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!


Me and Nicole from Slumpy's - my new sister!

Nicole went all out preparing Slumpy's warehouse for the class. She painted walls, brought in patio furniture and flowers, and even got her sewing machine out to sew curtains, table skirts and stool covers. She's got a bit of Martha Stewart in her. Jesse brought in his mega iPod speakers, and I hooked up the tunes! It felt like home.

We used Slumpy's Lock-in-Molds primed with Boron Nitride and ceramic dams coated with kiln wash.
I got busy prepping the dams for the pattern bars with 1/8" fiber paper lined with ThinFire, held together with a little glue, while Nicole started cutting some glass for her own sample pattern bars.

Let the craziness ensue!
The students arrived on Saturday morning ready to go, which is good because we had a tight schedule!

Umm...so, yeah....this is where I forgot to keep taking pictures. We had a very tight schedule, and I wanted to make sure that everyone got enough information. The students began making pattern bars and I began making the rounds. We had all levels of glassists from total fused glass beginner to those who have been working in glass for a few years.

Heather making a list and checking it twice. Loading up the pattern bars!
We got the kiln loaded and started it firing by noon, took a break for a delicious catered lunch from The String Bean and moved on to layering dichroic glass. I learned a new technique for identifying the side of the dichroic glass with the metallic coating on it from Glenda Emory of Hollander Glass, who was in attendance. It incorporates the mirror idea that I usually try to explain, but is so much more succinct! If you place a pencil against the glass and you can see it's reflection touching itself (the tips of the pencil touch), then that's the side with the dichroic on it. If there's a gap between the pencil tip and it's reflection, then the dichroic coating is down. Get it? I love the exchange of ideas and tips that takes place when groups of glass artists get together to play!

After the dichro pieces were taken to the kiln, we had time for lecture, question and answer and talking techniques. I had made a few samples with the techniques we would be using for the workshop, so I got to play show and tell:

Of course, the samples took MUCH longer to make than the amount of time we had in class. But, the technique is the focus of the class. What you do with that technique when you get home is the reward!

Frank Stella inspired plate slumped into a drop out mold flat on the kiln shelf.

At the end of day two, we got a group shot of most of the plates created. The idea was to get the plates assembled to take home to fire. I was thoroughly impressed with everyone's work, or rather play! It was such a great group of people that I got to meet at Slumpfest 2011 and I came away with a group of new friends!

I'm can't wait to see pictures of some of the finished pieces, so I hope that everyone finds me on Facebook or in my inbox over at CalyxGlass.com!

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