Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More Snowflakes at the LUX

For the second session of fused glass snowflakes this year at the LUX Center for the Arts, we weren't at the LUX! Winterfest 2011 was in full throttle at the LUX, so we were fortunate enough to be able to use a conference room at Ayers and Ayers, Inc. The facilities were incredible, as it's a LEED certified building structure and just has some pretty amazing technology!

I was not the only one who loved the digital "dry erase" board :)
After we finished sketching out our ideas on the board, we sat down to puzzle out our pieces, beginning with the templates for our snowflakes...
Drawing out the templates for our snowflakes.
Next, we needed to get busy measuring and cutting our strips of glass...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fused Glass Snowflakes at the LUX

The fused glass holiday season has begun 

   My first group of students for the season was ready to jump right in! I got lots of great photos of them all working...Since all of the students are newbies and it's a short family class, the easiest way to get started is to use mosaic nippers and cut strips down to glue together in a snowflake pattern.
Getting started...
My favorite part of these classes is seeing the color combos that everyone chooses...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Color Play with Glass Links

Making these glass link bracelets is somewhat addicting, as I pull out the frit, the molds and the scale to play a bit of mad scientist!
After pulling out my supplies (spoon, cups, scale, frits and molds), I begin mixing up colors depending on my mood. Sometimes my inspiration is a flower, or a dress, or even wedding invitations! BUT... 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Kaneko at Lauritzen Gardens

To celebrate Omaha's Lauritzen Gardens 10th Anniversary, Jun Kaneko has many of his wonderful large scale ceramics on display throughout the grounds. My husband and I were lucky enough to catch the exhibit before the closing.

Although I was a horticulture major in college, I'd never been to the Lauritzen Gardens. I graduated and moved away from Nebraska before the botanical gardens in Omaha had opened. And, most of my visits back to Nebraska were for the Christmas holiday to see my family. So, I was excited when we not only had an excuse to be in Omaha already (my friend Malindi's wedding), but there were these marvelous sculptures on display, as well.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Glassline Paints on Clear Glass

Got a bunch of clear glass scrap & wish you could dress it up a bit?
Need a bunch of color, but can't afford all of them?

I love using Glassline paints to create patterned glass and this technique is one of the easiest ways to get a complicated look. Shake the bottles well and add water if you need to thin them out. Use a skewer if you need to stir. I always start my line in an extra bowl, to make sure that the consistency is right. This bowl becomes my bowl o' brown. All of those colors mix and dry in the bowl, then when I want a brown wash, I add water and brush it on the glass.

Here come the brides...

My great friend, Malindi, recently got married to her soulmate, Michaela. They're so cute together. It was a beautiful ceremony and a great party afterwards. I made them a little extra gift for their wedding that tied in the colors of their special day. So, they can wear these buttercream and blue bracelets and think back to the night they made their bond official.

Love you girls and have a great time in Thailand!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Slumpfest 2011

This year's Slumpfest (the 2nd Annual) at Slumpy's in Belmont, NC was an absolute blast! The 2 day workshop focused on Pattern Bar Techniques, Layered Dichroic Tiles for Jewelry Making, and Frit Painting with NO Days Liquid Fusing Adhesive.

Nicole picked me up at the airport; it took a few texts and phone calls to find out that we were actually standing right next to each other at the baggage claim! After we searched for the car in the parking garage - "Which aisle did I park in?" muttered Nicole - we headed to Slumpy's to unpack and set up for some fun!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Date Night in Fused Glass at the LUX

Getting to know the glass...

Cutting and piecing everything in place

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Making a Fused Glass Cocktail Ring...

...over at ChristyNelson.net!

I've been teaching some dichroic jewelry making classes lately, and one of my crafty and technologically savvy students just posted a tutorial on how she finished up her ring using No Days BailBond and her dichroic cabochons from class.

Go check it out, now!

Also, there are a few classes coming up where you can learn how to make your very own dichroic glass cabochons...
The LUX Center for the Arts is offering a 6 week fused glass jewelry class where we'll be making not only this dichro tile for cabochons, but fused glass slide beads, earrings, a bracelet and necklace, as well as learning basic wire wrapping skills.
Mon., Sept. 12-Oct. 17, 6:30-8pm
More information and registration over here.

And every Third Thursday over at Architectural GlassArt, one block south of 48th & Prescott Streets in College View, come make a dichroic glass tile. Call Rod Scott at 402.420.2544 for info.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Jim Flora's "Chance Encounter" in Glass

Thought I'd share the video I finished a week or so ago. I watched it again tonight, and I think it turned out pretty well!

It's a fairly concise description of the whole fused glass process for making a slumped platter with frit. So, if you're curious...check it out!

Chance Encounter (1970)
by James Flora (1914-1998)
used by permission


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Glass Classes for my Trixie Kitty

"Glass for Trixie Kitty" Party - In this short workshop session, I invite you and a few friends over to play with glass. My poor kitty, Trixie has bad genetics, and nearly all of her teeth need to come out.
If the teeth don't come out, her jawbone may get infected. Then, there's risk that her jaw could break. Wish there was an easier fix. We even brushed her teeth for the last year. Didn't help. She's plaque free, but her gums are receding :(
It's expensive... Come have some fun and help me pay for my kitty's comfort.

My studio can accommodate 2-8 people comfortably. My kiln shelf is 20" x 20". $100 to fill it all up. $25 per quarter (10" x 10"). I provide all the fusible glass scrap you could need. 2-3 hour session depending on how long you decide to play! Contact me to find a time for your group!
Head on over to my website to select a date: My Classes Page.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pattern Bar In Pictures

Cutting strips of glass on the Morton Portable Glass Shop

Arranging the strips into a pattern
Dams arranged in the kiln to prevent glass from spilling into the interior of the kiln
Four pattern bars with patterns and one random bar at top.

Slicing the pattern bars with a wet tile saw and a special diamond blade from HIS Glassworks

Trixie Kitty helping with the layout of the random pattern bar pieces

Sample pattern bar tiles
"Loom Woven Rug" 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sculptural Stained Glass Mirror Project Complete

Remember this post from February? Yeah, neither did I, apparently! I began documenting the process of creating this fabulous mirror for the "Stars Are Out" gala supporting the Memories in the Making art program for the The Independence House (a care facility in Lincoln, Nebraska) and the Nebraska Alzheimer Association. Then, I got really busy with about a hundred other things all at once!

Well, I'm happy to say that the mirror turned out fabulously...
At the Artists' Reception with my mirror
(photograph by Julie Lemons)

I was able to get a photograph of the mirror before letting it go to get auctioned off. The gala was a success and a lot of fun, to boot! My husband tagged along and my friend, Julie took a great photo of the both of us:)


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fused Glass Class at the LUX - Spring 2011

Finally got around to making a little video short/slideshow showing our spring fused glass class at the LUX Center for the Arts. Everyone had a great time and can't wait to do it again...after summer vacations are over!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Glass Casting Jewelry

Since coming home from the Glass Craft and Bead Expo in Las Vegas in April this year, I've been wanting to create some Glass Links jewelry using the Oval Links casting mold from Colour de Verre. I saw so many ladies walking around with their creations. But when I stopped by Jayne Persico's booth, I was so inspired by her creativity that I had to order my supplies immediately!

So, I've been madly mixing color combinations in my basement with my scale and measuring spoons...I feel a bit like I've got my own glass lab! You've got to be careful for reactionary glass - glasses that will turn unexpected colors when combined (generally yellows and blues which turn a baby poo brown). Aside from that, let your imagination run wild!

Shortly after making my very first creation, the lime and lemon links necklace, I happened upon the news that Ed Hoy's was sponsoring a contest using Glass Links molds from Colour de Verre!

I am competing for the title of "Most Innovative Jewelry Artist" in a contest sponsored by Ed Hoy's International and I need YOUR vote! If I win I will receive some fabulous prizes as well as recognition and promotion for my work. To vote for me and my work follow the instructions at the top of this page http://edhoy.com/What_Hot.html Voting ends May 15th! Thank you!

Now, I don't remember exactly what the fabulous prizes are...But, I'm crossing my fingers for some more molds so I can create necklaces a bit faster! Right now, I can cook up 12 links in an 18 hour period. When the links are done, I have to clean out my mold, prep it with glass separator and fill them before popping them back in my Caldera. However, the cleaning and filling part sometimes have to wait until after dinner, or sleep. If I could have a second batch waiting to go in as soon as the first set came out, I could really rock and roll and have that Caldera running all the time!!!

As a side note, you'll be able to find my Glass Links creations next week at the LUX Center for the Arts Spring Bling jewelry trunk show! I'm so excited to share what I've been making the last few months. Stop on by, Thursday, May 19th from 6-8:30pm and try on some glass jewels!
I'll be previewing some new fused glass cuff bracelets, as well;)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Making Fused Glass Globs

Begin by cutting strips of fusible glass:

You can use mosaic nippers to cut some strips into single layer squares for smaller globs.

Stack other squares into two and three layer stacks and place on a prepped kiln shelf.

Fire the glass squares up to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit and hold for 8-10 minutes.
In a small kiln (like my Caldera), I go AFAP (as fast as possible) to 1500 and hold for 10 minutes, then the next segment of the firing schedule is off. The kiln holds enough heat, and they are small enough that I'm not worried about thermal shock. Plus, I'll be firing these again in a larger project. They'll really anneal in that piece.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Mold Collection...

I've begun documenting my mold collection so my students can visualize the molds that are available for them to use. Since I teach at a location away from my studio and have a hefty load to cart along to the class as it is, this is a much easier way to let them select molds.

Then, I decided, I should probably just document the whole collection so that I can visualize what I've got a bit easier, as well! My molds live on a shelf under my table and I don't always remember what's hanging out down there...

So, I think I'll just continue to build this page as a reference tool for myself, huh?

NOTE TO STUDENTS: If you've got a design in mind that you're planning for a particular mold, make sure to ask me about it before you design it. The mold you choose may not be a great mold to start a beginning project on, or it may be bigger or smaller than you think.

Fused Glass at the LUX - Session 3 - Frit Painting...

Last week in class, we painted on glass with Glassline paints. This week, we experimented with painting on glass with frits using No Days Liquid Fusing Adhesive, Spectrum sheet glass and Uroboros fine frits. We used the techniques on the project sheet available on the No Days website to make fused glass coasters...but we slumped them to make cute little plates!

I took a little video of my students working, but I'm going to save that footage for a recap video for the whole class session. So, you'll have to check back for that...

Above, you can see the student projects on the top left side of the photo. Directly underneath are two test strips I did with what may replace Bullseye's French Vanilla and Aqua Blue Tint as my new play toy...Opaline. Then, my most favorite and epic piece to the left: a three layer stack up of 2" by 1/4" strips. This project was made much easier using a little HoneyDoo Zuper Glue to hold the pieces altogether. (That way, I didn't have to stack up all the pieces directly in the kiln, which would have given me a major backache, as well as been a huge headache!)

Above, all the pieces post-fire. You can see how the frits darken up a bit when they compress and fuse together. And the Opaline has gone a bit hazy to make some really gorgeous, glowing pastels. AND, I'm soooo happy that the stack-ups stayed in place!

Finally, the student pieces all finished after the slump firing:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fused Glass at the LUX - Session 2 - Painting...

This week, we continued our exploration of fused glass by playing with paint on glass. While painting on glass is an extremely old technique that is traditionally used with stained glass windows, it's begun to edge it's way into fused glass as a way to incorporate images, patterns and designs into fired glass pieces.

We used Glassline Paints applied directly and with brushes, as design lines and as a wash. With the paints, you can use painting techniques like sgraffito, where you apply the paints and then scratch off a design, or if you're working on transparent glass, you can trace your design off of a pattern under the glass.

As you can see, the paints dry to look very washed out. However, when fired, the color comes back...

Depending upon how well the students like their outcomes, we'll incorporate these into tiles/coasters, or even cut them up to use as inclusions in our final project.

Much of my inspiration comes from quilts, textiles and fabrics. So, I tend to create larger patterned glass pieces to cut up into smaller design elements. Below, you can see the turquoise, orange and brown glass pieces have been painted with the Glassline paints...

Coming up next week, we'll continue our exploration of various forms of creating texture and design on glass with frit painting. For a quick preview of the materials we'll be using, here's a little demo video of frit painting designs on fused glass coasters:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fused Glass at the LUX - Session 1

The first session of the Fused Glass Class at the LUX Center for the Arts began last week, and the students have their pieces back. We explored dichroic glass, and tack versus full fuse. So, without further ado...

The students created a few small pieces with dichroic glass, the coating on clear. I encouraged them to place the dichroic with the coating side up and the coating side down. Before the pieces were fused...
and after the pieces were fused (to 1440 degrees F)...We also made two larger pieces to be hung as sun catchers. The pieces weren't necessarily identical, but very similar. This way we could discuss the differences between a lower temperature firing and a higher temperature firing.

The pieces pre-fire...and after a 10 minute hold at 1440 degrees F...The second set was fired to 1480 and held for 20 minutes...


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