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

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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.

 


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.


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.


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


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.


New technique

fused glass art samara costa rica

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


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.


Limited US Shipping

 

Red Leaf Platter - 8" x 14" - $54.00

Red Leaf Platter – 8″ x 14″ – $54.00

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.

Striped plate, green & blue transparent - 6" x 6" plate - $22.00

Striped plate, green & blue transparent – 6″ x 6″ plate – $22.00

 

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Waterlilies - 6" x 6" plate - $26.00

Waterlilies – 6″ x 6″ plate – $26.00

Waterfish - 6" x 6" plate - $26.00

Waterfish – 6″ x 6″ plate – $26.00

Flores, cranberry on yellow - 8" x 8" plate - $18.00

Flores, cranberry on yellow – 8″ x 8″ plate – $18.00

Sea Green 2 - plate 8" x 8" - $32.00

Sea Green 2 – plate 8″ x 8″ – $32.00

Sea Green 1 - Plate 8" x 8" - $32.00

Sea Green 1 – Plate 8″ x 8″ – $32.00

I’ll quote you the additional shipping costs before you purchase.  I can accept credit cards or Paypal.


Sparkle Plenty

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New fused glass earrings on display at Samara Organics Mercado and Café.

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Handmade in Samara, Costa Rica.

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Tropic of Christmas

fused glass christmas ornaments

fused glass christmas ornaments

Christmas Ornaments with a tropical twist.  For sale at Samara Organics Mercado and at Dragonfly Gallery.  Or contact me for an order.  I’ll be hanging mine on the potted Ficus tree.