Copyright, All Rights Reserved.

Copyright, All Rights Reserved. All content on this site is copyrighted, Dana Worley, as of the date of posting. Reuse or redistribution of this content is strictly prohibited without express written permission of the author.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Touring the Gallery with Peppermint the Elf!

Fun little compilation of images taken at the Artists Gallery, Cache Valley Center of the Arts today!


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Holiday Candle Dish


Finished candle plate in green Fusers Reserve
Finished candle plate in green Fusers Reserve
This time of year finds many of us in the studio looking for quick projects for holiday markets or gifts. I don't often work in "production mode", but in this instance I was looking for something that I could create multiple pieces of, for our local Winter Gift Market and for the artists' co-op I belong to. I decided on a candle plate in holiday colors.

Following is a quick tutorial on how to create this simple but beautiful holiday gift item. The size of this plate means it requires minimal materials, and it is created with a single firing. This means that you can offer this piece at a reasonable cost for holiday shoppers or give one to all of the people on your holiday gift list!


4" squares of Fusers Reserve green/red/white and clear
4" squares of Fusers Reserve green/red/white and clear

Candle Plate Materials

  • 4" square of colored glass (I've used Spectrum's Fuser Reserve in green/red/white and in red/white)
  • 4" square of clear glass
  • Clear coarse frit
  • Medium frit in complementary colors
  • Mica powder (I used bright gold)
  • SuperSpray
  • Rubber bump-ons


Directions

Mica-coated frit
Mica-coated frit




Put some clear coarse frit in a container. Add a small amount of SuperSpray and then sprinkle in some mica powder. Mix well and spread the mica-coated frit on a paper towel to dry.







Lay out squares of clear
Lay out squares of clear



Arrange the 4" squares on a sheet of craft paper. The craft paper catches the frit and makes clean-up easier.






Top squares of clear with colored glass
Top squares of clear with colored glass



Top the squares of clear glass with the squares of the colored glass.






Sprinkle with frit
Sprinkle with frit


Sprinkle on more clear coarse frit, and then the medium frits in complementary colors. Finally, sprinkle on some of the mica-coated frit. I tried to keep the centers of the candle plates relatively free of large frit pieces so that the candle will sit flatly in the middle.




Ready for firing
Ready for firing

The squares are now ready for firing.

Place the pieces on a kiln shelf prepared with kiln-wash or shelf paper, and fire to a contour fuse. I used the following schedule in my kiln; you may need to adjust for your kiln. Note that this kiln-load had a few larger pieces (8x12"). The bubble squeeze hold and longer annealing hold reflect this.


Firing schedule
















Add bump-ons and sign the back
Add bump-ons and sign the back
Close-up of the glass
Close-up of the glass

After the pieces were fired and cooled, I cleaned them and used a diamond hand-pad to smooth any stray frit from the edges. I finished them by signing and adding rubber bump-ons to the back.



Keep in mind when cleaning that some of the frit edges could be sharp! You can smooth any sharp points with a small diamond file or hand-pad, but be careful not to mar the finish of the plate.

Finished candle plate in red fusers reserve
Finished candle plate in red fusers reserve

For the Winter Gift Market and co-op gallery, I plan to wrap the plate along with a small candle, in clear cellophane to create a "grab and go" gift item for market shoppers.

I hope this short tutorial inspires your creativity for the holiday season. If you have questions or comments, leave a note in the comments below.

Happy Holidays!

Dana


Learn More!

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Glass Craft & Bead Expo 2017 - Noteworthy Instructors

"Summer" from my Origins series of bowls.
This recent piece is a result of the culmination of
techniques I've learned from the great instructors below.
Class registration will open November 30 for one of the art glass industry's premiere exhibition and educational events, The Glass Craft and Bead Expo. Now in its 22nd year, the Expo will be held at the South Point hotel in Las Vegas, NV, March 29 through April 2, 2017.

I have attended the Expo for several years now, and have had the opportunity to take classes with some of the instructors on the 2017 roster. In case you are new to the Expo or unfamiliar with the instructors, I thought I would highlight my favorites (listed in alphabetical order).

Dennis Brady

Dennis is one of the old-timers gracing the halls of the Expo. A few years ago I took a mesh melt class with Dennis. While I learned a lot about high-temperature melts, I also learned many tips about glass fusing in general. Dennis has a wealth of knowledge and shares it generously. He teaches classes on high temperature melts, cold-working, and the "business of art".

Margot Clark and Dr. Saulius Jankauskas

Margot and "Dr. J" are the faces behind the Unique Glass Color line of fusible glass paints. They offer project-based classes where you learn a variety of techniques and tips for using UGC products. Many of the skills you learn in their class transfer to the use of other manufacturer's paints as well. Margot is an exceptional artist and a great instructor. If you want to learn more about the possibilities using glass paints, this is a great class to take.

Michael Dupille

Michael is one of the pioneers of the studio glass movement. He has created art for many public installations and has a wealth of knowledge which he shares during his classes. His expertise includes working with frits, glass powders, and glass medium to create glass masterpieces with visual depth and texture. Michael has a quirky sense of humor which complements his relaxed teaching style.

Patty Gray

If you are looking for a high-energy, multi-day class with so many ideas and techniques that your head will spin, Patty's class is the one to register for. You will make bowls and boxes, learn techniques for using paints, frits, strips, and micas, and get hands-on experience with a variety of cold-working equipment. Patty is well-organized and keeps the class moving at a fast pace. Her classes are a lot of fun and will give you a variety of skills to help you advance in your fused glass art.

Janine Stillman

Janine is the Master of Glass Combing at the Expo. Janine focuses on what I consider "glass combing with intention". Rather than just throwing glass strips together, combing with abandon, and hoping for the best, you will learn how to plan and execute your project to create visually appealing designs. Janine's combing classes are great to get you over the fear of manipulating hot glass in the kiln, while learning all the aspects of doing so safely. She covers color selection, and provides many ideas for finishing off combed pieces and using them as design elements in other bodies of work.

Lisa Vogt

Lisa is another fabulous teacher who is well-organized and has a wide range of techniques which she shares. A few years ago I took a design class from Lisa, which has been helpful when considering the design of my work. A class I took last year covered the aspects of several advanced fusing techniques. including creating larger vessels and ways to make your work unique. Lisa is a fun and engaging speaker. All of the classes I have taken with Lisa have been lecture-based, rather than project-based. As someone who has been fusing for several years, I am not necessarily focused on what great project I can make in a class, but what knowledge I can gain. I have found Lisa's classes very informative and just what I needed to advance my work. (Side note: The backdrop for this blog is a closeup of a piece I made after returning from one of Lisa's classes.)

11 and 14" bowls, using design,
combing, and coldworking techniques

Summary

Each of these instructors is kind, generous with their knowledge, and just all-around "good folks". If you are wondering who to take classes from, they would all be at the top of my list. Keep in mind that classes for these instructors fill up quickly, so don't delay in signing-up once registration is open.

If you can't travel to Las Vegas to take classes from these instructors, Dennis, Margot, Michael, and Lisa offer on-line webinars with Glass Pattern Quarterly, as well as videos for purchase. All of these instructors contribute to on-line forums and have free tutorials on their websites.

If you have questions about these instructors or other instructors, drop me a note. There are some whom I have taken classes from who aren't mentioned above. (Keep in mind that I will NOT respond about any "bad experiences" I might have had in a class in a public forum, but I will answer questions in a private exchange.)

See you at the Expo in March!

Dana

Resources

Instructor Web Sites:


Other Resources:


Bullseye Kiln-glass Education Online





Sunday, November 13, 2016

Glass in the Garden

Flowers still in bloom at Red Butte Garden
Flowers still in bloom at Red Butte Garden
Now in its 14th year, the Glass Art Guild of Utah is holding its annual Glass In the Garden Art Show and Sale at Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City (http://www.redbuttegarden.org/glass-art-show).

The Guild held its artists' reception January 12th. Artists were on-hand to talk about their work with garden visitors and enjoy the lovely fall afternoon. The combination of nature, glass, and festivities made for an enjoyable afternoon!

The Guild's 2016 show runs through December 18th. I hope you'll have an opportunity to visit the glass exhibit and gardens, and perhaps take home a piece of one of a kind artwork. There's nothing better to add sparkle to the holiday season than glass! 

For a peek at the spectacular work available for sale during the show, enjoy this video taken at the Artists' reception, posted on YouTube: https://youtu.be/o5EYge8AwJY

I would like to thank Red Butte Garden for working with the Glass Art Guild of Utah for these many years to bring beautiful glass art to Salt Lake.

Dana

Want to learn about Glass Fusing? Check out these resources:


Glass Art Guild of Utah http://www.glassartguild.org/

Bullseye Glass Educational Videos
Bullseye Kiln-glass Education Online



Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fused Glass Bubbles

Bubbles created using Unique Glass Color Artisan Paints
Bubbles created using Unique Glass Color Artisan Paints
Glass artists usually try to avoid bubbles in their work, but there are times where, if you can control the appearance of the bubbles, they can be used as design elements in your fused glass art. I have written a couple of blog posts about my experiments with intentionally creating bubbles, and when asked, I refer people to those articles and other resources. Because those questions come up regularly, I thought I would try to put the information into one blog post.

What causes bubbles in the first place? Bubbles are caused by air trapped within the glass. The air can be caused by the placement of capped elements within a piece or it can be induced with an off-gassing agent. Bubbles can also be caused by firing too hot/too long, or by irregularities in the kiln shelf or other firing surface. Bullseye Glass has an excellent tech note on Volume and Bubble Control, if you would like to learn more.

When you understand what causes bubbles, you can begin to understand how to use them to your advantage. Here are some blog posts and other resources to get you started:
  • Blog post, 2014 Magless Exchange, Dana Worley. Experiments using a combination of kiln-carving and various off-gassing agents to create bubbles.
  • Blog post, More Fun With Bubbles, Dana Worley. Art glass piece using a combination of kiln-carving and Unique Glass Color Artisan paints.
  • Blog post, Fused Glass Candle Shield, Dana Worley. Tutorial that incorporates Unique Glass Color Artisan paints. Artisans are "bubble paints" that produce colorful bubbles.
  • eBook, Fused Glass Bubble Sorcery, Paul Tarlow. eBook, available for immediate download. (Paul has a large selection of ebooks, all of which are great additions to your fused glass library.)
  • Bullseye Educational Videos, search for Beating Bubbles.

I hope you find this compilation of information useful in your quest for capturing bubbles!

Dana

Related Topics

Fused Glass Pebbles: Pebbles are part of the crackle technique developed by Bob Leatherbarrow. Visually, they are similar to bubbles and are another great technique to add to your skills. Pebbles are discussed in detail in Bob's ebook, Intermediate Kiln-Formed Glass Powders.

Learn More!

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Click here to learn more!





Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Mandala and Cave Painting Workshop with Richard La Londe

Ebey Landing, Whidbey Island
Ebey Landing, Whidbey Island
In mid-September I had the opportunity to attend a workshop with Richard La Londe at his studio on Whidbey Island. The workshop was entitled, "Advanced Mandala and Cave Painting". The main focus of the workshop was to design, create, and mount a fused glass mandala. Three different methods were used in the creation of the piece, which centered around Richard's liquid glass line technique.

While we were all there to explore a new technique, learning from an instructor in their own studio is about a lot more than the technique. Richard started working with fused glass in the 1980s, at the inception of the studio glass movement. He has been there "since the beginning", which in the fused glass world translates to a time before there was compatible glass or widespread availability of kilns and other tools. When you are working with an artist in their own environment, you benefit from their years of experience and get a glimpse into what inspires the artist to create their work. You take away a lot more from the workshop than a new technique to add to your skillset.

Day 1

Mandala design layout, Dana Worley
Mandala design layout, Dana Worley
The first morning began with a discussion on mandala definition, examples, layout, and design. By mid-morning we were armed with information and got down to work with our pens and paper to create our design.

By the end of the day, we had done the prep work for the corner tiles for our mandalas and the center of our panels were ready for the kiln.

Center tile, almost ready for the kiln
Center tile, almost ready for the kiln

Day 2

Most of our studio time on day 2 was spent creating the tiles for the outer edges. These tiles used a similar, but different, technique than was used to create the center panel for the mandala. Mid afternoon we took a break from the studio for a tour and discussion of Richard's collections of work by other artists and his personal artwork.

By the end of the day, the kilns were filled with a second firing on our center tiles and the firing for our border tiles.


Richard, explaining some of his work
Richard, explaining some of his work

Day 3

On day 3, we opened the kiln to the fired center tiles, and a kiln full of colorful border tiles. These border tiles were beautiful enough to stand on their own.

Border tiles for mandalas
Border tiles for mandalas
Our studio work for the day included getting our corner tiles ready for the kiln, and learning about and fabricating our mounting systems for the two pieces we would be creating in the workshop. But the real treat on day 3 was our "extra curricular" activities in the afternoon and evening.

Gallery Tour

In late afternoon we headed off on the gallery tour that Richard had arranged for us. Our first stop was Rob Schouten Gallery at Greenbank Farms, where we saw Rob's work, and the work of glass artists Rob Adamson, Katrina Hude, and Steph Mader, as well as other artists. Rob describes himself as a Magic Realist Painter. Check out his work on his Gallery website (link below). His work is mesmerizing.

Colorful glass flowers at Island Art Glass
Colorful glass flowers
at Island Art Glass.
After visiting Rob's gallery and the small shops at Greenbank Farms, we found ourselves at Island Art Glass, the gallery of Rob Adamson and Janis Swalwell. In addition to meeting Rob and seeing the lovely work in his gallery, we had the pleasure of meeting glassblower Fritz Dreisbach. Back in Fritz's workshop, he captivated us with stories about his past and present work, including a collection of trick glasses he has studied and created over the years.

Later in the evening, as the group gathered at Richard's house for pizza and conversation, Fritz joined us for dinner and continued the tales of his years working with glass and some of the history of the studio glass movement.

ritz Dreisbach entertains the group with one of his trick glasses.
Fritz Dreisbach entertains the group with
one of his trick glasses. 









Getting ready to go off the high dive, or taking a picture. I'm not sure...
Getting ready to go off the
high dive, or taking a picture.
I'm not sure...

Day 4

On day 4 we finished our mandalas by securing them to our mounting system, and then learned an additional technique which we used to create primitive "cave paintings".

Once the cave paintings were in the kiln, the group gathered to take pictures of our finished mandala pieces. This exercise consisted of the "do not try this at home" warning, as Richard attempted to get a photograph of all the beautiful mandalas assembled in the drive.





Pole carving, Rosario Beach
Pole carving, Rosario Beach


There's always a bit of sadness when it's time to wrap up a workshop and head for home, after spending several days immersed in learning, creating, and sharing experiences with other artists. While all of us used the same techniques for our mandalas, each creation was unique in its color and design, expressing the uniqueness of each of us as individuals. The experience of learning from an artist whose work you admire, hearing stories from those who have devoted their lives to an art form that is your passion, and sharing your passion with others is priceless. And experiencing all of this in an environment as beautiful and inspiring as Whidbey Island is beyond words.

Dana




Dana Worley, finished mandala
Here I am with my finished mandala.
Let's just say I was meditating!



Note: The talented Di Faria assisted Richard in this September workshop. What a treat to have the expertise of another great artist! Thanks, Di!




Resources: 

Richard La Londe offers workshops at his home studio (check his web site http://richardlalonde.com/ for the schedule), as well as on-site at other studios. Upcoming classes include D&L Art Glass http://www.dlartglass.com/education/schedule, and Paul Tarlow's Helios Glass Studio http://heliosglass.com/classes.htm#visiting.

Check out Richard's book http://richardlalonde.com/books/ for a history on glass, more about Richard, and detailed information on his techniques, molds, and other equipment.

Rob Schouten Gallery web site, http://www.robschoutengallery.com/

Rob Adamson's Island Art Glass Studio http://www.whidbeyworkingartists.com/island-art-glass.html

Fritz Dreisbach web sitehttp://www.fritzdreisbach.com/

Di Faria web sitehttp://difaria.com/

Want to learn more about fusing? 

Check out Bullseye's On-Line Educational Videos! (small subscription fee required)
Click here to learn more!


Friday, September 9, 2016

Visiting Murano

Picturesque Murano, Italy
Picturesque Murano, Italy

This summer we had the opportunity to visit Italy. We spent a few days in Rome, toured the Tuscan countryside, and ended our trip in Venice.

For a glass artist, no trip to Italy would be complete without making a pilgrimage to Murano. And so on a beautiful July day, we hopped on one of the passenger boats to make the short journey from the Grand Canal to the island of Murano.

Just off the boat we found a shop with an artist working on-site. The artist was making items that were then sold in the shop, and of course, the intent of the "factory tour" was to eventually route you through the shop in case you were inspired to purchase glass. There were many, many shops in both Venice and Murano selling glass. I soon concluded that the items I could afford I could just as easily make myself (there were many fused platters similar to what I and many artists I know make). The items I loved were the ones I couldn't make myself but also couldn't afford!

In one of the squares in town, stands an impressive piece of work by Simone Cenedese.


Glass Sculpture in the distance.
By Simone Cenedese























Down one of the many cobbled streets on the island, we were lucky enough to stumble across one of the glass masters, Andrea Tagliapietra, hard at work in his hot shop. In the second picture below, Andrea is on the left, with an assistant on the right who is also the person in the bottom photo (I don't know the assistant's name). There was also a third gentlemen helping them. Watching their process was mesmerizing, as they moved methodically from the crucibles, to the torch, to the ovens, and back again, in what seemed to be a well-choreographed, and well-rehearsed, dance.

Andrea Tagliapietra glass artist

Andrea Tagliapietra glass artist

Andrea Tagliapietra glass artist














After my visit to Venice and Murano, as I thought of all the beautiful glass, I tried to decide what I liked about the pieces I was drawn to. I think some of the qualities that intrigued me were translucency, texture, and of course, the play of light on the pieces. I think texture is one of the qualities I am finding myself drawn most to, and I hope to find ways to include more of it into my work.

While I didn't leave Murano and Venice with a piece of "keepsake glass", I did bring home inspiration and ideas for further exploration in my own work. And that, as the cliche' goes, is priceless.

Happy glassing!
Dana

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Hand-Painted Fused Glass Candle Shield

Fused glass candle shield
Fused glass candle shield
2016 has been a difficult year for the art glass industry, as glass manufacturers have been under scrutiny by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency. These manufacturers have been operating within the guidelines provided by the DEQ, and over the years have been tested regularly and found to be in compliance. However, it would seem that a "witch hunt" has ensued as the city of Portland tries to understand the source of pollution in their area, and the glass manufacturers have fallen victim to the hunt. Add this on top of the downturn in the industry because of the recession and the availability of cheaply made imported raw glass materials and finished goods, and glass manufacturers find themselves struggling to stay in business. One manufacturer has announced it will close its doors by mid-summer because of these factors, and others scramble to meet new regulations being imposed upon them daily.

These manufacturers have been forced to stop producing a significant amount of their colored glass. When glass artists ask, "How can we help?" one answer is to support these manufacturers by buying, and creating with, the manufacturers' clear glass. With this in mind, I am offering this tutorial -- a fused glass candle shield that uses clear glass, glass paints, and mica powder.

Materials

Colour de Verre's lamp panel former
  • Lamp bender mold, I used Colour de Verre's round lamp panel former
  • Two 8.5x4.25" pieces of clear glass (or other size to fit your mold)
  • Two ~8x5" pieces of clear glass
  • Unique Glass Color (UGC) Artisan paints in White Glo and Mystic Blue
  • UGG Medium
  • Colors for Earth (CFE) glass paints in Deep Cranberry and Sapphire Blue
  • CFE Medium
  • Sepp Aztec Gold Mica
  • Fuse Master Super Spray
  • Coarse Clear Frit
  • Sky Blue Coarse Frit (optional)
  • E6000 or your favorite glass glue

Directions

Instructions for mica-coated frit
Instructions for mica-coated frit


Pour some of the clear coarse frit in a small container and mix with Super Spray. You want enough liquid to wet the frit, but you don't want it dripping. 

Sprinkle a small amount of mica powder in the container and mix well.

Pour the mica-covered frit onto a paper towel and set aside to dry.






Measure the mold to  determine the size of glass
Measure the mold to
determine the size of glass


Use a tape measure to measure the size of glass for the mold. This mold is approximately 8.5" from one side, across the arc, and to the other side. I decided to cut my two pieces of glass for the candle shield to 8.5"x4.25".





Measure the base of the mold
Measure the base of the mold



Measure the bottom edge of the mold to determine the size of the candle shield base. This mold measures 4.5 inches, so I decided to make the width of my candle base 6.5".







Draw a template for the candle base
Draw a template for the candle base

Draw a template for the base of the candle shield. I find it useful to use graph paper. I used a compass to draw the arc for the shield, though you could also place the mold itself on the paper and use a ruler to draw marks approximately 0.75" around the mold (much like marking the sewing lines for a fabric pattern). Use this pattern for cutting out the two base pieces of glass. You can place your glass on top of the pattern and score the glass.




Plan your painted design
Plan your painted design

Even though I will be applying the paints in a freeform pattern, I like to draw out a general design. Again, the graph paper comes in handy.

Once you've drawn your design, place one of your candle shield rectangles on top of the pattern. Mix your paints as recommended by the manufacturers and begin painting.



Painted glass set aside to dry
Painted glass set aside to dry



Set aside the painted panel and let it dry completely.






Cap the painted piece with clear and decorate with frit
Cap the painted piece with clear
and decorate with frit


When the painted panel is dry, top it with the second sheet of clear. Sprinkle on the mica-coated clear frit. Don't cover the painted design completely; otherwise, you may hide the lovely bubbles you'll get from the Artisan paints. If you choose, add some additional colored frit. I've used a little sky blue coarse frit.






Ready for the first firing
Placed on Papyrus and ready for the first firing
(I hate empty space in the kiln -- I snuck in another piece!)
Place the pieces for the base and the shield in the kiln and fire to a tack fuse. I started with the schedule below, but based on observation, I skipped to the anneal when the kiln reached 1380 deg F in segment 2.


Seg
Rate
Target
Soak
1
300
1100
15
2
300
1420
10
3
1500
950
75
4
100
700
00




After the first fuse
After the first fuse


Once the first fuse is complete, you are ready to slump on the lamp mold. Center the piece on the mold and fire. I used the following schedule:



Centered on the mold for the slump
Centered on the mold for the slump


Seg

Rate

Target

Soak

1
250
1100
30
2
250
1225
20*
3
1500
950
75
4
100
700
00

*Watch your slump and adjust the hold time accordingly.

Candle base after grinding & hand- polishing the edges
Candle base after grinding & hand-
polishing the edges
If you would like, use a regular table-top grinder to cold-work the edges of the candle base. Start with a coarse grinder head and shape all edges of the base. Now, switch to a fine grinder head and go over what you shaped. Finally, if you have diamond hand-pads available, use them to further refine the edges. Start with the lowest number grit (coarse) and work your way to the highest number grit you have available. 

Notice from the picture that the edge of the base was smooth enough, that if I would have liked, I could have used it as it was. However, I decided to do a final fire polish, using the following schedule:

Seg

Rate

Target

Soak

1
250
1100
30
2
250
1350
5
3
1500
950
60
4
100
700
00

The bottom edge of my candle shield was very even and sat level on the base when I tested it, so I did not need to cold-work it further after fire-polishing. You may find you need to grind the bottom, so the shield sits nicely on the base. If you have taken care during the slump to place the glass evenly on the mold, minimal leveling of the base will be required. 

Back of the candle shield
Back of the candle shield


To complete the candle shield, run a bead of E6000 or other glass glue along the bottom edge of the shield and set it in place on the base. Follow the glue manufacturer's directions for curing the glue -- E6000 should be left undisturbed at least 24 hours.






Close-up of paints and mica frit
Close-up of paints and mica frit
Using paints and mica is a great way to turn a piece of clear glass into a colorful work of art. The ideas in this tutorial can be used with whatever type of clear glass you have available -- whether it is Bullseye, Uroboros, Spectrum, Wissmach, or even float glass. 

I hope this information will inspire you to pull out your paints and micas and get creative with clear glass while supporting our art glass manufacturers!

Happy fusing, Dana



Finished candle shield sits in a window
Finished candle shield sits in a window

Candle shield with candle
Candle shield with candle











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