I’m working on my second honeycomb piece. The first one looked amazing, and then I tried fusing the top details onto the base and it melted into a puddle of color. This is a photo of my second try before fusing. I would like those top details to nicely melt, just a little bit, into the base. The problem is that when you heat all that glass together, it must heat and cool at the same rate. If those thinner top pieces cool slower than the thick bottom, they will crack, or the whole piece will crack. It gets complicated. Stay tuned to see if I can figure out a very slow fusing schedule that will heat and cool everything to perfection.
We had a beautiful day yesterday for Affair of the Arts. It is fun to see familiar faces year after year, and we hear many compliments about the quality of the show and the beauty of the venue. The Shores of Turtle Creek is such a sun-lit, expansive place, so perfect for an art show. We are lucky to be able to work with them each year.
I wanted to get some updated pictures of the show, but fell short, (busy day…) so excuse the dated picture above from one of our first shows. It does give a feel for the venue, though, so I posted it anyway. People loved being able to stroll through, glass of chilled wine in hand, and view, purchase, or just chat with the artists.
Our artists are all exceptional, and wonderful to work with. I could spend all day mentioning each one, but you can follow the link to see pictures and links: www.affairofthearts.org. I would like to make a special mention of guest musician, Nick LiChard, who was kind enough to play and sing live for us at the beginning of the show. It set a great tone, and compliments were flying. Truly a talented artist! See more about Nick: http://www.facebook.com/eyesforever3
Another great outcome of this year’s show is the collaboration between Rowanberry Studio and blacksmith artist Will Slagel. Will was commissioned a customized iron stand for my co-worker at Rowanberry, Amy Guanci. She was kind enough to lend it to me for displaying my latest piece, Kaleidescope Mandala:
Unfortunately for Amy, she couldn’t enjoy it for long, because it sold!
Unfortunately, I missed the wonderful SOFA show this year. How wonderful that I can dig in online and still appreciate some of the great art that was featured on Navy Pier in Chicago this past weekend. Not comparable to being there in person, but a small comfort nonetheless.
Andolsek is one of the artists featured in The Intuit Show at SOFA. He worked at his kitchen table with a compass, straight edge, graph paper, and an eyedropper to create amazing intricate works of art, yet did not even consider himself an artist. Once completed, his work was put away in a closet or trunk, only displayed to the public eye in his later years when a caregiver at a retirement home discovered his talent and brought it to the attention of the director of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. View more by the gallery that represents Andolsek: American Primitive Gallery.
Weiland is a glass artist represented by Litvak Gallery. His signature work is fusing borosilicate glass tubes into flowing, glistening sculptures. In the fusing process, the glass must melt to enough of a liquid state to bond together, yet not be liquid enough to melt into a puddle. Precision fusing is an essential and delicate process. See more (and check out his amazing, graphic website – LOVE it!) www.juliusweiland.com This link takes you to the archive index – great photos of his work.
There is something about Mueller’s strong forms that I find attractive. His use of gallery wall corners makes you look twice. This type of work is just the tip of the Mueller iceberg, there is a massive amount more if you delve a bit deeper. His range is impressive, with a career spanning nearly four decades, and work that includes contemporary studio jewelry, sculpture, installation, furniture design and drawings. Here are a couple of gallery links to his work: carriehaddadgallery.com, galleryloupe.com
Here is a piece I have been working on for a while:
The wood came first. It was a great chunk of driftwood, but pretty flat on the back surface. I decided to put it upright and place glass behind it. I really didn’t want to use a bottom base of glass; that has never really worked out looking as good as I envision.
I found another chunk of wood to suit the back and support the piece to stand up. The back of a fused piece turns out a with more of a matte finish. Some glassworkers cold work their pieces, meaning using tools to further shape a piece after it comes out of the kiln. I don’t have equipment for cold work polishing (yet). So back to the kiln. I fused pieces of frothy sea foam.
Some bits of sparkly water on the wood, and the piece is finished. I am considering putting this piece in the show in September, “Art of the Land”, at the Starline Gallery. I’ll keep you posted.
I work with a few friends on Saturday nights, creating things in the studio. It started as glass class, then morphed into glass club because none of us wanted to stop. Great company and motivation for me – it’s kind of hard to want to go into a dark, spidery basement on a beautiful summer day. But throw some good friends and fun conversation into the mix, top with a 10PM bottle of wine, and that’s easy!
Here is one of Tom’s creations, laid out on a prepared shelf to go into the kiln. Kiln shelves have to be coated with a special mixture that is painted on, so that the glass does not stick to the shelf material. After about two firings, the remaining coating must be sanded completely off the surface, and the shelf re-coated.
Here is another of Tom’s pieces, just after the first firing. I like how this photo turned out, with glowing edges. The piece is made with clear glass, but camera flash lit up those edges in an interesting way.
This piece is one of mine, after the first firing. All of these pieces will be set over a stainless steel form (also coated with kiln wash), and put back into the kiln for a second firing. The second one will be at a lower temperature, which is not hot enough to actually melt the glass, but just hot enough for it to “slump” over the mold.
Watch the blog next week for some photos of the finished products.
I just received word that I have been accepted into the fall show for Art of the Land. This show features artists from the McHenry County area who find their inspiration in the natural beauty of the land. It is a fundraiser for the Land Conservancy of McHenry County. My talented sister, Margie, had one of her photographs featured in this event last year, and raved about this event at the Starline Gallery in Harvard.
My best pieces are inspired by the landscape that surrounds me. Incorporating natural materials seems to bring it closer, infusing my work with the feeling of the outdoors, bringing it into your everyday life.
Driftwood is something I can’t resist bringing home from my kayak trips. In fact, sometimes I look pretty strange out on the lake, with my kayak festooned with bits of wood tucked under every available bungee strap. Scroll down to my June 15 post to see my latest sculpture with glass and wood. Here is one of my first projects:
The Art of the Land show is being held September 23 – 24, 2011. I’ll be sure to post more about it as it gets closer.