Fused Glass from Tropics of Costa Rica


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.

Just another successful class


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.

Five Not So Easy Pieces

fused glass costa rica

My head is exploding with new information and design ideas for glass fusing with frits – that’s what we in the craft call crushed glass.  I’ve just finished a 4-day workshop in Seattle, lead by Michael Dupille at his lovely studio.  Dupille has been working in fused glass many years so his knowledge is vast.  His studio is full of completed pieces demonstrating the skills we were learning.  He’s a thorough teacher and a gentle critic.  I came away with 5 pieces, each using a different technique.  Most were fused in the kiln more than once.   I can’t wait to try these new skills out in my own studio.

fused glass costa rica

Impression sunset.

glass fusing costa rica

Watercolor technique with dichroic ($$$$) inclusions.

glass casting costa rica

A simple casting.  This was really fun to do with lots of processes.

fused glass costa rica

A Scratch and Frit Sandwich.


glass fusing costa rica

This palette knife Macaw isn’t finished.  It’ll probably be fired at least 2 more times as I work on it.

group 1

We were a nice group of six, with a great caterer, for a fun and productive weekend.

Results are in

kids' class glass fusing

Here are the light catchers we made last week in the kids’ class.

glass fusing kids' class

If you’d like to schedule a kids’ class for a birthday party or special day, call or email for information.

Everybody knows how to draw.

art education

art education What is art education? Well, it’s not something that’s offered in the small country schools around Costa Rica (and maybe not so much in the school in your hometown).  But I think it’s something that’s important to growth as a human being.

Today, Gecko Glass hosted 6 primary students from Escuela Santo Domingo, just 4 kilometers up the road in the hills overlooking Playa Samara.  We made “light catchers” that I’ll fire in the kiln tonight.  A little discussion about what is glass fusion interested the teacher but went over most of the kids’ heads.

fused glass art

We started by drawing some ideas on typing paper with colored pencils. The maestra was amazed at how calm and focused the students immediately became.

costa rica schools

“Huh? Give them a colored pencil and paper and they quiet right down. Who knew?” She was as excited as they were to be here. She says these kids, who live in the hills, never get to go anywhere or do anything interesting. She thinks it’s so important for them to explore and express themselves.

art educationI didn’t give the kids much instruction about drawing. I think everyone knows how to draw if given a chance, especially children.  They may not see exactly what you see but they can express an idea.  I like to see what they’ll come up without rules.

fused glass class samara costa rica

They seemed content to just work the paper but, eventually, I got out the bowls of pre-fired glass chips. They loved the colors and shapes.

art education

They moved them around trying to match their drawings which were of course too big and impossible to reproduce. Quick adjustments were made without complaints.

what to do in samara costa rica

The glass pieces were fixed to the clear base sheets with white glue. Who doesn’t love glue?

fused glass art

It took a little prodding to encourage them to explore more ideas. Dayron was “FINISHED” several times. But Sunlly kept adding to her perfect puppy until the composition was richer and more complex but still perfect.

fused glass art

The maestra was thrilled about how the activity touched on so many topics and she was already working the different topics into future lesson plans. Science – melting glass. Geometry – shapes. Mathematics – celcius versus farenheit. Sociology – comportment in someone’s home and studio. English – goes without saying.  Even Geography – we have a compass on the bottom of our pool which fascinated them.

fused glass in samara costa rica

I think she and the parents thought I was going to teach the kids how to draw. But, of course, they already know that. I don’t think I taught them a thing but they learned a great deal.


This class filled the kiln this time

fused glass in samara costa rica

fused glass in samara costa rica

It was a big class this week, so we stuffed fused glass art into every corner of the kiln.  Two plates, two votive holders and two night lights.  A great family activity produced hand crafted vacation mementos.

Design with light

fused glass art in samara costa rica

fused glass art in samara costa ricaAnother fun glass fusing class with beginner, Jeff from California, and frequent fuser, Roy.  Colors seemed to be of a theme on this cloudy tropical morning.  But Roy, this votive holder is my favorite piece yet of yours.  Great design work!  Nice arrangement of colors, darks and lights, and, of course, “surprise”.  It’ll catch the candle-light beautifully.

Kids’ class in Samara

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Friday afternoon, we made light catchers with students from Mareas Homeschool, here in Samara.

kids art class samara costa rica

We talked about glass: what it is made of – and glass fusing: what happens when it is heated in a kiln.

art education costa rica


art education samara costa rica

We talked about color, the color wheel, and how different colors work together.

fused glass art costa rica   ???????????????????????

We used pre-fired pieces of fusible art on top of a clear base sheet, in designs to match or drawings.

kiln opening

Here are the light catchers, with hooks, in the kiln and ready for firing up to 1490 degrees farenheit.

ready to fire

Twenty-four hours later, we opened the kiln to find the pieces of glass fused to the base sheet.


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And, voila!

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Colored light, ready to hang in a window.

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Kids classes can be scheduled for small groups.  Call for more information.

Another fun glass fusing class

fused glass class samara costa rica

fused glass class samara costa rica

A variety of colorful and bright of colorful pieces made in this week’s class: a nite-lite, 2 plates, and a votive holder.   It’s fun to see how different personalities are manifested in light and color.

Make art while on vacation in Costa Rica

glass fusing class in samara costa rica

glass fusing class in samara costa ricaBeginning Glass Fusing classes are offered at Gecko Glass studio and are taught by Lavae Aldrich. The class includes:

  • Materials
  • Tools
  • Two kiln firings.

You’ll learn the basics of kiln-formed glass while making your piece of artwork, including:

  • glass cutting
  • design and layout
  • fusing
  • slumping

???????????????????????????????For a first project you’ll choose from molds to make a 6” x 6” plate, dish, votive holder, or a nite-lite. Classes focused on jewelry, stenciled powders, and metal inclusions are scheduled by request – just ask me in advance, if that’s what you’d rather do, to schedule a focused class.

Gecko Glass studio is just 1 ½ kilometers outside of central Sámara. It’s about 30 minute walk, mostly along the beach.

Fee: c10,000 ($20.00), 2 hour class. Students should allow at least 72 hours for firing (before you leave town).

a- advert 3Reservations are required: Call 8977-1576 or email lavae@casaelgecko.com


High season class schedule



Lavae Aldrich at Casa Gecko Glass is offering Glass Fusing classes Monday, Thursday or Saturday mornings at 10 am during high season.  c10,000 fee includes class, materials, tools, and two firings.  For a first project you can choose a plate, a votive holder, or a nite-lite.  Jewelry classes, stencil powder classes, and metal inclusion classes are scheduled by request – just ask me in advance.

2 hours class.  Students should allow at least 72 hours for firing (before you leave town).

Call 8977-1576 or email for a (required) reservation.

New class schedule

glass fusing samara costa ricaGlass fusing classes are offered Monday, Thursday or Sat. mornings at 10 am during high season.  c10,000 fee includes class, materials, tools, and two firings.  2 hours class.  Allow at least 72 hours for firing (before you leave town).  Jewelry classes are scheduled by request.

Call 8977-1576 or email for a reservation (required).

Come melt something!

How to wrap a puddle – class

art in samara costa rica

wire wrapped glass

Wire Wrapped Glass Jewelry Class – 1 pm Monday 11 November 2013jewelry class samara costa rica

Guest artist, Joyce ???, will help us learn to wrap a glass puddle or stone for jewelry.  We’ll make

–        Earrings

–        Pendants

–        Charms

art in samara costa rica

I have a bucket of glass “puddles”, many matched in pairs for earrings.  Or bring your own stones or beach glass.  Joyce will show us how to wrap them with jewelry wire.  I have wire and findings for pierced or un-pierced ears, as well as for pendants.  Please bring needle nose pliers if you have them.

wrap a glass puddle

Call or email for a reservation.   8977-1576 or glass@casaelgecko.com. C7,500 ($15.00)   You’ll make 5 pairs of earrings, pendants or charms.

Trinket Triumph

kiln opening

kiln opening

It’s always exciting to open the kiln after an all-night firing.  The results of our first jewelry class were successful.

Linda's pendants

Linda’s pendants

Linda’s pendants turned out well, with bits of dichroic sparkle.  Ready for a simple silk cord.

Becky's set plus

Becky’s set plus

Becky has a nice blue set with a pendant and earrings.  Here copper mesh earrings are swell.

Roberta's suite

Roberta’s suite

When Roberta picked up her pieces, she sat right down and fitted the findings so that she could wear her earrings and pendant on the plane home.

And now we wait

g- jewelry class 2

Fuse Glass Jewelry class was a lot of fun.  (more…)

Fused Glass Jewelry Class

glass fusing in costa rica
glass fusing in costa rica

Pendant and earrings set

10 AM Monday 21 October 2013 at Casa Gecko Glass

–        Earrings

–        Pendants

–        Charms

You’ll make 5 pair of earrings, pendants or charms.

fused glass earrings

Dichroic glass inclusions

We’ll use copper wire to embed hooks in the firing process.  Bring your fabrics to make jewelry to match your favorite dress.  Just in time to make Christmas gifts.  I have findings for pierced or un-pierced ears, as well as pendants.

fused glass jewelry

Copper inclusions

Call or email for a reservation. Class size limited to 5.  8977-1576 or  glass@casaelgecko.com. C10,000 ($20.00) 5 pairs of earrings or pendants.

Brooke tried out a new mold

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Brooke just finished this beautiful 8″ vegetable/chip bowl using a mold that we’ve just started using.  Fabulous results!

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art glass costa rica

glass fusing samara costa rica

We now have nite-lites. (more…)

What to do in the rain

Casa Gecko Glass was featured in the August issue of our local bi-lingual news magazine, The Voz de Guanacaste.  Take a look at what the class produced and read Ariana McKinney’s article.


glas fusing classes in samara costa rica


Happy Mother’s Day from Costa Rica

vitofusion en costa rica

Danny Carrillo Gomez lo hizo ese regalo para su mama para honrarla en su dia especial.  Danny made this gift for his mother to honor her on this special day in Costa Rica.

Well, that was an idea

I recently posted a “schedule” for winter (invierno) classes.  Seemed like a good idea.  And those times are still available.  But if you can round up another student, we can find a time that’s convenient for all.  Remember to allow 3 days for kiln firing your art piece before you leave town.

art in samara costa rica

Class Schedule for Invierno (Tropical Winter)

fused glass art samara costa rica

June through September

Beginning Glass Fusing – Monday and Tuesday afternoons 1:30pm – 3:30 pm or by appointment.

Reservation required – 2656-1010.   4 students max, $20.00/ 10,000 colones.  No experience required.

art samara costa rica

Classes are offered at our studio in Playa Samara, Costa Rica.  You will make a piece of warm glass art, fused and slumped.  Allow 72 hours for firing.

fused glass art samara costa rica

Continued learning and project specific studio time is more than possible.  Call or write for more information.

costa rica house

Combine glass fusing with a tropical vacation.  We have accommodations for you and your family at Casa Mango and Casa Papaya.

Guest Artist at Casa Gecko Glass

Deanne Sabeck, artist based in Encinitas, California, stopped by the studio on Wednesday to give us a lesson in using frit – Roy says it should just be called “crushed glass” but we like to elevate the discourse by using fancy names for materials and techniques in glass fusing.

glass fusing toolsThe frit we used was made from scraps of System 96 sheet glass, using the frit crusher that Trevor fabricated for me from an old tank-less water heater and some scrap metal he had.  We graded the crushed glass into different sizes using a range of screens.  Then we painted designs with white glue onto clear base glass, sifted the frit to stick to the glue, and shook off the excess.

fused glass samara costa rica

The tac fuse program took the kiln to 1350F so that the finished pieces still had a lot of texture, from “raw sugar” to “crumbled cheese”.

glass fusing Samara Costa RicaI’m working with another technique that Deanne introduced to me: frit casting into paper dams.  Here, I’m experimenting with Bombay Sapphire (Gin) bottle glass, which Bonnie saves for me from her bar Lo Que Hay, here in Samara.

glass fusing in samara costa rica

Please, friends and neighbors, drink more gin!

Hot glass will find it’s own level

what to do in samara costa ricaSaturday’s Beginning Glass Fusing produced some lovely pieces by four first-timers.  It also produced some interesting lessons.

When melted and allowed to flow freely, glass “wants” to be 1/4″ thick.  With enough heat, the mass of molten glass will expand or contract until it is 1/4″ thick.  Each of these designs was laid up on a 6″ x 6″ piece of 1/8″ clear glass (System 96).  But some changes occurred in the kiln.

things to do in costa rica

A thin piece, like this single sheet of 1/8″ glass with a detailed design in the center

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shrunk in the kiln, pushing the glass to the center as it tried to get thicker.

glass fusing classes

This design has some very thick detailing in two corners, which expanded upon firing.

art in costa rica

The other corners, with two layers of glass, stayed pretty square.

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With a continuous border of very thick glass,

glass fusing costa rica

this design expanded about 1/2″ but quite evenly and retained a fairly square shape.

made in costa rica

This design completely covered the base glass with a collage of 1/8″ thick glass.

fused glass costa rica

The result after firing is about the same size and shape as the original 6″ square.  A few thicker details in the center of the piece found room to settle before pushing the edges out.