Firing schedules are probably the single biggest source of confusion in kilnforming glass. Over the years (and a bunch of research, testing and listening to smarter-than-me glassists), I’ve developed strategies for schedule management; this series will share a bit. In part I, I talk about “The Rules.” Later, I’ll do some schedule construction. As always, this stuff is based on MY experience, with my designs, my technical considerations and my understanding. I don’t promise that everyone will agree with all (or any of it)…or that it will work exactly the same way for you. Consider it a starting point for your own explorations. NEVER say “always” (or “never”), at least where firing schedules are concerned. But join any gathering of glassists, and the alwayses and neverses just start a-rollin’ in. NEVER do this, or ALWAYS do that… Well, forget “The Rules.” They get you into trouble, stop you from thinking, and just generally mess up your day. I’m a natural contrarian; when I hear glassists solemnly parroting “The Rules” as if breaking them will earn a visit from the kiln police, my first impulse is to argue. So, as a first foray into discussing the ways to develop a firing schedule, let’s start with…The Rules. […]
Got the sweetest email the other day, right on the heels of my, er, terms & conditions for the use of this blog. Don't know if one had anything to do with the other, but it sure tickled me to read this: Hi Cynthia I just wanted to send you a quick thanks for imparting your wonderful knowledge on the use of super glue with fusing.
Glass may be one of the most untouchable of artforms--its strong relationship with light and color makes it extremely visual anyway, and its fragility and razor-sharp fractures most likely reinforce the "eyes only" notion. But what if that's not an option? Why can't artists create glass that speaks to the visually impaired? This is something ELSE I'm learning from this little informal teaching stuff I've been doing. (I gotta wonder if the whole reason you teach is to be able to learn more.)
Most of us get into the art business because we love it...but it's possible to love it to death. You can get so serious and self-critical about your art that you maybe forget why you're doing it: Because it's so much fun. I realized last weekend that I was headed that way, fast. And so for the next 48 hours I stopped worrying about being a grownup, serious artist trying to find my voice and instead had fun. I made a couple of glass samplers, an old project I used to love doing. It used up a bunch of glass scrap, reintroduced me to my inner child and did some battery recharging.
Ever had one of those days where there's all kindsa work you OUGHTA be doing, but your inner child says "The heck with it. Let's play?" That was me last weekend. I finally carved out a whole glorious 48 hours to make art. Excellent time to shovel out the studio, fire a bunch of pate de verre test tiles, mix up a couple of custom billets, redefine some investment facecoats, repair the broken head of the gigantic nude on my sculpture stand so I can get her silicone finished... The heck with it. Let's PLAY!
This getting ready to move stuff is a pain but with some compensations; I inventoried my raw glass stock (came up with about 90 sheets of glass that will be coming to a garage sale soon), and my fingers started itching to cut glass...so I banged out some keystone projects. Nothing great, certainly not great art, but a nice change of pace from the intensity of casting and a good way to turn a bunch of scrap into something that holds fruit.