Inspiration is Here
Wow! It was an amazing week in the glass studio. Last week I hosted my Sculptural Fused Glass Workshop. We enjoyed 4 incredible full days of creating. The students were awesome! They were excited about learning new techniques and eager to try new ideas.
This class was about producing multiple 3-D glass sculptures that reflected the individual artist’s personal style. To accomplish so many projects in the condensed time-frame I adopted a new accelerated lesson plan. It was a huge success! The students were thrilled with the upbeat pace of the class because it increased the number of projects they were able to make.
On day one they designed, assembled and loaded four different, full-size pieces into the kilns. Plus, they applied different advanced techniques and new design concepts on each of the three pieces.
We kept the quickened pace up all week. The rate enabled the students to make an impressive number of advanced projects, plus custom glass bases. On day two, even I was stunned when I had to re-prime the 11 ceramic kiln shelves we used to fire projects.
Students favorite things about the class included: learning new techniques, making so many projects and my willingness to let them create as they saw fit.
We had a few oops we had to overcome.
When working on so many complex projects there’s bound to be some construction issues that come up.
A student realized, before loading the glass in the kiln, that the iridized coating was face down on the flower petals she cut for a floral vase. We wanted the pretty iridized side to show on the outside of the art, not the inside. So, we rearranged the assembly. Instead of building on a clear glass base, we turned the petals over and capped them with the clear. Our results were different than originally planned but equally as nice. Where the iridized red peeked out from under the clear glass the vase rim had a satin shimmer. The variation in shine added detail that was visually attractive in the finished piece of art. Plus, it added a personalized touch to the artwork.
Another student wanted to work with powder frit. His project was accidentally bumped after it was loaded in the kiln. The frit moved causing the pattern to be uneven. Luckily, we saw it before firing the glass. The fix was easy. We simply sifted more powder on top of the uneven pattern and then re-traced the design in the frit. In the end, the repair wasn’t noticeable at all. The piece came out beautifully.
We had a few welcome surprises.
Students were surprised by the amount of glass we used, that they learned how to use saws and the enormous amount of projects completed.
While gluing one of the sculptures together a student and I struggled a bit to get the vertical glass propped up in the position we wanted. We thought we had it. But the next day the glue didn’t hold. Instead of being upright, the fused glass leaned to one side. It wasn’t our intention to make a piece that looked like that. But we decided, unanimously as a class, that we liked the new look. The upside is, we now have a brand new sculptural profile to make in the future.
Even I learned a few things.
When working on this number of projects the variables and possibility for unexpected surprises are increased. The finished results aren’t always what we planned or expected.
I learned that I have to adjust the temperature on one of my kilns. My Free Flow fusing program was firing too hot. As a result, the kiln wash stuck to the back of the fused glass. The higher heat also increased the amount of texture on the back side which reduced the clarity and shine of the glass. Lowering the fusing temperature would increase the clarity and shine on the backside of the glass. The minor adjustment would improve the vividness of the finished pieces of art.
Predictability is an illusion. We like to think we’re in control, but sometimes things don’t go as expected. No matter how much you prepare, plan and practice, you have to be ready for a few glitches.
I’ve slumped over the same custom mold over a dozen times. I thought I knew what to expect. All the parameters were the same. We used the same type of glass, cut the same size, in the same kiln, using the same slumping program. What could possibly go wrong?
The glass didn’t slump! It refused to conform to the fiber blanket mold. I fired it again and held it longer. No luck. I fired it again and increased the temperature by 10 degrees and the hold by 10 minutes. The glass still hovered above the mold.
Then it occurred to me in the middle of the night, when I do all of my major problem solving, maybe I forgot something. Yup, operator error. Sucks right! I didn’t line the fiber blanket with ThinFire fiber paper. It acts as a release that allows the glass to slide down into the mold. And that’s why taking notes is so important, even for seasoned professionals. Write it down and then consult your notes before firing. It saves time, money and frustration.
Lastly, I think I enjoyed the photo shoot of the finished sculptures more than the students. To their credit, it was the end of the last day. They’d been working diligently, stretching their creative minds for 4 full days. It’s no wonder the students were tapped out. They put a lot of energy into making numerous awesome pieces in a short period of time. In total, the three students made more than 20 projects combined! The high res photos are evidence of the impressive work they did.
They came as strangers but left as friends.
Taking a class here is more than just fusing glass. It’s also about building relationships with other glass artists who have similar ambitions, interests and obstacles. Being in class is about showing pictures of your finished work, talking about how to sell your art and sharing solutions to common problems we all have. It’s a real thrill for me to bring different artists together so we can connect and build lasting friendships.
It was a pleasure to work with this group. I was impressed how the students brought their own artistic style and favorite color palate to the projects. I really enjoyed helping them build on their individual strengths to take their artwork to a higher level of complexity.
Wherever you are in your artistic journey you’re doing great! But we can all use a little inspiration now and then to re-spark our creative thinking and expand our skills. It’s artistically rejuvenating to give yourself the gift of knowledge, productivity and of course friendship.
Are you ready for a lift? Join me in my next Sculptural Fused Glass, 4-Day Workshop, February 18-21, 2020.
Here’s what the students are saying about the workshop.
“Lisa is very professional, knowledgeable and freakishly talented. House, art, mosaic, her work – really fun and beautiful.” -Lorna
“Incredible class. Lisa shared her artistic knowledge of color flow and her technical knowledge of glass.” -Larry
“I had so much fun! Lisa is a great teacher!” -Brenda
I hope to see you in one of my classes or webinars soon.
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Upcoming Webinars and Classes
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!
NEW Fused Glass Sculpture, Webinar January 14, 2020 https://www.glasspatterns.com/glass-patterns-quarterly-store/product/1400-fused-glass-sculptures-made-easy-with-lisa-vogt-jan-14-2020.html
In this in-depth webinar, you’ll learn pro tips and tricks for better glass cutting. See how to mix different fusible materials to make more elaborate designs.
You’ll be amazed how using standard slumping molds in unique ways can drastically improve the shape of your art. You’ll be inspired by the innovative combination of ordinary techniques Lisa shares.
You’ll be confident to fuse glass after seeing how easy it is to load, program and fire a kiln. Best of all, you’ll have an exclusive technical advantage with the advanced understanding of Lisa’s dependable firing programs. And you’ll love the stunning three-dimensional results you can achieve by fusing all of these concepts together.
Beginner and advanced students alike will find inspiration, motivation and renewed artistic freedom from seeing the step-by-step construction of more than 5 sculptural projects in this webinar.
After this exciting webinar you’ll have the professional knowledge and increased confidence to incorporate these innovative methods in your new work. In addition, you’ll have a working knowledge of kiln operation, custom firing guides, and a deeper understanding of sculptural glass fusing fabrication.
NEW Fused Glass Sculpture Webinar, January 16, 2020 https://www.glasspatterns.com/glass-patterns-quarterly-store/product/1398-fused-glass-sculptures-made-easy-with-lisa-vogt-jan-16-2020.html
NEW CLASS DATE FOR 2020
Sculptural Fused Glass, 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop
February 18 – 21, 2020
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.
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.
Materials are included, that’s a $150.00 value! Plus, a professional photo shot of your artwork is also included.
Let’s get together and fuse glass! This is the turning-point workshop you’ve been waiting for.
Get Ready for the Glass Craft & Bead Expo 2020!
Glass Craft & Bead Expo is the premier Art Glass and Bead Trade Show and Educational Conference. April 1 – April 5, 2020
Meet me in Vegas! I’m teaching the following classes.
Fired Up! Fusing for the Adventurous
Painting with Frit
Breaking Through – Making Exhibition Quality Art
Sculptural Fused Glass Art
NEW Sculptural Fused Glass DESIGN Made Easy
People come from all over the world to take classes and view the show floor for all of the latest and most innovative products and services. Las Vegas has been home to the show with it being held for the past eleven (11) years at the South Point Hotel and Conference Center located at 9777 Las Vegas Blvd South.
We offer over 250 specialty classes in hot, warm and cold glass. Our instructors come from all over bringing all their expertise in their respective fields. Our show floor offers everything including the latest types and colors of glass, the most innovative kilns, tools and specialty items.
Watch it NOW! Start fusing today!
Downloadable instructional videos for every skill level.
Check out my eBooks for elegant patterns and detailed fusing instructions.