done as well.  I won't be long before Sheri is ready to wrap this in foil.  She's a little concerned that the skin is too dark, but once this is off of the table and it gets some light behind it I can guarantee that the 'skin' will lighten up.
Linda F had a beautiful blue/pink glass picked out for her border that perfectly matched the watering can but after the border was cut out she decided that it drew too much attention outward rather than inward to the main theme of the window.   I applaud her for deciding to change it even though she had the pink/blue glass already cut and ground.  If you don't like something you need to change it because once it's done it's done.  And yes, I love this border color that she picked as a replacement.

Tracey's Hummingbird Scene is well underway with just a few feathers and the background glass left to cut for this.   This design has the look of a traditional stained glass window and I think it's going to be a huge hit with everyone who sees it.
Mary got all of her glass ground for her Redfish Window and just as promised, it looks just like a Redfish!   We still have to work out the section in front of the mouth because we need to cut a lure into that area.  I have no doubt that will work out easily enough and then this window will look even better than it does now. 

Susan D has everything cut out for her Summer Window and check out the extraordinary use of glass that she picked for the pail in the sand near the left hand side.  It's one piece of glass but it matches the beach ball on the right side of the window that was cut from 6 different pieces of glass.  Perfection!

Sometimes a line drawing (a pattern) just doesn't convey just how wonderful the pattern actually is.  I agonized about the iris in this drawing but Melissa's choice of glass already makes it look stunning even in its current un-ground state. And when she gets to the colorful butterfly below it, well, look out!
Speaking of Irises, Barbara has a good portion of her Yellow Louisiana Iris Panel ground already.  As I always say, the second one always moves along much quicker. 

Kerry's latest Pentagon Window features a Bobwhite rather than an eagle.   Aside from the species of bird the rest of the window will be very similar to his last one and as you can see he's well underway to finishing this already.
Cindy's latest Bicycle wheel is actually completely soldered now and only needs a bit of touching up before it spins its way out the door.  We'll see exactly what this looks like next week.

Lastly we look at the pattern that Linda L will be working on when she returns.   The round sections will be made from five assorted plates  that will be soldered into the window.  There's a trick to this and we'll discuss that as Linda gets further along into this project.

And there you have it.  It was a busy week and it looks like that busy schedule won't be changing any time soon!


Bayou Salé GlassWorks