First of all, I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I want to say thank you to all of my existing customers and to all of the new customers who will find my work over the coming year. I really appreciate your willingness to invest in art for yourself and others.
I’ve been so busy in the studio, I haven’t taken the time to post in over a week, so with a little time off today, I thought I’d take advantage of the opportunity to post something. This Rock and Roll plate came out of the kiln yesterday. There is a technique in fused glass construction that we call “part sheets.” We make small sheets of glass that are intended to be cut up into parts and put back together in different ways than they were made. The plate is made from two different part sheets and some Opaline sheet glass.
One part sheet (the rock part of the plate) was made from a river rock reaction technique that I learned from Bullseye. The sheet was created from a bottom layer of clear glass and the river rock reaction comes from mixing French Vanilla frit (crushed glass) in various grain sizes with Sunset Coral powder frit. When mixed with water, the powder sticks to the larger frit grains and creates a mixture that I packed on top of the clear sheet glass. When the mixture is fused together in the kiln, the sulfur in the French Vanilla reacts with the lead in the Sunset Coral, giving a river rock look. I had some extra frit mix left over after I got finished with the part sheets I was making, so I put the remainder into a pair of jewelry molds and made two of the pendants on the right.
The second part sheet (the roll part of the plate) was made during a torchworking class at Bullseye. One of our projects was to create a black and white study, where we could choose whether the base was black or white. A photo of the original part sheet is over to the left. It was made by placing a bunch of torchworked elements in rows that I could cut apart and use later. You can see which parts of the sheet I used in the plate above. The part of the sheet with the two twisties I made was a little shorter than the width of the plate, so I filled that area in with little bits of black iridescent rippled glass.
After I cut the desired parts from the two sheets, I laid them on top of a sheet of thin Opaline glass that I cut to size. I filled in the areas between the torchworked elements with additional layers of Opaline sheet glass. After it was fully fused, I then slumped it into the final plate shape.
One of the things that I really like about Opaline glass is that it’s translucent – not clear, not white, but somewhere in between – and I think that it really emphasizes those torchworked elements. I’m calling this a Rock and Roll plate, because the river rock reaction sections ground the edges of the plate, and the rolled torchworked elements give the piece a feeling of movement. So, let’s dance!
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