Month: April 2013

Wesleyan Artist Market

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I am excited to announce that I will be involved in the Wesleyan Artist Market this year! I will be sharing a booth with one of my coworkers, and hopefully selling some artwork. If you live in the area (Norcross, GA) please stop by and support local artists! The market will have over 80 artists selling work, in a range of materials from jewelry to oil paintings. The market will be open to the public Thursday May 2nd (7-9pm), Friday May 3rd (9am-7pm), and Saturday May 4th (10am-4pm).

This is my very first craft fair, if all goes well I may look into joining the Atlanta craft circuit in hopes of selling more of my artwork. At my booth I will have my fused glass pieces and mixed media artwork for sale. I will have a range of sizes, subject matter and prices. My mixed media pieces range from $15-$550.  I hope to see you there!

Pieces for sale:

Fused Glass-Geometric Blue and Green Plate

Fused Glass-Small Square Geometric Bowl

Fused Glass- Geometric Pattern Round Plate

12"x24" encaustic mixed media
12″x24″ encaustic mixed media

W and N Letters

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March and April Giveaway: Fused Glass Plate and Spoon Rest (closed)

Fused Glass- Small Bowl Shots

Fused Glass-Spoon Rest Shots

Thank you to everyone for participating in this month’s giveaway! I am waiting to confirm with the winners, if they don’t confirm in the next 24 hours, new ones will be selected. Keep checking back for my May giveaway in the next few weeks!

This month’s giveaway covers the months of March and April, which means you have two chances to win! The first giveaway this month is a small fused glass blue, yellow and gray plate. The small size makes this piece very versatile, it could be a cute decorative addition to a side table, a way to spruce up a candle, or a shallow dish for dips and candy! The second prize is a blue and gray asymmetrical bowl. This piece could serve as a spoon rest, candy dish, or decorative addition to your house.

Both of these prizes were personally made by me. I recently discovered how to fuse glass, and I am falling in love with the process. Every piece I personally pick out colors, plan the design, cut the glass to size, fuse the pieces together, and slump them in my kiln. I have also recently added a glassware section to my Etsy shop in hopes that I can fund my new love with glass sales!

To enter this competition all you have to do is complete three easy steps. You are only eligible to win one item, two winners will be selected.

1. Visit my Etsy shop here and like my shop or your favorite item!

2. Like my Facebook page here

3. Comment on this post with which piece you would like to win and what you liked on my shop (I can’t guarantee you will get your first choice, the first person drawn will get their first choice)

Good luck, I can’t wait to find out who are the lucky winners this month! Each winner is randomly drawn using the “And the Winner is” plugin. The winners will be drawn and announced Thursday, May 2nd. Thanks for visiting my blog and participating in my giveaway! Help me spread the word about my blog by liking, tweeting, sharing, commenting, and subscribing! Thanks for stopping by!

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Visual Journal Page 39: My Snuggle Bug

Visual-Journal-page-39-Snuggle-Bug

I love my little 1940’s cottage settled in the outskirts of the city. I love the details, the layers of paint, the historic feel, and most of all I love standing in my kitchen, and gazing out to my giant backyard.

As Nick and I went on our house hunting adventure we looked at houses of all shapes, sizes, and states. Some were too big, others too small, some were recently flipped, others were falling apart, some had three feet of backyard, and others 6. As we searched for our perfect home we quickly realized one common theme was small property size. We would’ve loved a large yard, but we had to accept the fact that we were searching within city limits, and urban living doesn’t typically come with outdoor space. Nick and I had both come to terms with it, and our focus was on the interior, until we found our house.

The interior was beautiful, it was recently flipped, and the three bed, two bath was perfect for our small family of four, two humans and two dogs. I was already in love before I walked out back and saw the backyard that seemed to go on forever. I felt it was a done deal before that moment, but that moment solidified it. This was going to be our house.

One of our first purchases, after a lawnmower to mow our giant lawn, was two hammocks. We hung them, side by sid, between two of our oak trees. My spring and fall aren’t complete without afternoons spent reading, and gazing up at my leafy canopy. I love the mixture of birds, swaying branches, and city buses. I hear the hustle and bustle out front, but out back I am in my own oasis.

Our babies, Kody Bear and Jacob, also love our little oasis. A large fenced in yard means a lot of playing time, and sun bathing. I get my relaxation in my hammock, softly swaying, as I watch my babies playing. Shortly after hanging the hammocks, I made sure to get good use out of them, making it a priority to spend nice afternoons in my blue and red striped cocoon. This particular day was a nice 74 degrees, with a light breeze. I was catching up on my second read through of the Harry Potter series, and the dogs were running out their energy, when all of the sudden Jacob came barreling towards me, and lept into the hammock.

I squealed, and tried to free myself before he flipped us, but the sides of the hammock swallowed us both, and we were stuck. I assumed as soon as his four legs hit, and realized his safe haven was moving beneath him, he would jump out just as quick, but I was wrong. Instead, my 50 pound beagle mix snuggled up at my feet and fell asleep. I adjusted slightly, got back to reading, every now and then peeking at my sleeping baby, in awe of the fact that he was actually hanging out in a hammock.

Since that moment Jacob freely hops in the hammock with me, finds his space, and spends some quality time with his mom. I love every moment of it. It makes my hammock time even more special, he can be my snuggle bug any day of the week…

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • Watercolors
  • White paper
  • Book pages
  • Paint brush
  • Water
  • Colored pencils
  • Sharpie

HOW TO

I already had this visual journal page design in mind when I got to work. It was a mental snapshot of that afternoon, the image of Jacob eagerly waiting in the hammock is something I see every time I reminisce on this moment, and it was just a matter of translating it onto paper.

I decided to first re-create my background. I decided to use watercolors, since I hadn’t used them recently. I ripped two pages from my book, and set them aside to work on. I chose to do this, rather than work directly in my book, because the paint is water based. If I painted directly on the pages it would’ve bled through to the other pages, causing them to wrinkle up. By working separately, and gluing the pages back into the book, I prevent wrinkled and dyed pages.

Once I had my pages I sketched out the back of my house and backyard. Once outlined I used watercolors to fill in colors. I always mix a few shades of colors together to create a more interesting color palate. Once the painting was finished, I set it aside to dry. I then pulled out a piece of white paper and drew out my hammock and Jacob. I opted to color them in with colored pencil, to create a bolder look, and help it pop against the background. I slowly added layers of color and built them up until they looked solid and bright. I then added highlights with white, and shadows with black.

Once my drawing was finished I cut it out and glued it to the background. I then took the two book pages and glued them on top of two blank pages in my book. After that I stepped back to admire my handiwork, but it didn’t look complete. The background was a little too washed out, and contrasted to much with the bold colored pencil drawings. To help balance it I outlined the watercolor with a thin sharpie. This added detail, texture, and helped it blend with the drawing. Last but not least I added the words beneath the hammock with sharpie.

I hope you enjoyed todays post! Help me spread the word about my blog, and the joy of visual journaling, by emailing it to others, liking, sharing, commenting, and subscribing! Thanks for supporting me and visiting!

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Visual Journal Page 38: A Place That Takes Our Breath Away

Visual-Journal-Page-38-A-Place-that-Takes-Our-Breath-Away

I always dream of my honeymoon. While my mind ought to be worrying about deadlines, assignments, and students it instead wanders to far off Costa Rica, 70 degree weather, and absolute relaxation.

I am continuously reminded of my already past vacation as my now engaged friends discuss details of their upcoming trips with their future husbands. It warms my heart to think of what an amazing adventure Nick and I had, while at the same time the thought gives me a sense of melancholy because the moment I dreamed since I was little has already come and gone.

Our honeymoon really was amazing. It was beautiful, relaxing, and a once in a lifetime experience. As newlyweds we spent six days in Costa Rica, three in the rain forest, three at the beach, and I wouldn’t change a single thing. Even the hours spent traveling from location to location in rickety cars through mountain passes was perfect.

Watching the scenery pass by felt like we were sitting still as the trees and valleys wove in between the slopes of mountains. It was amazing to see how much changed as we transitioned from the center of the country into the coast, volcanoes and mountains slowly flattened into hillsides and beaches.

This image feels like a snapshot I took while on our car rides. When I replay the memories, this is what I see, and this is what I miss. It’s bittersweet watching your honeymoon pass by. But I already have dreams of returning, perhaps our five, ten, or fifteen year wedding anniversary. You never know with each passing year what will come, but I am determined to go back, rewind, replay, and relive our honeymoon

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Scissors
  • Rubber cement
  • Sharpie
  • Book pages
  • Magazine image

HOW TO

This visual journal page is meant to focus on the image I found in a National Geographic magazine. Because the page relies on the image, I only had to create the placeholder for it.

I glued the image down in the center of both right and left pages, and integrated it into the book by overlapping ripped up pages from the book along the edges. I then left a space of the original book page, and glued more ripped up pages just above the space, this created a smooth space to write my words. I finished by writing the words “one day lets run away to a place that takes our breath away” in sharpie.

CHALLENGE

Create a page for your past, upcoming, or future honeymoon.

Thanks for reading today’s post! Help me spread the word by liking, tweeting, subscribing, commenting, and sharing with others. Thanks for stopping by!

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Art Lesson: Fused Glass

Art-Lesson-Class-Glass-Fusing

I recently did my first glass fusing art lesson with my high school 3D II students, and they loved it! Only halfway through the first day of fusing almost everyone of my students had proclaimed this as their favorite project. It’s easy, fun, and almost fool proof. Even my students who quickly rushed through, and didn’t really consider the design had a good turn out. I am now starting this with my 3D I student and can’t wait to see what they produce! First off I aplogize for the terrible photographs. They were already set up for our annual art show when I realized I hadn’t gotten pictures yet. They will be replaced with better ones once the show comes down! In this post you will find the necessary supplies, approximate cost, and how to to do this with your own students!

Art-Lesson-Geometric-Fused-Glass-Plate-and-Necklace

SUPPLIES:

  • A digital kiln: They do make glass kilns but I converted one of my ceramic kilns to glass only. It is a programable Skutt kiln. By entering “ramp and hold” information I am able to achieve the same results as I would in a glass kiln!
  • Glass glove: Not necessary but a number of my students left class with sliced fingers, and the majority of them were using the gloves by the end of the project
  • Grozer: Glass scorer for organic shapes
  • Glass pliers: For breaking
  • Glass breaker: I found a cheap pink one that works great!
  • Cutting system: I bought a kit that included a waffle grid, Flying Beetle cutter, and a Beetle bit cutter
  • Kiln wash or spray: I use the spray and it is more expensive but you don’t have to set the wash before you fire on it, it’s very easy!
  • Kiln wash sheets: I place these thin sheets on top of my ceramic kiln shelves, each one lasts a few firings, and they cost $5 per sheet, so this adds up.
  • Adhesive, heat gun, bail bonds: This is if you want to do jewelry pieces and pendants
  • Molds: I have a variety of plate and bowl molds, my most popular are my 7″ sqaure bowl and jumping bean mini bowl, I plan to purchase a few of these in the future.
  • 96 COE glass: You must purchase glass with the same COE, 96 is the easiest to work with
  • 96 COE frit: Ground up glass into a sand like substance
  • Noodles and stringers: Long, thin pieces of glass

APPROXIMATE COST: $600.00

HOW TO:

For the assignment I began with a powerpoint explaining the process, what glass fusing is, how it’s done, and what our assignment is. I left the requirements very loose, each student had to create one plate or bowl, using a clear sheet of glass as a base, and add color pieces on top to create their design. I am glad it was open ended because it gave them the chance to push themselves to come up with an interesting design. Once I completed the powerpoint I demonstrated how to use the tools and went over a few tips when working with glass:

  • Glass wants to be 1/4 of an inch thick. If you fire one sheet of glass, without adding to it, it will shrink in order to get to a 1/4″ thick. If you stack two layer of glass it will stay about the same thickness, if you stack more than two it will spread to 1/4″ thick. If you put two layers in one area, and leave another area just one layer, you may end up with an uneven edge because of the shrinking and spreading. 
  • You can’t stack more than three sheets of glass together, I recommended they stick with just two layers.
  • When you layer glass together you run the risk of trapping air pockets
  • If you fire the sheet of clear under the color cut pieces the cut pieces may end up with more rounded edges. If you fire the clear glaze on top it prevents the cut pieces from spreading as much, and you get much cleaner lines

Once they understood the assignment and process they began working on their sketches. They were required to create at least three, and they had to be full color. I wanted them to consider the color and placement of the pieces before they began cutting to reduce the amount of wasted glass. After I approved their design they got to work.

They began by measuring the mold they wanted to use, and drawing it on a sheet of clear using sharpie. This was done at their seat to reduce the amount of traffic at the cutting station. Once they were ready to cut, they moved to the cutting station, made their cuts, breaks, then took it back to their seat. Once their base was cut we used hand sanitizer to remove the sharpie lines. I believe any alcohol based cleaning product will work, I just happened to have hand sanitizer, and it reduced the amount of germs floating around in the room.

After their base was cut they began cutting the color pieces and creating their designs. After each piece was cut they used a couple dots of Elmer’s glue to stick the color piece to the clear glass base. You only want to use enough to keep the glass from sliding when you place it in the kiln. If you use too much it will char in the firing and leave a gray mark. Rather than measuring the space the color piece was meant to go, and then marking the piece based on the ruler, I had my student set the color sheets on their mold and mark where the edges needed to hit. This helped reduce the number of wrong cuts and mis-measuring.

Once their design was complete we placed them in the kiln and full fused them. You can only put one shelf layer of glass in at a time, you can’t stack shelves like you can with ceramics, so this process can take longer if you have to do multiple firings. After they were full fused we placed them in the molds and slumped them!
Art Lesson- Fused Glass Sushi Plates

I have a Skutt electric ceramic kiln, and in order to fire glass I use the “ramp/hold” option on my kiln. The following are firing schedules I currently use, and have had success with. To program them into my kiln I press “ramp/hold” enter the number of segments, hit enter, and enter the rest of the data (temperature rise per hour, goal temp, hold time, for each segment). I then hit “review”, it runs through my program, and at the end I hit the “on” button, it’s very easy!

Tack fuse (glass will have a raised texture)

5 segments (or ramps)

Ramp 1: 400/HR, 1100 degrees, HOLD 5 minutes

Ramp 2: 75/HR, 1250 degrees, HOLD 5 minutes

Ramp 3: 9999 (as fast as possible), 1380 degrees, HOLD 10 minutes

Ramp 4: 9999, 950 degrees, HOLD 10 monutes

Ramp 5: 100 HR, 800 degrees, 0 HOLD

 

Full fuse (glass will be smooth)

5 segments (or ramps)

Ramp 1: 400/HR, 1100 degrees, HOLD 5 minutes

Ramp 2: 75/HR, 1250 degrees, HOLD 5 minutes

Ramp 3: 9999 (as fast as possible), 1450 degrees, HOLD 10 minutes

Ramp 4: 9999, 950 degrees, HOLD 10 monutes

Ramp 5: 100 HR, 800 degrees, 0 HOLD

 

Slump (Glass is just warm enough to take the form of your mold)

6 segments (or ramps)

Ramp 1: 150/HR, 300 degrees, HOLD 15 minutes

Ramp 2: 300/HR, 1100 degrees, HOLD 20 minutes

Ramp 3: 150/HR, 1250 degrees, HOLD 25 minutes

Ramp 4: 400, 950 degrees, HOLD 60 monutes

Ramp 5: 150 HR, 800 degrees, HOLD 10 minutes

Ramp 6: 300/HR, 100 degrees, 0 HOLD

I hope you enjoyed today’s post, and I hope you can use these tips if you are looking to try glass fusing in your classroom. Feel free to comment or email me with questions, concerns, or thoughts in general. Thanks for stopping by!