Some time ago my daughter and son-in-law came to stay with my grandson who is just 2 years old. He is a gorgeous redheaded little fellow and has an infectious laugh and a naughty grin (who says grandma’s are biased?). As in yesterday’s Blog when friends came round so it was when my daughter came that they wanted to play at fusing too. After playing around a bit and getting the basics they suggested that we try and fuse glass over an object to get a 3D effect. If you don’t know, you need two layers of paper in the kiln, one to protect the base of the kiln (fibre paper – wool, HINT: don’t cut it up on your bed, you’ll itch) and one to give the glass piece a smooth bottom – Thinfire paper (no comments please). Using my card making skills and equipment I diecut a fleur de lits out of Thinfire paper, put it on top of the glass paper, covered it with glass and fused it. This is the result. It’s quite a subtle image but we had moved on again.
My daughter then asked if we could get letters into the glass because my grandson liked playing with the glass nugget rejects (they are very tactile) and she was trying to get educational. So I experimented and devised this alphabet. It took a long time to finish the project as each piece is fired twice and some didn’t work out first time.
The letters were cut out of fibre paper because the glass sticks to this and the letters stayed white.Using a die cutting machine and alphabet die I cut all the letters of the alphabet eg ‘d’. Then they were fused under a piece of clear glass ‘a’, then that was fused over a piece of coloured glass ‘c’ and the result is the red ‘a’. Most of the letters worked out OK but a few bubbled especially with ‘o’ and ‘s’ when there wasn’t much space between the parts of the letters. The final size is about an inch square. Anyway, my grandson had an alpahebet that is certainly unique and multicoloured as I used lots of different pieces of glass.
Work tomorrow and Friday so no time to Blog but I’ll write again at the weekend after my first glass craft sale – I’m hoping some people will turn up to buy my wares.
I have a group of crafting (or crafty!) friends and we meet up a few times a year, especially in the winter. We enjoy coffee and lunch while we have a ‘show and tell’ session. Who says it’s only for 5 year olds! Between us we knit, crochet, sew, make cards, make cords and play with glass.
One Saturday I invited them to my house and organised things so that they could all fuse a nugget. That’s the beauty of fusing with a microwave – you can do several fusings in a day and take the results home. Anyway, I laid my tray of tiny glass pieces out and they all dibbed in and created their own nuggets. With careful timing – 10 minutes to cook, 1.5 hours to cool all four friends were able to design, cook and take home their nugget – yes it was a long day but they were keen.
I laid my glass scraps out in this tray and then told them to rummage carefully with tweezers. They then trimmed the pieces with mosaic cutters. I also use a glass scorer to cut the glass scraps. Alternatively, I use the scraps as they are and make something unique every time.
Not only my friends but family members too have been able to have a go when they visit. It’s all very accessible and fun.
As long as the piece you want is small you can fuse all sorts of things. Earlier in the year we had visitors who brought a bottle of wine with them. Nothing unusual about that. But the wine was wrapped in fine gold coloured wire. My visitor suggested that I try fusing that!. Well, with a lot of trepidation I sandwiched a coil of wire between two pieces of glass, blue underneath and clear on the top, and put it in the kiln. After the normal heating time the coil was still visible and the glass about to fuse. After another minute it was completely transformed. The wire must have started to melt forming bubbles with the piece and the effect was lovely. It looks quite Victorian.
After that I tried fusing other metals with glass, with some succeses and some failures (situation normal!). If I overcooked a piece like the one above the wire comes through the glass and can be quite sharp.
This is a piece before it is fused. There is aluminium foil scrunched up between the glass pieces. I also tried gold foil.
These are the results. The white piece was slightly overcooked so the big bubble on the top is close the breaking through the glass. The aluminium foil discoloured but the gold foil was fine.
There are many diffrent ways of creating artwork out of glass. One way is to melt it at a high temperature – around 700C. One can do this in a kiln, which is a bulky piece of equipment, the other is to use a microwave kiln. This is a neat way to fuse small pieces suitable for pendants or small ornaments. The kiln is a special piece of kit and you put it in a simple kitchen microwave. It is a bit of magic. You put the glass in the kiln, put the lid on, put it in the microwave and set the timer for about 10 minutes – depending on the microwave. Leave to cool for an hour or so and it’s done. These pictures show before and after photos. It is not a finite art – the results are not always what you expect but that’s the fun of it.
OK, it’s been a long time between my first and second posts but I’ve been organising myself. Now I am ready to go.
To catch you up…we have been converting part of our large shed to a workshop for me and now it’s live and working fantastically. I can sit and make glass objects with all my tools handy to my needs.
I plan to bring you photos of my work and the stories behind the pieces. But first I’ll publish some photos of my workshop so that you can see where I work.
Up to now I have made glass objects with stained glass, mirrors with both stained glass and mosaic borders, clocks from stained glass, fused glass pendants and hanging ornaments and lately I have some etched glass pieces which I will be putting in a coloured glass frame. On the mosaic front I have also made some stepping stones which I am hoping to enable others to enjoy making by having workshops at my home.
So, I have been busy. All I need now is to sell some pieces and then make more. To that effect I have a shop on Folksy to which I will be adding more items as I have the time to do so: https://folksy.com/shops/cosycreativecrafts. If you like something there but would like it in another colour scheme to get in touch.
I have finally got my blog sorted – the biggest problem was what to call myself. My daughter and husband helped me – and we finally made it. So, Cosy Creative Crafts was bornyesterday and a long life to all who sail in her.
Meanwhile to business. I’ll be posting photos of my stained glass pieces that I’ve already created over the next few weeks while I continue to create new ones and give some insights of the process that goes into the creations. If you like my work, or wish to make a comment then you can contact me through my email address.