Fused glass roll-up

Fused-glass vase,  Dana Worley & Ryan Staub
Fused-glass vase,
Dana Worley & Ryan Staub
Fused glass is a versatile medium, but most fused glass artists long for our creations to have the smooth, glossy surface that comes only with a process where the glass does not touch a mold (or is cold-worked sufficiently so that the mold marks don't show). There are various techniques to achieve this this beautiful finish, including "drop vases" (see a previous blog post if you're interested), but these techniques are often limited in the shapes that can be achieved.

Another technique that can be used is called a "roll-up". A roll-up is made from a flat, fused glass panel. The problem is, rolls-ups require a glassblower and most of us don't count many of them among our friends. It's not that they are not friend-worthy, but glass blowers -- and ones who do roll-ups -- are hard to find! 

However, I was lucky enough to take Patty Gray's class at the Glass Craft and Bead Expo this year, and I had the opportunity to create a panel and have it turned into a beautiful vase. Patty often works with Ryan Staub for roll-ups, and Ryan offered to do roll-ups for the classes at the Expo at a special rate. I decided to take advantage of this opportunity, so I created a panel during the last day of Patty's class and left it for Ryan to take back to his studio in Seattle. 

I received the finished piece in the mail today and it is beautiful! Ryan is indeed a master glassblower, and he did a lovely job with my piece. I provided a quick hand-drawing of the shape and design I wanted, and he did an excellent job of creating what I had envisioned.

Here's the flat piece before it was fired in the kiln:

Roll-up panel prior to fusing
Roll-up panel prior to fusing

I fell in love with the beautiful aventurine green, fusers reserve glass that makes up the center strip. Fusers reserve is limited run glass, which helps to ensure that pieces created with the glass are one-of-a-kind. Glass labeled as "aventurine" from Spectrum glass has a lovely sparkle to it. It's normally produced only in solid colors, but here it is produced as a clear wispy. 

Completed fused glass roll-up
Completed fused glass roll-up

Here is the piece after Ryan worked his magic on it!
 If you are interested in how a roll-up is done, take a look at this Youtube video where Ryan does a roll-up on one of Patty's pieces (it's a little shaky at the start but gets a lot better). 

As you can see from the opening picture in the blog, the roll-up currently graces my dining table. It's just waiting for a bouquet of flowers... I'll be hitting the floral department as soon as I can!

Happy fusing!


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