Friday, June 29, 2012

Glass Fusing Results

I picked up our fired glass from Sharon Strong this week. Picking up the glass turned out to be a dull point in our week. Later that day the guys installing a sprinkler system in our yard cut the gas line. We were evacuated from the house for several hours while the fire department and gas company came to cut a hole in our alley and shut off the line. The gas company was here all day yesterday replacing the pipe and digging extra holes in our yard and the alley.

our alley yesterday

But, anyway, on to the glass.

Looks like we made a lot of stuff.

The results were fine. The jewelry, in particular turned out better than I expected. None of our glass had any obvious flaws like cracks or distortions. I was surprised to see a texture difference between some of the pieces. The orange tile in the center is more matt than the two orange glass pieces on the left and right. I assume the two had clear glass on top of the orange and the one had orange on top of clear. I didn't take precise enough notes to be sure, but I could go check the images.

Good Results

 Of all our pieces, my mom's blue explosion with red frit was certainly the "best." The tile kept its shape and the colors are vivid and strongly contrasting. The contrast in "texture"or pattern of the frit compared to the cut blue pieces also makes this piece stand out. Though I didn't take pictures, the best of other people's work also seemed to be the simplest. Contrasting colors and not too many layers made the pieces square, regular and highly visible. Unlike some of mine.

I suppose my best tile piece is the one made without a plan, though I don't like the matte texture of this orange as much as the other shinier tiles. I also like my spiders, mostly because of the green shimmery background with the orange stripes. 


Sharon put earring and necklace findings on some of the pieces, which was very nice of her. Of my work, she chose these earrings and large "pendant" which she had to cut down because it melted into a much larger piece. I've already worn the earrings. I happened to be wearing an orange and black NCECA t-shirt the day I picked them up.

She picked this piece to turn into a pendant for my mom. It probably looks better when I don't take the picture in the bright sunlight of my studio in the afternoon. The picture to the right is the blue pendant before firing.

Weird Results

One of Mom's explosions turned into a clown man. It looks like an explosion from the right angle, but the face is too evident if you spend much time with it. My daughter pointed it out almost instantly. 

I think my mom also got a swap in the deal. I didn't realize until I got home, but I'm pretty sure the piece on the bottom right in the before and after pictures is not the same.

What I Learned

Glass melts. I suppose I should have realized that, but look how much the piece below melted out of its original shape. It is more of an hourglass shape instead of a square. I had to prop up the piece for the picture because my variegated used of green striped clear and green glass doesn't show up without a backlight. The orange frit looks good, though. I noticed several other people had warped shaped work from layering too many pieces on top of one another. Sharon indicated that sometimes people cut them down after firing. I might just tie a doll's belt around the middle of mine.

The stringers that were to make up my net (above) melted thicker than I expected. I noticed, however, that the skinny lines in the bottom laters of glass didn't get any wider. I wonder if it has to do with how much glass is below the skinny piece.

It also didn't occur to me at the time that the clear glass wouldn't show up against the glass below it. I was picturing my bird's wing as being distinct from the rest of the bird. I guess that doesn't happen. The stripes below my fish (on the orange) also didn't show up against the orange either.

And for most of the jewelry, the shape didn't hold. Most of it seemed to turn blobby or round. I don't mind, but it took a while to figure out which was which. The finished ones below are arranged as they were before firing, including orientation.

If I were going to do it again, I'd say "simplify, simplify, simplify." Not surprisingly I was trying to do things that were too complex for the medium--or my understanding of the medium. However, If I didn't care about the overall shape and I had a little more control of the colors available, maybe I could translate the shapes into what I wanted, especially now that I have a better understanding of what the glass will do. I haven't decided yet if I want to try this on my own at home.

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