Sunday, September 03, 2017

Glass Incarnate Today is About... Glass!

I have clearly been out of touch with the glass fusing community for awhile. I heard today from another artist that there is some furor over fused glass boxes and who came up with what, and that someone is teaching a glass box technique remarkably similar to the one in my book. Of course there is always the possibility that this artist and I both engineered our own solutions independently and came up with the same thing--it happens all the time. Whatever the circumstance, it was gratifying to find out that things I did for the book are still out there and being tried by new people. In a fit of nostalgia I went back through my photos and found my original glass box work from 11 years ago. My how time flies! I submitted the combed box below for a Niche Award in 2007 and made it to finalist. Two years ago I submitted a 3D printed piece (done by hand with screens, not machines), and that piece won. Have I done anything really creative since? Not in glass!

Since I was thinking of glass, I went surfing through the Fused Glass Fanatics Facebook page and was excited to see pictures (admittedly from a few years ago) of the mokume gane technique from my book that other people tried. Made me want to get back into mad scientist mode in the studio too. I love the mokume gane box (above) and it was both the last box and the last mokume gane project I did. I miss that feeling of having an idea and engineering a way to make it happen in glass. Some of it is bringing forth the artistic vision, and some of it is the sheer joy of problem solving to allow the vision to come out that make my heart sing.

Years ago at a BECon lehr-bq I remember telling Lani McGregor that I was going to take the 3D-printing technique I had learned from Steve Royston Brown at a pre-conference workshop, and really go somewhere with it. I saw intricate sculptures in my head all laid down 2mm at a time in Bullseye glass powder. Unfortunately due to a firing schedule snafu in the workshop, my final piece didn't fully fuse and I unmolded it to find only glass powder sifting through my fingers. I'll admit my enthusiasm was a bit dampened by the failure. It took a few years (until I started writing the advanced book) before I sat down with it again and calculated a firing schedule that would work. As I still have my designs and the screens from the class, maybe it's time to try that complicated, multi-screen project again.

After finishing the book, the stream of life carried me down a different current and all the techniques I had worked on were left to lie fallow. Now, however, I have more time to create in the studio again. Having creative time and energy was one of the main reasons I decided not to have a teaching and retail studio anymore. I was spending all of my time trying to do my regular line of gallery work and managing the retail and teaching--there was no time for creativity.

Now I'm in Texas (for the past 15 months) and my studio still isn't unpacked and set up. But I was out there yesterday and today and I set up an auxiliary work table (for fun projects, not production), and I think it's time to get back in there to see what all the fun is about. It's almost cool enough out now to spend long days in there without dying of heat stroke. Eventually I might even get a pair of glass patio doors installed to separate the kiln room from the rest of the studio. First project is going to be a 3-D printed one. Or mokume gane tiles for our kitchen...


Drita Harris said...

Can't wait to see what your new glass project will be!

Go Fusing, A Sanborn Corp said...

It is so good to hear from you and see you referenced in FGF! As it cools down in September we hope you find the time to to get into your studio and find your "mad scientist" groove again! Looking forward to seeing more creations! (-:

Bill said...

You sound like you are bubbling with energy! Good for you!