June 27, 2009
The Joy of Coldworking
A guide to grinding, smoothing and polishing blown and fused glass
Available through warmglass.com or the Bullseye Resource Center (although as of 6/27/09 it wasn’t listed in their online store)
No, the book’s title is not an oxymoron, at least not for author Johnathan Schmuck. The dude actually likes to grind and polish glass, and since his writing gives no sign of mental deficiencies I must conclude he knows what he’s talking about.
June 25, 2009
Draaaagged awake Sunday morning, post BEcon and Saturday night’s Lehr-B-Q. OGG had a pre-daddy’s day demo this morning and if the instructor had been anyone but the famous Marty Kremer (or maybe Keith Richards) I’d have stayed in bed. I was tired.
Fortunately, it was Marty, who’s a pretty bright guy as well as a consummate glassist, so I enjoyed myself immensely. Anybody who skipped that class missed out bigtime; at the end Marty held a drawing for his demo pieces, and several students got very lucky indeed. We ended up at Campbell’s BBQ for nearly three hours of ribs and conversation that ranged from the Israeli glass scene to annealing cycles.
It was the perfect end to a very glassy week.
June 19, 2009
Artlovers’ tip: When attending a busy Bullseye Gallery reception and all those warm bodies raise the temperature to sweatworthiness, visit the work in the front window. That’s where the best air conditioner vent is positioned and, since the art in the window is generally a showstopper, you can enjoy both a warm contemplation and a cool breeze.
Just don’t expect to be there alone; an amazing number of the throngs attending the BEcon opening reception tonight seemed to know that trick. I met quite a few of them already hogging my spot.
May 21, 2009
“Harry, she’s an artist. Artists are weird. Go back to sleep.”
OK, so my neighbors aren’t named Harry and Marge, they’re undoubtedly up and about long before 7am, and although they do give me some wary looks now and then, they’re far too nice to say anything about squirting glass with a waterpik. And the fuzzy pink slippers were the first ones handy when I ran for the kiln this morning.
Who cares? Castuary is over and May-the-first is out!
May 21, 2009
May won’t be out of the kiln until tonight, so I’m occupying my time with about a million things (including work, other sculpture, buddies, etc.)…and documenting the whole process of making her. So far I’ve covered:
The inspiration for the sculpture “May”
The constructing of May’s clay model
The making of a silicone mold of May
Planning May’s mold
Making May’s mold
Packing May’s mold (this post)
Decanting May’s test run
May the second (final version)
Taking the girls for a stroll
So now, the last step before firing: Filling the mold with glass.
May 20, 2009
With May in her second day in the kiln (of a projected five-day firing), I’ve been busy documenting the steps I’ve taken so far to produce her. I’m slowly refining the techniques I use to produce deep bas-relief portraits in pate de verre (what I call Vignettes), and getting closer and closer to reproducibility with any of these portraits.
May is one of the larger portraits I’ve done so far, and she’s the subject of a number of experiments to solve nagging problems in background color, mold integrity and better rendering of facial features. I’ve got several experiments going on with her that somewhat change the construction of the mold and packing techniques, so I thought I’d detail them here.
(BTW, in case you haven’t figured this out, these posts serve as my lab notes. A blog is a great way to create a searchable, illustrated journal of studio processes, with the added bonus of making it much easier to share with experts who can help–or to show someone else how it’s done. If you’re into documenting your glasswork, I recommend doing it in a blog–and please send me the links!)
March 28, 2009
The art director shook her head.”These aren’t glassy enough.”
I’d brought photos of some of the most wonderful “kilnformed” glass art in the world to illustrate her brochure on glassmaking. “These could be stone or paper or ceramic,” she said, “We need glass that looks like glass.”
Which–with a few notable exceptions–is exactly the opposite of what kilnformers do in the fine art space these days. There are many artistic reasons for it. [Read more]
February 8, 2009
I don’t care what anybody says; THIS takes guts:
By way of explanation, this is one of the sculptures I’m working on right now, May, which I mentioned earlier. At the point you see it below, I’ve got about 16 hours’ worth of work into it and I’m preparing take an RTV (rubber mold) from it. This will allow me to make mistakes with the pate de verre, make duplicates or redo May as a bronze sometime in the future.
Of course, if something goes wrong in making the mold, there goes May. That’s the guts part.
December 20, 2008
Drat. Stuck relays on the Skutt, with a warning from the Skutt folks that dedicated casters should count on replacing mechanical relays every year or so. Just about right in my case, I guess, and Skutt’s asked me to get the kiln controller down to them so we can try something new. In the meantime, and now that my original new kiln plans were, uhm, involuntarily modified, I’m going in a slightly different (and rather weird) direction for a casting kiln but one I’m really excited about. (more on that later)
May 7, 2008
Was bopping around the Web with a buddy and came upon venerated artist Anne Robinson’s site. Some lovely work there. I’ve seen her work online and in magazines but never in person; seeing it in context made me realize for the first time just how massive it is.
What interested me the most, though, was the slideshow she’s posted showing her casting process, step-by-step. A couple of stages surprised me a bit, but I’m sure not going to argue with her results. Definitely worth a peek.