I did some more work over the weekend on my Montana de Oro piece.
I'm not 100% happy with how it came out. I really didn't want the outside to look so brushy. As you can see I wasn't very careful with the direction of my brushstrokes. I tried using glazing medium, hoping it would level the paint out. But I either didn't use enough or it didn't agree with the slow dry blending medium I used. I think I'm going to block out the anemone with contact paper and do another pour around the outside. I don't think I want it to be one color. It has to wait for a little while though. I'm gearing up to head back to Ohio for a family visit soon. This is a good place to leave it for now.
I started talking about my glasswork here, but I don't think I mentioned that I started an Etsy shop. It's called Bobkat Ranch Crafts. Yes, it's really spelled Bobkat. My parents' names are Bob and Kathy, thus, Bobkat. My dad, my sister, and myself have been producing the working that's up for sale. You can get to it here.
Last weekend was another weekend spent with my parents and my sister up in Springville. That means no painting, but I did do some more glasswork. First, I turned more squares into circles. It's so much fun! Here they are before and after firing.
I fused some of these circles into a larger piece. I'll have more on that later, after I get some pictures taken. I also cut out a few more pieces while I was there. They still need to be fired.
The one on the left uses the rolled edges of the glass sheets. I've always want to to do something with the edges. I'll add some frit (small pieces of broken glass) to the empty areas between the rolled edges before I fire it. Then I'll slump it over our candle bridge mold. The one in the middle is going to be a cone bowl. Hopefully. If you look at my past posts you'll see I haven't had good luck with that mold. I'll have to fire it sometime when I can sit in the workshop to babysit it. And the one on the right will be a shallow bowl or platter.
I have this piece in the works, too. Right now the pattern is just traced on contact paper. I need to cut it out and paint it on, somehow. I'm thinking of using metal leaf on this one. I have done anything with metal leaf for a while.
We got a few new molds for slumping glass. One of them is for a larger, steep sided bowl. It's a little more challenging to use than our other molds. Here's my first attempt at using it.
The mold instructions say to peek at it during the firing schedule's high temperature hold time. One of the challenges with this mold is that the sides are so steep, the glass starts to slide down them towards the bottom very quickly. You can see in the picture above that the bowl has started to shrink to the bottom. The edges of the glass have pulled away from the mold by about an inch. So I think I left it at that high temperature hold for too long. At this point there was still 15 minutes of that hold time left, but I cancelled the firing and started the cool down process.
Here's the finished bowl. It has a few issues. The pictures don't show it, but the sides of the bowl are thicker than normal. You can see, however, that the outside edge of the bowl came out irregular instead of circular. Also, the bottom of the bowl has a texture to it. All of those issues were caused by the glass sliding down the edge of the mold.
Even with all those issues, I like it! I love the glass that I used. It looks like someone spilled ink into water then froze it into glass. I also like the texture on the bottom of the bowl. But all those issues mean you won't see it in our Etsy shop. Looks like I have a new fruit bowl!
Here's one of the things I worked on last weekend. It's the next step in my Montana de Oro piece. The colors are probably most accurate in the first picture.
We've been doing lots of glass work lately (stained glass and fused glass), so our scrap glass bin is overflowing. I was looking for something fun and quick to do with some of it, and found this project from Bullseye Glass. Supposedly if you stack up five layers of regular thickness glass and fire it, the glass melts down into a circular puddle. I thought I would give it a try. Here are the pieces before I fired them.
I used our straight cutter which made it really easy. And a bit addictive. I actually have four or five more that didn't fit in the kiln. I'll have to fire those later. Here's the end result.
Pretty cool! I'm really happy with the results. I can't wait to make more. I should probably figure out what to do with these first though. I might make some of them into pendants. I also might make some more of the same color, fire them to another sheet of glass, then slump them into a bowl. Lots of possibilities!
To see more of my glass work and my family's work, head over to our Etsy shop, Bobkat Ranch Crafts!
Here's the next piece I'm working on. It's based on a sea anemone I found in the tide pools at Montana de Oro State Park (in California). I was good this time and took a bunch of in progress photos.
This was one of my first times using acrylic pouring medium. I mixed a fair amount of it in with the yellow. I'm really pleased with how it maintained the intensity of the yellow, though I think it pushed out the rest of the colors. This is just the first layer. I'm going to go back into it to add more definition to the anemone. I might bring back some of the pinks and purples surrounding it.
It's been slow going for the past few weeks. I have a couple new paintings in the works, but mostly I've been building new panels.
13 new panels! I can't wait to get started on some new pieces.
Every couple weeks or so we pack up the family and drive up to Springville, CA to visit my parents. They have a glass kiln. Two weeks ago I started to experiment with botanical inclusions in glass. These are some wildflowers my sister and I picked and pressed. In theory, if you sandwich pressed plant material between two pieces of glass with some frit (crushed glass) and fire it, you get a ghost image of the leaf or flower in the glass. So I gave it a try.
Sadly, all I managed to do was make dirty bubbles in the glass. But I think the technique has some potential. If you look very closely around the clear bubble near the center, there are some lines that show where the petals connected in the center of the flower. My guess is that the flower I used was too small. The glass circles I cut were about 1/2" in diameter. I'll try again at some point using bigger flowers or leaves. I might also try using the flower as stencil to sift colored powdered glass over.
I (almost) finished my painting on Malpais National Monument over the weekend. Here it is!
I still need to clean off the under drawing. That's what the thin white lines are. And the colors in this picture are a little off since I took it at night. But I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Here's my inspiration. It's a scan from my original photograph, but you get the idea.
Painting and Drawing