Tuesday, March 25, 2008

it's all in the glass

I am often asked how I create my glass pieces. Glass fusing, known also as Kilnformed glass, is a process where glass (mostly in sheet form) is cut and reassembled and then fired in a glass kiln. Glass is both a science and an art, so it's a bit more complicated than that. There are so many sites that explain the process and talk about glass in great detail, that I'm not going to get to technical today. I am, of course, fond of the Bullseye Glass (see the technotes) along with the Blog that Lani writes. Very informative. So if you're interested in a more depth answer, check those links out. Here's a brief outline of the 2 day process for pendants:

1. pick & purchase the glass
2. design the pendants
3. cut the glass
4. clean the glass
5. assemble the glass elements & place on kiln shelf
6. fire the glass (12 hours) using a firing schedule up to approximately 1480 degrees F
7. clean and inspect the fired pieces
8. dremmel tool the jewelry bail spot
9. glue the bails on

The process and techniques change from artist to artist. And that's what makes the medium so exciting. I am constantly experimenting and finding new techniques or materials I can incorporate into my work. If you live in Portland, or come for a visit, I highly recommend visiting the Bullseye Factory for a tour where you can see them making glass, and definitely visiting the Bullseye Gallery for cutting edge glass art in the Pearl District.

Speaking of cutting edge glass, Bullseye has just announced the E-Merge finalists. Definitely worth checking out.

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