SHOUT is a big (for me) piece, and probably the most difficult glass casting I've done to date. SHOUTing, Part I was about the problems I ran into. This post is about how I fixed them.
SHOUT's finally out of the kiln. Thank heavens. Part 1 of a 2-parter talking about how I finally got the daggone thing finished.
Catching up on the backlog of email, I found a note from Bullseye Glass announcing a new tipsheet on lost wax casting for glass. I gotta say it's one of the best process guides for glass casting that I've come across. Even if you don't use Bullseye glass, it's definitely one to have in your reference library.
"I just love the way you put faeries into all your work. That's what makes it soooo special," she gushed, "I luuuuuuuv faeries." She was looking at "I Dreamt the Jacobean Rose," a sample of tiles I'm pulling together for a prospective client and, frankly, it ain't of a faery. Especially NOT a fashionably flirty flower faery.
The reward for patiently, carefully weighing and mixing and packing frit into little plaster cells, then documenting the result? You get to play with blocks. Those of you who've been to the studio know my obsession with color tests. I once tried to build a full catalog of readily available tints but got discouraged at how long it was taking. So I sat down and figured out how many combinations I should test:
It makes sense, but I'm having trouble believing it: My kiln failed because I left the garage door open. As you might have read, Skooby-my-Skutt bathtub kiln died right at the start of an important pate de verre firing last Saturday. Since I'd bought him a brand new controller not four months ago, I was pretty unhappy about it, and left a flurry of HELP messages with Skutt. "Hmmmm," said Perry-the-Skutt-kilngod when he called this first thing this morning, "I read your message(s) and I've been thinking about what might have gone wrong. Do you have a voltmeter?"
OK, glassists: What's the first thing we learn when we start working with glass? CAREFULLY LABEL EVERYTHING! Right? Sigh.
It was the perfect end to a very glassy week. I've been to a few BEcons, and this was the best, IMHO. Of course, it helps that it was about casting, my current obsession, and that BE attracted some of my favorite casting artists as speakers. Gotta give kudos to the BE staff, not only for pulling this off at all, but for keeping 250 cats herded fairly efficiently.
Transparency is seductive. It's why we prefer diamonds to coal, windows to walls. I think that's why a lot of glass artists go miles to avoid it. It takes a very strong artistic voice to speak louder than transparent glass.
You can take the girl out of the newsroom, but you can't take the newsroom out of the girl, it seems. No matter how many days/weeks/months/years I know in advance, I don't zoom into high gear until it's down to the wire deadline time. And so I've got four pieces due at the gallery by 11am this morning, and I will just exactly make it...with three.