Friday, June 29, 2007

New toys...

Like a child waiting for Santa to come down the chimney with new toys, I'm up late with the anticipation of new kilns. Only instead of a cold winter night, a man in a red and white suit and a reindeer pulled sled... I expect a balmy summer day, a man in khaki shorts and a 16-wheel freight truck. But who's being picky. New kilns mean new possibilities. Still a child at heart, how can I sleep with that kind of excitement.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Fused Glass Workshops

Want to learn more about kiln formed glass? Join me for a workshop at Wired Designs Studio and learn the fundamental techniques required for fused glass. We will discuss glass compatibility, firing schedules, cold work, and much more. As students, you will complete two projects (i.e. a dichroic glass pendent and a tack fused piece of glass art).

If after that you still want more, and I bet you will, come back for Essentials II. This workshop focuses on design, embellishment, and artistic expression using glass as your canvas. You will get the chance to work with various types of materials including glass powders, ground micas, metal inclusions, frit, stringer, and shards.

Class dates for Essentials I-Fusing include June 23 and July 8. Essentials II-Design is offered June 24. Contact Wired Designs Studio directly at 210-495-4495 to check availability. You can also visit their website for a complete list of classes offered.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Looking at Anceint Glass with New Eyes

Driving home today after a fascinating but long day of jury duty, I was faced with making a quick decision. Take the on-ramp from HWY 35 to 281 at 5:45 p.m. or make a right onto Broadway where I would be only blocks away from the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA). Hmmm... sit in traffic or take advantage of the free admission available on Tuesday evenings to enjoy art and history. Decision, decision what shall I do?

My plan was to enjoy the cool surroundings of the DenMan gallery, which is filled with Greco-Roman sculpture, while traffic passed me by. I entered the museum, turned left and headed straight for my destination quickly passing Egyptian artifacts and loud tourists. Then suddenly I screeched to a halt. Not an easy thing to do on marble floors in three inch heels. I had entered a small gallery filled with ancient glass. The blue green colors, the irid surfaces, the etched and molded details all caught and held my attention. When I finally peeled myself away to continue down the hall I discovered the exhibit I was heading for was closed. But no matter, I had found something new in this ancient glass. Something that as a young student visiting the museum I never noticed but as a glass craftsman I better appreciate. I went back for a third look.

The collection contains examples of blown, mold blown, and cast/fused glass vessels from the eastern Mediterranean. There are lovely Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic examples of techniques still used by glass artists today (e.g. cameo, etched details cold worked with grits, casting made from powdered glass). If you have the opportunity to visit the SAMA exhibit on Western Antiquities be sure to stop and see the glass.

Monday, June 4, 2007

A Big Thanks to Dar Horn

I was privileged recently to participate in a workshop on open face relief casting taught by visiting artist Dar Horn. Dar came to Wired Designs Studio from his home in California. I learned about creating plaster molds and working with billet to cast detailed images in glass. I’m looking forward to working with these techniques on my own and am already generating some interesting ideas. Now the fun will be making those ideas reality.

Dar was a patient and knowledgeable instructor. He teaches at Pacific Art Glass in Gardena, California. If you ever have the opportunity, I highly recommend taking his class.

Thank you Dar, I enjoyed every minute.