Fused Glass from Tropics of Costa Rica

Posts tagged “Art glass

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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.


New Work

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

Lots of jewelry too.


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.


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.


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)


Recycling the Chorotega

fusing recycled glass samara costa rica

gecko glass

With the new skills I learned recently from Michael Dupille, I am reinterpreting the local Chorotega pottery, made by the people indigenous to this part of Costa Rica.

chorotega pottery

The families are still working at Guaitil and San Vicente to create traditional designs which are highly patterned and usually symmetrical.  Often they have iconic animal figures in the center.

recyled glass samara costa rica

I start by making new sheets of glass, using broken wine and beer bottles.  I’m still working out the firing schedule, hoping to get the glass more transparent.

fusing recycled glass samara costa rica

Then I add my interpretations of the Chorotega designs, using Michael’s “Scratch and Frit” method with glass paste and frit.

recycled glass fusing samara costa rica

It’s time consuming and labor intensive.  It gets fired several times.  But the glass is free and I have the gift of time.

I’m thinking of slumping these into shallow plates, which will help the light pass through. What do you think?


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.


A New Year’s Eve wedding gift

fused glass art costa rica

fused glass art costa rica

I was commissioned to make a wedding gift for Jim and Evelyn, who tied the knot on New Year’s Eve.  We shared a lovely evening and sent them into their new life together with an amazing fireworks display over the ocean.  I hope this 14″ platter will remind them.  Best wishes to a great couple.


New technique

fused glass art samara costa rica

This is a fun piece I just finished.  I feel a series coming on.


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.


New Jewelry Sets

fused glass jewelry

fused glass jewelrey samar costa rica

Fused glass earrings and bracelet set. (Clear and dichroic glass, glass beads and copper wire.)

fused glass jewelry

Sold separately at Samara Organics. (Fused aqua and dichroic glass, natural turquoise, glass beads and copper wire.)

jewelry fused glass

Fused glass earrings and 21″ necklace.  (Fused blue aventurine and dichroic glass, lapis chips, glass beads, and copper wire.)

glass pendant earrings

(Green aventurine and dichroic glass, glass beads, and copper wire.)

Earrings – 4,000 colones

Bracelet – 5,000 colones

Necklace – 7,000 colones


Bring it on

fused glass art samara costa rica

Halloween costumes tucked away, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas.

fused glass art samara costa rica

These 4″ Poinsettias will look great hanging on your Christmas Tree and remind you of the native Pastor that are already changing color along the roadsides in Costa Rica.

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Grab one, while they’re available, at Samara Organics – 5,000 colones.


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.


Que Lindo Art Fair a big success!

Over 27 artists showed their wares at the annual Que Lindo Art Fair in Samara yesterday.

Over 27 artists showed their wares at the annual Que Lindo Art Fair in Samara yesterday.

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Que Lindo Art Fair

by Patty Shattuck

by Patty Shattuck

Playa Samara is home to an abundance of creativity.  Come see what local artists make.

by Lavae Aldrich

by Lavae Aldrich

Friday 24 January 2 – 6 PM

At: Samara Organics in the Natural Center.

by Marlene McCauley

by Marlene McCauley

Paintings – Holly Crenshaw, Davina Pritchard, Marlene McCauley, Patty Shattuck, Nathan Miller, Sara Lacrimi. Davina Pritchard

Pottery –

Mixed Media – Maria Fernanda Galvez,

Fused Glass – Lavae Aldrich

Sculpture – Nancy Reilly

Jewelry – Gallery Sandalo, Anita Azul, Josefina Riccheri, Lavae Aldrich

Clothing – Josefina Riccheri,  Anita Zuzul

Wood Frames – Jim Casey

Children’s activity table – Crear


New work on show

I just put some new work in the Dragonfly Art Gallery here in Samara.  I’m showing a mix of pieces using Spectrum 96 art glass and recycled window glass.  Stop by the gallery on the main street in Samara, next to Coco’s Mexican Restaurant, and owner Leo will introduce you to the compelling work of more than a dozen local artists.  In an easy afternoon you can do an art walk of several local galleries, all exhibiting hand-crafted work, made in Costa Rica.