My blog silence has been in part the result of being immersed in a four day advanced glass fusing class with renowned artist Patty Gray, who has the uncanny ability to impart her encyclopedic knowledge and nurture creativity in one fell swoop.
Just to get your appetites whetted, feast your eyes on this piece:
The construction is not unlike those of quilters -- the top and bottom sections are strips of various thicknesses of different colored glass (red, black, and clear); the two center sides are a mottled black, white, and clear glass placed over an opalescent red. The center is the mottled glass, cut in strips, and layered on a 45 degree angle, all mounted on a red opalescent.
Pretty swell, eh? Hey, I see my reflection in the lower left corner, captured as I snapped the picture. (I look a lot younger from below--I should be 7' tall, I guess!).
Next, lookee this!
Here it is from the tippy tippy top:
This is a "pattern slab" - stacks of different sizes and colors of glass, all fused together -- designed to produce patterns when sliced. Voila!
As you can see, these pieces can be manipulated to create secondary designs (sound familiar, quilters?). This glass can be fused again with other glass, and the original design will be maintained.
It's hard to sleep. The creative juices are flowing (as was the inevitable glass-cutting blood).
To date, the glass images I have included in fiber pieces have been representational, complementing or echoing images in the textiles themselves. In this fusing class, we learned many techniques in what can be thought of as glass surface design -- creating texture, line, shape in or on the glass itself.
This experimental piece explored layering, combining textures (including mica painted on glass), and tested how the elements would react to each other in the kiln. The twisted structures are copper.
In the next piece (12" x 12"), I wanted to make a design that would hearken to things firebirdy and also resemble a quilted block. This has one layer of transparent glass and one layer of iridescent glass (known in the trades as 'irid'). I can't decide whether I like irid up or irid down (fusing lingo).
The possibilities for incorporating this medium into textiles are endless. Now I will be able to explore both glass and textile surface design, in one swell foop!
And now I will also be torn -- do I play upstairs in my playroom (a.k.a. studio), or downstairs in my garage with my kiln?