Thursday, April 7, 2011

A snippet of Green with Envy

Here's a snippet of my first tile for the book I am co-authoring (with many other artists). When I'm making, what I call Mosaic Fused Glass pieces, I spend time sorting through my glass, picking out the colors that please me and then I just start cutting. I cut squares, rectangles,etc. I just spend time cutting a lot of glass and then I sit back and start placing them together on the base glass. I start layering. Sometimes the very first design I work through is perfect. Sometimes I play with the glass a long time, changing the pieces and moving them around. After a while, there comes a moment, when it feels just right and I stop. Sometimes I walk away for a while and come back. It's rare I change anything after I've walked away but every once in a while, I'll think it's too green or too yellow or whatever, or a shape won't look right and I'll replace it with different shapes or colors.

It's like a puzzle that I'm making as I go. After I get to a certain point, the precut pieces of glass left aren't what I need, so I start cutting specifically for that space on the base.

I love leaving the glass at least a little lumpy. That is to say, once I've done my design and I have glued everything down. I put it into the kiln at a very slow, slow program. I set the program so that it rises to about 1250 - 1300 degress depending on the project and then comes back down to room temperature very slowly. This typically takes close to 24 hours depending on the project. I'm rather obsessive about this. I want to make sure the glass retains it's integrity. I don't want to worry about thermal shock or any future problems with stress or weakness in the glass. I purposely set my program so the glass will not full fuse. Full fuse, means that I allow it to melt down to one dimension. I like my glass to be lumpy! People who view it seem to have an irresistible urge to run their fingers over the lumpy texture. And there you have it, a snippet of the first tile!

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