Fused Glass from Tropics of Costa Rica

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Soup’s On

dp2a - pink nebula

Pink Nebula

dp5 - green nebula

Green Nebula

dp1c - yellow deep dish

Yellow Spoon Rest

dp4 - blue nebula

Blue Nebula

dp3 - super nova

Super Nova


On Tico Time

fused glass clock

fused glass clock

Whether you’re in the tropics or not, these handmade fused glass clocks will keep you punctual.

handmade clock

They’re made with recycled window glass. (Thanks Kristina.)

artist made clock

Most will be available for sale at Sámara Organics Market.

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$50.00/c25,000 each


Gecko Glass Art – New shop at ETSY

z cover e.pngI’ve figured out how to ship small fused glass art from Costa Rica to the US and Canada. So I’ve taken the plunge and opened an online shop on ETSY – Gecko Glass Art – to sell my handmade jewelry and small items. Take a look and tell me what you think of my presentation.

For now, the shop will focus on ornaments and a variety of jewelry including bead embroidery cuffs, wire wrapped necklaces, and dichroic glass pendants, all hand made by me.  I’ll be adding new pieces all the time.  Watch for Christmas and holiday items to show up in the next few months.  If you’re interested in something larger that you’ve seen on my website, email me and we can start a conversation.

If you’re here in Samara, you can avoid shipping charges by calling me or by visiting Samara Organics Mercado, where my fused glass work is displayed for sale.


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Washed in from the sea?

 

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Red coral wall piece, this fused glass artwork of transparent reds with black accents looks like it washed up on the beach. The flat bowl shape stands just off the wall so that ambient light makes it glow from behind. It would shimmer with an added halogen fixture.

This piece was commissioned to hang in a home here in Costa Rica.

 


Fusing with Frit

 

rpp57-58-purple-chip-and-salsaI’ve been working on a new series of chipbowls and salsa dishes, using window glass which is (usually, almost) free around here, left over at construction sites – Thank-you, Kristina.

People have been curious about the process so here is what I do.   I like the philosophy of recycling glass but the material is not as forgiving as System 96 glass which is made specifically for fusing.  The learning curve has been steep.

1-mixingAfter cutting the ¼” thick glass to the size I want, I mix up a paste of glass frit powder with an organic fusible gel.

The paste is spread across the glass and left to air dry in the sun.

3-drawingThen, with a soft pencil, I draw a design on the dry glass powder.

4-cuttingThe design is carved away with a drummel tool.

6 fill spaces.JPGThe negative spaces are then refilled with a different color of glass powder.

7 ready to fuse.JPGWhen the design is complete, the piece is fired at full fuse (1535F for float glass).

pp28-yellow-blue-dragonfly-salsa-dishBefore molding the piece in a second or third kiln firing, the edges are hand sanded with 80 and 220 grit.

rpp53-yellow-orange-powder-dishAll in all, it takes me nearly a week to finish a piece.

I’ve also been using fusible System 96 glass as well, which is more expensive but produces more consistent results.


Black and Copper Platter Sold

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This 14″ black glass platter sold at the Friday market in Samara recently.  Made up of glass, copper inserts, and high temperature paint, it’s on it’s way to a home in nearby Punta Islita.  I didn’t get the buyer’s name, from Albany, Oregon, but I thank you for your support .

 


Christmas Tree Ornaments

 

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Simple wreath

I’m running late this year but I’ve just finished some new Christmas Tree Ornaments.

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Wreath with Bow

The wreaths are about 3 1/2″ diameter.

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Snowflake

The snowflake is 4 1/4″ diameter.

All ornaments are $10.00 each.  I’m taking orders now for delivery on Monday 12th in central Samara.  Email or call me.

 


New Glass Paintings

New England Lighthouse

New England Lighthouse

 

 

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Starry Night

 

 

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Samara Bay with Barco

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Here’s a photo by Alex Alvarado of a morning on Samara Beach

 

 

 

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And my interpretation in glass – Samara beach Morning


Seven new pieces

wire wrapped glass pendants

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     I’ve been having a lot of fun recently making these wire-wrapped pendants.

wire wrapped fused glass pendants fused glass pendants fused glass wire wrapped jewelry

I’ve enhanced them with beaded ropes.

wire wrapped glass wire wrapped glass pendants wire-wrapped glass jewelry

I recently selected a few for gifts for the girls and women in my family.  When I laid them out on the table so each one could choose her favorite, my 16 year-old grandson swooped in, made his own selection, and wore his pendant the rest of the weekend.  So, you see, these designs are unisex.

fused glass earrings fused glass jewelry Glass earrings

These earrings are using a new technique with a new material.  I hope you like them.

fused glass jewelry jewelry fused glass earrings fused glass

All of this jewelry is for sale at Samara Organics at the Natural Center.

 


Just in

glass fusing samara costa rica

glass fusing samara costa rica

Gecko Glass just received a shipment of fusible sheet glass, System 96.  Lots of great colors.  Drop by the studio for a class.  New colors to express yourself.


Enhancements

fused glass jewelry samara costa rica

a- j6 blue heart  Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of wire-wrapping over glass “puddles”.

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When I make mistakes in fused glass pieces, I break them up and re-fire them into “puddles”.

Tree of life pendant Sometimes, I use these puddles in other fused glass pieces – see if you can find some in my portfolio – but often, I turn them into jewelry.

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Lately, I’ve been wire-wrapping them as earrings and pendants.

wire-wrapped jewelry

I started with the “Tree of Life” – I love this simple motif – and then branched out into some more abstract designs.  a- j7 j8 j9

My friend, Connie – she is great with beads and beading – helped me enhance these pendants with beaded ropes for necklaces.

Tree of life pendantSome of these pendants will be shown in Samara Organics soon.


Bottle Boxes

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So, you’ve been wondering what I do with all the wine and beer bottles

that you’ve been saving for me.

Here is my first run of bottle Boxes; good for trinkets, earrings, salt, votives,

or Grampa’s ashes.

Each box is made from two bottles, the lid is decorated and fired to fit over the cut bottle.

These Jam Jars will be for sale at Samara Organics.


New Website

ps3 - red leaf platter

Gecko Glass

Gecko Glass has gone live with a new website at http://geckoglassart.com.  Check it out for new work, classes info, and portfolio.  You can still follow my blog for news and events by clicking in the right hand column here.


New Frit Paintings

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Calle Santo Domingo

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Sunrise at Arenal

 

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Repairing the Nets

 

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Isla Chora and Punta Indio


New Work

I’ve just put some new pieces into Samara Organics.

Lots of jewelry too.


Bandaids

b15 red and grey bandaid

I’ve been making Bandaids for years; graphic layering of opaque and transparent glasses.

Here’s a new series in hot and cool tropical colors – it’s summer here in Costa Rica.


Sold

 

 

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Thank-you to my good friend and patron (through all my careers), Lynne Alexander.DSCF3728

These two 7″ square plates are ready for shipment to Seattle.  Lynne says she’ll use them for candles.

 

 


Just another successful class

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These students made votive holders and night lights.  Nice work, ladies!

Verano class schedule: Monday, Thursday, or Saturday mornings, 10am or 1:30 pm.  Call for reservation.  $35.00.  ask for resident’s discount.


Bottle Bird plates

costa rica birds
costa rica birds

Keel-billed Toucan

By now, everyone on the planet has seen the ubiquitous slumped bottle/cheese plate.

costa rica birds

Ringed Kingfisher

I’ve added a Costa Rican tropical bird to each one, most of which I’ve seen here in Samara. (more…)


Send me your empty, your poured.

kiln operation

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After yesterday’s kiln repairs, these lichor bottles look just as I expected: bright, transparent, without spots and no cracking.  Now I’ll paint them with tropical birds that I see around my house.

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These are the ones I fired last week when the kiln wasn’t working properly: lots of devitrification (chalkiness), bubbles, exploded bubbles, and generally ugly.  I am so pleased to have figured out the problem.

Send me your empty, your poured.


Occam’s Razor, glass version

glass fusing costa rica

Occam’s Razor, is a problem solving principle surmised by a 14th century Franciscan monk as “Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.”  Or as Steve says it, “The simplest solution is almost always right”.

fused glass art costa rica

I have refined this in the glass studio to “When you don’t get the results you expect, do a paper test.” which really means “See if the kiln is working.”

glass fusing costa rica A little slip of paper tucked into the coils of each element will scorch and burn if the elements are getting hot.  Currently, the side wall elements are not heating up.  I’ve been cooking everything with only one lid element – for how long, I don’t know – creating huge temperature differentials within the glass and causing stress and cracking.

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I’m pretty hopeful that repairs today will solve many of my recent issues and frustrations.  Jodi at Glass With a Past had lots of great suggestions but I’m going with Occam’s Razor for now.  Wish me luck.


What the ?

fused glass samara costa rica

fused glass costa rica

Since my Seattle workshop in June, I have been working every day in the studio and loving it. What have I been doing?

art glass samara

I’ve been “painting” pictures with powdered and crushed glass (frit). I’m enjoying the process immensely, but I’m less than satisfied with the results.

fused glass samara costa rica

Is it technique or technical? I don’t know and I’ve asked for professional advice.

fused glass costa rica

It would be easy if I would stick to using the tested compatible COE96 art glass – I can knock those babies out – but I am really committed to using recycled “float” and bottle glass.

glass fusing samara costa rica

And it just isn’t going well.   I am really proud of this “save”.  But why do my pieces spontaneously crack down the middle?  Like I said, I’ve asked for professional advice.


Fused glass platter - 12"

Fused glass platter – 12″

Made with scrap window glass and frit.


Birds of Paradise

Handmade fused glass samara costa rica

Handmade fused glass samara costa rica

A new series – The Birds of Costa Rica.  (We have seen all of these from my house.)

Black-headed Trogon

Black-headed Trogon

Hoffmann's Woodpecker

Hoffmann’s Woodpecker

I “paint” with powdered glass and frit onto float glass.

Long-tailed Manakin - Toledo

Long-tailed Manakin – Toledo

Some I put on bottle glass.  Here is a Bombay Gin bottle, repurposed.

Great Kiskadee
Great Kiskadee
Scarlet Macaw

Scarlet Macaw

You can buy these birds in their wooden display stands at Samara Organics, in Playa Samara – c15,000 ($30.00)