Creating sculptural artwork is really exciting because your art can take any form. You’re limited only to your imagination. Your pieces don’t have to serve a practical function. They exist solely to engage and intrigue the viewer. It’s freeing to build without boundaries and create simply for the sake of enjoyment. On Cloud Nine is one of those playful pieces that purely entertains, with its crisp color palate and elegant freeform shape.
The great thing about this spontaneous style of assembly is having the artistic freedom to let the shape of the art develop organically. I let the cut glass shapes and materials suggest the design direction and composition of the art. The majority of my really exceptional pieces originated this way, with a wild spark of inspiration and very little planning.
If you’re a hard core planner and haven’t thrown caution to the wind or tired letting yourself go, you’re missing out on a thrilling artistic experience. You’re denying yourself the opportunity to advance your skill level and boost your confidence. It’s time to break free and try something a new way. On Cloud Nine is the perfect project to test the waters. It’s a manageable size, it has just enough flowing form to be interesting and it’s fast and easy to make.
On Cloud Nine is a loose S shape. You can make your piece any shape. Be creative. Be bold. Be a little wild. Most importantly have fun with it.
One of the characteristic of this piece that I feel makes it even more intriguing is the open-air feel of the project. It reinforces my intention as the artist that this is decorative. It’s artwork. It’s function is to enhance the given space with beauty, light and intriguing form. It’s not a functional piece, a serving tray or other household knickknack.
If you’re ever asked, “What is this piece for?” you’ve failed as artist. It’s your job as the artist to make it clear, from first glance, what you intend the function of your piece to be. If it’s a spoon rest, put a spoon on it. If it’s a sculpture, make it obvious with an appropriate display stand.
Using scrap glass cut a variety of different size circles and ovals. For the bigger pieces, I cut two pieces, one out of wispy white glass and the other one out of clear glass. I stacked the white on the clear for a two layer assembly. I then cut small squares out of red, black and dichroic glass. These pieces were made up of only one single layer. The glass was then arranged on a primed kiln shelf and fired to a full fuse temperature of 1465 degrees and held there for 10 minutes. At this temperature and hold, the rough edges of the circles and ovals rounded out during the fusing stage. Likewise, the small, single layer squares balled up to make darling little dots. Since these pieces were going to be used in an organic type of design the slight variations in the finished sizes and shapes was a welcome plus.
Assembling the art.
I drew the S shape I wanted on a primed kiln shelf. The fused glass pieces were laid out with the larger pieces in the middle and the smaller pieces around the perimeter. I arranged the pieces, so the edges were touching to ensure they’d stick together. I used the tiny decorative dots to add a splash of color and in some places to bridge gaps. The glass was fired to a tack fuse temperature of 1365 degrees and held there for 10 minutes. At this temperature, I retain the multi-layer texture that makes this piece so flashy. In addition, the glass retains its shape and its heated enough for the pieces to stick together securely.
The assembled glass was then slumped over an S mold to further enhance the graceful form and sculptural quality of the glass. The glass was heated to a temperature of 1265 degrees and held there for 10 minutes.
Take it a step further.
Sculptural fused glass art benefits from a custom, decorative display base. A well thought out base lifts the art off the table giving it lift so light can illuminate the piece more attractively. A good base, also supports and secures the piece so it’s stable while on display.
The base is made by slumping a single piece of clear ¼ inch thick glass over a ½ inch thick piece of fiber board. The vertical piece is glued to the clear base with E6000 adhesive.
This project required four firings. In the first one I made the smooth glass nuggets. In the second firing the nuggets were bonded together. In the third firing the glass was slumped to give the art a graceful curve. In the fourth firing I slumped the clear base.
It seems like a lot of effort for a small, simple looking piece. Here’s something I’ve learned with my over 35 year experience as a glass artist. The truth is: the simpler a piece looks the more effort it took. It also means the piece is well executed and has a finished quality that draws admiration. So don’t underestimate the value of simple. It’s a compliment to the artist and your commitment to excellence in your art.
Don’t let this multiple process assembly deter you. Every firing is an exciting step toward a beautiful sculptural piece of art all your own.
Watch the On Cloud Nine video here: https://youtu.be/4HWh90KPgaA
Except from my Sculptural Fused Glass video. https://lisajvogt.com/product-category/video-downloads/
Wherever you are in your artistic journey, you’re doing great! Keep up the terrific work.
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Make a Fused Glass Sink Webinar, August 27, 2020
Creating a stunning dichroic glass sink is easy when you know how!
In this comprehensive Webinar, I’ll guide you step by step through the time-tested processes I use to make large-scale, functional vessels.
You’ll learn safe handling techniques for cutting oversized circles, how to fuse and slump thick pieces to retain consistent bowl height, plus trade-secrets for worry free drilling.
In addition to fabrication know-how, you’ll receive a complete supply list, specifics on kiln requirements, source information for the slumping mold and drill kit, as well as helpful installation tips.
With all the professional tricks revealed, you’ll gain the confidence and knowledge needed to make your own dazzling beauty.
In addition, I’ll demonstrate how to make a glittering dichroic sink. I’ll also show you how to make a cast glass sink from nipped glass pieces, dichroic bits and frit. Plus, you’ll be guided through the various cold-working steps I use to finish the cast glass sink edge to a glamorous, professional, quality polish.
Sculptural Fused Glass, 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop
November 10-13, 2020
Only 1 seat available. Register here
Wesley Chapel, Florida, 4-Day, Hands-on, Class size is limited.
This is the turning-point workshop you’ve been waiting for.
It’s hard to describe what it’s like when I’m feeling the creative flow. Time flies. Hours pass in what I thought were minutes. My naturally distracted mind is focused on what my hands are doing, and nothing else. I get lost in my own world. When I return to reality, I feel rejuvenated and spiritually uplifted. That’s why I like sharing my studio space with others. I try to give them that experience and hope they feel the same inspiration and fulfillment I do. -Lisa
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.
Join me and 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 shoot of your artwork is also included.
Here’s what the students are saying about the workshop.
“Instruction was clear, help was always available, and Lisa’s explanation of the equipment was great.” -Sherry
“My favorite thing about the class was the friendly atmosphere that encouraged open thoughts and sharing ideas.” -Lyn
“I enjoyed making all the projects, especially the flow piece and the freedom to be creative with our work.” -Joy
“My favorite thing about the class was the ability to see multiple pieces of art that originated from concepts taught.” -Vicki
“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
Things that surprised the students about the class.
“I was surprised by the photo booth demo-it was very helpful.” -Joy
“I was surprised by the limitless glass we had access to, for our projects.” -Lyn
“The valuable education on glass art photography surprised me.” -Sherry
“I was surprised by the hominess of your hospitality!” -Vicki
Watch it NOW! Start fusing today!
Downloadable instructional videos for every skill level.
Check out my eBooks for elegant patterns and detailed fusing instructions.