Thursday, September 28, 2023

This Here's a Story About Billy Joe and Bobbie Sue

Now here's something I can guarantee that you've never seen before!  MiMi's Polaroid Camera has been completed and the picture that is coming out of it was actually fused onto glass making it a permanent layer.  Some of the pieces in this were a staggering 1/16th of an inch wide and her grinding skills on those super thin pieces (as well as on all the others) are just amazing!



Susan's simple solution for her DVR problem will be in use tonight as her TV Lifts do their magic to raise her TV an extra two and a half inches higher.  The added height will put her DVR in a practical but out-of-the-way place directly under her TV.  I've got to say that Susan had no problem soldering these 3D items!

Helen's newest Tulip is a classic pattern that she's getting better and better at making.  Helen's skills grow with each new project she makes and you can see how closely things fit here and how the curves in her pieces are getting smoother and smoother.
Ann has redesigned her Angel Wing Heart to be one piece rather than wings with a separate heart piece tacked on top.  She cut, ground, wrapped, tacked and soldered this all in one night which is darned impressive if I do say so myself.  The redesign made this much stronger than her previous version and this is what she'll be making again if she decides to remake this.
Betty finished her Silverware Dragonfly and the first of five Grinch Hands with ease and is ready to continue with even more Grinch Hands.

Meanwhile, Jeannette discovered that the Spoons she had brought in to attach to her Dragonfly Wings would NOT accept solder.   Sadly, some metals cannot be soldered onto and her spoons just happened to be four of those things.  What's a woman to do?  Well Jeannette simply cut replacement bodies out of glass and Violà!  She now has four Dragonflies.

Annette walked out of the door with 6 more Teardrop Crosses made in three assorted sizes.   She certainly on a roll with these and has even more ready to be completed.
Let has begun cutting glass for her next window and it's certainly spectacular.   The flowing leaves really make this an elegant piece but the beautiful flower in the center just pulls your eye to it.  Leave it to Let to come up with something so graceful!



Martha's moving at break neck speed on her Yellow Rose Window.  In just one night she's managed to cut out and grind all of the pieces to her flower.  And if you look closely you will surely be impressed at how deep some of those cuts go into the glass that forms the flower petals.

Angie's got a pair of Tiger Eye Windows that are moving along quickly as well.  Don't worry though, these are two separate windows so the color difference isn't going to matter between them.The one on the right has been tacked together and has its border cut while the eye on the left is ground but still needs to be wrapped.

June's Razorback has only the black trim glass needing to be cut out and as you can see she's got those pieces traced out onto her sheet of black glass already.  When she comes back I believe that she'll be able to have this all cut out.
Susan D's moving at full steam ahead on her Peacock Window.  The bottom feathers in this are tricky because of how thin they are but Susan just picks a piece and does what needs to be done without paying any attention to the fact that it might be hard to 'sculpt' into shape.   When you don't complain the job goes much faster!

Cindy's Address Window got its border attached and its front side soldered.  Before class was through Cindy even flipped the window over  and worked on soldering the back side.  It looks like I was correct last week when I said that this would probably be completed in just two more weeks.

Judy has her Angel all cut and and ground which is yet another impressive feat in this post.  Our students are really stepping up their game by getting so much done in such a short amount of time.  And all the while without sacrificing quality.  Would you believe that this was a pattern that Judy said she'd never do again?  Well, she's certainly making this look easy now!

With the front side of her Logo Window soldered, Mary Grace is ready to flip this over and continue the soldering process on the back side of her window.  This is getting so close to being finished  that we've even got her next pattern lined up!

I will certainly say that Sheri's Business Card Window is colorful. Once the remaining background pieces have been ground you will easily be able to read the meticulously cut and ground lettering.

Adios for now,

Monday, September 25, 2023

A Stained Glass Solution

Martha's Beveled Fleur De Lis Window was made entirely of assorted clear glasses and then accented with black patina rather than the standard copper color.  I always say that black lead lines works best when set upon clear textures and this window proves my point.  I also feel the need to point out how beautiful Martha's soldering was on this.


Betty completed her Octagon Irises and Dragonfly window which is chocked full of long flowing pieces along the bottom half of the window.  The top is less tight but the end result is a complex window that still manages to exude a light airy feeling.

Barbara is getting a plenty of items together for her show and this week we see that she's completed a beautiful Dragonfly, a stunning Tulip Panel, and a unique Round Iris Panel.  She's definitely going to have a full booth at this rate.
Shelley's Peacock suncatcher was completed this week and of course it looks wonderful.   I still can't decide if it's a medium sized suncatcher or a large one.  Anyway, she took her time all the while still managing to move efficiently throughout the creation of this project which will surely inspire others to want to make this peacock for themselves.
Annette had her Calla Lily Panel finished 2 weeks ago but at that point in time it just didn't have hooks on it.   Then last week we just completely forgot about it but no so this week.   This pattern has a rustic, traditional feel about it and Annette did wonders with all of the tiny pieces that make it up.   This week she also got a trio of Teardrop Crosses made, one small, one medium and one large.
Jeannette put the finishing touches on her own Beveled Geometrical Cross (which, of course, is flawless) and then moved onto completing a Grinch Hand as well.  Our students are barely able to keep up with the demand for these adorable ornament holders.

Angie's Beveled Geometric Cross is another in a long line of these traditional looking crosses.  I suspect that these may be winding down now because there are only two more in the works (that I know about) as I write this.  But after seeing how beautiful and how quickly these go together, well, who knows what the future holds.

And here we look at Let's latest Beveled Geometric Cross.   She's ready to move along and onto a window for her next project and that we'll see just which window that will be when she returns next week.

Kerry continued working on his red, black and clear Butterfly Suncatcher and managed to get a good portion of one of the wings ground.   He's also discovered that the clear glass he's used cuts wonderfully and grinds very easily since you can always see the pattern line under the piece of glass! Also of note:  This is 18 inches wide so let's definitely call this a LARGE suncatcher!
Susan R  is making something entirely new.   Her TV sits too low atop the furniture that it resides on for her DVR to fit under it.   To fix this she is making a pair of rectangular 'boxes' that the feet of TV will rest on thus providing the extra 2 and a half inches required for the DVR to fit nicely under the television (and somewhat out of sight) while still being functional.  It's a Stained Glass Solution for a tight problem!

With all but one ear ground on her Deer Head Window I'd say that Bee is  flying through this.  Wrapping and tacking come next and then she'll be able to fill in the background with whatever she wants.
Susan D has revived her old Peacock pattern (which she had drawn up herself) and has begun remaking it this week.   The biggest pieces are cut and now she's moved on down to the the thin and complex feathers that make up the tail.   Unlike Shelley's peacock, Susan's will be surrounded by background glass and a border to make this into a full fledged, full sized window.
Cheryl's LSU Tower Window just needs a few more background pieces cut out and then this will be nearly complete.   This week she finished cutting and wrapping the yellow pieces that make up the tower and then she tacked it all together.  When she discovered that she still had time left in the class she cut the background pieces for the LSU bottom portion of the window and then began grinding it.

Linda L has really moved along quickly on her pair of three sided 3D Succulents.  There are a lot of tiny pieces in these but Linda doesn't intimidate easily and is barnstorming through these.  She's grinding them already which means that she's beyond the halfway point now.
Cindy has her Two Cherries Address Window all tacked together save for the final border which has been cut and ground though.   It hasn't taken Cindy long at all to get this window whipped into shape and I think it will easily be finished within two weeks now.
MiMi's Polaroid Camera was completely wrapped in foil and the front side was soldered as well.   The soldering on this is taking longer than usual only because of the number of thin, thin pieces that make up the camera.   If she solders this too quickly she can easily crack those thin pieces.  Therefore she MUST give her pieces time to cool off before continuing soldering for safety's sake.
Mary Grace's Houma Health and Wellness Logo Window has been successfully wrapped and tacked together!   Her border is the perfect color and she began soldering the front side of it this week.   She's going to be using the 'Every Other Line' approach to soldering since she's got so many thin pieces and she certainly doesn't want anything to break at this point in the game.  Soldering every other line gives the glass time to cool down before the soldering iron applies heat to the other side of the glass. 

Melissa cut out all of the black glass for the background of her Kingdom Hearts Window and then moved on over to the grinder to get everything fitting perfectly.   The devil is in the details and on a geometric window like this it's imperative that things align from side to side.  That said, as you can plainly see she's doing a great job.  This window will be completed before you know it.

Sheri's has pretty much filled in the background of her Business Card Sign Window with various colors and is now grinding those pieces to match the flowing curves of her letters.  Look closely in the picture and you will see the business card that she is matching. 
And lately, Betty is already gearing up for Christmas starting with six(!) Grinch hands as well as another Silverware Dragonfly.  And these are just the beginning!  She'll be ready for any sale surges because she's a machine when it comes to these smaller items.
As ever,

Monday, September 18, 2023

The Thing Is, I'm Never Wrong!

Judy's Vegetable Window has been completed and we already have another student mentioning that they'd like to make it as well.   With carroty Carrots, mushroomy Mushrooms, and hearty, beety Beets.  This window represents a taste sensation that also looks good.  (Just don't try to eat it!)

Angie's Halloween Pumpkin Window is stunning.  That black pumpkin really makes this a celebration of Halloween rather than being mistaken for a Thanksgiving decoration.  

Ann's designed a Heart with Angel Wings which she's applied a stake to so that she can use it as a Lawn Ornament.   She's started work on another of these but rather than tacking the heart on top of the wings she will be cutting it all as one piece to help make it more sturdy.  But truth be told, the addition of two small clear pieces of glass behind this heart have made this a very sturdy affair!

Susan R says that the eyes have it!  Her Flower Pot decoration is made of two parts and together they form the cutest pair of eyes you will ever see decorating a plant.  Rather than cutting the iris of the eyes into smaller pieces Susan used the kiln to fuse the pupils into the irises.   This made for a seamless transition from the blue to the black (literally). 
Linda L finished up the work on her last two Candy Corn Panels as well as her cute Elephant Suncatcher.   I love the spraying water on the elephant which is something that I've never seen before.
Lisa's latest Spider Web Corner Decoration is another eye catcher.   Made of assorted clear textures these decorations will hopefully never be swept away with a broom!
Annette got two more Teardrop Crosses finished and is also working on her New Orleans Window at home. She still pans on making more of these teardrops and now she has a more precise pattern to work from. 

Melissa texted me this picture of her six  Beach Themed Suncatchers now that they've been hung up in her office on the coat rack hangers that never see any coats!  I'd say that they tie into her office perfectly especially when you notice the real shell sitting there on her printer.


This is the Deer Head Window that Bee is working on.   She plans to flesh out the background with trees and a sky but first she's going to grind and tack together the deer head and the border.  She wanted the head to be a bit off center to avoid a perfect look and hopes to aim for a more angled effect.  I think she's got it!

It would appear that Melissa's Kingdom Hearts Window is going to go quickly for her.   She's already got the subject matter of the window cut out which means that she'll be cutting background glass when she returns.   Her attention to detail is her biggest strength and that is plainly evident here while  we examine her un-ground work.
Cheryl's got her LSU Tower Window well underway and now she's ready to foil these pieces and then tack them together.  The majority of the tower went together easily since it was essentially  cut from one larger piece of glass that she's already ground to fit within the perimeter of the tower design.   There's more than one way to skin a cat but the trick is to know how and when to bend the rules so that things go quicker and easier.
Mary Grace has her Logo Window almost completely assembled now.  In fact, you can clearly see what this is going to look like since every piece of glass has now been cut and ground.   This is a large window measuring 23" x 26" which is one of the reasons it's taken a while to get this far along.   That said, Mary Grace will begin soldering when she returns and that means that we can officially say that the end is near.
Linda L has decided to begin a 3D Succulent.  It's not all that big and it's got twelve pieces to a side giving her a total of 36 pieces for a piece no more than five inches tall.   That's a lot of work!  I'm thinking that she'll fly through it though...
June's begun cutting the red glass for her Razorback Window and even this early into its creation it is instantly recognizable.  And also, her cutting is very good which really helps this come alive already.
MiMi's got all of her glass cut out and ground for her Polaroid Camera and that includes the image of her daughter's cat which has been fired onto a piece of white glass.   Currently we can only do this in sepia tones but the end result is still incredibly awesome and not achievable for most people who make stained glass.  Also, MiMi's attention to detail is astoundingly impressive. 
Shelly got all of her Peacock Suncatcher ground and I think that we may be able to get the crest onto this suncatcher as well.   We'll see what happens there when Shelley gets this tacked together and fully soldered.   Right now she's got a good portion of it wrapped so she's well on her way to completing this.
Kerry saw a butterfly online and he fell in love with all of the clear glass pieces that were used in it which do NOT have any texture at all.   So now he's cutting out a butterfly of his own utilizing a similar color scheme.  He's actually got a lot of this cut out already but since it's mostly clear glass it's very difficult to discern where there's glass and where there isn't any.

After getting another  Beveled Geometric Cross all ground wrapped and tacked together Let is ready to put this pattern away (for a while at least).   She's got her front side soldered and will certainly begin a new window when she comes back in.

Barbara is still 'show focused' and this week she worked on two small panels, one circular Iris and the other a square cluster of Tulips.  We've managed to teach her NOT to use very expensive glass for small pieces since it will invariably raise the price of the finished piece.  Everyone looks for a good bargain at shows which means keeping your art affordable and (even more importantly) price appropriate for the size of the finished piece.  It's never fun to have to keep explaining that your 8x8 panel is $100 because of the glass that was used in it.  Most people are looking at the scenery rather than the glass itself. 

Linda F so very nearly completed her own version of the Halloween Pumpkin Window that it was a shame to let it walk out the door uncolored and washed.  But when you are on a deadline you sometimes have to drop things that are somewhat less important.  But fear not because Linda said that she will bring this back to have a proper picture taken of the end result.

Steve has added so much more to his Lawn Ornament this week and it's getting sturdier and sturdier with each passing class.  He's talking about trying to smooth out the solder now which means that he must be coming close to having all of the pieces added to this.  


Sheri had sold her Coffee Window a few weeks back but it sadly didn't survive the trip out of the state to its new home.  So back it came but now it's as good as new.   Repair work is a necessary part of every stained glass artist's talent pool and Sheri has proved that she can deal with any kind of blow to her art.  It always fascinates me how people don't realize that a stained glass window is fragile.
Betty  replaced a few pieces in her Octagon Irises and Dragonfly Window to tighten things up.   The end result made an improvement on an area that shifted during the tacking process.  I'd say it's a safe bet that this window will be completed when Betty returns next week.
And there ya have it!