Sunday, July 21, 2013
No, this isn't an "I Might Make That! Monday" installment, but it's time to admit to myself as well as to my readers that writing posts is going to be an irregular event for some time to come, and I'll skip the apologizing every time.
Just got back from a lovely week at Chautauqua, where it was sticky hot but lots of fun. Please do check out the link I've provided if you have never heard of this singular place.
I took a fused glass course--it was just two two-hour lessons, barely scratching the surface of all that is involved in fused glass making. I certainly have renewed appreciation for what my friend Patti of All Fired Up! puts into every piece of her work.
The piece above shows one of the pendants I made before it was fired. I think this technique is called Full Contour Firing. But anyway, I had to cut colored glass to the desired shape. Then the hard part: I had to cut clear glass the exact same shape to put on top of it. Then I decorated the piece with some shards of colored glass, some of which I cut and some of which I was able to use as-is. It was then fired at a very high temperature, which caused all the pieces to melt together, creating a flat surface.
To the right is the fired and finished pendant, along with other pieces destined to become a pendant and earring set, which I made using a different firing technique. (I forget what it was called, but I didn't have to cut any clear glass layer. It was fired at a lesser temperature, and you were allowed to have pieces that extended beyond the base.)
You'll see that with the first pendant, some of the glass shards "disappeared" into the green background glass and aren't visible anymore. Also, some of the glass pieces seem to have created a black border when they melted, which I think gives it a cool stained-glass appearance. But other pieces did not. So it was a real learning experience.
And no, the bail on the pendant was not part of the firing. I had just glued it on by time I picked up the red and turquoise pieces, which were fired a couple of days later.
I had fun playing with this, but I am not interested in acquiring all the specialized equipment required for fused glass work: Not just the kiln, but glass grinders, scorers, breakers, files, etc.
I also used the six-hour drive there and back to begin a Cellini spiral piece in shades of pink. I'll try to post pictures of that soon. It's only about 2-3 inches long at this point.