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.
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.
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.
Since my Seattle workshop in June, I have been working every day in the studio and loving it. What have I been doing?
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.
Is it technique or technical? I don’t know and I’ve asked for professional advice.
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.
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.
A new series, “CURRENTS”, will be on display tomorrow at Samara Organics Mercado & Café.
And Costa Rica is so very green
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.
This is a fun piece I just finished. I feel a series coming on.
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.
Another 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.
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.
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.
New fused glass earrings on display at Samara Organics Mercado and Café.
Handmade in Samara, Costa Rica.
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.