Monday, August 23, 2021

Anything Can Happen

We've been seeing quite a few broken pieces happen during the soldering process due to heat and I think it's time to pass this tip along in the blog.   Heat cracks happen due to stress points in the glass.   These occur naturally and are a by-product of cutting glass.   The only way to reduce these stress points is to make sure that you grind the edges of all of your glass thoroughly.  Just a quick pass over the grinder wheel is not enough.   Below you can see that although this piece of glass has been touched by a grinder wheel, it has only been ever so slightly ground.  The blue arrows point to the few areas that have been ground with only the arrow on the left being ground correctly.   The white, matte edge is what should appear COMPLETELY around the glass.  That matte finish reduces glass stress considerably.  Also in the picture below are green arrows pointing to deep chips that have been created by pressing too hard on the cutter while scoring your glass.  These 'deep chips' may be less than a 1/16th of an inch deep but these are chips which easily become cracks while soldering.

Here is the same piece of glass after being ground with just a fair amount of pressure along the entire edge against the grinder wheel.  Note the matte finish along the entire edge.   People ask me how hard should they press against the grinder and the answer is simple:   Enough to make your edges appear as shown below.  

Okay then, Sheri's first Yippie Flag Window has been completed and her use of red and green cathedral glass set inside a solid black background makes this as striking at possible.  The picture below captures most of  the stark contrasting colors but the effect is so much more pronounced when you see this window in person.   Sheri has one more of these flags almost completed and it won't be long until that one sees the light of day as well.
Judy's Wine Ladies are toasting to the fact that their 'portrait' (so to speak) has been completed in such a wonderful way!  I have to say that the colors used in this are as vibrant and full of lifeas the ladies are themselves.  This is a fun window to make and it's also a fun window to look at as well.
Cindy's Nicholls Suncatcher was also finished and you can see that she did decided to add a red border to it.   Matching the border glass perfectly to the N that the sword runs through was pure perfection.  Since this window is an oval there is no channel surrounding it since you can't stretch the channel in such a shape.   Sometimes people won't make oval windows because they feel that without channel the window will look unfinished but as you can see that's not the case at all.
Next up we have Linda F's Single Sunflower which was completed both quickly and efficiently.  There are no flaws in this window which features curved inner corners.  That means that a strip cutter can't be used to cut the border since 6 of the 11 border pieces aren't made out of purely straight cuts.  That said, even cut by hand Linda's borders came out looking like they were machine made!
Beth B is back and she's finished up the fish suncatcher that she began working on when she last attended classes with us.  In her first class back she was able to grind her remaining pieces and then wrap, tack and solder this fish together to create one beautiful suncatcher.
Susan D is blazing a path straight through towards Christmas with her four Flower Angels and 2 Van Gogh Spiraling Christmas trees.   Next up for her will be at least two beveled and leaded Christmas Ornaments.
Martha has begun work on a 'Build Your Life' Window that was inspired by a painting by Dylan Hines who is a 7th grader that created the painting for his grandparents.  I will post a picture of that painting after Martha completes this so you can see side by side of just how wonderfully I know this window will look when compared to the original work.
Kerry started a Witching Window and got it all cut out in just one class.   Of course grinding this will take some time because we don't want that red haired witch to look as though she's deformed and we also want all of those straight lines to be straight as well.

MiMi is back in class and so are her hundreds of thousands of Hexagon-like pieces!  This is Window number six and she's already past the halfway point on grinding it.  It's good to have her back.
Susan R's Woman in a Bathtub is really taking shape now that it's essentially ground save for the bubbles.   She's decided to put a border on this when she's finished since it isn't going in a hoop anymore and I feel that will really set this off nicely.   I tend to feel that a window looks a bit empty without a border around it.
Lara, who always inspires with her unique designs and artistic vision, is making a Flowered Hair Ornament section of a Geisha Girl with just the smallest amount of face showing under all of those colorful flowers and hair.  It's a piece that will raise eyebrows for sure!

Speaking of colorful, we also get to look at this vibrant Butterfly Suncatcher that Shawn began.  She's decided to make a few smaller projects now that she's completed what she calls her best piece yet-- her Octagon Diver and Stingray Window.   I think she's really going to like making this though as she can be as free as she wants to be with her color choices.
Linda F cut out this large Beehive Suncatcher that she found on the internet after we changed it up  substantially by making it all one piece and eliminating all of the paint that was in the original picture that was the inspiration to this design.  The changes we made allow the bees to be seen from both the front and the back of the suncatcher, eliminate all the paint used in the original, and make this far, far more structurally solid.
With all of her Round Magnolia Window cut out Tracey is now ready to begin the grinding process on her newest rendition of this timeless classic.    This pattern has become so popular that I had to re draw it since the original had fallen into tatters!  Tracey makes this pattern look so spectacular that I may end up having to re-draw it again in the near future since other students are apt to decide that they need to make it as well.
Shelley's got her Voxel Cats Window all cut, ground and ready to be wrapped.  Or at least I thought so until I looked at the picture and realized that we forgot to cut the noses into place!  I've called her and told her NOT to wrap the heads unless she wants noseless cats and luckily I got to her before she tacked them together.  Next week well get a border on this and three kitty noses as well.
Bee's Flowerpot Window is coming together at a nice pace of speed while all the while maintaining Bee's need for detail and accuracy.   You can see that the pots have all been ground and that the flowers in the pot on the left have also been ground and fitted.   I don't think that this window will take Bee much time at all now to complete.
Judy M started this Cardinal Window that ever so slightly resembles a window that she found on the internet.   Yes, they both feature cardinals but this bird bears no resemblance to the monstrosity that she originally saw.   In fact, only the border on this window is similar and even that's been changed for the better.   Once this is completed, which will probably be very soon,  I'll show you what inspired it and let you decide whose looks best.  Biased as I may be, my money is on Judy's!
Jan got her Eagle/Flag Window all cut and ground.   Well, maybe not ALL cut.  Jan discovered that one piece was missing, one piece had been cut a little too short and a third had a piece broken off that she didn't realized that until she began grinding her window.   These things happen-- I'm making a window right now and discovered that two of my pieces had broke incorrectly and I hadn't realized it until I was grinding.  I just consider these things to be a SLIGHT setback and work onward from there. 

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! It's impossible to see here but Cindy is making two of these windows and they're both at the exact same point in the creation process as they are both shown here in the picture, one stacked on top of the other.  I have to say that her colors are stupendous and make me hungry for Ice Cream!
Linda L made great progress on her two Angel Windows and has the blue angel almost completely wrapped in copper foil while the second pink angel has been ground and is just awaiting foil before it can be tacked together and 'borderized'.  There were a lot of deep cuts to be made in the background glass, some of which needed to be ground out rather than cut out, but Linda handled them with ease and her background glass (as well as the angels) look wonderful.

Barbara tacked her Beveled Window together and in the end decided not to replace the rounded sections with a different glass.  Why?  In the end she felt that the introduction of a new texture drew too much attention to the four rounded pieces and distracted from the overall flow of the window.   She's all set to begin soldering this large piece when she comes back in.
Mary Grace trimmed her tree branches and ended up a number of nicely curved leaves for her Cardinal Hoop design.  With everything cut and ground save for one piece of black glass that surrounds the bird's eye Mary Grace will be able to begin foiling all of her pieces and then work on soldering this together upon her return.     
Betty's on the road to Christmas also as she has cut out and essentially ground four Christmas Reindeer Suncatchers.  The antlers on these will be made with a little creative wire bending but for the life of me I can't recall where the hooks went on these!  Hopefully Betty has a better memory that I do or if that fails then perhaps she still has one of these around that she made last year that we can examine.
And in the end we have Annette's Crow and Moon Window.  It's finished save for a final bath in black patina which we like to let set on the window for at least a half hour and even up to 45 minutes to get a nice black coating.  The only reason she didn't get this completed on Wednesday evening was due to this extended wait time.  We'll unveil this striking window when we see you again next week.
Until then, have a good one! 


Bayou Salé GlassWorks










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