Monday, September 28, 2009

Glass Houses

Last week, I had a little lull in the studio production schedule so I decided to go through some unfinished projects & scrap glass to see what I could create. I like to play a little game where I can only use discarded pieces & scraps. Discarded pieces include glass projects gone awry, over or under-fired, polluted glass (has "stuff" stuck in it), broken pieces, etc. I used to keep all these misfits & periodically I'd remodel one of them as a donation or use something in another project but then reality & the need for a clean studio intervenes & I file these lovelies in the big bin. One of the key components of the "game" is that I don't let myself cut into a full sheet of glass.

Here's two candle votive stands with the ends cut off & stacked on top of each other. The original design of this involved a couple of house shapes fused flat with ends / stands that were slumped at a 90 degree angle (in a second firing) so that the houses could stand up. A candle votive lit behind illuminates the glass.

So, I thought I'd use all these little glass houses to create a large glass community. Here's the beginning of the transformation as I added glass shapes.

A close-up detail of a window...pre-firing. The dichroic accent is a face of a child. When fused, the clear glass will melt into the black glass underneath & all you'll see is the sweet child's face.
I used 2 mm stringers to create the outline of a window.

Detail (below) of a steeple shaped roof. I thought about putting a skeleton in the attic but then found some old sample florals in dichroic glass. This floral is perfect because it was a mistake too. The background dichroic should have been removed instead of the image dichroic. A very costly mistake which is why it's still in the dichroic glass drawer.

Here's the final project after a full fuse (1500 degrees). It might be fun to add more elements & fire again at a lower temperature to add some dimension. This piece is BIG! It measures about 2 feet in height & 2.5 feet wide. I have it in my garden window in my kitchen with a few plants around...landscaping of sorts!