To date my posts have been about my watermedia paintings, but today I wanted to share with you a new fused glass piece that I just completed. I first started as a fused glass artist in the early 1990s. I had done stained glass before, but fused glass was beginning to become popular in the United States so I thought I'd give it a try. Fused glass is created in a kiln and all except the tiniest kilns were unaffordable at the time, so I purchased a kiln with a 4" X 4" fusing space. Jewelry was about all you could do with this size kiln, which was not satisfying. So after a few years I stopped fusing glass and didn't resume until 2001 when a fusing studio opened in Beltsville, Maryland. Vitrum Studios is an amazing studio owned by two great glass artists who not only create great glass themselves but are wonderful teachers. I've grown my fused glass skills tremendously since 2001.
For the last couple years I've been focusing on watercolor and fluid acrylic, but I felt it was time to start to work in my other favorite transparent medium. To rejuvenate my skills I've taken some classes at Vitrum Studios this year. This piece is composed of components I created in one of those classes. The design of the components and the final composition are my own, which is one of the wonderful things about classes at Vitrum. They teach you the skills but expect you to bring your own design sensibility and color sense to your art.
"Parentheses and Lines" is a shallow tray measuring 4 5/8" X 8 1/2". Different colors of glass have different chemical compositions and some react chemically with each other to create color shifts at the intersection. I made use of this fact in this piece, relying on the reaction between the blue and white glass to create a dark line where they abut. The line is more or less visible depending on the angle you look at the glass. In the closeup at right the serving tray bends so on the left side you can see the dark line, while on the right only a light gray line is visible.
It is always a surprise when you work with glass to see if what comes out of the kiln looks like you planned or if there are any surprises. The parentheses shape was a bit of a surprise since I had expected a much more extreme dip in the glass, but I love the result. Like working in watercolor you have "happy accidents" when working in glass. Deciding what to do with the accidents is half the fun. Take a look at some of my other glass art.