Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Advanced Glass Fusing



It’s thrilling to see your artistic vision come to life. I had the idea for Envy pinging around in the back of my mind for several years before I actually had the time and ambition to build it. I imagined a fluid, freestanding piece of art with strong lines and peek-a-boo windows on the wings.

Lime green and grenadine red were the colors I wanted to use from the very beginning. In my mind’s eye, the finished artwork had a dramatic sculptural form I’d never seen before. When it came time to produce a new video, it was the perfect opportunity to challenge my skills and see if I could actually build what I’d only dreamed of.    


The pattern I envisioned had a striking linear quality. I felt the best way to achieve the pattern was by arranging narrow strips of glass on edge. This thick type of assembly would also give the art depth, plus physical and visual weight. All of which are proven to increase the value of fused glass artwork.



I was sure cutting and assembling this number of strips would take considerable time. The slumping mold I had in mind didn’t exist. I knew I’d have to make a custom form to slump the fused glass over.


Getting the exact finished shape, I wanted would be a gamble. There were no guidelines or instructions to follow. I was entering uncharted territory. If I couldn’t create the shape I wanted I didn’t want to pursue the project. The project’s success was dependent on the finished shape. And therefore, it made sense to make a test piece. Sure, I’d waste clear glass. But if it worked, I’d be slumping the time consuming patterned blank with confidence. And that made the extra effort worthwhile.


I began by setting up the slumping mold. It was made with an assortment of heat retardant materials. I stacked kiln posts and fire bricks on the floor of my Skutt clamshell kiln. I then draped 1” thick fiber blanket over the posts and bricks to make a wavy shape. Next, I cut double thick clear glass to match the size and shape of the intended artwork. The glass was then placed on the mold and heated to a slumping temperature. The resulting piece was too shallow. It didn’t have the deep contours I was looking for. I rearranged the mold making it taller on one side. The slumping program was adjusted to have a longer hold. This would increase the contact the glass would make with the fiber blanket. I cut a second piece of double thick and slumped it over the mold. This one came out exactly the way I wanted. It was time to build the patterned blank, fuse it and slump it over the mold.


I was excited when I opened the kiln. There is was, my dream piece looked just like I’d imagined. It was a relief to have made something that had haunted my mind, unfinished for so long. After the piece was unloaded and put on display a curious thought came to mind. The artwork was so familiar, it had been part of me for years. I found myself wondering if I’d seen it somewhere before other than in my head. It came out so perfectly that I didn’t know if I liked it. Fusing and slumping advanced projects usually results in some variation of my original idea. 

Often rendering results that are surprisingly better than expected. But this piece was identical to my vision. I didn’t know how to feel about this realization. Was it artistic maturity that lead to my success? Was the piece interesting? I’d seen it in my head for so long I didn’t know. I work in my studio alone. The only feedback I get during these total immersion sessions is from my family. And they think I’m getting carried away again. Which I am. My neighbors think I’m the mad scientist at the end of the block. I am.


It was only after I had some distance from the piece that I began to appreciate the complexity of the accomplishment. Now, I intend to expand on what I learned. I’m driven to design and build more intricately shaped pieces of art that are up until now, only dreams. 


Adventurous exploration of this level is what makes each one of my advanced glass fusing workshops a new experience. My students learn from my horrible failures and benefit from my sweet successes.  


I’m a proud lifelong learner happy to share my expertise. I compare artistic journeys, like the one I embarked on to make Envy, with climbing Mount Everest. I climbed to the top one step at a time, so my students can arrive by helicopter.   


Are you ready to take your glass work to new heights?

Join me in November! Only 2 seats left!
Advanced Glass Fusing 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop, November 6-9, 2018


Check out the new Advanced Class video here:

Happy Fusing!
Lisa

Follow my blog for more tips and tricks! 

Let’s get together and fuse glass!


Upcoming Webinar
Fusing with Frit
September 20, 2018


Upcoming Class
Advanced Glass Fusing 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop
November 6-9, 2018

Register here: http://www.lisavogt.net/products.aspx?id=477

This is the turning point experience you’ve been waiting for.

Join me for this intense workshop held in my private studio.
Wesley Chapel, Florida, 4-Day, Hands-on, Class size is limited.

What makes this class different?

You'll love the concentrated, in-depth study and creative momentum you’ll gain while actively producing, nonstop for four consecutive days. You’ll leave class with a working knowledge of kiln operation, custom project specific firing guides, and the inspiration you’ve been craving to go bigger and do more!
Its hard-core fusing in a nurturing, relaxed environment.

In this class, you will push the boundaries art glass imposes. Students explore innovative approaches to design and combine multiple advanced techniques to construct original art that reflects your own personal style. You’ll enjoy: the one-on-one instruction, making large scale projects, the well-equipped classroom, and the intimate class size.

Seats are limited.
Register here: http://www.lisavogt.net/products.aspx?id=477

I took Lisa's Advanced Fusing class. She says this class will take you to the next level, but it was so much more than that.  The pieces I did in the class are easily 3 levels better than what I’d been doing (I thought I was doing pretty well!).  She gave us numerous design tips and display ideas, and suggested a number of projects for the course, but we students decided between us what to focus on (and she gladly shipped pieces that finished firing after we left).  We combed, cast, made drop-out vases, and learned creative ways of converting scrap into masterpieces.  We made frit paintings and thick block sculptures.  And of course, we got to use great equipment, far better than what I have at home.

Her spacious, welcoming home studio is easy to work in, and her home itself is full of gorgeous pieces she's done over the years. 

In summary, a great class, and I'm looking forward to doing it again!

-Pat M.


Learn at home at your own pace. Instructional Videos are here!


Check out my new writer’s blog.
Writer – Instructor – Artist

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Gerber Daisy Dish How-to



Endless fusing fun is here! Celebrate the spirit of carefree days, fragrant flowers and peaceful picnics before summer slips away. 

I enjoy having pretty, seasonally themed functional art in my kitchen. The dual purpose decorations brighten up the space, and at the same time minimize clutter on the counter.

In my kitchen, the two small round dishes serve as spoon rests. I have one delicate blossom on either side of my stove. The larger bouquet bowl sits beside my kitchen sink; it holds my sponge. 



You’ll love how fast and easy these delights are to make and they’re economical as well. These small scale beauties use very little material, therefore it’s easy to justify making more seasonal dishes with an autumn theme next month when we usher in the rich colors of fall.  
 
So, let’s jump right in. Then you can zip out to your glass studio, spend quality time with your glass cutter and cozy up to your kiln!


How to make the dishes:
Round dishes: 4 inch circle
Square dish: 6 inch x 6 inch square

Round dishes:

Cut 2 - 4 inch circles out of clear fusible glass. 

Cut a 2 inch wide strip of orange opal, yellow opal and red opal glass. Cut the strips into long triangles. Round off the corners of the triangles with pliers. Collect the frit for the flower centers. Select a color and arrange the petals on the clear base glass. Select a second color and stack the petals on the previous layer. Sprinkle the frit you made shaping the petals in the middle of each flower to make a pretty center. Use a small amount of fuser’s glue to hold the glass securely when you load the assembled project into the kiln.  

Square dish:

Cut 1 – 6 inch square out of clear fusible. 

Cut 1 – 6 inch square out of blue opal glass. Stack the blue opal on the clear base. Arrange the flower petals on the blue glass to make three partial flowers. Sprinkle the frit you made shaping the petals in the middle of each flower to make a pretty center. Use a small amount of fuser’s glue to hold the glass securely when you load the assembled project into the kiln. 

Fuse the assembled project using the firing guide below. Slump the fused glass into molds using the firing guide below. 



Firing Guides 
                                                     
Full Fuse: Heat the assembled glass at a rate of 300 degrees per hour to 1300, hold 30 minutes, 500 degrees per hour to 1465 degrees, hold 10 minutes. 

Reduce the temperature as fast as possible to 1000 degrees, hold at 960 degrees for 40 minutes. Let the glass and kiln cool to room temperature undisturbed. 


Slumping: Heat the fused glass in the slumping mold at a rate of 300 degrees per hour to 1265 degrees, hold 10 minutes. 

Reduce the temperature as fast as possible to 1000 degrees, hold at 960 degrees for 40 minutes. Let the glass and kiln cool to room temperature undisturbed.   

*Kilns fire differently. Test fire the firing guides and adjust if needed.

Enjoy your studio time!


Happy fusing!

Lisa  

Follow my blog for more tips and tricks! 
      

Upcoming Webinar
Let’s get together and fuse glass! 



Fusing with Frit Webinar
September 20, 2018


Are you a hands-on learner?

Now Registering!
Advanced Glass Fusing 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop
November 6-9, 2018

Gain knowledge! Build confidence! Get inspired!
Join me for this in-depth workshop held in my private studio.
Wesley Chapel, Florida, 4-Day, Hands-on, Class size is limited.
Seating is limited. Register here: http://www.lisavogt.net/products.aspx?id=477

In this intense, 4-day workshop you’ll utilize the many advanced techniques today’s successful glass artists are using to elevate their work from craft to fine art. This all-new program is ideal for ambitious glass fusers ready to go bigger and explore more in-depth kiln forming techniques.



Learn at home at your own pace. Instructional Videos are here!


Check out my new writer’s blog.
Writer – Instructor – Artist