See how a fused glass creation comes together...
Recently I was commissioned to make a special glass piece for a regular customer.
After a charity walk across the Sussex Downs, she wanted a freestanding piece of glassware that would remind her of the day and the beautiful sights she saw along the way.
The walk took her over the Seven Sisters Country Park and through Cuckmere Valley. There were wild flowers along the way and a lighthouse in the distance. She asked that some of these could be incorporated in a unique glass piece.
One of the things I love about working with glass is the ability to create layers and depth of colour. I started by screen printing an image of the Coastguard Cottages, synonymous with the Cuckmere Haven, which I could build onto with glass layers to create depth.
On top of the screen printed glass I placed another piece of clear and layered it with the beautiful deep blues and greens of the Sussex Downs and coast.
I used opalescent sheet glass in three types of green to create the sloping hillsides, white 'frit' (crushed glass) for the chalky cliffs and teal green for the sea. I broke up small pieces of very thin glass called 'confetti' to evoke the bright reds and oranges of wild flowers and very straight glass called 'stringers' for the stems.
It was fired once to fuse together. Glass melts into a treacle like texture when it is fired to a high temperature. After cooling, you see how the different types of glass have fused together for a smooth solid piece.
After firing once and leaving plenty of time for the glass to cool, it is fired a second time into a mould. During this firing the glass is heated enough to fall into a shape but the qualities of the glass stay the same. In this case, the mould was a gentle curve, so the finished piece is a freestanding glass panel that would look beautiful on a shelf or sunny windowsill.
I'm very pleased to say that the customer loved her unique piece of glass art!
If you would like to make a similar piece, you could join one of our workshops. The next one with availability is on Sunday 6th November here in Little Beach Boutique.
Bye for now!