Fused Glass Art Workshop Day
At Boha we are impressed daily with the work we see produced by Artists, and often feel the desire to express our own talents. Well Wahida has more of such a talent than I, so it was an opportunity to good to miss when I happened upon an invitation to attend a Fused Glass Art Workshop on Facebook. Contemporary Craft Collective were holding workshops within and around our local area. Wahida and I both booked ourselves a place, in anticipation of finally having the chance to work with glass, to bring out our inner artist!
A Day out as a Glass Artist
The morning of the workshop quickly advanced, sadly due to family commitment Wahida was unable to attend. Thankfully a friend was happy to take her place. However a quick glance at the Facebook page turned my carefully planned, precision timed Saturday into array! The village in which the workshop was to be held, had a Carnival planned at the exact start time of the workshop. So parking and access to the high street would be difficult. Not allowing any buffer time in my planning for this day I had crossed my fingers that luck would be on my side. I decided a short while ago that I need to spend less time worrying, free my headspace for more worthier thoughts. So as the sun shone down on me so was luck.
Health and Safety and the Basics
We arrived at the workshop with ten minutes to spare, and became acquainted with our surroundings. It was a small group of 16, some had attended before and some like ourselves it was their fist time. Sarah Auymers, a glass jewellery artist and Sarah Quick a glass artist. Both experts in their field welcomed us and talked through the health and Safety aspects of working with glass and the ways in which to cut and work with the glass. They then showed the different ways in which we could use glass to accentuate different aspects of our piece, highlighting which pieces of glass would not become translucent once fired.
Fused Glass Art, an idea?
Equipped with our newly acquired knowledge on glass we were let loose to work on our ideas. Now this was a sticking point, whilst others reached into their bags and for their phones, my friend and I looked at each other blankly. We hastily grabbed our phones and started googling for ideas. Now, whilst the days commenced for the workshop, I had, had many an idle thought about this magnificent glass curve I was to make. These moments of thought were not actually conjuring up ideas, more, where I was going to showcase my work.
After viewing what had been brought as examples, I decided upon my design, and drew a sketch true to size to refer to. I had decided upon a scene of a tree by a lake with lily pads and reeds adorning edges of the lake. The Safety googles were put in place, and the creativity flowed.
Fused Glass Art Curve the beginning
Well perhaps idle chat was flowing more. As with most areas in life, it’s actually starting the project, email, task that can be the hardest part. For me it was deciding whether to have a straight trunk for the tree or to just cut a piece of glass and see how the resulting glass piece looks. I opted for the second notion and I was glad I did, I just loved how the trunk sat, as if on tippy toes.
Fused Glass Art Curve, half way…
I quickly realised a perfect cut was not necessarily, what was going to make my tree real, and the sheer edginess of the glass enhanced its presence. The reeds and lake fell into place. I must at this stage point out that all the glass bits were held in place with a light covering of PVA glue. The glue is dabbed onto the glass block before the cut glass is placed on top. I also made a mental note to myself, next time bring tweezers as working with small cuts of glass is very fiddley.
Tea, coffee and biscuits were available for whenever a break was needed. Fearful that I may not finish before the end of the workshop I forewent the refreshments.
I decided my tree needed something more and so, apples appeared, with a sprinkle of green leaves. Quietly pleased with the scene that unfolded before me, I even attempted some Lilly pads, but feared they may be lost once fired. Both Sarah’s happily came round to each of us offering help and advise. Time was passing by and the group happily hummed away about their work.
Fused Glass Art Curve, times up!
Before the skyline was even considered the five minutes gong was sounded. Luckily I only needed to spread some PVA glue over the remaining clear areas, and my masterpiece would be complete. Everyone seemed to finish on time. The results looked great!
For the time given I was amazed at what I had achieved. We all admired each others work and went about adding contact details, for pick up reminders. Sarah Auymers and Sarah Quick were great hosts and made the whole experience very easy and relaxed. We were working with glass, that can shatter and jump when cut. I thought I had come away cut free, when at the very last minute I decided to pat down my work. Worried that glass fragments may all fall off the glass when lifted, I pressed my hand down, a sudden sharp, pick was felt. The picture says it all.
So here we have it, the finished product. My first fused glass piece. and its fab!
Have I got the Bug? Well not the bug, but I most definitely would do it again. I have learnt so much from this first experience from the tools needed to the understanding of the glass properties and how they will alter once fired, in proposition and colour. As long as you have an idea, the rest will follow.