Posts Tagged 'fused glass'

Sculpture at the Edge

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My main Open Studios event is taking place at Yarner Wood this summer, but somehow I have also managed to produce 4 pieces to add to the fabulous and very well regarded Heathercombe Edge sculpture trail. Deep in Dartmoor this woodland sculpture trail is well worth the windy country lanes and the Faerie Woods are packed with amazing sculptures, the tea rooms are second to none and the kids crafts are fabulous!

My additions to the trail are made using the remaining wood from my Yarner sculptures and take their inspiration from the children’s nonsense poem

‘The Man in the Wilderness’

wondering at the moonThe man in the wilderness said to me
How many stars in the sky? said he.
I stare at the moon till it makes me shiver
And wonder and wonder, who made Forever?

 

Directions etc available on their website, opening times etc below

Saturday 7th – Sunday 29th September

Open daily 11am – 5.30pm except Mondays

Adults: £5 Child: £2.50 Concessions £3

 

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The big reveal!

looking up at Mountain Ash in situThis year for Devon Open Studios I decided to have a change of scene and participate in a couple of sculpture trails. As a result, Yarner Wood has been the main focus of my work for a while now, its a English Nature reserve outside Bovey Tracey on the edge of Dartmoor and is being restored to a Western Oak Wood. The theme of the trail is man’s relationship with the environment and I have taken the history of the wood as inspiration for my pieces which combine cross sections of tree trunk from Yarner Wood (48ish year old Douglas Fir) with fused and mosaic glass. Speaking to the staff at the woods gave me the idea of the wood being at the heart of all the human activity in the woods and in turn human activity having shaped the woods use and appearance. This is turn led The bomb that saved the wood, detailto the idea of taking the core, or heart out of the discs of wood and fill them with glass pieces; the juxtaposition of the natural wood and the very modern man made glass is very appealing to me. There are 10 artists exhibiting on this fabulous trail from conceptual to sound artists and everything in between and I am very excited to be part of such an interesting project.

I picked the tree trunk up in 3 and 6 inch cross sections, with quite a lot of wild life attached and I must confess it was a bit daunting….but then my ever useful Dad arrived and looking up at Mountain Ash 2cut all the central cores out of the slabs of wood, many thanks to him, I would never get any sculptures made without his patience! Each of the sculptures is cast to the size of the individual holes and are made from recycled waste glass. This series of sculptures is my largest series of sculptures to date and I am very pleased with the results.

green man 2The first piece on the trail is my take on the age old Green Man ‘Welcome to the Woods’, it is right at the start of the trail and is there to welcome people to the woods, reflecting man’s symbiotic relationship with nature and the timeless cycle of life.  The first firing of this piece cast all the scraps of clear, green and yellow glass into a disc shape, then I painted the design on and fired it again.

Becoming Autumn is the second piece on the trail. Again I used recycled waste glass (this time Spectrum 96 series), and depicted oak leaves changing Becoming Autumn in situcolour as the season changes. The trail starts at the beginning of autumn and it seemed like a great reflection of human enjoyment of nature for leisure, a very modern use of the natural environment!

My third piece on the trail is also inspired by the modern use of woodland for peace and reflection. ‘ Looking up at Mountain Ash’ takes inspiration from the wonderful Rowan trees in the wood and the simple pleasure of looking up at the shapes and light of the woodland. As with the previous piece this one is fused with small scraps of Spectrum 96 glass. While I was installing this piece I had a fabulous interaction with a young male deer (whose antlers were still small and fuzzy) who came bounding through the wood, regarded me and then turned and bounded on through the undergrowth.

copper blue in situThe wood has not always been a tranquil retreat from the pressures of modern life and 150 years ago a very active copper mine was on the site, lots of charcoal burning and the lord of the manor owned the area and exercised his horses on the wood. The next piece ‘Copper Blue’ riffs on this history, the blue glass is copper bearing and the cast disc has copper sheet inclusions and is hung between two fence posts, a prolific sign of how humans have shaped the wood!

In World War II the wood was earmarked to be cut down to assist with timber for the war effort, however, when a German bomber discharged his last bombs after a raid on Plymouth (in order to get home faster) the wood was hit and many of the trees then grew twisted and damaged, no good for timber manufacturing. This has inspired the next piece ‘The Bomb that Saved the Wood’.  Here 2 pieces hang one above the other. The top one has 2 discs of glass bang! detailwithin it to give a sense of depth and fire and the one below has a fun Pop Art feel with the word BANG painted across it.

The trail now turns a corner and the piece of the woodland really encompasses you, this is where I have placed my last hollowed wood piece, ‘Tranquil’. Tranquil cast acorns detailI have used various pieces of blue and sea green scrap glass to create the disc and then cast a separate acorns and oak leaves from crushed cast glass which have then be attached to the disc.

I continued with cast glass objects for the next piece, ‘Which came first?’. Here I have mosaic waste white and cream scraps of glass to the shape of the central core of the wood, which is happily egg shaped and then attached my cast glass bird. I am very pleased with both my cast pieces and this is a skill I am very much still learning this complicated area of glass art! which came first

cogs in situMy final serious sculpture on the trail is ‘Cogs’ made to express how we are all part of the great machine of life I have taken 3 of the cores my Dad removed from the wood and created different coloured bands which match up with the tree rings below.

All this serious art work is all well and good, but we all need a bit of fun and to add this to my trail I have made a child side bird house from recycled marine ply, which I got from the fabulous Bristol Wood Recycling Project. Permanent markers will be available for visitors to decorate the bird house as the pass it and lots of colourful material will be inside for children to make their own birds nest.

The trail opens on Saturday 7th September and is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until the 22nd September, refreshments are available in the woodland centre and the trail is free and only 2.5 km, so a child friendly distance! click on the link for more details http://www.artecology.co.uk/page2.php

Our preview is Saturday 7th September and all the artists will be on hand to talk about their work and show people round the trail.

 

 

Fused Nautilus Bathroom window

Jewel Coloured Nautilus_fused glass_bathroom_windowDelivered this panel today and the customers seemed really pleased with it, which is always good!

The design brief was simple: bright, jewel like colours, based on a Nautilus/spiral design and to obscure the existing patterned sealed glass unit which the panel is to be fixed in front of.

acid etched detail_Nautilus_fused glass

At 63 cm across, its the biggest fused piece I have made and many thanks to Ray Boundy at Glowworm Glass for the hire of his kiln and watching it for me! I kept the colour scheme simple and bright and by leaving small gaps between the coloured pieces the design has an orderly segmented feel. I have brought in more flowing, organic feel to the piece by putting a powder between the sheets of glass; this reacts with the glass when heated in the kiln making small bubbles within the 2 layers of glass. I have printed patterns in glass paint on the reverse by drip painting and then sponge printing with transparent paint, this gave the glass lots of texture, helping to disguise the existing patterned glass.  The darker red, blue and green areas have been acid etched. To do this I printed small circles onto the glass with PVA glue (using various pen lids as stampers) and the glue acted as a resist to the acid wash, which has frosted the glass.

Nautilus fused panel

The panel will rest in the existing window frame and be secured in place with a few small screws and some sealant; so easily adding great interest to a bland bathroom and getting another layer of glazing as a bonus!

painted and bubble detail_nautalis_yellow_blue_green

Four little birds to give away!

glass bird decorations

handmade glass birds

I have had these little fella’s hanging around in my studio for ages, they are lovely, but a bit too delicate to sell. But enough of my friends and customers have commented on how much they like them for something to happen to them; so I have decided it is give away time!

The birds are made from green and kingfisher blue glass painted with copper paints which have been fired in the kiln and they are edged in thin lead and have little wire feet and crests soldered on. They will look great hanging on a tree or in a sunny window, but they don’t like to be bent so need to be treated a little bit carefully!

handmade glass birds

To win one of these all you need to do is follow me on twitter and tweet about the give away or follow me on Facebook and share this blog post. I will pick 4 winners at random (I usually get my 4 year old to point at some lucky likers/followers) on the 1st December 2012 so they will be with their new owners before Christmas!

Good luck!

Mezzanine Mountain Window

contemporary stained glass panel with fused glass detail This panel was created for the first floor mezzanine window of a beautiful new build contemporary mountain stained glass window house in Exeter. On the first floor it is at the end of the corridor, resting on the floor. From the ground floor it is visible high up on the wall of the downstairs study.

The panel gets lots of natural and artificial light at different times of day/night and will hopefully be dramatic in a totally different way at night, when the reds and yellows will be picked up more on the first floor. and the design was inspired by the client’s love of mountaineering and the strong, warm colours of the landscape of the Himalayas. The strong colours look great against the white walls and is a mixture of mouth blown Polish glass and Spectrum glass of varying textures. I created the effect of the sunrise bouncing off the mountain side by painting ground up glass (frit) onto the mountain pieces and then firing them in the kiln, to fuse with the streaky glass base

blue_purple_yellow_grey_white

First I cut the glass

 

 

Then I paint ground glass onto the pieces of glass and fuse them in the kiln. My first attempt I fired it too hot and although I loved the effect of the fused glass the pieces had changed shape too much to fit into the leaded panel and I had to both redo this and rethink my design a little.

 Once I had got the fusing right I was ready to lead up, cement and fishing the panel as with any traditional stained glass panel and then it is just a case of fitting it into the window frame.

blue_purple_yellow_grey_white

Open Studios ends with a deluge of rain!

What a weekend of contrasts it has been! Saturday was fresh and chilly, but a pleasant day and my studio was busy with visits from people in the locality. I am glad to say I met some really nice and very interesting people and caught up with some of my neighbours.

I emptied a colourful kiln full of flowers on Saturday morning, they have come out very well and as well as making up swags of flowers for sale in Insideout I am also going to keep some back to make an applique glass panel, I think they will lend themselves well to this.

I prepared lots of fusing tester panels on Saturday afternoon to be fired on Sunday. Sunday morning I loaded up the kiln and paid close attention to the cycled and the rapid cooling phase of fusing glass as I have been suffering from devitrification problems when fusing with recycled glass (where the glass crystalises when it is cooling, creating a matt granulated appearance to the back side of the fused piece). Hopefully I got it right today, we shall see tomorrow!

Today has been relentlessly rainy, I had to empty my gazebo gallery early as everything was getting soggy and windswept! I only had one visitor on my last day of Devon Open Studios,  she stayed for quite along time as it was raining SO hard she would have got drenched and so we had a great chat! But I would not have wanted to go anywhere myself today and as the gazebo was out of action it was probably for the best. But I got lots of panels cemented and got to watch a film with my kids as well, which is the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon anyway!

My studio can go back to being my own private little space again now for another year! Thanks for everyone who helped me advertise my event, handed out leaflets and put up posters at their work. Thanks also to everyone who came to visit me its been fun.

What came out of the kiln!

Last week I posted about experimenting with Frit (ground up glass) which I had made myself you can read about that here . I basically hit a lot of scrap glass (wrapped in newspaper) with a hammer until it was in very small pieces and powder, then carefully placed and piled it on to a piece of base glass and glued it into position before putting it in the kiln on a full fuse cycle………..so what came out the other end?

Unfortunately one of the pieces broke into 3 (this was the light blue one with pink blossom, I don’t think the pink cools at the same rate as the blue base glass, note to self don’t use that combination again); another came out very well, but I accidentally scratched the surface cleaning it up and need to polish it up! BUT  sods law, the one piece I didn’t photograph for my last blog post (I didn’t think it would come out very well) as turned out beautifully and I intend to incorporate it into a larger leaded panel soon…actually the other 2 will hopefully end up as inclusions in panels too….watch this space.

Here are the most successful results of my frit experiments, what do you think?

There are lots of tutorials about making Frit out there on the big wide world web, but these are as good a place to start as any

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMIJ0FCJCqQ

http://geltdesigns.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/how-to-make-frit.html

http://pendantfusion.blogspot.co.uk/2009/09/how-to-make-your-own-frit.html


I am a stained glass artist working in Exeter and a busy mum of 2; trying to carve a path through the tide of washing and children's toys that stands between me and making beautiful things.

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