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, April 20, 2019

Hybrid Workshop with Silvia Levenson

Glass collage: "Mourn not the barren fields nor open green that sits silent"
Glass collage: "Mourn not the barren fields nor
open green that sits silent"
I've been working with fused glass since 2008, and over the years I have taken quite a few technique-based classes from some great artists. The last couple of years I have backed off taking these classes. I've tried to shift my focus to creating experiential pieces, choosing the technique suited for the work.

However...

When I opened my email a few months ago and learned that Silvia Levenson was coming to the Bullseye Glass Resource Center in Portland, I broke my promise to myself of "no more technique classes". Silvia's work is beautifully done, thought-provoking, and at times, unsettling -- everything I love in art and what I aspire to create. I had the opportunity to see one of her Strange Little Girls while in Scotland in 2017. The exhibit was in a renovated byre. The venue lent a surreal quality to the work on display, and I was awestruck as I walked through.

So... promises to myself or not, I signed up for the workshop.

The title of the workshop was Hybrid: The Synthesis of Form, Image, and Texture. As the name suggests, the class was about bringing together form, images, and texture when creating fused glass work. It was a great workshop. Silvia is a knowledgeable and delightful instructor, and of course, the Bullseye facilities are top notch. During a factory tour the Friday before class started, I had an opportunity to say hello to friends at Bullseye and also to meet people I have interacted with on-line but have never met.

Below you'll find images of the pieces created during the workshop.

Glass globe with text "where am I going"
"Where am I going"
Glass globe with text "The mind was dreaming"
"The mind was dreaming"



These two globes were the first projects we worked on.








Headstone, Blair Castle - St. Bride's Kirk


The layered collage at the top of the page was created from images provided for the class, as well as a couple of my own photographs taken in Scotland of headstones (there's something compelling about old graveyards and churches...). I love the image at the right. I will likely remake the fused glass piece using all of my own images and editing the gravestone image so the text is more predominant.






The final project was the creation of a textile object in glass. I picked up a vintage collar at an antique store here in Logan for the project, prior to leaving for Portland. I was drawn to it because of the variety of texture in the piece.
A vintage collar and its counterpart in glass.
A vintage collar and its counterpart in glass. 



Close-up of the glass collar.
Close-up of the glass collar. 













These obviously are learning pieces, but I'm eager to get back in the studio and apply some of what I learned to my current work. I've recently been incorporating screen printed images into glass, and this has given me inspiration to keep moving forward in this direction.

Happy spring!

Dana

Resources

Silvia Levenson, website: https://silvialevenson.com/
Permeable Structure press release for the exhibit at the Byre: https://www.bullseyeprojects.com/exhibitions/270/press_release_text/

Want to learn more about fused glass? Check out Bullseye Glass Educational Videos!
Bullseye Glass Educational Videos


Bullseye Now Offers Longer Videos for Classes by Leading Glass Artists - check them out!
Bullseye Glass Educational Videos



Friday, February 22, 2019

Yellowstone Inspired Fused Glass Serving Tray


Yellowstone Inspired Fused Glass Serving Tray
Yellowstone Inspired Fused Glass
Serving Tray

One of the things I appreciate about living in Northern Utah is our proximity to several national parks. Utah is home to The Mighty Five – Zion, Arches, Canyonland, Bryce, and Capitol Reef National Parks. A stone’s throw from Utah’s borders are Great Basin, Mesa Verde, and Grand Canyon. Out of all the parks in our area, the two that I’ve visited the most are Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.

Most often when I visit, I am in the company of loved ones. Both are destinations on many people’s bucket list, so we travel there with out-of-town guests. Because they are close, the parks are also destinations for long adventure weekends. I’ve carried my gear over a 10,700-foot pass in the Grand Tetons while backpacking with friends; participated with all the other gawkers in bear, bison, and wolf jams; and seen tears well up in someone’s eyes the first time she experienced the expansive vistas.


The memories I have shared with friends and family have made the parks special places for me. It’s no surprise then, that some of my art is inspired by these visits. In this tutorial, I share how I created one of my Yellowstone-inspired serving platters.

Materials

All the glass I used in this project is 3 mm System 96 glass. Rather than list specific product numbers, I have listed colors. This allows you artistic license to match your creativity, as well as your glass supplies on hand.
  •  Clear glass cut to 14.5”x8.75”
  • Blue glass, ~4”x8.75”
  • White and clear patterned glass, ~8.75”x10.75” (I’ve used Spirit glass; wispy would also work well.)
  • Green glass, ~4”x8.75”
  • Bright blue glass (turquoise also works well), ~6”x12”
  • Medium amber frit
  • Coarse cherry red frit
  •  Fine black aventurine frit
  • Papyros paper for first firing
  • Bullseye BE 8947 serving tray mold (kiln-washed)

The Pattern

West Thumb, Yellowstone NP photo: Dana Worley
West Thumb, Yellowstone NP
photo: Dana Worley





The West Thumb area in Yellowstone was my inspiration for this piece. The deep blue pools are surrounded by a white crust and are set against a backdrop of trees with Yellowstone Lake in the distance. The Bullseye serving tray mold is a nice mold for this project. If measured carefully, the round indention of the serving tray can be used for the pool, and the upper part of the mold provides a nice area for the trees and sky.
Pattern
Pattern









I’ve included a pattern here, but you can also draw your own. The important measurements are to draw a 5” circle for the pool that is 8” from the top edge of the tray and centered (thus, each side edge of the circle is about 2” from the side edges of the pattern). 

Cutting the Glass


When cutting the glass, I used the pattern as a guide, but I didn’t stick to it strictly. It’s more important that adjacent glass pieces match up with each other, so I used previous cuts to determine how the next piece was cut. After cutting the first piece, I determined the cutting lines for the next piece by laying the glass on top of the pattern and the adjacent cut piece and drawing the cutting line.

Blue and white glass for sky and clouds
Blue and white glass
for sky and clouds

First, using the blue glass, cut the piece for the sky. 

Next, using some of the patterned white and clear glass, cut the piece above the blue sky. Note that this white and clear glass does not completely follow the square edge of the rectangle (it’s rounded a bit at the edges). This was to encourage an organic edge at the top to match the style of the piece.



Use the pattern to draw cutting lines for the pool
Use the pattern to draw
cutting lines for the pool



Now, using the lighter blue or turquoise glass, cut an organic shape for the pool. I used the circle I had drawn on the pattern as a guide for the size, but I didn’t cut out a round circle (see image at left). 






Cut a smaller shape to add depth to the pool
Cut a smaller shape to
add depth to the pool


To add depth to the center of the pool, cut a smaller organic shape that will be placed on top of the larger shape when fired. These two stacked layers will result in a deeper color in the shape of the smaller pool.






Use the larger blue pool to draw  a cut-out on the white glass.
Use the larger blue pool to draw
 a cut-out on the white glass.

To cut the bottom white portion for the ground, I started by cutting out the full piece, including the area that would eventually be cut away to surround the pool. This is not the most efficient use of glass, but it allows for continuity in the pattern. You can choose to cut smaller pieces, not worrying about glass pattern continuity, to save on glass.

Working on top of the pattern as a guide, place the larger blue pool on top of the white glass. Use a Sharpie to mark its shape on the white glass. 




Cut the white glass in half, diagonally
Cut the white glass in half, diagonally


Now, cut the white glass in half, so that the pool shape can be cut out. I’ve tried to find a natural break line from one edge to the other, which will not be noticeable in the final firing (refer to drawing). 






Intermediate cut so that the inside cut breaks out successfully
Intermediate cut so that the inside
cut breaks out successfully


To cut out the area surrounding the pool, you will likely need to make intermediate cuts as shown in the picture. (Note that you could also make quick work of this cutting business with a ring saw!)







Place the green glass on the pattern and draw cutting lines
Place the green glass on the
pattern and draw cutting lines


Now, cut the green glass for the trees, again, following the pattern and the existing cut glass pieces. Using scraps of green glass, cut a few slender triangles and place them on top of the green, to give the impression of closer trees. Note that stacking the triangles will result in more saturation of color (just like the pools), and darker trees. I also chose to use a few triangles of lighter green for some of the trees. 





Cut glass placed on pattern
Cut glass placed
on pattern



The cutting is complete and now it is time for the final touches. Lay out all the cut pieces of glass on the pattern. 










The piece with the frit added
The piece with the
frit added

Using the amber medium frit, fill in the space between the green trees and the white ground (marked Gold on the pattern). Next, use more amber frit, cherry red frit, and the black aventurine frit to add the colorful crust around the pool (these colors are produced by bacteria, but they certainly make a dramatic landscape!). The frit will help to conceal the cut lines you made in the white glass to accommodate the pool. Scraps from the white and clear glass can be used to add clouds to the blue sky. I also used a light sprinkle of some of the black aventurine frit in the tree area to add interest.






Do a final check of
the piece on a light
table, if available




I checked the final layout of my work on a light table. Notice how the smaller pool placed on top of the larger one saturates the color and adds depth to the pool. The triangle shapes for the trees produce this effect as well. 








I used the following schedule for the first fuse. Note that even though I have varying volumes of glass, I did not dam the piece. Again, I was looking for a more organic edge to match the composition.

Segment
Rate
Target Temp
(deg F)
Hold
(minutes)
1
300
1100
30
2
50
1250
60
3
300
1460
15
4
AFAP
950
120
5
100
700
00

My schedule for the slump was as follows (note: Bullseye recommends a longer hold at 1225, but does not include the 30 minute soak at 1100 deg F. This schedule works for me, in my kiln. You may need to adjust for your kiln. See resource links below for BE's suggested slump schedules for molds): 

Segment
Rate
Target Temp
(deg F)
Hold
(minutes)
1
250
1100
30
2
300
1225
30
3
AFAP
950
120
4
100
700
00

Dana standing on top of Paintbrush Pass
Memories!
At the top of Paintbrush Pass,
Grand Teton National Park (2013)
Capturing the essence of a place we have visited in art is an excellent way to preserve the memories of a special place. I hope this post provides inspiration for you to capture your own memories in glass. Have fun making memories!

Dana

Resources:


Want to learn more about fused glass? Check out Bullseye Glass' educational videos!

Bullseye Glass Educational Videos