Fused Glass from Tropics of Costa Rica

Posts tagged “Handmade

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.


Seven new pieces

wire wrapped glass pendants

DSCF5330a

     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.

 


Enhancements

fused glass jewelry samara costa rica

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

a- j12 13 14

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.

a- j3 j6

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.


Send me your empty, your poured.

kiln operation

DSCF3643

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.

DSCF3644

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.


Inspired by the sea

Red blue coral, 13" diameter, C22,500

Red blue coral, 13″ diameter, C22,500, available at Gecko Glass

Blue green coral, 10" diameter, C12,500

Blue green coral, 10″ diameter, C12,500, Sold

Lavender blue coral, 10" diameter, C12,500

Lavender blue coral, 10″ diameter, C12,500, Available at Samara Organics Market


Currents

art glass

A new series, “CURRENTS”, will be on display tomorrow at Samara Organics Mercado & Café.

glass fusing in the tropicsglass fusing costa ricaThis one reminds me of the ocean.

glass fusing             fused glassfused glass art costa rica

And Costa Rica is so very green