Friday, 10 September 2010

One-Day Fusing Experience

An old - but young - friend brought two of her friends for a day of working together in the studio. She had some designs in mind and had enough previous experience that I could leave her to get on while I took the other two through how to cut glass. Neither had cut any glass before coming to the studio.

They both took to it well. Within 45 minutes, I was ready to let them go with designing. By lunch time the designs were prepared and the colours selected. The period just after lunch was the time that their designs were drastically simplified as they came to grips with the nature of the glass.

The person I am going to concentrate on is not better than the other, it is just that her design went through a significant transformation. She early on decided on using strips to create a sinuous design which would be formed to be self supporting. This determination to do many repetitive cuts of strips might have tested many, but she took to the task well, with few shattered strips. She was a bit dismayed when she thought she had done enough strips, after two hours cutting only to find that she had at least half as many again to cut.

At the end of the day, we laid the strips out on the stainless steel mould with a layer of Thinfire over.

I liked the pattern of subtle coloured shadows the strips threw onto the paper below. Unfortunately, the light levels mean that the camera did not pick up so much of the colour as my eye did. Still It provides a mysterious picture when out of context.

The resulting curved strips were assembled by the student a couple of days later - yes I know, not strictly a one day class. This is where the limitations of the curves came into play. Even though the design has been modified a lot, the feel of the original comes through.

The remaining pieces and off-cuts of the strips were combined into objects intended for hanging. The rule of kiln forming is to avoid all waste.

Now to shape the main piece. This will require watching, as so much of the piece will not be supported during the early and mid stages of the drape. I will need to make sure that I am not interrupted. So is it early morning, or late night?

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