Tuesday, September 18, 2018

5 Fabulous Frit Techniques You’ll Love

Except from my Fusing with Frit Webinar, this Thursday, September 20, 2018.

Never underestimate the power of small! 

Frit may be tiny, but make no mistake, this little powerhouse can make a huge, positive impact on your glass artwork. The beauty of frit is in its flexibility. I love to push that flexibility every chance I get. 

There are always several ways to approach any glass fusing project. But if you can incorporate frit of some sort into that project, you’ll have something unexpected that is unquestionably more engaging. And as self-serving as it is, we all want to dazzle people with our art. 

Next time you’re brainstorming how to build your project, consider replacing some or several design elements with frit. Play with different sizes; use mosaic, course, medium, fine and powder. Each size has its own unique visual characteristic that you will love after firing. Work with several shades of the same color such as light amber and medium amber to create a three-dimensional quality. Repeat the same color such as red in both transparent and opal glasses for greater contrast. 

Let’s dive in! 

1 Go Overboard! Strengthen your design by incorporating a subtle complimentary pattern in the background. When making the Flowering Tree, I cut a leafy tree limb stencil out of stiff paper. I then sifted soft green powders over the stencil to add the delicate woodland setting behind the flowering plant. The addition of the soft foliage unifies the overall project and makes it distinctly more appealing. The great thing about stenciling a design is that each piece you make will be slightly different and therefore everyone has unique beauty.

2 Go Deeper! Consider increasing the attraction of your work by repeating the same pattern on both the base layer and the top layer. Simply sift powders over a stencil on the base layer. Then turn the stencil ¼ turn and repeat the pattern on the second layer. Stack the layers to create a new, more elegant design. This quick little trick is a terrific way to increase visual depth and ramp up the sophistication of your artwork.  

3 Lighten Up! Give your design a light source and you’ll have an immediate winner. With frit you can do it in a snap. Select frit in multiple shades of the same color. Use both transparent and opal versions of every color in your palette. Then gradually spread the frit working from light to dark. Blend the colors as you go for an even more engaging flow. This painterly technique rapidly transforms flat, lifeless images into lively three-dimensional masterpieces.

4 Set the Mood! Making a sherbet colored tropical sunset, a magical starry night or mysterious mist cloaked meadow is easy with frit. Think about how such enchanted places make you feel. Think about how they draw you in, tempt you to stay and make you wonder what hidden treasures wait for you just out of sight. Now take that feeling and make it tangible by mixing different colors of frit and you’ll create energetic settings that speaks out loud.  

5 Take the Helm! Next time your cut glass design doesn’t fit as accurately as you’d like, do what I do. Throw in a zinger. Fill that nasty crevice or inconvenient hole with frit in a color that contrasts the cut glass around it. No, you’re not fudging a mistake. You’re making something new, adding detail and highlighting the more important characteristics of your design.   

Don’t Mutiny! Frit may be small, but its applications are huge. Use it in small or even large doses and as you navigate these new waters you’ll begin to fathom the many, many artistic possibilities. 

Except from my Fusing with Frit Webinar, this Thursday, September 20, 2018.

Anchors Away!

Want to learn more? Join me this Thursday, September 20, 2018.
This is just a sampling of the tips and techniques you’ll see how to apply in my upcoming Fusing with Frit webinar. I hope to see YOU there!

Fusing with Frit Webinar
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Ramp up the visual intricacy of your glass art!
Clever glass fusers know that using strong line quality and bold color saturation in combination is an effective way to create stand-out works of art. Now take such trustworthy techniques and sprinkle in gradient blends and subtle shading achieved using frit. You’ll be amazed just how quickly your artwork advances to a new, exciting level of sophistication.
In this comprehensive webinar, I’ll show you how to apply several methods I employs to add the striking, painterly-quality I’ve developed to improve the impact of your glass fusing projects. I’ll demonstrate SEVEN projects in this Webinar, from sea turtles to flowering trees to beach scenes and more! You’ll learn: how to evaluate a design to maximize the imagery, steps for successful fabrication and practical tips for building professional quality, finished pieces. Along with my step-by-step instruction, you’ll also receive complete material lists and project-specific firing guides. I hope to see YOU there!
Let’s get together and fuse glass!
Are you a hands-on learner? Join me in November! 

Now registering!
Advanced Glass Fusing 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop
November 6 – 9, 2018
Wesley Chapel, Florida
4-Day, Hands-on

5 Awesome New Things You’ll Learn in this Workshop
1 NEW Free-Flow process for artful blends and washes like blown glass.
2 How to create dramatic effects with color, pattern and texture. 
3 How to design and build complex, multifaceted works.
4 How to give your art unique form that stands out from the crowd.   
5 How to combine multiple advanced techniques for engaging artwork. 

Check out the New Advanced Fusing Workshop video here

Keep creating. You’re doing great!

Happy Fusing!
Follow my blog for more tips and tricks! 

Advanced Glass Fusing 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop
February 5 – 8, 2019
Join me for this intense workshop held in my private studio.
Wesley Chapel, Florida, 4-Day, Hands-on, Class size is limited.

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

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

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Frit is Small But Powerful!

Meet Rocco, a spunky little French Bull Dog

Frit has many different applications that can transform ordinary fused glass pieces into extraordinary pieces of art. All it takes is a little forethought when designing your artwork, plus a steady hand and an eye for the extravagant.

Frit is ground fusible glass. It’s available in a variety of sizes including: power, fine, medium, course and mosaic. Each size has its own special characteristics and uses. 

Powder is great for filling in tight spaces and for a smooth appearance. Fine gives fast, even coverage and leaves a slight grainy look to the art. Medium fills larger areas well. But it can leave tiny gaps that allow the color of the base glass to show through. It leaves a granular pattern that resembles beach sand. Course is great for filling in large areas, but it also leaves spaces. I usually fill those spaces in with medium frit of the same or contrasting color. It’s also great for creating design accents and details like the dots on the dogs muzzle. Mosaic gives you fast coverage on large areas. It leaves a more stylized pattern that can resemble the veining in marble. I often use the different frit sizes in combination to achieve the specific look I want.

I love frit for its versatility. While sheet glass offers striking solid colors, frit in contrast can be used to make subtle color changes and add dramatic shading. The resulting artwork has a surprisingly beautiful, painterly quality that surpasses craft and lingers on the threshold of fine art. 

Adorable pets and majestic animals are some of my favorite subjects for my fused glass art. Animal faces can be difficult to render using just sheet glass alone. The end result can be flat and lifeless. But with the application of frit, I can add highlights, shadows and intricate details that give the subject personality and bring it to life. 

Meet Rocco, a spunky little French Bull Dog.  

From the beginning the plan was to use frit to render this dog’s face. Frit would give me the flexibility to build the color gradually and add contours as needed to fill out the pup’s head.

Let’s build this little guy. 

I started with a cute digital picture of the subject. The image is imported into the Glass Eye 2000 computer design program where I draw over the picture. Once the outline is done, I test different color combinations until something fun comes together. Then I move into the fabrication phase.  

The first step is to cut the base layer. This project is built on an 8” x 8” piece of white glass. Then the blue background is cut to size using a full size paper pattern as a guild. I selected a high contrast, solid blue color for the background to frame in the dogs face and to contain the frit. 

Wherever I want strong control over the line quality, placement and color of a specific detail I cut the glass according to the pattern. The position of the eyes, nose and chin are critical. If they aren’t in the right place it throws off the symmetry. This can result in a bizarre, alien looking creature instead of an adorable pup. Here, I cut the blue background, eyes, nose, chin, ears and collar. I then grind the cut pieces to improve the shapes and remove any sharp edges. I clean and dry the glass then glue it to the white base with a small amount of fuser’s glue. At this point, I wait for the glue to dry so the pieces don’t slide around when the frit is poured on the glass. 

Frit tools: I use a plastic spoon to apply the frit. Small, dry paint brushes are used to move the frit around and to blend the hard edges where two colors meet.  

Once the glue is dry, fine yellow opal frit is poured on the white base. Shadows and contours are created with medium size, dark blue and black frit. Orange frit is added to round out the dog’s head and body. The strong colors are then blended with a dry paint brush to soften the hard edges. Pink frit is applied on the forehead and between the eyes for added interest and fullness. Medium bark blue frit dots it placed on either side of the nose for additional detail. 

The assembled glass is fired to a full fuse temperature. The fused glass is then glued into a black frame fitted with a hook for wall mounting. 

Pet themed designs are always fun to make. And drawing this type of pattern on the computer is easy. Remember, your drawing doesn’t have to look exactly like your pet. Give yourself credit for trying and enjoy the unique spin you can put on your own artwork. 

This small format, 8” x 8” project is the perfect size to try this frit technique. There’s just enough space to get comfortable with frit without getting overwhelmed. I hope Rocco inspires you to give it a try. You’ll love the process and the results. 

Quick tips for working with frit:

Don’t be skimpy. For strong color saturation and solid coverage, pile the frit up as high as the cut glass. If you are asking yourself, is that enough? Add more.

Use both transparent and opal frit to create contrast and increase visual depth. 

Be meticulous about the cleanup. Brush any stray fit off the cut glass before firing. 

Here’s the link to the software I used to draw this pattern.
Glass Eye 2000 Design Software for Glass 

For more artistic tips and creative tricks for getting the most out of your frit please join me for my Fusing with Frit Webinar, September 20, 2018.  

Keep creating. You’re doing great! 

Happy Fusing!

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 

Someday is here! What are you waiting for? You’re in your prime. You’re at the peak of your interest in glass fusing. Take the next step and raise your artwork to an exciting new level of sophistication. This rare opportunity only comes twice a year. Don’t miss your chance to work one-on-one with an accomplished artist in this advanced technique, artistic awakening and skill building workshop. This is the turning point experience you’ve been waiting for.

Advanced Glass Fusing 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop
November 6-9, 2018
Register here: http://www.lisavogt.net/products.aspx?id=477

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

Advanced Glass Fusing 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop
February 5 – 8, 2019

Check out the new Advanced Class video here:

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

For big mistakes
Check out my writer’s blog.
Writer – Instructor – Artist