Last evening (July 17) was a meeting of RTP 180 at the Research Triangle Foundation Building on Davis Drive in RTP, NC. Each month there is a different topic with exhibitors and presenters. The meetings are free and open to the public, but you need to reserve tickets online. The topic this month was art in the Research Triangle, and I exhibited several of my science themed fused glass art pieces there. It was a lot of fun to net work with RTP workers and to demonstrate how I create my artworks. There were several short presentations that connected art and science, and they were very interesting.
I just returned from two wonderful weeks at Penland School of Crafts where I got to play at learning and making art without my usual life distractions. Other artists often said to me, “You’re from NC, and you haven’t been to Penland?!” Everything about it was great. The best part was taking a fantastic class on Powder Printing on Glass (then fusing) with awesome Stacy Smith, a well known glass artist in the Pacific NW. She was enthusiastic, an amazing teacher, patient, knowledgeable, energetic, helped those of us who wanted to work late at night and over the weekend — she’s absolutely the best!!! And I finally got a grasp on “layers” in Photoshop; I’m excited about that. I also learned a lot about silk screen printing, and the technique seems very powerful. I just love the possibilities. Here are a few of the projects I created:
While I’ve been waiting to use a friend’s sand blaster on some vitrigraph murrini pieces, I tried making some more powder wafers. Here’s a new picture I call, “Lines of Communication”. I also used some thin slices of the vitrigraph murrini I recently made.
The piece entitled “Urban Sprawl” that is below in my last Blog, was juried into the “Latitudes and Longitudes” exhibit at the Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh. It will be there until the end of May. If you are in the area, check it out as the show is great.
After learning how to make vitrigraph murrini rods, I’m awed by the variety of patterns that emerge in the cut pieces. Even though making them and creating an art piece with them is a lot of work, I am driven to make more. I love the way they turn out – very cellular and interesting with lots of different patterns in one pull. I have been keeping lists of the 30 layers of starting material glass that go into each crucible as well as the rod number or position as each color emerges in the center of the rods. It helps in planning future pulls. I found that I need about 18 (of 30 total) layers of white and/or clear to make interesting pieces. Here is a sculpture I just finished using the fused glass murrini from one pull and a piece of solid walnut that I refinished after help cutting it by my carpenter son in-law.
Now that spring is really here and life gets in the way of art glass, my new kiln is ready to fire. My plan is to use it for thicker sculptures that take a long time to anneal. In the mean time I have been creating some flatter pieces such as the one below made with glass powder wafers. I love the texture achieved when I fused my diatom wafers to the background glass. I call this piece “Bones.” I mounted the glass on an aluminum frame, and it is 20″ x 16″ x 1″.
With all the snow and sleet we’ve had this winter, it’s been a good time for fusing. I finally finished the leafy mirror.
Yesterday and today I was stuck in the house with few distractions. I worked all day to finish creating and building this leafy mirror frame for a customer. I also plan to add large clear frit surrounding the leaves. It’s almost 24″ x 20″ which is the largest size I can fuse in my kiln. As soon as the weather clears with less chance of power outage, I will fuse it.
Thanks to my wonderful son in law, the new lid is now on my old Ovation 10 kiln, and finally I can fuse again without fear of ceiling chips and element pins landing on my glass. I wish I had thought of purchasing a new lid two years ago instead of complaining and procrastinating for so long. I also got a new Pearl 22 kiln that needs to be installed – new power line.
Last spring I watched the Bullseyeglass online video entitled, “Harnessing Flow in Kiln-Glass.” OMG! I was hooked on trying it, and with each experiment, I couldn’t wait to try another variation. Please check out the “Flow Glass Art” page in my Gallery. My favorite piece to date is “Chasm” (shown below), and I received a lot of positive comments about it .All year I have been showing my work to Suzie Geyer at Carolina Stained Glass, and she asked me if I would like to teach a workshop at the shop this winter. So, yesterday we had a fun day there teaching 7 students to make their own flow project. Everyone had a blast, and we are all looking forward to the kiln opening on Monday. Here’s a piece I fused last week to show the class what it looks like before and after fusing and to demonstrate the movement of copper foil fish in different parts of the project. It still needs a lot of cold working and finishing.