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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hello Sunshine!

I like winter in the intermountain west. The snow in the mountains is beautiful, and I enjoy getting out to cross country ski. However, when winter turns to spring, my thoughts turn to sunshine! I'm  ready for biking, hiking, gardening, and grilling on the patio -- all the little things that warmer weather brings.  Each spring, I can hardly wait for the bulbs to emerge. I love the yellows of daffodils, the reds of tulips, and the yellows and whites of crocuses.

It's these thoughts of flowers and sunshine that inspired my latest fused glass creation, Bowl of Sunshine.

This little bowl is 5 inches across the top edge, and about 1.25 inches tall. It's the perfect size for serving dip or nuts, can be used as a votive or knick-knack holder, or can be placed on your table to look at "just because". If you're interested in how the piece was created, read on.

Technique: The first part that I made was the sun that sits in the bottom of the bowl. I used a Taurus ring saw to cut two star shapes from an orange/red/white opal swirl. The two pieces were then tack-fused together with the "arms" offset to create a sun. Three small red "blobs" (that's a technical term) were also placed atop the glass.

Next, I cut a circle from clear glass (using the ring saw again -- I'm terrible at cutting circles with the glass cutter!). I also cut twelve 3/4" squares from an orange/red/yellow/white swirl cathedral. The sun was placed in the middle of the circle, and the squares were placed along the outside edge (the idea was, during the fuse, these squares would produce a slightly scalloped edge for the bowl). To finish off the design, I sprinkled a red coarse frit on the remaining areas of clear glass. The glass was then full-fused to produce the round disk. The final step was placing the disk on a small mold, and firing the glass to slump it into the mold.

I love the finished piece! The colors are bright and cheery, and the clear base glass allows the sun to shine through, leaving a pretty pattern in the bowl's shadow. And because I can't keep everything, this piece is now offered for sale in my Etsy shop.

I hope this first day of Spring finds you as sunny and cheerful as this bowl full of sunshine!

Dana (aka, The Jester)

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