Saturday, January 30, 2010

Teaching Glass Fusing and an Installation

I teach how to fuse glass jewelry three or four times a year. Usually these classes are quite fun, and this class was no exception. It's fun to watch new students put pieces of glass together and have them be excited about it. They seemed to really enjoy it and were helping each other with design ideas. We've started fusing them in the big kiln at the studio. Unfortunately, this kiln hasn't been used that much and we're still "dialing it in" on smaller items. It seems it's hotter in the center, which seems backwards to me, because both my small kilns are cooler in the center. I'm sure it's because this kiln has elements in the lid, but it still takes getting used to. I draw a grid on the fiber paper and label it with each student's name so that they can keep their pieces together. I take a picture before the kiln fires and then I know who's pendants are whos. In this firing batch, I saw that one capping piece "jumped" during the firing, and I feel that a few pieces were a little over fired. We had problems with the mica not showing up in the pendants where it was used. Next firing I need to take the top temp down about 10-20 degrees.

Here are some before and after pictures:

I also finished the last panel of three panels we had been working on for a customer. One of my bosses does the design work, I built the whole top panel by myself (except for help cutting the continuous orange back ground, they make me nervous). The two door panels were more of a community effort with the other boss doing some strip cutting, and our part time employees helping with the grinding. Both bosses helped with the soldering, it just helped it go along quicker. All in all, I figure I built about 2/3 of each of the door panels. It was installed this last week and these are the pics. I really love how the light comes through these. They were very challenging but fun to make. I'm very proud of how they turned out.

Now, to get going on some projects that need to be finished on my own time so I can get something sold and pay off some bills!

Design by Duane Miles, beaded by Kerry