Monday, April 25, 2022

If You Need A Treat-- Do It!

It's been another hectic week so were just jumping straight into things here starting with Susan R's Girl On A Swing.   This piece took on a life of its own after Susan decided that it looked somewhat barren and added the tree limb and the green ground below the girl.   The hoop does EXACTLY what it's supposed to do-- provide an open airiness while holding the scene together.  Doesn't this look as though it's floating??? Bravo!

Lara decided to make her Wrought Iron Cross using two different yet similar colored sheets of glass.   Here's the kicker-- aside from the four pieces that make up the blue diamond in the center the other pieces of blue come from the same sheet of glass that the rest of the cross was cut from.  Lara carefully positioned each pattern piece on the various colors that made up the multicolored sheet of glass that she picked for this cross.   Her careful planning makes this look incredible.
Linda F managed to get her first LSU Plaque finished.   All it needed was some channel around the edges.   I think the simple tweaks that we made on this pattern elevate it from nice to wonderful (as well as being completely steadfast.)  Of course, Linda's workmanship also factors greatly into its awesomeness!
Let has been a busy woman!   Her Owl and her Sunflower Heart are amazing pieces of work especially when you take into consideration just how new she is to the stained glass game.  The all too common problem of a ragged edged heart was completely avoided by Let as she ground and  aligned each piece to fit perfectly together.

Robert began a new Door Insert this week and he's well on his way now that the design has been drawn up and his bevels are wrapped.   I always insist that a bevel border be tacked together before doing any other work on the window so the rest of the pieces can be ground to fit within the framework of the bevels.   It may sound like you're working backwards but things just fit together so much more perfectly when you use this method.   There's nothing worse than looking at a window with a beveled border that doesn't line up correctly.

Betty has got three Rosebud panels coming together.  She's already got two of them ground with the third one being very near to completion.   She also has her border pieces cut into strips and if she can get these three windows wrapped in foil and get the front sides soldered I think she'll easily have these completed upon her return next week.

Martha has really stepped up her game because she seems to come in with a new window just about each week.  This butterfly is ready to be foiled and soldered when she comes back in and this is only the first time we're seeing it!   The reason she was able to grind this so quickly was because her cutting was so exact.   Careful cutting may take a little more time to get your pieces all cut out but it speeds up the grinding process so much that you actually end up saving time.
With both sides soldered on her Peacock Window Mary Grace is very close to washing and coloring this.   The only thing left to do is add the channel that will surround the window and replace the one piece of glass that was accidentally cut from the wrong color.  She's already got the bad piece knocked out so I know we'll see this completed upon her return.

Mary likes her Hummingbird and Flower Panel so much that she's going to put a second one together right after she finishes this one.   She got her background and border cut out this week and then even got it all tacked together which means that this is very close to being finished.   Expect to see another one of these being cut out real soon now.

Cheryl's Birdhouse is also well under construction as she completed the front and back of the house and then moved along to cutting and grinding the brown pieces of glass that make up the roof of the bird house.   The roof will be very interesting because it's made up of six overlapping slats (three per side) that have been wrapped in scalloped foil.  We'll show you just what that will look like when you see this again next week.
June got her large Rooster Suncatcher completely ground  and has moved along to the foiling phase of its creation.   She's taken it home so she can wrap it before she comes back in and therefore hopefully get this completed upon her return.  It will be close but as long as it's wrapped in foil when she walks in the door, I think that she can do it.

It's very hard to see that Fractures and Streamers glass that Susan D is using for the background of her Fall Window but it's there.   The colors in the F&S glass are perfect for this 'fall' application and I think we'll see the opened areas in the center of this window filled in when Susan returns next week.

With the front and back side of his Shrimp De Lis Window soldered all Kerry has left to do is add a channel and a little wire work that will really set these shrimp off.  Look out because the end is near!  


Wow, is Annette's Transom Window is really coming together now or what?  There are just 6 pieces of background left to cut and then she'll move along to begin work on the two borders that will finish this off.  We all know how quickly borders go so this I think it's safe to say that this window is nearly finished.

The crab may not look like much right now but Linda L's Beach Scene has come alive with color now that the crab has been cut into the sand.   It still needs some eyes painted on it to really finish it off but that will easily happen next week.  This appears to be another window that will be completed when we next see it..


And last but not least is another Hexagon Window that MiMi has all ground and fitted together.  This even has two rows wrapped in copper foil already! These are really flying off of the 'press' quickly now so before you know it MiMi will be cutting curves again. 


And there you have it.   There's been a lot of excellent work done this week and I hope this post showcased it well.


Bayou Salé GlassWorks




Monday, April 11, 2022

Grandma Has A Minty Booty

When things go wrong, let's say a piece of glass you've scored doesn't break the way you wanted it to, don't just repeat the same exact process without examining the situation first.   Ask yourself why it broke.  If you can figure out why it broke then you can most likely fix the situation on the second pass rather than experiencing the same result.  Perhaps you'll realize that you've forgotten to cut 'Point to Point'.  If so, fix that.   Perhaps the break was following the score line perfectly until the very end where it then veered off.   If so, perhaps using your pliers on the other end of the cut instead of the side you first tried will help.   If the hook you are trying to attach keeps wavering out of position perhaps you can brace the pliers you are using to hold the hook against something to prevent them from moving.  If the poster board keeps shifting under the pattern you are tracing you should try taping it down more securely.

Look at all bad situations and try to ascertain what went wrong.   If you can't figure that out or come up with another way to attack the situation then 1) STOP and 2) Bring the problem to class where we will figure it out together.

Things happen for a reason and if you take the time to figure why things went wrong you can usually rectify the problem.

So take a look at this Address Transom that Cindy made!  It's already been installed at the Lamplighter Coffee House and Bistro in Franklin, LA.  This picture in no way hints at the size of this piece.  Perhaps the next two pictures will.

 Here's the window as seen from outside.  Those red numbers match the color of the door wonderfully.  The mailman isn't going to have any problem figuring out what mail comes here!
And here we have a picture of the window as seen from inside the Coffee Shop.   The motif is spot on and Cindy's work was flawless because when they went to install it the window fit into the opening like a glove.

Next up have Sheri's Stained Glass Cross/Heart now completed.  You have to admit that all of those colors draw your eye straight to this cross.  She used an etched clear border that definitely looks white in the picture but is actually somewhat transparent when seen in person.  

Martha's made an evening sky Cresting Wave Window and this is another project where the colors contribute greatly to the finished piece.  She could have gone all blues but this flat out rocks with all of that color. Waves are not measured in feet and inches; they are measured in increments of beauty.
As hoped, Robert was able to complete his second Door Insert.   I realize that I've been using the wrong terminology in the past weeks referring to these as Transoms but the point was still made.  Here's the final second panel as it left the shop.
And here are both Inserts residing in the doors that they will call home for a long, long time.  Absolutely gorgeous.
And this is Steve's latest lantern all lit up and proving that even scrap glass can build an extraordinary piece of art.  All it takes is a bit of talent, some imagination (and a good woman beside you). 
Judy's newest Open Arms Angel is the last of these we'll see for a while.  I could be wrong but I'm thinking that she started this only last week and here, two weeks later, it's completed.   I think that's incredible progress because even though we've  trimmed out some of the superfluous pieces this is still a fairly complex project.  And Judy made it look simple.
Sheri also finished another Easter Rabbit and has one more to make which will be even larger than this one.  Something tells me that we won't see that big bunny because the person who ordered it probably wants it in time for Easter and we won't be having any more classes until the week after. 
Betty has another passel of Suncatchers finished and ready to be sold.  You can easily see the three different Tulips that she made but what I didn't add to the picture are the other five Dragonflies she walked out the door with.   The more items I add the smaller the image gets so I figured one dragonfly would give you the general idea.
And here's the last of our completed projects.  This is the actual Cross that Ann finished last week.  I like to keep a week by week record of what everyone was working during class and Ann was gracious enough to bring her Cross back in when she realized that I hadn't snapped a picture.  You've got to love that Krinkle Glass that she used for every piece of this Cross.   The only problem with Krinkle is that you don't use it without cutting yourself at lease a few dozen times because it is razor sharp!


Ann also began work on a colorful hodgepodge of Polygons.  When this is completed she'll be adding a cross on top of this colorful design.  She's begun cutting the yellow glass but has the rest of her colors all mapped out now.  That means that we'll see a lot more color in this when we see it again.

Jan's newest project is a Plate Window.  She's already ground the edges of the plate and wrapped it in copper foil so that it can be soldered directly into the window. You may have noticed that the four corners are missing.   Things were very tight in getting this cut out of one sheet of glass.   Truth be told, we couldn't do it without taking one strip from another sheet.  At first we thought that we'd need a second strip from the second sheet to make the corners but we're going to get those from the circular waste piece that the plate has replaced.  Waste not, want not.
With two of her side panels completed Cheryl has moved on over to the back panel which she cut, ground, wrapped and tacked together.  Her next panel will be the reverse of this with a hole in the center to allow birds access to this wonderful bird apartment.
Speaking of birds, Mary has her Bird and Flower Panel all cut out  and ground save for the leaves.  Once she wraps and tacks the bird together she will fit the final three leaves, tack them into place and then cut out the background.  Honestly, this is almost finished already.
With the center initial oval of her Transom Window tacked together Annette has begun cutting the clear textured pieces behind the flowers.   She's already got a quarter of it cut out and tacked but they are impossible to see the glass against the white pattern paper.  What you can see though, is the iridescent colors in the white glass that she used for the background of the 'M'.   You can only see it where the florescent bulbs are reflecting across the glass but at least it's somewhat visible!

June has certainly gotten the hang of grinding pieces to make good, clean fits.  It looks to me as though she's got the hardest parts of this Rooster ground so I think she'll be able to finish the remaining grinding and then move along to foiling each of these pieces when she comes back in.
Susan R's Girl On A Swing was essentially finished but then Susan decided that it looked somewhat bare.  When Susan comes back in she'll have added a branch to the top and some green grass below this swingin' girl.   Trust me when I say that it's going to be stunning!

After she finished washing and waxing her Transom Address Window Cindy was going to relax and take it easy for the remainder of the night but then she saw that she had about 45 minutes left to go.   It wasn't a lot of time when you consider a full class is three hours but she decided to work a bit on her LSU Plaque.  Just look at what she accomplished in that time!  Making stained glass CAN be a slow process but if you sneak in just a little bit of work here and there you can move glass mountains!

Now that Lisa has the six panels of her Spinner all ground, wrapped and soldered all that's left to do is to join these all together by soldering the connecting seams.  She's got a mold (or is it a jig?) made for that and I know that she's made some of these on her own so perhaps this will be completed before she comes back to class.  She's got a good man beside her to help if she needs.   I just hope she gets a picture of it spinning in the wild for me!
Susan D's Fall Panel is all foiled and ready to be tacked together so she can next cut her background glass.  Why did she wait to cut and grind the background (aside from the fact that I told her to)?  Well, when you have this many pieces your window is going to grow a bit after you've foiled it (you've actually placed two pieces of foil between every piece).  Not having the background cut out allows things to expand inward without having things twist horribly out of shape.   We may have smaller background pieces but this is what we want.   The subject should NEVER be altered to fit the background.   Cutting the background glass after the subject has been foiled and tacked together is the best way to handle a tight situation!
With her new flower for the upper right corner drawn out Shawn was able to both cut it AND grind it as well as tack it together.   The same goes for the flower in the upper left!  In the weeks to come she'll be grinding one arm at a time and tacking it together as she goes along.  This is really taking shape now.

With just three to go, number three is getting close!   MiMi will most likely need a cutting lesson if she can't recall how to cut curves after a year of straight line cutting.  Let the count down commence!
Mary Grace has the front side of her first of two Peacocks soldered so she'll be flipping this over and doing the back side when she returns.   She took her time soldering and her lead lines prove it.  Many people rush through the soldering process and end up having to do lines over and over and over because they just didn't travel slowly enough on the first pass.   Slow and steady ALWAYS wins the race when it comes to soldering and it's the only way to get a smooth, even bead.
With her Wrought Iron Cross all tacked together this will be done before you know it.  Lara has made sure that everything is perfectly symmetrical (she accomplished that by following the lines of the pattern) and that means that this will hang nice and straight.  For a cross with only two different sheets of glass in it, this sure is colorful!

And to wrap things up we take a look at Kerry's Shrimp De Lis Window.   Each of those pieces of glass has been wrapped in foil and when Kerry returns he'll get a border on this and then begin soldering.  The end is truly near.  He just has to decide on a border color (or colors if he decides to double border this).

And that's all there was to write about.  Everyone have a very Happy Easter! 


Monday, April 4, 2022

She's Just A Psycho With Red Boots

When making a suncatcher (or any project that won't get a channel around its outside edge) it is extremely important that you be sure to start and stop your foil where another piece of glass will butt up against it.   The reasoning behind this is to prevent the heat from the soldering iron from loosening the adhesive that secures the foil to the glass.  Should it heat up too much the foil will come free as shown in the picture below.  The only way to fix the issue is to re-foil the piece completely-- a patch won't do because a patch will always leave TWO ends starting and stopping on an outside edge.   In the example below I demonstrated on just a single piece of glass.  If you are making a suncatcher or a window then you'd have to break the piece loose from the project to wrap it correctly.  That's a LOT of extra work. Just pay attention when you are foiling and this problem will never happen to you.



Well look at this!  What makes Martha's Yellow Rose so extraordinary is the fact that it's surrounded by nothing but clear textures and bevels.   That places the viewer's eye purely on the flower.  You can clearly see the unbroken flow of the baroque background glass behind the rose which was carefully separated from one sheet of glass cut to the size of the background.  The fact that the texture has been preserved throughout window reveals Martha's skills. 

Jan's Olde Fashion Santa pattern was actually based on an old Christmas card.  The look is unique and creating this window taught Jan the stained glass technique of overlaying previously cut and ground pieces on top of a larger background piece and then separating it for perfect, quick fits.

Our latest Easter Bunny was made by Sheri who applied the wire work and the eye herself.   Some of our students worry way too much about those two processes (wire and painting) but as you can see below Sheri did a top notch job doing both.  Of course the stained glass part is nothing to sneeze at either!

Ann finished her large Modern Cross but she left before I could get a finished picture of it.  What you see below is the same Cross Pattern done is assorted clear textures which  is similar to what Ann made.   The big difference is that Ann used the same textured glass throughout her Cross.  

Next up we begin our tour of projects that are still under construction starting with Susan R's Girl in a Swing.   This will be set into a hoop and from the looks of things this girl will be swinging away in full form when we see her again next week. 


Martha has also begun a Louisiana Iris Panel and although she loves the glass that she's using for the flower, the glass doesn't love her.  It's proving to be a bit difficult to cut but because of her patience and perseverance she's almost finished using that tricky glass.

Mary's  begun work on a Humming Bird and Flower Panel.   In just one class she's gotten the majority of it cut out  so I'm thinking that this will be headed to the grinder when she comes back.   This panel is the  perfect size and design for placing the subjects (the bird and flower) on top of a piece of background glass and then separating it for a quick easy fit.

Lara is making what I've dubbed the 'Wrought Iron Cross'.   I've seen outlines of this design done as metal wall art and it also strikes me as something that could easily be done in wrought iron.   Alas, Lara has also unwittingly picked a glass that's beautiful but very difficult to cut.  By the end of the night all was cut however some pieces will need a little more grinding and shaping than others.  I guess this goes to show that beauty can have a price...

As I said last week, Robert's second transom window wouldn't take long at all.  This week he got everything but his channel attached and then I did that for him just to be sure that he gets this completed in time for Easter.   With only the soldering left to go I know that he'll finish this and not have to worry about racing the clock.
At the other end of the Cross spectrum we have a Cross made out of a large assortment of colors.  Sheri's multi-colored Cross/Heart reminds me of something that you might find in an old, small, out of the way church.  Made with mostly scraps these crosses are loaded with charm and sentiment!

June finished cutting all of the pieces for her Rooster Suncatcher and even though it isn't ground you can clearly see just how good this is going to look when it's completed.   This piece is all about color and I don't think the colors could have been chosen better than this.

Barbara is branching out of her comfort zone by making a medium sized Panel lamp.   A Panel lamp is rounded by making (in this instance) eight flat 'panels'  each which are soldered and finished as eight separate panels.  These are then angled together to form a lamp that 'curves'.   It may sound confusing but you'll see the process work itself together in the weeks to come.   Today Barbara cut out eight purple flowers, one for each 'side' of her lamp.
Kerry's worked on grinding his Shrimp De Lis Window and even finished that part of the building process.  That means that he'll be wrapping all of these pieces in foil when he comes back in.   This pattern features some wire work but I'm sure Kerry will have no problem with that.  The best part about the wires in this pattern is that they really don't have to be exactly placed.   This is one of those rare instances where close is good enough which makes this a great introduction to the art of wire working!

Cindy's Coffee Themed Address Transom is huge , but best of all it's almost completed.   This week she got two borders attached and both sides all soldered (the front was basically soldered since she did that last week).  All Cindy needs to do is wash and color this so she can take it home!
Steve has two more panels cut (one of them ground) for his four sided  Lantern.  He's getting VERY good at this as he was able to cut out an entire panel without using any pattern pieces.  Yep, Steve was winging it as he went along!

Susan D was busy wrapping all of the pumpkins, birds, leaves letters and scarecrows that make up her Fall Panel.  As she picks up each piece she had to make a decision as to whether she wanted to use 7/32 foil on it or the smaller 3/16.  There's no right or wrong here and yes, you are certainly allowed to mix and match foil sizes throughout a window.  It's all based on the size of the piece and the thickness of the glass you are wrapping.
Let has her version of the Owl Suncatcher all cut and ground.  For somebody who's new at this stained glass thing she certainly is working like an old pro at it!

And here's MiMi's latest.  It's all assembled and she managed to get two complete columns ground.  She'll be foiling before you know it!  3..2..1.

With solder on the front side of her LSU Plaque I'd say that it's safe to assume that Linda F will have this completed upon her return.   Aside from solder on the back side there are only six small pieces of brass channel to add which can be soldered into place in about 3 minutes. 

Cheryl has the second of her four panels that make up the sides of her Birdhouse ground and wrapped.  That means that Cheryl will be tacking it together and then starting on the larger front and back panels of her 3D project.   The remaining panels will be much taller than these two so they're going to be constructed in a different jig which we'll see next week.

Judy's second Arms Opened Angel is all cut and ground so she was able to begin foiling all of her pieces.   With a little luck she'll be able to finish this when she comes back.  I love the color that Judy picked for the robe.  It's actually two different pieces of green glass but they blend together wonderfully because the differences are subtle rather than striking.

And in the end we look at Betty's latest slew of suncatchers.   Always busy cutting glass, Betty has two more Dragonfly Spoons and two Circular Tulip Suncatchers in various stages of completion.  Some are tacked together, some still need foil but I have no doubt that all four will be finished within a blink of an eye!

So there you have it.  There's only one more set of classes before Easter hits so the race is on.  I'm pretty sure we'll see one more Rabbit get completed but who knows what else will walk in the door!