What does sculptural fused glass mean anyway?
Sculptural fused glass is the creation of three-dimensional forms that rise above a flat plane. Artists create 3-D works by using multiple methods and techniques with complete freedom of materials and process.
Sounds exciting, right? All you have to do is stand your art up and it’s miraculously sculptural. Sure, you can do that. The word sculptural sounds exotic. Add it to any piece of art and suddenly it has a mysterious aura surrounding it and a significantly higher perceived value. But like most really exceptional work that looks easy, there’s more to making impressionable art than just erecting a flat piece of fused glass.
The real difference between art and craft is the depth of immersion the creator puts into the creation of their art.
Hobbyists copy. They follow outlined directions and build pretty pieces according to a pre-tested recipe. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with doing that. Hobbyists want to know they’ll be successful and have beautiful results. Especially after all the time and money they’ve spent on a pass-time.
I’m a hobbyist when it comes to other popular hobbies like music, bird watching and video games. That’s how we learn. By following the pros and picking up their tricks, we learn how to make things we’re proud of and admire.
And if you become hooked, maybe you take your hobby a step further. You try new techniques and experiment by mixing techniques or combining ideas that inspire you. This is the threshold of advanced learning and the blossoming of self-discovery. You wonder, what can I do? What can I make? How far can I go? And the real question is, what am I capable of artistically.
Hobbyists often start a hobby to relax and enjoy quiet time. They are content to stay in the shallows where it’s safe and they are successful. And that’s admirable.
Artists, on the other hand, take their commitment more seriously. They’re drawn to a medium by an invisible magnet. From the start they’re compelled to learn as much as possible about that art form. They have every intention of progressing, to work on bigger, better, more advanced projects. They head for the deep end without looking back and, sink or swim, give it all they have.
What does this have to do with sculptural fused glass?
Sculptural fused glass is the product of such artists. They’re the ones who go above and beyond. They challenge convention and push boundaries.
You may think it takes extensive experience and an impressive glass studio to be one of those pioneers. You’d be wrong. Your most valuable assets are a positive attitude, insatiable curiosity and a fearless willingness to try. Just try. Trying is worthy of celebration and cheers.
How to get started.
I recommend making small 2 inch x 2 inch samples using different, new techniques that intrigue you. This gives you construction and firing experience with these new methods to see how they fire in your kiln. Then consider mixing methods that you’d usually do independently. Take these component pieces and cut them up. Then put them back together in a new way.
Slump plain clear fusible glass over molds in unique ways. Try combining different shapes to make sculptural groupings all your own. Again, start small. You can always take a successful project larger. Once you have a winning combo slump your component pieces the same way.
Take notes and pictures so you can repeat your successes and learn from mistakes.
Your biggest obstacle is likely you. Get out of your own way. Start small. Make tiny changes. Results are results. They don’t have to be monstrous to have enormous value.
If you’ve come this far in your craft, if you’re continually seeking inspiration, knowledge and community, I believe you have it in you to create your own unique sculptural fused glass.
You got this!
I’m offering a 4-day workshop with a focus on sculptural fused glass. You’re invited to join me and take your fused glass to a sculptural level.
Sculptural Fused Glass, 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop
October 15-18, 2019
Wesley Chapel, Florida, 4-Day, Hands-on, Class size is limited.
This class is for you! Any skill level can attend. Beginner, intermediate and advanced students alike will learn how to advance their glass fusing skills and expand their artistic style.
In this class I’ll show you all the pro tips and tricks I use to make stunning 3-dimnesional art. You’ll learn how to combine advanced techniques in new ways to create extraordinary sculptural pieces of art.
But it’s so much more than that! You’ll get personal instruction. I’ll show you pro tips and tricks to improve your glass cutting. We’ll mix different fusible materials.
On day 1 you’ll make a free flow. You’ll be firing your first project before lunch. Learn how to use Skutt’s Touchscreen Controller and the KilnLink app. Then you’ll design and cut glass for a combed piece.
On day 2 you’ll comb molten glass and weave glass. You’ll love the personalized class structure. You get to pick your own glass colors and get to choose the style and shape of the sculptures you make. I cater the class to each individual student’s skill level, plus their unique needs and artistic goals. I have 35 years’ experience teaching glass art. It’s what I love to do.
On day 3 you’ll design, build and fire your sculptures. You’ll also slump components for complex pieces. I’ll show you how to use slumping molds in new ways to create unique shapes.
On day 4 you’ll put your slumped components together and learn how to photograph your art. In this hands-on class you’ll learn how to load, program and fire kilns. You’ll fuse, slump and tack glass together. Plus, learn how to make graceful glass stands to display your pieces of art.
You’ll love the stunning three-dimensional results you get from combining all these concepts.
Materials are included, that’s a $150.00 value! Plus, a professional photo shot of your artwork is also included.
You’ll leave class with several completed glass sculptures, my custom firing guides and a deeper understanding of sculptural fused glass fabrication. You’ll have the knowledge, confidence and inspiration you’ve been craving to take your artwork to the next level.
Come to my glass studio and we’ll make beautiful sculptural art together. This is the turning-point workshop you’ve been waiting for.
Join me October 15-18, 2019 and we’ll get fired up!
Creative Slumping Webinar
November 19, 2019
In this detailed Webinar, I’ll reshape the way you slump and drape glass. See how thinking outside the box and using readymade molds in new ways offers numerous and exciting opportunities to produce unique forms.
You’ll learn how to make your own graceful, free-form shaped molds from readily available materials with no laborious measuring or messy mixes needed. Taking you one step further, I’ll show you how to use these different approaches, in combination, to transform ordinary projects into inspiring, sculptural pieces of art!
Watch it NOW! Start fusing today!
Download instructional videos for every skill level.
Check out my eBooks for elegant patterns and detailed fusing instructions.