Sunday, December 15, 2013

Fused Glass Dragonfly Suncatcher Ornament

A fused glass dragonfly with a shimmery iridescent body hovers for just a fleeting moment. 

It is difficult for me to be creative during the holidays.  From Halloween to New Year's Eve, there always seems to be a rush to do something more.  I've missed using my imagination and my hands to create something unique.  Since the dragonfly form lends itself to simple contours, it is the perfect project to find a moment of calm.

fused glass dragonfly flutterbybutterfly ornament suncatcher violet purple transparent bullseye flutterbybutterfly
Fused Glass Dragonfly on a Transparent Violet Bullseye Glass Background

I drew this dragonfly with a mid century modern simplicity and a calligraphy swoop along the length of its body.

fused glass dragonfly flutterbybutterfly ornament suncatcher bullseye cut squares
Transparent Bullseye Glass in Rich Colors

This project is about the color and the transparency.  I chose four rich transparent or cathedral glass sheets from Bullseye and layered each with a white streaky square of the same size.  The bodies were cut from a shimmery, rainbow iridescent sheet and the wings from a white iridescent sheet. 

fused glass dragonfly flutterbybutterfly ornament suncatcher bullseye before firing jenken
Fused Glass Dragonflies Before Firing in My JenKen Kiln

These sun catchers were fired to a full fuse with a short hold so the finished dragonfly would be almost flush with the background.  They are almost ready to hang in the window.  

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Vintage Teardrop Travel Trailers Camping in Fused Glass Art

I have always wanted a vintage camper, maybe travel around and take my house with me.  I don't think I could ever rough it in the outdoors, but camping in a cute restored little travel trailer sounds ideal.  Buying a vintage camper to restore is not in our near future, so I made a set out of glass.

fused glass teardrop vintage trailer owl night stars camping glamping  dichroic dicro crescent moon
Fused Glass Teardrop Trailer with a Dichroic Pinstripe and Wing

The first teardrop travel trailer camps under a star filled night sky as a blue owl sits quietly.  This mint green and iridescent white camper is striped and detailed with dichroic glass that shifts from gold to green. 

fused glass teardrop vintage trailer flamingo night stars camping glamping florida constellation palm tree
Fused Glass Travel Trailer Camping with a Lawn Flamingo

The second teardrop travel trailer is all decked out for a party.  This camper has a pink flamingo in the lawn and a dichroic pennant banner hanging from the roof.

fused glass dicro dichroic banner pennant triangle swag celebrate camping glamping
Fused Glass Dichroic Pennants Hanging - Ready to Celebrate

Maybe someday we'll have a cute little trailer or maybe even a shiny Airstream to take out on the open road!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Coneflower Dragonfly Fused Glass Art Window Panel

Coneflowers grow in a glass garden window hanging as dragonflies dart about looking for a warm place to bask in the sun.

Art Coneflower Dragonfly Hanging Flower Fused Stained Glass Window Panel
A Fused Glass Garden of Dragonflies and Flowers

The coneflowers are created from opaque Bullseye glass in shades of smoky lavender and soft sky blue.  Each flower sits atop a hand-pulled variegated green stem with transparent foliage.  When fired in the kiln, the transparent glass edges will soften, creating muted greenery while the opaque flower petals stay crisp.

Art Dragonfly Bug Insect Flight Flying Hanging Flower Fused Stained Glass Window Panel
Iridescent Fused Glass Dragonfly

Each hand cut, fused glass dragonfly was designed with transparent bluish purple wings.  The iridescent glass used for the wings has a shimmery finish that reflects rainbows when the light catches.

Art Coneflower Cone Flower Hanging Echinacea Fused Stained Glass Window Panel
A Smoky Lavender Coneflower

This finished window hangs from a set of Aanraku roll hooks and brass chain that seem to accessorize an outfit like the perfect necklace. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fused Glass Home Decor Flower Poppies in Silhouette

Fused glass poppy shadows float over almost flowing undulations of reds with a hint of yellow and white.  These dark poppy silhouettes climb gently over a fully fused disk of Bullseye glass.  

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Fused Glass Poppy Flowers in Silhouette

To create the art glass base for these flowers, I filled a clay pot from Home Depot with scrap transparent and opaque shades of glass.  When the glass is heated to 1700 degrees Fahrenheit, the glass flows out and spreads to form a circle.  In a second firing, hooks were added for hanging.

 silhouette shadow fused glass stained pot melt black red home decor wall hanging
Hand Crafted Fused Glass Home Decor

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fused Glass Constellations

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Constellations of Fused Glass Starry Nighttime Sky

Stars of white fill a disk of swirling blue glass to form the constellations in the night sky.  This fused glass project started with a pot melt of assorted Bullseye blue glass in both opaque and transparent.  I added opaque white glass balls to form both the Big and Little Dipper, as well as Draco and Cassiopeia.  I used a faceted quartz stone for Polaris.

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Faceted Quartz Stones for Fused Glass Projects

My father-in-law hand cut and polished these pieces of quartz, my picture just doesn't do these crystals justice.

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Faceted Quartz Polaris in a Fused Glass Little Dipper Constellation

Here's a close-up of the little dipper with the north star placed at the end of the handle.  The stone was fixed to the glass after all firing was completed.

art orion fused glass constellation star belt hanging wall home decor night sky stain
Fused Glass Orion Constellation with its Brightest Stars

I loved my starry nighttime sky so much I made a second hanging of star clusters to form the constellations Orion, Taurus and Gemini with a faceted quartz stone for Sirius, the dog star.

art fused glass constellation star nighttime stargazing hanging wall home decor night sky
Fused Glass Stargazing

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fused Glass Modern Flower Dish with a Retro Daisy Sunburst

fused glass modern retro mod flower daisy sunburst bullseye glass flutterbyfoto flutterbybutterfly.
Fused Glass Retro Mod Daisy with a Sunburst

After a watching more than a few episodes of Mad Men, I was inspired to create these happy little flowers with soft blue starbursts radiating from lime green centers.  To create the base of this plate, I layered transparent green over opaque yellow glass.  The yellow is just barely visible around the edge of the plate, but mostly it adds a warm golden hue to the green base.

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Handmade Clay Molds for Slumping

For this project I wanted to build clay molds to shape my glass plates.  I started by rolling the clay out into a mostly even slab with my dollar store rolling pin.  I then molded the clay around each plate and trimmed.  Once the clay was dryish I removed the original plate and let the clay dry completely.  These molds were fired to cone 6 and then kiln washed so my glass didn't stick.

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Cece Created Little Clay Houses with Chimneys

While I was making boring clay molds, my daughter was creating tiny little houses with windows and chimneys.

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Fused Glass Color Reaction Flower Petals

Each petal was created from a stack of yellow, turquoise and white opaque Bullseye glass.  I hoped to get a reaction between the copper in the turquoise and the sulfur in the yellow glass.  A list of reactions is available at the Bullseye Glass education website, the reactive potential chart .  I fired these glass stacks to a full fuse in my Jen Ken kiln to 1475 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.  Each stack spread and smoothed out to form unique oval petals with nested circles.

fused glass modern mod retro flower daisy sunburst flutterbyfoto flutterbybutterfl
Fused Glass Dish with a Retro Modern Flower and Starburst

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fused Glass Watercolor Jellyfish Jellies Tentacle Tendril Hanging Panel

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A Fused Glass Jellyfish of Diluted Watercolors

Fused glass jellyfish created from translucent shades of diluted color float on a sea of glass.  These jellies float freely as their curling tentacles flow behind and candy cane twists of blue glass reach like arms from below.

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Fused Glass Jellyfish Floating on a Sea of Glass

This art glass panel started as a photo taken at the Mystic Aquarium in 2003.  This picture caught my eye as the computer monitor went to sleep and the photo slideshow screensaver came up.  When a panel begins with a memory, the project seems to take on the feelings of that moment.

jellyfish photo mystic aquarium
Watching Jellyfish at the Mystic Aquarium

Here is the original sketch created from the jellyfish photo.  I tried to capture the arced pattern created as the jellies seemed to move gently around.

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Jellyfish Sketch for Fused Glass

After reading the ebook Tricks with Transparency by Helios Kiln Glass Studio, I created these fused glass cabochons.  I layered and stacked and layered again and then fired them to 1500 degrees F for 15 minutes - twice.  That's a lot of time in the kiln, but I love the depth of color and gradation of shades.  

fused glass color dilution bullseye scrap transparent glass jellyfish body flutterbyfoto flutterbybutterfly
Fused Glass Cabochon - Layers of Transparent Glass

Next, I wanted to create the glass stringer for the trailing tendrils of tentacles.  Starting with pieces of transparent Bullseye scrap in coordinating colors, I heated and pulled these strips using my Mega Minor torch.  Each stem was pulled individually.  I then pulled and twisted the candy cane striped twists in shades of blue, white and clear.

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Hand Pulled Stringer From Bullseye Scrap Transparent Glass

After shaping each cabochon into a jellyfish, I placed each tentacle so they seemed to flow in an almost circular motion around the glass.  I added liquid glass in a powder blue to add another element and layer of depth.  After firing it will be just a hint of added detail.

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Fused Glass Jellyfish with Stringer Before Firing

The completed fused glass panel was taken to a contour fuse of 1425 degrees F to give the final piece texture.  The clear base ripples as the smooth bodies of the jellyfish almost seem to move gently above.

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Fused Glass Jellyfish Taken to a Contour Fuse

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Mermaid Sea Creature Fused Glass Sgraffito Frit Painting

A fused glass mermaid stares out to the blue horizon where the ocean meets the sky.

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Fused Glass Mermaid Sgraffito Frit Painting

This sketch was originally completed during my freshman year at USMMA, the Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York.  I drew this mermaid for a mural to show class spirit.  When I look at her I remember how I felt more than twenty years ago.  I return to that time and place, almost watching as I painted the mural on cream colored concrete block walls with an edge dressing brush.

Mermaid Drawing Merchant Marine Academy Kings Point Mural Sharon Ackerman Warren
A Mermaid Sketch

After all this time I decided to create the mermaid in a sgraffito technique.  Watching the Bullseye Glass education videos on working with powders and drawing on glass were a good place to start.  I tried the techniques presented in the videos but finally settled on doing it my own way.  I used CMC gum to trace the image and then sifted the the black powder onto the glass.  Using a wax carver's set my father-in-law sent, I proceeded to spend many hours moving tiny granules of glass back and forth.

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Mermaid Sgrafitto Frit Painting with Tools

After firing, I thought the mermaid looked kind of plain so I added a clear glass frame and lots more glass powder.  I started by adding more pattern and movement to the water and some depth to the sky.  Next came, highlights to the hair and sparkle to her tail.  Lastly, I built up the sky and finished off with a sifting of clear frit.  I stopped including photos because the image becomes completely obscured by the glass powders.  She is built upside down with the final layer becoming the back. 

fused glass mermaid sgraffito sgrafitti frit painting layers creation process evolution construction
Fused Glass Mermaid Creation

The mermaid tail is my favorite part of the whole piece.  The Bullseye aventurine green glass frit sparkles against the jade and almost disappears as it enters the water.

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Fused Glass Mermaid Tail

My finished mermaid.  She will always be tied to the memory of when I drew her originally.

fused glass mermaid sgraffito sgrafitti frit painting finished

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fused Glass Mermaids in the Ocean with Crackle Technique

Two mermaids swim and dive into an ocean of blues.  The sky turns a soft lavender as the day turns to dusk.

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Fused Glass Mermaids Swimming at Dusk

The ocean on the base glass was created by stacking many shades of Bullseye transparent blue glass on a clear background.  The sky was created with a piece of iridescent glass rated curious by Bullseye.  A curious rating means that the glass does not perform as expected.  In this case it turned almost lavender after its second firing. 

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Fused Glass Ocean Water Sky Background
The mermaids for this piece started as a rough sketch on graph paper.  I wanted them to be feel light and happy and fun.

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Original Mermaid Sketch for Fused Glass

It is very difficult for me to cut glass on an inside curve.  To overcome this I could buy a Taurus Ring Saw or I could make the tail in pieces.  I chose the cheaper route.  Each tail was cut in pieces and then glued together.  I placed a small piece of clear kind of like one would use scotch tape.  I made extra tails just in case.  I planned on taking these pieced tails to a full fuse on fiber paper but thought why not also add texture.

fused glass mermaid crackle technique tail fish scale construction how to tutorial
Fused Glass Crackle Technique for Mermaid Tails

A tutorial on adding this crackle texture technique is available on Glass Fusing Made Easy and it was really easy.  Just sift some glass powder on to fiber paper and spritz with water.  Then let dry and gently move the fiber paper to create cracks.  Anything you place on top will pick up the cracked glass powder.  Very cool.

fused glass mermaid crackle tail fish scale assembled before firing
Fused Glass Mermaids before Firing to a Contour Fuse

After reshaping the tails on the grinder, I added hair in shades of brown and a bikini tops in lavender, even a little dichroic glass for earrings.

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Fused Glass Mermaid Swimming in an Ocean of Blues

Underneath the ocean, the mermaids still swim.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fused Glass Color Reaction Stacked Square Plates

Rows of irregularly stacked squares and rectangles of different heights fill a Bullseye glass opalescent Cobalt Blue base.  I love to make these little stacks, just looking at the photo of random organization makes me happy.

Bullseye Fused Glass Stacked Squares Color Reaction Blue Turquoise French Vanilla
Stacked Squares of Bulleye Glass

A mixture of blues in an opaque and transparent palette react with the french vanilla in the design.  I tried to place the french vanilla to get the widest assortment of reactions between the copper in the blues and the sulfur in the vanilla.  Not all the blues react, the Bullseye reactive potential chart is available at their education website. 

Bullseye Glass Color Reaction Blue Turquoise French Vanilla
Bullseye Glass That Should Have a Color Reaction

Here is the before and after of my stacks.  This plate was heated to a full fuse in my Jen Ken kiln to 1475 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Each glass rectangle seems to ooze and spread but only to a certain point and the color reactions are so varied.  When heated, the french vanilla stacked on top of transparent turquoise creates a strong outline and a deep shadow while transparent turquoise stacked on french vanilla creates an almost midnight blue with brown hues.

Stacked Square Plate Color Reaction Blue Turquoise French Vanilla Before
Stacked Square Plate Color Reaction Before Firing

Stacked Square Plate Color Reaction Blue Turquoise French Vanilla After
Stacked Square Plate Color Reaction After Firing

These plates will make the perfect gift set coupled with a bread mix that was on sale at Hallmark.  Maybe I should create some stacked square plate sets to place for sale in My Etsy Store store!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dichroic Scarab Beetle Iridescent Green Pot Melt Fused Glass Tile Plate Disk

A scarab beetle dressed in a metallic green and blue dichroic shell.  His pink gold body sits atop a glass round of flowing shades of green with a hint of white.

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Fused Glass Dichroic Scarab Beetle

The beetle's rainbow iridescence shifts as the angle of light changes creating a variety of colors within.

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Fused Glass Dichroic Scarab Beetle Color Shift

To create the art glass base for the beetle, I filled a terra cotta planter from Home Depot with scrap transparent and opaque shades of green and white Bullseye glass.  The pot is balanced on strips cut from a kiln shelf.  When the glass scrap is heated to 1700 degrees Fahrenheit, the glass flows out of the pot's drainage hole and spreads to fill the terra cotter saucer.

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Bullseye Fused Glass Single Hole Pot Melt

I love pot melts.  It is an amazing way to incorporate movement and flow into a piece.  Each finished glass round is completely unique and full swirling color.

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Finished Fused Glass Pot Melts in a Rainbow of Colors