It's been a good couple of days in the studio. I guess I had more work than I realized that had to be fired as I managed to fill my three biggest kilns and still had enough left over to send home with Dee to fire in her two bigger kilns! I was lucky she worked yesterday and today and offered to fire for me as otherwise I wouldn't have been able to ship everything that needs to go out. I'm even a bit ahead on firing right now as I have done most of the order that is scheduled to ship next Wednesday.
I'm looking forward to tomorrow's final class in the kiln-forming 1-2-3 series. I taught it a bit differently this time as I had six very focused, enthusiastic students who were there for all three sessions and enabled me to up my game. I plan to continue the format for the next session and hope it goes as well. Basically the first week is about the different forms glass comes in (sheet, frit, rod, stringer, powder), how these forms can affect your perception of the color (transparent frit looks lighter in color as the size of the pieces gets smaller due to the way the light reflects and refracts off of them), bubbles, and viscosity and flow with the addition of heat and gravity. I meant to teach cutting glass in the second week along with color, but color is such a big topic--how combining results in individual points as opposed to a blended color, strikers, reactive glass, opal vs. transparent and their respective effects on depth perception, etc.--that I never got to it. We're going to start with cutting this week, and then move into more discussion of the direction of flow and how to affect the movement of the glass in the kiln by how the glass is placed in the piece (layering and stacking). We'll finish with an introduction to the kiln and the segments in various firing schedules.
The other big thing I started with this class is beginning each class with an analysis of the pieces the students made in the previous class (they do an 8" square based on the subjects discussed for each class) and how they fit or diverged from the students' expectations based on what they had learned. This analysis takes about 20 minutes, but they all seem to get a lot out of talking about what they did and looking at what others did. It also helps me with what I need to emphasize in the class. FOr example, it's been so long since I started fusing glass that it never even occurred to me that I needed to point out in the first class that the glass isn't going to flow a lot from side to side if you put it down so that you have a uniform piece about 1/4" thick. The students thought the pieces would flow a lot more on the inside of their work than they did.
Now it's time to head to jewelry class so I guess I had better finish. Tomorrow's post: Destination Glass in Montana! Come spend a week on the lake in Montana doing an intensive glass seminar with a visit to Glacier National Park, and art shopping in Big Fork thrown in!