Thursday, November 17, 2016

Holiday Holly Bowl How-to

“Keep it simple,” is my mantra at this busy time of year. But simple doesn’t necessarily have to mean humdrum. In fact, simple quite often is very elegant. Take this cheery bowl for example. It’s super easy to create and still makes a flashy, festive holiday decoration. In the interest of getting you out and into your studio where all the fun happens, I’m going to keep this post simple, too. So, let’s get to it.  

This bowl is made with two layers of glass plus accent pieces on the top layer. Cut a 10-inch circle out of white glass for the base. Cut a second 10-inch circle out of the pattern glass. Stack the pattern on the white base. Cut 9 holly leaf shapes out of green glass. Grind them if needed to smooth out the shapes. Position the leaf shapes and fusible pebbles on the pattern layer. Fire the glass using the full fuse guide below. Slump into a fluted mold using the slumping guide below. 

Ta-Da! You have a beautiful seasonal treasure that is sure to bring cheer to your home for years to come. 

Note: The finished size of this delightful bowl is 10 inches. The fused glass is slumped into a fluted 11-inch ceramic mold. You can make the bowl larger or smaller to fit any size or shape mold you have.

For this project, I used System 96 glass but any fusible glass will work equally as well.

Spectrum Glass, 200, white, for the base, 1 SF

Uroboros Glass, 11-29-96, Clear, Greens, Pink, Fracture, Green Streamers, for the top layer, 1 SF

Spectrum Glass, 128AVSF, Dark Green Aventurine, for the holly leaves, ¼ SF

Spectrum Glass, Red Pebbles, for the holly berries, 9 pebbles

Fluted Ceramic Mold, 11-inch wide

Check out the Holiday Holly Bowl Video!

Happy Fusing!


Fusing Guide

Segment 1: Ramp 300 F/hr to 1300 and hold 30 min.

Segment 2: Ramp 500F/hr to 1465 and hold 10 min.

Segment 3: Ramp 9999(AFAP*) to 960 and hold 40 min.

Segment 4: Cool to room temperature.

*As fast as possible

Slumping Guide

Segment 1: Ramp 300 F/hr to 1265 and hold 10 min.

Segment 2: Ramp 9999(AFAP*) to 960 and hold 40 min.

Segment 3: Cool to room temperature.

*As fast as possible

NOTE: Kilns fire diffidently. Test fire these guides in your kiln and then adjust as needed.

Now Registering!

Advanced Glass Fusing with Lisa Vogt

February 21-24, 2017

Personalized Instruction, 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop

Lisa’s Private Studio, Wesley Chapel, FL

Register here. Don’t wait sweats are going fast!

Here’s what students are saying about the class.

We got right to work within the first 10 minutes. It was 4 very intense days of working on advanced techniques and fusing. The best part was we chose what we wanted to learn and Lisa taught us how to make it. -Beth

In the recent 4-day workshop Lisa shared her space, methods, approaches to work, advanced tools in such a welcoming way along with the limit of 3-4 students. This gives you so much one-on-one time with an expert of glass fusion which makes it easy to absorb info, ask questions and work to have successful projects that you love. -Regina 

Having a small number of students in the class allowed us to each pursue different projects and therefore, see a variety of processes rather than if we all had to make the same pieces. As Lisa, would talk with a classmate we would continue to work on our pieces but at the same time, listen, take notes or watch what she was showing someone else.  The ease of learning in this fashion was remarkable. -Ginger 

5 Reasons Why You’ll Love this Class

You’ll unlock your own design style with expert guidance.

You’ll dive right in and complete unique advanced techniques on the first day.

You’ll work at your own pace making projects of your choosing.

You’ll design and build large multi-step projects.  

You’ll love the small class size and one-on-one, personalized instruction.

Check out my Advanced Class video!

Upcoming Webinars

Upscale Fusing, January 5, 2017

Fusing with Frit, January 24, 2017

Saturday, November 5, 2016

5 Pro Tips for Awesome Sinks and Large Bowls

Artists are the most generous people I know. We love to share our passion. We all want to make a more dramatic and memorable impression with our art. One of the bests way to accomplish this is to go bigger and make large scale pieces that stand out in the crowd. 

But going bigger can be scary. You must invest more time and material. And there are more design decisions to make. It’s a huge commitment and you want guarantees that the finished piece will exceed your expectations. Following are some fundamental tips that’ll greatly increase your success with all of your fused glass artwork.  

1 Measuring the Slumping Mold
It seems trivial, but this is where most craftsman go wrong. Everyone wants to make the largest fused glass disc possible. They then measure the mold from the outer rim to the outer rim and cut their glass circles accordingly.  They wrongly assume the glass that rests on the top rim of the mold will follow the center of the fused glass disc as it slumps into the mold. The problem is the glass on the flat rim drags. Therefore, it does not fall into the mold evenly. The result is a bowl with uneven height in the side walls. A lopsided bowl can be avoided simply by measuring across the inside of the mold and then cutting the glass ¼ to ½ inch smaller than that measurement. Yes, the bowl is slightly smaller. No one will notice. They’ll be too busy admiring your beautifully crafted, uniform bowl with even side walls all the way around. 

2 Durability is in the Design

When going larger it’s important to design your art in such a way that the glass thickness is uniform throughout the entire piece of art. If you design the round disc with two glass layers on one side and four glass layers on the opposite side, you’ll have unbalanced mass. This can cause the finished piece of art to break due to the stress of supporting its own weight. Instead, plan your design execution in advance to ensure you have the same number of glass layers across the entire disc. Small accents pieces decorating the top aren’t a concern, provided they’re added in moderation. 

3 Let it Shine

The beauty of glass is its transparency, and the attraction of glass fusing is our ability to mix transparent and opal materials, to create various color combinations and an infinite number of intricate patterns. The wonderful thing about going large is the extended size of the creative canvas. With more room, you have more opportunity to expand your design ideas and make a dynamic statement. So rather than fumble through, take time to plan a well thought out design. Consider including pre-tacked or fused glass components for added interest. Mix both transparent and opal glass to increase visible depth. The possibilities are endless.  

4 Do Your Best Work

Don’t cut corners. No excuses. If you think to ask, “Should I recut or redo this?” My answer is, “Yes.” The more time and effort you put into each step will greatly improve the overall quality of your finished pieces. Fabrication and execution are equally as important as design esthetics. If you implement this approach, every piece you produce will be a masterpiece.  

5 Fusing and Slumping

Slow it down. Larger usually also means thicker. You’ll dramatically increase your firing success rate by slowing down both the fusing schedule and the slumping schedule. I fire my large pieces at 300 degrees per hour and hold several times on the way up to 1465 degrees to fuse, and 1220 degrees to slump. I anneal the glass at 960 degrees for 180 minutes, for both fusing and slumping, and then slowly drop the temperature down to room temperature. By being conservative with the firing schedules, I achieve consistently beautiful results every time. You can too! 

For more in-depth information on making sinks and large vessels, join me next week for my next webinar. All the pro tips and tricks will be revealed. 

Let’s get together and make sinks in my webinar next week!
I hope to see you there,

Next Thursday
Make a Fused Glass Sink
November 10, 2016

Now Registering!
Next 4-Day, Hands-On Workshop
Advanced Glass Fusing
February 21-24, 2017
My private studio, Wesley Chapel, Florida
You’ll love the in-depth concentration, personal instruction and casual atmosphere.
Learn how to make your art stand out!

Upcoming Webinar
Upscale Fusing with Lisa Vogt
January 5, 2017

Upcoming Webinar
Fusing with Frit with Lisa Vogt
January 24, 2017