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End of a Staycation

Wow four weeks annual leave just flew by and before I know it, I'm heading back to work for another year.  Aside from day trips to visit family, my leave was a staycation and I focused on pottering about the house and creating with glass.

I tried my hand at slumping and fusing glass which is a big change from bead making.  I think I have a newfound love for kiln formed glass art!

What I love about kiln formed glass art:

  • The glass is cold and you can cut, grind and move pieces of glass around until you are happy with the design, before you melt it all together.
  • Learning new techniques is always fun.
  • I can move away from jewellery sized glass components and make things a little larger like coasters, small dishes, slump bottles.  I can make fused glass jewellery too.
  • When making earring pairs, it is much easier to get a uniform thickness and size with cold glass than with hot glass.
  • I can begin a project and leave it on the workbench until later ... even days later.  Bead making has to be done in one sitting and once you put a colour or design element on a bead, it is there to stay!
  • I can buy most of the glass I need locally from Glass Station in Auckland.

What I don't like so much:

  • No matter how careful you are, you will get cuts and splinters.  My arms feel like they have been in a fibreglass blanket after a day at the workbench.
  • Sheet glass and accessory glass is so expensive!  Yes ok so is lampwork glass.  The tools and molds are also very costly and need to be imported.  Again, just like lampwork tools.
  • Fusing takes around 12 hours in the kiln and because my kiln was designed for beadmaking, I can't fit much in it at one time.  So I have to do little batches which really tests my patience.
  • Speaking of kilns, learning by trial and error what schedule to use for slumping, fusing, fire polishing etc has taken considerable time and some glass has had multiple firings until I get it right.

Aren't these stunning?  Stacked glass coasters soon to be listed in my Felt store.  Next blog post will show the process of making these.