Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Coldworking Glass Workshop

I made this platter at a workshop last weekend called The Complete Bowl at Vitrum Studio, which is conveniently right up the road from my house. It's about 15 inches long and 6 inches across with a graceful curve. I took the workshop to learn how to use various pieces of coldworking equipment -- lap wheel, tile saw, sandblaster -- for finishing the edges and working the surface, but I also picked up some design techniques like using clear glass to displace transparent glass to make light spots and cutting transparent sheets to let the undercolor well up in the cracks.

Look carefully, and you'll see that I've sandblasted leaves into the orange stripe and horizontal stripes into the green stripe on the end.

I love the square, polished edges you get from coldworking the fused piece before slumping it. Unfortunately, a sufficiently large diamond lap wheel setup is about $5,000 and requires a lot of upkeep. Fortunately, I can rent time on Vitrum's equipment!

I'm headed back this coming weekend for a workshop on glass jewelry to gain new insights and techniques for my fused glass pendants.


Anonymous said...

WOW! What a gorgeous piece!! I'm not able to see the leaves you described but the piece as it appears is just incredible!! What fun it must be to take this class and I'm sure you're loving all the techniques you're learning! Thank heaven for rentals, whew! Enjoy!♥

Bette's Bags said...

Have I told you just how envious I am of you major glass and bead skills. Can I go to the next workshop and just to watch the master at work? Seriously wonderful work.