An experiment by Rae Williamson
For anyone who knows me you know I am a big supporter of recycling, reusing and upcycling. My studio has lots of items in it that would have ended up in the landfill had I not rescued them…although as my youngest grandson likes to tease me he calls me an artistic hoarder. I also decided that I would try to create this year using only items that are already in my studio.
When my friend’s daughter decided to dispose of her grandmother’s china cabinet, she gave me the glass shelves from it. After testing to make sure they were not tempered glass (although if they were I could of untampered them), I decided I would create an art piece for her and her mother from one of the shelves.
I have always said if you had clear glass and enamels, you could create what ever you wanted. It was the perfect time to test my assumption. I wanted the pieces to be very different from each other… simplicity versus a riot of color did a quick sketch of the pieces I wanted to make and then figured out what I needed to create for colored glass and save enough to make the pieces. I also wanted to test in the process to see if there was a difference in using the components on prefired enamel or unfired enamel.
The shelf was about 36” by 18”. The larger piece was to measure 11” X and the diptych pieces were to be 6 ¾” X 9 ¾ . This left the balance of the shelf ready for creating the colored glass. I applied enamel to the diptych pieces and to the remaining sheet (hoping I had done a good job of estimating how much of each color I needed). Once these were fired, I cut apart the multi colored sheet and began creating each piece. Some was cut and some was smashed to create frit. I painted the yellow background and once it was dried, began building the pieces.
The conclusion I reached after firing the pieces is that it makes no difference whether the background was prefired or not. The component pieces need to be fired to prevent the enamel chipping when you are cutting or crushing it. It is hard to see in the pictures but with the color just being on the surface of the component pieces, it gives a very cool dimension to the pieces. . I chose to contour fuse because I loved the texture of the flower garden piece.
Both recipients were thrilled to have a piece of their heritage and I was happy that I confirmed my assumption.
So, if you have some clear glass and enamels hanging about your studio and wondering what to do with them …you are only limited to your creativity …happy fusing. And be sure and send us pictures of your creations for the newsletter.