Another Castuary bites the dust


>>, studio practice>Whew…another Castuary bites the dust

shout.jpgKilnful of molds came out of the kiln yesterday morning and I’m a happy camper who can check off one more promise to herself: I’m getting serious about this glass stuff.

Part of being serious is, I guess, learning when it’s OK to compromise and when it’s not. SHOUT (detail above) also came out of the kiln but only 85% good, so it’s not OK to compromise and I’m recasting them.

(BTW…take a look at the finish on those pieces, just two hours out of the kiln with just enough coldwork to knock off the edges, no more. Sweet.)

Too bad. I really, really, really wanted Shout ready by Friday, but the color didn’t flow right and I know what I did wrong. The shapes are perfect, the detail is there, and I’ll waste a whole lot of Bullseye billet if I recast…but ShoutingMan and RagingMan don’t have the power that should be inherent in 22 inches of glassy menace.

Areas that should have been lighter to show off the detail came out too dark, areas that needed to be suffused with dark, angry red came out almost bloodless and there was too much striping…and so what should have amazing, disturbing tension instead looks like two yuppies squabbling over a parking place. Drat.

Instead of trying to rush all this in one casting, this one will–as I knew but decided against my better judgement to risk so they’d be done by Friday–need to be done in two firings. First, I cast the heads and get completely accurate color placement, and then I cast them as inclusions on the mounts, to position them correctly and get the negative space between them exactly right.

I may also need to rethink the mounts themselves along with the heads. I’m working with Hugh (glassburl of fame) on achieving perfectly smooth and transparent gradient color fills, and we’re almost there. Something like that is probably needed for these guys. Of course, understanding how to get the color flowing DOWN a meandering 18- inch mount when my kiln has a working height of only 13 inches is going to take some puzzling.

Strangely, this is making me feel better, not worse. Knowing how these guys need to look, how to achieve it, and being unwilling to substitute “almost” for “finished…” I think that’s what getting serious means.

Sorry, don’t mean to be cryptic, just musing out loud. The other pieces came out of the kiln so daggone near perfect that I got teary in front of the kiln–I’m controlling this stuff, really controlling it, and my ability to visualize model-to-glass is coming along nicely. My taking a break from color was a GOOD idea–and that makes me feel good, too.

Ah, well. Back down to Bullseye for more billet, back out to Stephenson’s for more wax (yes, Les, MORE wax) and some alginate and RTV. And back into the studio for more work (she sighed happily).



  1. Lynice February 27, 2008 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    Congratulations, Cynthia! I can relate to your persistence, frustration, patience, and tenacity for holding out for your vision and to get it just right. This is not an easy thing to do and I congratulate you on your success. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished piece.

  2. Cynthia Morgan February 24, 2008 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    Thanks, Les. I like the look of the current attempt, I just don’t love it… Next attempt will probably be with the gradient fill, assuming I can get it to flow smoothly in the next tests..and then we’re in business!


  3. Leslie Rowe-Israelson February 23, 2008 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    Well as for your patience and your dedication for understanding how the glass flows and where to place the glass, you get a gold star. Cynthia, I have been fortunate enough to see the full sculpture and the arms that held the piece and it is controlled anger at it’s best. Sorry that just a small part did not fill with Red where you wanted it to, to make the ultimate statement, but it still is a great piece of art full of load voices!!! and you can cut the air between these two fingers with a knife for sure. Les

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