Monday, January 30, 2023

Well There's No Accounting For Taste

Traditional Windows are timeless and MiMi's first of a pair that she is making is a perfect example of why these designs are always so popular.  Everything is 'right' about this window and MiMi's attention to detail sells it all the way through.  Nice straight lines, curves that flow effortlessly and a soldering job that almost looks as though this was made with lead came just add to the stateliness of this beauty.


Next we take a more modern approach to the art of stained glass by looking at Linda F's Abstract Curves Window which features a generous amount of color and flow.  In order not to overuse color Linda has offset the design with various clear textured glasses to provide separation which prevents the window from becoming a mishmash of color.   I think she's balanced it all out wonderfully!


Let made this stunning Red Rosebud Panel and decided to set it off with a thin red accent border.   This just screams of Summertime and her work throughout it is as lovely as the bud itself.

Susan D is fast becoming a Suncatcher Queen.   I love her new Pinwheel Silverware pieces!  These two suncatchers are very geometrical which means that perfection is of the utmost importance since any variation form the pattern will result in a lopsided suncatcher.   Repeating patterns are much more difficult than most people realize but Susan makes it look easy. 
Let also completed her latest Modern Cross with the greatest of ease and decided to use more muted, demure colors in this one.   There's a touch of dark blue in the very center but by and large Let went with colors that blended together evenly rather than going with colors that had high amounts of contrast. The end result is beautiful.
And here's the last of our completed projects of the week.  It's (obviously) a Cat Window that I made as an order.  The wire whiskers really set it off nicely, don't you think?


All good things take time and Kerry's Poinsettia Window is certainly no exception.  He was hoping to have it ready in time for Christmas of 2022 but the glass manufacturer that makes the 'seasonal' glass that Kerry wanted for the background didn't begin shipping the glass until the week before Christmas!  By the time we got it in the shop the holiday was over.  Kerry isn't going to wait though and he's continuing on with this window which is going to be amazing.  That background glass definitely worth the wait.   Look out because this is going to turn every head that sees it. Stunning!

Sheri's Mardi Gras Masks Window was one that I'd completely forgotten about.  She started it last year but when she missed the Mardi Gras deadline she put it aside and worked on other things.   Now she's feeling the rush again for this year but it looks as though she's got this well under control.  It's going to be a winner for sure!

Melissa's Address Window will be finished before you know it!  With everything cut and ground she's now wrapping all of her pieces so she can tack it together and then get her red border cut for it.  Believe me when I say that the color that she's chosen for the border ties the entire window together perfectly. 

After completing her Abstract Curves Window Linda F got right to work on this Dove and Cross Suncatcher.   At the end of the class she had it all cut out and had only one piece left to grind while I was snapping its picture.  I'm expecting this to be completed (along with it's decorative wire work) when Linda comes back in.

Jeannette is back and she's already got one of my favorite Angel Patterns all cut out of assorted clear textures.  It's also ground as well which tells me that Jeannette hasn't lost her stained glass touch at all.    She's a lean, mean cutting and grinding machine!
I'm happy to show you how this project has taken shape.   You really couldn't appreciate the pattern for this when we last saw it but now that Ann's Joseph and Child Jesus is ground and wrapped in foil the entire scene has come to life.  Next week she'll be tacking this together and then adding some background glass and a border to it so that it becomes a panel rather than a suncatcher.  
Well, it would appear that Martha is burning her stained glass candle at both ends-- both in class and at home.  The subject of her Mermaid Window has been all cut, ground, wrapped and tacked together already!  That means that she'll be picking out a background glass for this when she comes back in and since she'll cut that out by tracing the mermaid around it, the process will go VERY quickly.
Susan D is always making new and fun suncatchers and below we have a look at a few of the new projects that she is working on.   The smallest things sell the quickest and Susan just keeps on hammering out the fun stuff!

Edmee had an extremely productive night  as she finished both grinding and then wrapping all of the pieces for her Yin and Yang Window.  Then she even managed to get it all tacked together which means that borders are on her horizon.  She's already picked out the colors and will begin on them upon her return.
Lara asked me for an outline of Africa a few weeks back and said that she wanted to fill it in with something on her own.  This week she brought the pattern back in and it now has a beautiful landscape scene drawn in it complete with a sunrise.   She's begun cutting the many layers of landscape and got about halfway finished with it on her first night of work.   I can't wait to see this one lit up for sure!

This Seafood Window is really coming together.  All of the pieces have been ground and Angie is now foiling everything so she can get her newsprint background glass behind everything.  I have a sneaking suspicion that we'll be showing you the newsprint within a week or two.
With just four pieces left to foil I'm stating for the record that Shelley's Peeping Cat Suncatcher will be finished when she comes back in.   I noticed that she's wrapped the green eyes but we're actually going to cut them and put black glass pupils in the center of them.   They're big enough to be able to do this easily and pretty exactly.   I always suggest doing pupils in eyes AFTER the entire piece has been ground because you never want you eyes to get twisted and distorted.
We also have Cindy's Dog which is almost completed as she's tacked the window together and gotten the border cut for it.  There are only a few border pieces left for her to wrap and then this window will be pretty much wrapped up because it won't take Cindy any time at all to solder this.
With the first of her two borders tacked onto her Nativity Scene Window Roxane is getting ready to add the final border and then finish soldering this beast of a window.  At nearly three feet wide you can see why I'm calling it a beast-- it's impressive! And the good news is that Roxane has most of the front soldered already so it won't take long for her to flip it over and finish up the back side.

We also have another Nativity Scene in the works using the same basic pattern but presented in a completely different fashion.  Linda L's Nativity Window will be a series of three separate windows rather than one long one.   The center section (seen below) will feature an angular top whereas the panels on the right and left will be rectangular.  The glass for Linda's night sky arrived yesterday so we'll see that get cut into place when Linda comes back in.

Martha also worked on the background of her sewing machine but I see where I steered her wrong and will have to make a small cut to make her thread connect all throughout the window.  It's an extremely simple fix and one that I doubt anyone would notice if it wasn't pointed out to them, but hey, we know about it so we will do something about it. Other than that though, this is looking wonderful.


This Angel Window is really coming together now!   Last week there were unground pieces of glass scattered here and there (you can only work so fast) but this week there are only a handful of pieces left that need to be ground.   Once that upper right corner is filled in Annette will begin foiling this inspirational window.

Mary Grace loves letters! (Did you catch my sarcasm there??)  She's working on the WELLNESS section of her window and is slowly turning rough shapes into distinct letters.   The problem with letters is that they are so small and detailed that you have to cut out the basic shape of them and then get them to REALLY resemble the letters at the grinder.  It's time consuming and it's a real chore but in the end the work is always worth it.
And to finish things off here we take a look at the Filigree Dragonfly Wings that Let cut glass for.  She used the actual brass wings as a pattern that she traced onto the glass, cut and ground each wing so that they fit perfectly and then foiled the filigree to the glass as if it were once piece.   When she solders her window she'll solder the filigree the same way that she would any other lead line resulting in wings that appear to be made of hundreds of perfectly fitting miniscule pieces of glass!


And there you have it.   Things are really picking up again in the shop and we're starting to produce a lot of projects again.   There's always a lull right after the holidays but that lull has officially ended!


Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Perfect Corners and Alignment


Alignment issues are always most prominent across straight lines.   Beginning stained glass crafters have so much to pay attention to that once something fits they just assume that it is correct, but that is not always the case.   We want things to not only fit, but align correctly as well. 

Look at the pieces that form the corners of the two borders in the picture below.  They fit, but they do not line up correctly.    The orange arrows in the image on the right highlight the problem areas where alignment is off.


Here is the same border with perfect alignment.  Note how the lead lines connect perfectly as they cross paths (highlighted in red). 

The first step to perfect corner alignment is making sure that your corner pieces are perfectly square.   If they are square they can't poke out beyond their correct position.  If they are not square they will ALWAYS poke out somewhere no matter how you turn them.


Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, January 23, 2023

It Depends On Who's Holding It

Susan D completed her Linking Bevels Suncatcher which twists and spins while radiating little rainbows when it's in the sunlight.   These go together quickly once you know the trick but cleaning these multi-beveled pieces is the real 'fun' part of the job.


Susan D can't get enough of  her 3D beveled pieces!  Along with her Linking Bevels Susan managed to completed this Moravian Star as well.  And there's surely more on the way since she took more 3x3x3 bevels home to wrap and tap.


Susan R put the finishing touches on her newest Pansy Flower Pot Ornament.   This is built on 5 different layers which makes the cutting go far easier than if Susan had to cut out the deep curves around the front darkest flower petals.   Layers made this a much easier pattern.

Nancy isn't quite a new student but she made a Butterfly with us this week while she filled in Steve's open spot in the class.   Nancy was worried about her abilities when it came down to cutting glass but she breezed through the glass cutting lesson with the greatest of ease.   She did a wonderful job and her stunning green/gold Butterfly proves that she had no problems whatsoever.

Long ago I had seen a Beaded Spider online and had to see if I could figure out how to make them myself.   I purchased enough beads to make two of them and the first one went together easily but I got distracted while making the second one and wasn't able to focus on my counting out the beads for each leg and put it all away.  I found it the other day and this time around my counting was perfect and this stylish Spider was completed.  You really have to see this in the sunlight to truly appreciate it.



Edmee began work on her first window with us this week and she decided to go with a Yin and Yang design.  The curves are plentiful in this design so we sectioned it off into some smaller pieces so that if a thin edge broke she wouldn't have to use another square foot of glass to replace it.  So far though, Edmee has succeeded in cutting out everything without any breaks and even has half of the window ground already.

Judy got almost all of her crab window cut out in one night but was short one piece of glass due to the grain lines limiting the placement of the pattern pieces on the glass.   Judy will cut that missing piece when she returns with some more of that glass and then begin grinding.


Lisa worked on a large suncatcher of a colorful Luna Moth.   This circular piece is about 8 inches in diameter and I can't wait to see what texture and/or shade of green she'll be using to finish this off.   Of course, she can always go with a color other than green but since she colored in her pattern I'm just assuming that will be the color.

June has her cat all ground and wrapped which means that she'll be cutting out a background for this upon her return.  She's decided to make that cat sit on something rather than have it suspended in a clear background but we haven't worked out the exact details yet.  We'll see what she decides upon when we return next week. 

Annette's Angels Window has been all cut out and now she's in the midst of grinding it all together. I know it's hard to see but the  clear glass that she's using for the angel wings is made of iridized waterglass.  That means that not only will it have a multi-colored effect to it, it will also have some texture as well.  That we'll see when it gets some light behind it.
Susan D is working on a Multicolored Starburst Suncatcher.  That pattern has been modified slightly since you've last seen this so that each piece the same.  Yep, all eight pieces of glass were cut from one pattern piece.  Nice.

Mary Grace's window is experiencing a novel 'WELLNESS'  due to all of the new red letters and white background glass  that she cut out this week.  Once they are ground and tacked together the final word 'HOUMA' should be a piece of cake!
This week Jan got the center of her Our Lady of Guadalupe Window tacked together and then set upon cutting out the final radiating background pieces that reach out to the border of this piece.  We were missing two of the pattern pieces so those will be cut after the rest of the pieces have been tacked together.  Since Jan took the ground pieces she'd ground home to wrap I'm pretty sure that we'll see this get a border cut when she comes back in.

Speaking of borders, MiMi's Traditional Window now has its pair of borders attached and is now being soldered.    With the front side being nearly completed I do believe that this will be finished next week.   Once that's done MiMi will begin work on the second matching window for this pair.

Sheri has her first Dragonfly almost completed.   With the filigree wings and the body all tacked together Sheri then set upon making a small decorative background and border to hold the dragonfly together and give it some personality.
It's official-- Angie has all of her Seafood not only cut out but ground as well.  She's going to wrap all of these pieces and then tack them together so that her newsprint background glass can be arranged in a manor that will make it appear to be a complete continuous sheet (or two) of newspaper underneath all of the food. 


Cindy's Dog Window is coming together quickly especially when you take all of those background pieces into consideration.   People often tell me that their window has no background glass because there is no clear glass surrounding the subject but there is ALWAYS a background.  It's whatever is residing behind the main subject, which in this case is a veritable field of flowers. 
Let's Rose Bud Window got it's two borders attached and then she set upon soldering it.  With the front side complete it's a safe bet to say that this will be among our finished pieces in our next post.

Melissa's Address Window is being ground now that her clear seafoam background glass  has been cut.   These are nice large pieces with sweeping curves so the grinding process should go pretty quickly for her, especially since her cutting is top notch.
Linda F is nearing completion on her Abstract Curves Window which we've learned will hang in a landscape orientation  rather than in the portrait position as I have been showing in in the past two weeks.  Either way is fine, in fact, there's not even a 'correct' top and bottom when it comes to a design like this.  It's all about what looks best to the person who owns it.

Martha's Sewing Machine is almost completely ground with only the clear glue chip background needing to be fitted into place.   Because we want the background to fit the sewing machine we don't grind the background until the sewing machine is ground perfectly.   Once that's done she'll make the background align with the sewing machine.   You NEVER want to alter your subject matter to fit within the background pieces-- you always work in the other direction.

Cheryl finished grinding her Cardinal and then began wrapping all of her pieces.   She had a problem with one piece of sky and a piece of the branch that the Cardinal is sitting on but when she gets this tacked together she will easily fill in those two missing pieces.
And there you have it.