Wednesday, 3 August 2022
Using a FREEZER to make glass pieces, and using GLASS CLAY !!!
The great thing about working with a medium like glass, is that there is always something new to learn . Glass artists are experimental souls, and some come up with inventions or ideas that they are happy to share with others.
I recently found two new methods of creating dimensional "elements" to add to my work. Once upon a time, I would have simply painted dolphins onto my glass...but painting is really tricky with horribly shaky hands; this new method eliminates that problem. I now can "make" dolphins, shells, seahorses, tropical fish...even mermaids...if I want to, and they are made with GLASS POWDER. Quite amazing!!!! Here are some examples; they are placed onto glass tiles I had in the studio which made perfect backgrounds.
To create these pieces, I used a process called "Freeze and Fuse". I dislike the title, but it is what it is. I put powder into moulds, together with water to create a heavy kind of paste, it is packed tightly into the mould and then I freeze the pieces. It is similar to a process called Pate de Verre, though a LOT simpler and less effortful. When frozen, they are turned out onto boards and fired in the kiln. And then, I have little glass pieces to use in my work! Here is one finished piece to show you what can be done with them:
The individual panels on the lantern would also look really lovely framed, here they are on a white background so you can see the "watery" look which does not show up well in the photo. The painting work is very transparent, so against my pond, you cannot see it well.
Then, I discovered yet another method of producing pieces in the mould....using something called Modelling Glass, a product which mixes with glass powder to produce something very much like clay. This can be pressed into moulds, dried, and then fired. Again - something created by a glass artist, and it is marvellous.
These pieces aare dried, but not fired yet. I was able to file off edges and tidy them up, just as one might do with pottery clay. Then I fired them.
Now I am selling these little components for others to use.
And trying out other rather ambitious ideas of my own...this next piece is a work in progress...am still trying to decide whether to make it a gently sloping dish, or one with a square centre. I hope you can see that the flowers , tendrils and leaves are "proud" of the surface...you can feel them distinctly. I have tested the ability of the 3D components to "slump" (bend) in the kiln, and they can, so it is quite exciting, and scary, to see what will happen.
I am immensely grateful to have found these new processes, they keep me occupied and creative.