Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Our Santa Barbara-based Fibervision art quilt group issued a challenge: use some recycled materials, mount the piece on 24" x 30" canvas-wrapped stretchers, and use a designated letter of the alphabet. The letter itself did not have to appear in the piece.

My letter was "N." Nature, natch. My next decision was to try to use recycled glass. I made two class clouds (one is pictured above) courtesy of Vons organic sparkling limeade. Here is the bottle:

After a thorough cleaning, I wrapped the bottle in towels and took a hammer to it, smashing it into tiny pieces and powder. I had bought a bottle of Blue Nun wine just to get the cobalt blue glass container, and was going to mix in some blue with the clear. (Note: I didn't drink the wine (headache zone), but my husband reports that Blue Nun should have remained on the liquor store shelf.)

Oops. Not so fast. Since the chemical properties of these two glasses are unknown, mixing them is verboten. Incompatibility could cause cracks and other bad happenin's.

There isn't a lot published on how to fuse recycled glass, so I fashioned a fusing schedule I hoped would work. The results were different from others I had made using glass-for-fusing materials -- as you can see in the first photo, the glass did not fully melt, and the result was a delightful geometric texture, surprisingly clear.

Next, I had to drill the holes necessary for attaching the piece to my textile. Here is the surgery set-up:

That was successful, too. What next?

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