Friday, 19 September 2008

Commissions & Collaborations

Working to some-one else's specifications on a commissioned piece of glass can be a either a joy or a nightmare. Fortunately for me, most commissioned glass has been a happy experience.

It helps immensely if the customer has an understanding of the versatility and the limitations of fused glass and that the customer can convey the idea so that I can visualise the glass. The perfect customer is also one who will come back and ask for alterations that are workable and not impossible.

Most of my designs start out with a doodle or a drawing in a sketchbook. If working with color is the main element of the design I use watercolors to translate colors onto the page. Although not a perfect match, the transluscency of watercolor paint is the closest I am going to get to transparent glass. These designs were for a commission for quiltmaker Carolinasquirrell who makes the most amazing strip quilts from the selvedge edge of bolts of cloth. She wanted two sun catchers in transparent colored glass based on the strip quilt design.

After emailing my initial designs and color schemes we finally came up with the design of colors in blocks of three with the metal hanging wires fused at a corner of the glass so that it hangs at a right angle.

Here is the finished design for both quilt sun catchers. They measure 4.5" and are made from transparent Bullseye glass. I really enjoyed the experience and look forward to working with Carolinasquirrell again in the future.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Glass Suncatchers

I'm not sure why these are called suncatchers as there hasn't been much sun to catch this summer in the UK! Perhaps they should be called Lightcatchers.

Each of these glass pieces has been made using both transparent and opaque glass in bright colors. the inspiration for them is, of course, patchwork quilt block patterns. All suncatchers are for sale on Etsy.

Monet's Garden is created from transparent colored glass frit fused onto clear float glass.

Impressionist Garden is again float glass but with glass tangles fused in three colors.

Patchwork Glass is a combination of Bullseye opal glass on clear glass. It has been tack-fused to give ita raised profile.

Last, but not least, Rainbow Glass is a ladder of transparent glass colors on clear glass.
Each glass suncatcher has an ornate copper wire to hang from.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Glass Quilts

Two of my favorite patchwork books are Freddy's House by Freddy Moran and Kaleidoscopic Quilts by Kaffe Fassett. Both books are a feast of color and bold patterns. So patchwork quilt blocks are the source of my glass designs for fall/winter.

Here are some examples of my glass designs in dishes and jewelery. I have used traditional quilt patterns such as Flying Geese, Nine Patch and Pinwheel and combined these with Bullseye glass to create bright fused glass. I have mostly use transparent color glass on white or vanilla opal glass as the transparent colors retain their jewel-like quality when fused. The pendants and earrings are based on the solid quilt block colors of Amish quilts and I have used opaque glass stacked together to create mini-blocks.

Below is a large glass wall decoration depicting a patchwork star. I am making a series of suncatchers that can also be used as wall pieces or hung in the bathroom too.

All this glass can be purchased from Etsy, Shaw Galleries and Keighley Arts Factory.