Bullseye had a Block Party at their glass factory and we were invited! It wasn’t the usual sort of block party – we played with glass billets and we had loads of fun! The name of the class was Block Party because we were working with the billet form of glass, which is a 10″ wide by 5″ high by 1″ deep block of transparent glass. Stacy Smith was the instructor for this class, which made it extra fun, since she’s one of my favorite instructors. These billets are usually used to make castings from glass, but we used the billet as is for our Block Party experiment.
The mission was to learn about a technique Bullseye calls kiln carving, where you use fiber paper of different thicknesses to create dimensional images within the glass. In the heat of the kiln, the glass billet softens enough to move into the layers and voids created by the layers of fiber paper. When the billet – or you can also do this technique with sheets of glass as well – cools and hardens you can see images caused by the way the light reflects and refracts differently in the different thicknesses of the glass block.
This Block Party billet will be a new house sign that I plan to attach to my house right above the doorbell. Since my house number is 27 and I live on Feather Way, I chose a feather for the image to the right of the house numbers. The reason it’s harder to see in the photo is because after cutting out the house numbers and feather image from 1/4″ fiber paper, I cut another feather out of 1/16″ fiber paper and placed it in the feather opening I cut out of the thicker fiber paper in order to create two layers of dimension. (If you click on the image, you can see the feather a little better.) Hopefully, the end result is that you’ll be able to tell that the feather image is slightly less deep than the house numbers.
I’d really be curious to hear how interior or graphic designers could use a block like this in one of their remodel projects…
When I left Portland, my Block Party billet was still cooling down in the kiln. By now it should be fully cooled and on its way home to me with the screen printing class samples and some additional supplies I bought while I was at the factory. My new screen printing supplies I bought at Midwest Sign & Screen Printing Supply Company while I was still in Portland were already waiting for me when I got home. Yippee! More screen printing on glass experiments to come soon!
I didn’t have enough room in my luggage (or weight allowance, really) to drag my class samples home on the plane with me. So better pictures and the descriptions of the screen printing class projects will have to wait until the shipment arrives here sometime this week. I’ll also add a picture of the final Block Party result to this post as well.
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