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. 

Monday, January 16, 2023

Please Be Kind, Rewind

Linda L came in with a mission and a deadline:  Make one Invitation Box in just three hours.  As you can see, she did it!  These double border boxes are rich with elegance and Linda's work just took the entire project to a whole new level.



Let's Rose/Cross is absolutely stunning like all her other work with us.  Perfect curves and a wonderful color combination make this elegant Cross come to life. 


Susan D made these two colorful suncatchers in record time.  As sensational as the Peacock Feather is I must say that the Starburst Flower Design really catches my eye due to its rock solid symmetry.  You can easily judge how talented a stained glass artist is by looking at any of their work that features symmetry.  It's safe to say that Susan's eye for balance is spot on.

A butterfly can mean only one thing and that's a new student!  Edmee had no problem whatsoever in cutting, grinding, or even soldering her first piece with us.   She'll be working on a Yin Yang Window when she comes back in and I can't wait to see her dive into that piece!

Sheri has two different Dragonflies in the works and both feature filigree wings.  She's the first person in the shop to make the wings out of something other than clear glass and those orange wings she picked for the top Dragonfly look absolutely STUNNING!

Ann wanted to make a small window of St Joseph and Jesus working in the carpentry shop and this is the image we came up with.  There's going to be an added touch at the end that even Ann doesn't know about yet so this will get very interesting, very soon!
Let is making what has become a staple in our classes.   This Rosebud Window  has been made many times and in many different sizes.  Let is making a small 12 x 12 version and it's, as you can already see, divine. 

Meanwhile, June's Cat is adorable!  Now that she has it completely ground she's able to begin wrapping so she can then tack it together and decide if she wants it centered in a piece of background glass or sitting on a table/floor before adding the background glass.  Decisions, decisions...

Cindy's Dog Window is really shaping up as she got all of the green background glass cut out along with four of the seven flowers!   You can already see just how great this window is going to look when it is completed.
Angie's Seafood Window is about getting to the point where we will have to fire the kiln so we can make some 'newspaper' glass.  With just a handful of pieces left to grind Angie will surely be wrapping pieces when we next see her.
Linda F's Abstract Curves Window was completely cut out while she was in class this week.  Those little yellow dots that you see in the lower right of the window are pin heads which means that Linda has already begun grinding her pieces and that this window will be done before you know it.

Melissa only had numbers completed on her Address Window when she walked in the door but she now has a healthy chunk of this window cut out now.   There are only two colors left for her to decide on, her background and her border.   Trust me, it will all be smooth sailing after that!

And suddenly three panels become one large window!  Roxane got her Nativity scene all tacked together and the only thing left to do is add a double border around it.   It will be a Merry day indeed when this is completed and that will be soon.

MiMi got her first border attached and yes it's beveled.  After that was finished she moved along to the second dark steel blue border.   Next she'll add corner pieces and then solder this so she can  move on to the second window of this series of two.
Shelley's Peaking Cat Window Ornament is all cut out and coming together now that he's being ground..  He looks odd only because he has no pupils in his eyes yet.  That WILL be handled though.

Martha was busy grinding her night away and she's working from the bottom up on her Sewing Machine Window.  I'll just simply state for the record that blue is my favorite color so you probably know what I think of her newest window... 

Susan R has a new 3D Pansy Flowerpot Ornament under construction and it's officially ready to be soldered and staked. The top may look a little bare but she was working on those petals when I snapped the picture.
It's hard to believe that these random bevels will be turned into two sparkling 3D hanging pieces with the help of Susan D's stained glass skills.  Next week we'll take a look at just what she makes with these and you WILL be amazed.

Judy has a crab window in mind to be made but she's currently unsure what color(s) she plans on making it out of.  We'll see what she decides on next week when she begins cutting out glass for this.
Th-th-th-that's all folks!!

Monday, January 9, 2023

Love Ya More

This Humming Bird and Iris Window has upped Sheri's ante when it comes to her stained glass talents. Her curves are all smooth and flowing (especially along the outer edge which is important because it isn't hidden by channel) and her pieces fit and align perfectly.   I love it!

Next up we have the same window made by a different artist.  Let picked an entirely different color scheme and made the same window only differently.  Now I have to say that a few weeks back we saw Betty make this same window and all three are uniquely different.   Rather than copying a similar color scheme each woman made the window with their own pallet of colors and textures.  THIS is what we like to see.

MiMi had a cow this week and it's the cutest thing.  Instead of having this hang from a window she made this as a standing piece that is propped up by a wooden base so Bessie can sit on a table or a desk.  MiMi even twisted a strand of wire to form the length of the tail.  Pure excellence!


Cindy completed this Santa Face during her brief time away from class and ended up with a charming gift.  Painted eyes put the finishing touch on this jolly little suncatcher.

Now that my large windows have been completed (I'll feature them next week) I've been able to do a couple of small items over the past week.   This Angel Wing Cross was inspired by one of my favorite sources for ideas-- a piece of jewelry.  As I drew the pattern out I was unhappy with the conversion but a few changes here and there fixed it nicely.
I also made this standard Dragonfly design but incorporated an unconventional background to it by using an unsymmetrical curved diamond design (I love to buck symmetry and throw in curves and angles whenever I can).  This also featured filigree wings which helps to make it resemble a piece that L.C. Tiffany might have created.
Dragonflies abound with Betty as she knocked out 4 more of them while in class.  Yes, I can count and realize that I only have two pictured but that's all that I took pictures of.  Her use of silverware handles for the dragonfly's bodies along with decorative solder drops has made these Betty's trademark piece.

Martha is working on her own Sewing Machine Window and with just three hours of work in on it I must say that she's making excellent time with it.  This is the third version of this window that we've seen made in as many months and Martha was not afraid to create her own color scheme.
June has started this wonderfully proud Cat Suncatcher which she will be turning into an actual  window.  She's managed to cut it all out in one night and will begin grinding it when she returns.  Once that's done she'll tack it together and cut out her background glass.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

With her Humming Bird  window off of her work table, Let has decided to fill the empty space by making this fancy Rose/Cross Suncatcher.   I've always admired this pattern because it puts the cross at two different angles making it unsymmetrical in a lovely and delicate way.

Linda F has started the new year by beginning a geometric Window with a twist-- there are barely any straight lines in it. Oh, they are there but you really have to look for them.  This is a window that pulls you in because of the way it all flows and connects.
Then there's Linda L who has started her three panel Nativity Scene as early as possible because she says that if she waits until the end of the year she's concerned that she might not have it done in time for Christmas.  This IS the way to handle things-- do what NEEDS to be done first, then move along to the things you want to do which don't have a deadline.
Cheryl has the majority of her new Cardinal Window cut out already.  The few remaining pieces will be cut when she returns and then she'll be able to move on over to the grinder.  This will feature the same border system that her last cardinal window incorporated so they'll be a matching pair.  (While bucking symmetry!)
Cindy is working on a Dog Window with a background that will contrast wonderfully with the pure black dog head.   It's all about flowers and yes, it will be a lot of work but the end result is going to be spectacular, mark my words.
On the opposite side of the spectrum we look at Shelley's pure black Cat Head Suncatcher.   This is an angled project that rests flush against the side of a window so that it appears as though the cat is outside looking in.   This will be completed before you know it because Shelley already has it almost completely cut out.
Aside from glare of the flash from my camera, Melissa's numbers on her Address Window are clearly and perfectly visible.  I see so many of these stained glass address windows that have little to no contrast between the numbers and the glass that surrounds them thus making them barely readable and mostly useless.  Melissa has made sure that is NOT the case here!
Jan's got her Lady of Guadalupe back under construction.  With only the background and border (which is barely worth mentioning) left to cut and grind I think it's safe to say that this lady has been tamed.  Jan's both relieved and thrilled to know that this is almost behind her and that she can begin something new soon.

MiMi has filled in her twelve long and narrow edge pieces all the while cutting out the delicate points with absolute ease.   Not a single point was broken (which wasn't easy to accomplish) and next week she'll tackle the two borders that will finish all the cutting for this piece.   The closeup I've provided highlights the length and thinness of the curved pieces that she cut this week.
Susan R is working on a second 3D Pansy Flower Pot Ornament and she already has all of the glass cut out with (I think) all of it ground as well!  I always say that the second time is the charm but Susan didn't even have a problem with this on her first trip across the dance floor with it.

Mary Grace is rolling right along on the first of three text sections of her business logo window.  With the word HEALTH largely cut and ground she began wrapping each of the pieces that she deemed satisfactory.   Once she has all of this wrapped she'll tack it together and then she'll fill in the pieces that she was unhappy with.  She's already taken the pattern for the next word 'WELLNESS' home with her so she can get a head start on the next phase of this multi stage project.
Lastly we look at one of the many  Cardinals that Betty has begun working on.  I may have spoken out of place earlier when I said that Silverware Dragonflies were her signature piece because I do believe that she makes a Cardinal along with every Dragonfly she creates.
So there you have it.  It's the start of a new year and everyone (well, almost everyone) is working on something new.    And that's the way I like it!