I posted two weeks ago about a class I was taking at the Bullseye glass factory in Portland with Bonnie Celeste, entitled Set Your Kiln on Fire. I made the post while I was away from home – and my computer – so I didn’t have my usual options for taking pictures and making blog posts about the class results while I was away. I thought I would be able to get better pictures taken of the results and post them a little sooner, but things were rather hectic when I got home.
So here are several shots of my finished results. I decided to slump some of the pieces I made in class into plates and bowls and one of them is in the kiln at the moment, so I don’t have a shot of that one. The first shot (left) is of the same projects that I showed in the previous post waiting in the kiln before they were fired. These are the fired results of combining torch-work drop dots, nodes, pulled stringers and droplets. Each of the tiles showcases different torch-worked elements and reactions. Some of the elements were quite large and left behind noticeable texture even after the full fuse firing. In some cases, you can also see how the elements have distorted the edges of the glass tiles as they melted into the base glass.
The second shot (right) shows some of the elements before fusing into the sample tiles. These were the torch-worked elements I had left over after making the various sample projects during the class. In some cases I deliberately made extra parts to use in future projects and in some cases I was practicing the technique and simply wound up with more than I could use in my samples.
The third shot (left) shows the final results of a floral piece I made from the various torch-worked elements layered on top of a piece of dusty lilac glass. I think the torch-working really lends itself to organic elements such as these leaves, stems, and flower petals. After I returned home, I slumped the sample tile into a plate shape and will probably sell it at an upcoming show.
The fourth shot (right) shows a study in black and white that was one of our class projects. Since I don’t usually work in black and white, I decided to make my project as a “part sheet”, since I would be more likely to use it that way than as an element of a plate or bowl of some sort. In glass fusing terms, a “part sheet” is a piece of fused glass that is created for the express purpose of cutting it up into parts and recombining it with other glass to make a final project. In my part sheet, I’ve created strips made from different torch-worked elements that can be cut to show off the droplets, pulled stringers, and twistees that I made in my practice sessions.
The fifth shot (left) shows a part sheet project’s final results. This plate was made with a bottom layer of Opaline glass – a translucent white glass from Bullseye – and the top layer was made with strips cut from Aventurine Green, Opaline, and a part sheet I made from green torch-worked elements on clear glass. As in the black part sheet above, I arranged the elements on the clear glass before fusing it with an eye toward cutting it up into these patterns.
I enjoy creating reactions between the elements that make up the glass colors, such as the light blue sample tile on the left at the top of this post, as well as the row of droplets in the black part sheet. In those tiles, I was working with French Vanilla rod in the torch and rolled my droplets in fine Turquoise frit as I was making them. The copper in the Turquoise reacts with the sulfur in the French Vanilla to create the mottled brown color in the droplets. If you click on those photos and look more closely, you can see little bits of blue from bits of the frit that didn’t melt fully into the French Vanilla.
The last shot (right) shows the results of some brand new reactive glass that Bullseye is currently working on. It isn’t available for sale yet, but we were able to make some projects with it during class. I really love this glass and can’t wait for it to be available for purchase.
In the photo on the right, the bottom layer was made of Opaline glass, then on top of it were placed two pieces of reactive glass. At the top is Silver Reactive Bronze and at the bottom is Silver Reactive Gold. I punched three circles from silver foil and placed them across the seam between the two glass colors. As the silver foil reacted with the Bronze and Gold Reactive glasses, you can see how the foil turned either bronze or gold, giving the reactive glass its name. Two of the silver foil circles were placed above the reactive glass, and the center one was placed between the layers of Opaline and the reactive glasses. On top of each circle, I placed three sections of twistees made from clear rod combined with black and/or white stringer. In the center section, where the reaction was in between the layers, you can see that there is a much subtler and neater reaction. In the two areas where the silver foil is on top, the reactive effect spread further out from the foil and created a halo effect that traveled along the lengths of the twistees on top, especially on the bronze side.
All in all, I really enjoyed the class, as well as the results I got from combining fusing and torch-working – so much so, that I’ve bought a torch and am in the process of getting it set up as part of my studio work going forward. I think that the organic-looking results of working with a torch add further artistic flair to the fused work that I’ve been doing.
I’d be very interested to hear comments about the results of our class experiments! What did you like and why? What didn’t you like and why?
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