Here's my latest batch of glasswork. It's from a couple weeks ago but I still wanted to share it here. I fired the oval bowl I cut out a few weeks ago as well as some experiments. The smaller red and black circle is to experiment with some candle draping molds we got. The other smaller pieces are experiments in how small pieces work in a full fuse firing schedule. Here's the kiln before firing.
And here it is after firing. Most of it worked, though there were a couple of failures.
Here's what the painting looked like when I went out this morning.
It was almost dry, just a bit tacky in a couple places. So I set to work taking the contact paper off. It was harder than I thought. I actually had to cut through the paint to do it.
It took a lot longer than I expected but I'm glad I did it when I did. The paint did leak under the contact paper in a couple places. It was still wet when I cut the contact paper off so i was able to wipe it off. If I had waited longer the paint would have dried. Here's the end result!
I'm really happy with how it turned out. I still need to put on a clear layer of acrylic medium, sign it, and varnish it. None of that will really change how it looks though.
I'm back! We took a trip to Ohio at towards the end of July to visit family, and we've spent a couple of weekends in Springville, California with my parents. I did some glass work on those visits (I'll share that work later). But now I'm back home and back in the studio - er, garage and dining room table.
I made some progress with my Montana de Oro painting. Here's where I left it before I left for Ohio.
I wasn't happy with how the area around the anemone turned out. I decided to try to block out the anemone with contact paper and do another pour around it. Here it is with the contact paper cut out.
The contact paper is extra shiny. I painted over the edge of the contact paper with acrylic gloss medium a couple times to seal the edges. Then I mixed a few different colors and poured them over the piece. Here are some pictures of the pour as it's drying.
I've been experimenting with my pours in this piece. Usually I think my paints down with water, or water mixed with acrylic flow release. In this piece I've used acrylic pouring medium. The pouring medium keeps some body to the paint. The end result is a layer of acrylic instead of the stain painting I usually do. The colors typically stay more vibrant. It also captures the way the colors flow together.
I'm excited to see how this one turns out. Unfortunately it won't be dry until at least tomorrow. Then I get to peel up the contact paper. Hopefully the paint didn't leak underneath.
I cut out the pattern on my next Artifacts piece. I'm tentatively calling it Remnant No. 2. This is it after I cut out the pattern traced on the contact paper, applied some acrylic gel medium, and removed the rest of the stencil pieces. This layer will dry clear, but shiny and textured. The next step is to apply silver metal leaf to the pattern. That might be the last step, or I might add some more textures to and do some sanding, like I did with Artifact No. 2. I might change the orientation, too. There's a lot up in the air with this one right now.
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!
Painting and Drawing