Fusion project: new clay and glass art

We’ve been working for several months on a technique to combine several of our interests into a single product.  We believe our efforts have paid off and we can now offer these tiles made of porcelain clay and glass.  The process that finally worked for us is:

  1. Roll out slabs of porcelain.
  2. Cut out the tiles and let them dry between two sheets of drywall  This helps keep the tiles flat.
  3. Cut or carve out the designs and let the clay dry.
  4. Underglaze if desired.
  5. Bisque fire to cone 04.
  6. Glaze the tiles.
  7. This is where the process gets bifurcated.  Apply cut glass or frit to tiles before firing.  Skip this step if dichroic glass is planned for the tile.
  8. Fire to cone 05.
  9. Cross fingers.  This has proven to be one of the most important steps.
  10. If more glass is needed or dichroic glass is being used, apply glass and do a deep fuse firing.
  11. Cross fingers.  While this is a repeat step, again, it’s a very, very important step.

Hope you enjoy.

 

Oh No! Yard Art Stained Glass Mishaps and Disasters

All panes cut, foiled, soldered and fitted to the frame.  So it’s time to start glazing and final assembly.  Woohoo!  And then it happened.  I was sliding a glazing point into the frame and I heard a sickening crreeeaaack!  Sure enough, one of the glass pieces cracked.  Early on in the design I had decided to make use of the original glass.  Unfortunately that glass was thinner and old and brittle.  There was a lot of cuts that didn’t make it to the window as this glass kept breaking on me.  Fortunately, the piece that fractured was small and I was able to replace it and make the repair unnoticeable.  Back to glazing!!

That is turning out to be much harder than I anticipated.  I expected the goo used for glazing to be about the consistency of putty, but it is much thicker and you are not supposed to thin it out.

I have about a pane and a half glazed and hope to finish it out tomorrow.  Pictures of the completed window will be in the next post.  Stay tuned!!  We’ll be needing on advice on what the next step with the window should be on this journey.

Yard Art Stain Glass Window Project Update

Soldered Pane

This week’s update continues the explanation of an individual pane.  I left off on the last post with each piece of glass being foiled with copper.  Then it is pinned with nails to stabilize and secure all the glass.  After applying a coat of flux, all of the pieces are soldered together and you end up with the pane looking like this.

Soldered PaneAt this point, the pane is ready for application of a patina.  For this project I am using a black patina on all the panes.  I got sidetracked working on other panes and haven’t put the patina on this pane yet.

I did go back to the original frame and clean it up and get it prepared for insertion of the panes and glazing.  I’ll need to do some minor (I hope) adjustments for the panes to fit exactly.

There are two more panes to cut, foil, solder and patina and then it will be ready for assembly.

Jen and I have been discussing whether the frame should be cleaned up and a fresh coat of paint applied or leave it looking weathered.  What do you think?

Barnhouse Windows – The Beginning….

Six-Pane Window

We have these old beat up six-pane windows that we’ve been moving from here to there, storing, moving some more and trying to find a place to put them.  We finally decided that we would use one of them for a stained glass project that would eventually find it’s way into our garden as a yard ornament.

Six-Pane Window

We thought you might enjoy watching the progress of this from the beginning.

After measuring the window and all of the panes, we got a large piece of paper and drafted the image that we thought we would attempt to put in the window panes.

Then painstakingly and painfully attempted to remove all of the panes.  We successfully kept one pane intact.  Disappointing, but since we were just going to cut the panes up to use in the image not a crisis.  That left the window at the state as shown here.

In the next update, we will probably show either the total image or some of the completed panes.

This is turning out to be a huge project and will take a long time to complete.  Have you ever completed similar projects?

Tex the Cat: In Progress

Tex the Cat

Meet Tex… he’s a tall kitty (about 16″), hand-built using raku clay.  The photo is a little blurry but will give you the idea.  I don’t know what got into me with the cowboy theme.  Soon, I’ll add a sheriff’s badge and a vest… maybe a holster and chaps?  I’m picturing a copper matte glaze for his body (including head and ears), and maybe a lovely rich black raku glaze for his accoutrements.  What do you think?

Tex the Cat

Flamingoes at Night

Have you ever played an art prank on someone? Our latest art prank was inspired by a neighborhood where we run. Last summer, a flock of plastic flamingoes migrated from yard to yard over several months. The flock took on different configurations, and baby flamingoes joined the group at some point. We made up stories about how the neighbors pulled this off, and we cracked ourselves up thinking of ways we could join in the fun. Our own neighbors are funny, friendly, and good-natured… it’s only natural we would want to share the fun with them! Thus, Frankenmingo and Mummymingo came to be. We just sneaked over to our neighbor’s yard, in the dark and the icy rain, and planted the Halloween flamingoes under their little tree. My husband is their creator and he did a masterful job. Frankie is green and has a bolt sticking out of his neck, various painted stitches, and a black mohawk. Mummy is also green underneath, and he’s wrapped in gauze soaked in some homemade concoction, dusted with glow-in-the-dark spray paint, and has one googly eye. Can you picture them?

I realize it may be a stretch to call these flamingoes “art” or to elevate our goofy little adventure to an art prank. It was fun, though, and creative. I’ve really enjoyed photos and stories about yarn-bombing and people who plant original art in unexpected places for others to discover. I’d love to hear your stories about art pranks and other creative ways you’ve found to infect the world around you with art.

The Alex: Art Cat

The Alex, Art Cat

The Alex, Art Cat

Even when I am painting, he will demand his time for petting and purring.  However, he doesn’t always sit still.

Therefore, when working on Foggy Morning Eagle Flight, Alex was on my lap as usual.  Near the end of the painting I was working on one of the final layers of trees when he decided he needed to reposition.  This isn’t unusual, but this time he decided to rake his tail through the wet paint.  Once I got over the initial shock, I checked his tail to make sure he wouldn’t be painting other areas of the house.  Then I went back to the painting.  He was right, it needed another layer of fog and trees.  I hope you enjoyed how this painting came to be and more importantly the painting itself.

Here it is:

 Foggy Eagle Morning