Last Wednesday I finished a color theory fused glass workshop at Helios Kiln Glass Studio. The workshop lasted five days from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The workshop was taught by visiting instructor Richard Parrish from Bozeman, Montana. If you’ve ever seen his work, it is beautifully designed, composed, and executed, which isn’t all too surprising given his being an architect-turned-glass artist.After stopping by the studio last year when he was teaching this same class I came to the conclusion that I had to take it: not only as a general refresher in color theory, but also to better understand how different colored opaque, transparent, and tinted glass interact with one another. (F.Y.I. glass does not mix like paint and can and probably will do weird things if you haven’t experimented enough to know what to expect).The workshop was fun and it was equally involved and labor intensive. I also didn’t realize just how physically and mentally exhausting it could be to stare at bright colors for hours at a time. We had several assignments to complete every day and had access to every color of BullsEye glass, with a few restrictions (no black or white).
We had a great group of people (there were 8 students, including myself) and we all learned as much from each other as we did the instructor. The point wasn’t to make an awesome finished cold-worked piece, but rather learn as much about color interaction as possible. These pictures are of the larger tiles I did after doing numerous smaller test tiles.Richard Parrish will be back to teach a design class as well. I am definitely looking forward to it!
I sat in on a glass fusing class at Helios on Anderson Mill and we were making what they have coined “glass latticework.” It’s a non-traditional technique using strips of glass fused together with large spaces in between. This technique has a more overall organic shape after it is fired than what I generally lean towards with my jewelry and glass art designs, but I figure it’s good to try everything.
Piece prior to fusing.
I forgot to take a picture of the second step before slumping it. So the the pictures on here are the first and third steps of the process: pre-firing and post-slumping. After it slumps it will look like a glass basket of sorts.
It seems that one of my corners came undone during firing, so it didn’t do what I expected. So now I have a glass basket with a long hoop for hanging. Which is a neat accident, as far as accidents go.
One side looks like a human ribcage, complete with upside down xiphoid process.
If you’re interested in learning to make fused glass, check out Helios.com’s Beginners class schedule.
When you create fused glass you never work with an open flame. Its all done in the kiln, but there is glass combing, which is where you open the kiln while it is still at glass melting temperatures and run a metal rake or hook through the glass to get cool effects. Even then, there is not an open flame, there are metal elements in the sides and top (depending on your kiln)producing the heat. This technique is not unlike dragging a knife through the icing on your brownies to create fancy patterns.
This was my first glass combing piece. It consists of pimento red, forest green, marigold, and clear Bullseye glass.
Picture courtesy of Helios Kiln Glass Studio.
The glass in its glowing, molten and pliable state. Photo courtesy of Karen Tarlow.
Me combing glass at 1700 degrees. Photo courtesy of Karen Tarlow.
This large glass “handkerchief” was my submission for the Second Annual Iron Fuser II Competition, its an national competition put on by the glass studio I work at. There was a first place and several different categories of awards (which were made of glass). There were 39 entries submitted this past year. Besides some rules on dimension limits and having to use the contents of a glass pack, we were given free reign on what we could submit.
Photo courtesy of Paul & Karen Tarlow
It sold to a customer based in North Carolina. Pretty excited to do the Iron Fuser again this year. Wonder what the first place award will look like…?