Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Creative Process

Ant Plate, get your FREE copy of this pattern on my web site.

Great art doesn’t just happen, it’s the product of planning, trial and error. But most importantly, it’s the result of tenacity and endurance. When I fire any one of my 14 kilns I usually have multiple goals in mind. The firing is likely driven by a single, tried and true project; one with a consistently successful outcome. Once it’s loaded in the kiln I make use of any extra shelf space by covering it with test pieces. 

A typical firing: Ant Plate, Heart Ornaments & Fall Leaves Pre-Fire  

The Ant Plate is the main project.

Heart Ornaments: I’m testing to see if the purple glass color changes after firing and the readability of text written in platinum on top and between glass layers. These might be gifts for guests at my daughter’s wedding. Her colors are purple and teal.  

Fall Leaves: I’m looking for high a contrast between the powder frit and the base glass. A version of these will be used to make a fall themed bowl. 

These experimental components are made using new techniques or by combining fusible materials in unusual ways. The advantages of partnering this way are many. There’s satisfaction in knowing the main piece will make your time and effort worthwhile. Then there’s the thrilling anticipation of the surprise results you can expect from the experimental work, with an added bonus. The investigative process and its effects on your work pave the way for more inventive, more complex design directions, in the future. 

The Ant Plate done. Love it!
Another advantage to making these test pieces is the ability to see the finished product. With all my years of experience, you’d think I could accurately predict how something is going to look after firing. Truth be told, I’m wrong more often than I’m right. It’s wonderful. It’s that freshness that spurs my drive. I make these test pieces to save time and material. I work small, find just the combination I’m looking for, then go larger with confidence, knowing I’ll get exactly what was planned.  

The Hearts are pretty but the text is difficult to read. Not sure which direction to go on these yet. Luckily the wedding is a year away. I might try a darker base glass.
The Leaves, eh. Back to the drawing board. Even though the frit was thick and opal, the colors were absorbed by the base glass color. I’m going to try a lighter base color and a thicker dusting of powder frit.
It’s a matter of perspective. Time spent making test pieces isn’t wasted, nor should the effort be considered a chore. Instead, think of it as a pass to test boundaries; to bank experience; to push yourself and try something different.

Seize the moment,

Up Coming Classes
Painting with Frit, 2-Day, Hands-on, Glass Fusing Workshop
When: Saturday, July 26th - Sunday, July 27th
Where: Warner Stained Glass, Allentown, PA.
Register: Call 800-523-4242 to reserve your spot. For more Information:

Fused Vessel Sinks and More, 4-Day, Hands-on Glass Fusing Workshop
When: September, 16-19, 2014
Where: Wesley Chapel, Florida.
Register: Shop/Classes & Workshops

Fired Up, 2-Day, Hands-on Glass Fusing Workshop
When: Thursday, October 16 – Friday, October 17.
Where: Pacific Art Glass, Gardena, CA.
For more information: Call (800) 354-5277

Painting with Frit, 2-Day, Hands-on Workshop
When: Saturday, October 18 - Sunday, October 19 
Where: Pacific Art Glass, Gardena, CA.
For more information: Call (800) 354-5277

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