I’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.
After 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.
Then, with a soft pencil, I draw a design on the dry glass powder.
The design is carved away with a drummel tool.
The negative spaces are then refilled with a different color of glass powder.
When the design is complete, the piece is fired at full fuse (1535F for float glass).
Before molding the piece in a second or third kiln firing, the edges are hand sanded with 80 and 220 grit.
All 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.
I’ve been having a lot of fun recently making these wire-wrapped pendants.
I’ve enhanced them with beaded ropes.
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.
These earrings are using a new technique with a new material. I hope you like them.
All of this jewelry is for sale at Samara Organics at the Natural Center.
When I make mistakes in fused glass pieces, I break them up and re-fire them into “puddles”.
Lately, I’ve been wire-wrapping them as earrings and pendants.
My friend, Connie – she is great with beads and beading – helped me enhance these pendants with beaded ropes for necklaces.
Thank-you to my good friend and patron (through all my careers), Lynne Alexander.
These two 7″ square plates are ready for shipment to Seattle. Lynne says she’ll use them for candles.
A new series – The Birds of Costa Rica. (We have seen all of these from my house.)
I “paint” with powdered glass and frit onto float glass.
Some I put on bottle glass. Here is a Bombay Gin bottle, repurposed.
You can buy these birds in their wooden display stands at Samara Organics, in Playa Samara – c15,000 ($30.00)
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.
Here are the light catchers we made last week in the kids’ class.
If you’d like to schedule a kids’ class for a birthday party or special day, call or email for information.
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.
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.
“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.
I 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.
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.
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.
The glass pieces were fixed to the clear base sheets with white glue. Who doesn’t love glue?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fused glass earrings and bracelet set. (Clear and dichroic glass, glass beads and copper wire.)
Sold separately at Samara Organics. (Fused aqua and dichroic glass, natural turquoise, glass beads and copper wire.)
Fused glass earrings and 21″ necklace. (Fused blue aventurine and dichroic glass, lapis chips, glass beads, and copper wire.)
(Green aventurine and dichroic glass, glass beads, and copper wire.)
Earrings – 4,000 colones
Bracelet – 5,000 colones
Necklace – 7,000 colones
Halloween costumes tucked away, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas.
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.
Grab one, while they’re available, at Samara Organics – 5,000 colones.
Friday afternoon, we made light catchers with students from Mareas Homeschool, here in Samara.
We talked about glass: what it is made of – and glass fusing: what happens when it is heated in a kiln.
We talked about color, the color wheel, and how different colors work together.
We used pre-fired pieces of fusible art on top of a clear base sheet, in designs to match or drawings.
Here are the light catchers, with hooks, in the kiln and ready for firing up to 1490 degrees farenheit.
Twenty-four hours later, we opened the kiln to find the pieces of glass fused to the base sheet.
Colored light, ready to hang in a window.
Kids classes can be scheduled for small groups. Call for more information.
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.
- Two kiln firings.
You’ll learn the basics of kiln-formed glass while making your piece of artwork, including:
- glass cutting
- design and layout
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).
Reservations are required: Call 8977-1576 or email email@example.com
I’m headed north in a few weeks from my home in Playa Samara, Costa Rica. I’m going to the US, where shipping of my hand-made fused glass art work will be a lot easier and safer. Some of my customers have been patiently waiting for my next trip to the land of UPS and Federal Express and will be rewarded with delivery in early July. These pieces below are still available for purchase. Let me know before 21 June 2014 by Facebook message or email if you’d like one of these beautiful works of hand-made glass art sent to your home. Or call.
I’ll quote you the additional shipping costs before you purchase. I can accept credit cards or Paypal.
I’ve just finished a new series of fused glass jewelry.
There are several different styles.
Earrings, pendants and bracelets.
Handmade in Samara.
On display and on sale at Samara Organics and Dragonfly Gallery in central Samara. c4,000 ($8.00) each.
Here’s your opportunity to get into glass art for a small investment. Learn a new art or add to your existing studio.
AIM glass fusing electric kiln. 10” x 10” x 9” deep is perfect for fusing jewelry and small pieces or for annealing blown glass. 120 volt with a manual controller and a bead door. Used. priced to sell at $200.00.
10″ x 10″ is perfect for plates and bowls.
9″ deep allows you to slump into tall drop molds.
With bead door for annealing beads and blown glass.
120 volt electric elements
Email Jimmy for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m really excited about a new series I’ve started.
I was so inspired by this gorgeous photo by Frans Lanting, that I attempted to recreate it glass and copper.
How’d I do?
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.
Glass 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!
Playa Samara is home to an abundance of creativity. Come see what local artists make.
Friday 24 January 2 – 6 PM
At: Samara Organics in the Natural Center.
Paintings – Holly Crenshaw, Davina Pritchard, Marlene McCauley, Patty Shattuck, Nathan Miller, Sara Lacrimi. Davina Pritchard
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 fused glass earrings on display at Samara Organics Mercado and Café.
Handmade in Samara, Costa Rica.