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Holiday Cheer is a Warm Kiln

Christmas week is here! If you’re lucky, you have already made or purchased gifts for your family and friends. If not, I’m sure you’re busy preparing for your holiday get together. With that in mind, I’m sharing a bright, winter project to usher your creative spirit into the new year. This way, when the time comes to get back to your studio you’ll have a fun, easy project waiting for you to enjoy.

Cardinals are a bright, cheerful sight in the peaceful winter months. This colorful little fellow will bring joy to your home all season long. And you’ll love how fast and easy this delightful project is to make.

Let’s get started.

Cardinal in Pine Tree By Lisa Vogt 8 Inch x 10 Inch

Detailed projects like this one are easier to make if you work from a pattern. Preparing the pattern may seem tedious, but the increase in accuracy and fit really improve the overall quality of your finished project. Plus, patterns make more elaborate designs manageable, so even the most indicate design is still fun to build.

Make two copies of the pattern and then number the patterns. (Time-saver Tip: Number the pattern before making the copy. Don’t be like me and forget to do it before heading to the glass studio 🙂

To maintain consistency in the thickness of the finished art, this free-form shaped project is made with two layers of glass. Using the pattern as a guide, cut the base layer out of clear glass. Cut the oval shape first. Then cut clear pieces for the tips of the pine needles that extend outside the oval shape. Cutting these little pieces, and adding this extra step, ensures that the narrow pine needles will keep their shape during firing. Without the clear base, they’ll shrink dis-proportionality to the rest of the project and be fragile after fusing.

Now that the base is cut, let’s move on to the second layer. Cut blue glass for the sky to the same shape and size as the clear oval base. Grind the cut glass to remove any sharp edges and improve the shape.

Use scissors to cut one paper pattern into the free-form shape. Draw a line around the pattern on a primed kiln shelf, or on a fiber paper lined shelf. Arrange the clear base pieces on the shelf inside the pencil line.

Set the shelf and assembled glass aside.

Cardinal in Pine Tree

Here comes the fun part, cutting the pine needles and cardinal. Cut the pattern up. Glue the pine needle pieces on green glass with a glue stick. Cut around the pieces, cutting as close as possible to the edge without running into the paper. Remove the excess glass with pliers.

Glue the cardinal pattern pieces to red glass. Cut the cardinal out. Grind the cut glass to improve the shape and the fit of the pieces. Remove the wet pattern from the ground glass. Clean and dry the glass with a towel. Arrange the bird and pine needles on the spare pattern and set aside.

Cardinal in Pine Tree

For a fun added detail, use a paper punch to make snowflake shaped flurries. Press the snowflakes out of Thinfire fiber paper. Scatter the snowflakes on the clear base. Stack the blue on top sealing the snowflakes between layers. (FYI: I have not tried this encasing technique with other fiber papers. If you use a different paper your results may vary.)

Using the paper pattern and pencil line as a guide, stack the pine needles and cardinal on the glass. Hold the pieces in place with a small amount of fuser’s glue. This keeps the pieces from moving when you carry the kiln shelf and glass to the kiln. Spoon white frit on the pine needles to represent snow. Use a small paint brush to clean up the top edge of the snow. Sprinkle a little white frit on the blue sky. For a little sparkle, place white dichroic frit on top of the snow and on the sky.

Cardinal in Pine Tree

Fire the assembled glass to a full fuse temperature using the guide below.

I love the crisp, vibrant colors of the finished piece and the extra detail the encased fiber paper gives the sky. The Thinfire shrunk lightly during firing and left a delicate star shaped, snowflake pattern in the background. The sparkly dichroic frit adds a little magic to this winter wonderland.

This season when you’re feeling the icy chill of cold winter days, create your own warmth. Snuggle up to your kiln and make this cheery Cardinal and Pine Tree.

This pattern is just one of many seasonal delights you can make in the book Home for the Holidays now available as a download on my website 

Home for the Holidays eBook

Watch the Cardinal in  Pine Tree video here

Fusing Guide
NOTE: Kilns fire differently. Test fire these guides in your kiln and make adjustments as needed.

Segment 1: Ramp 300 F/hr to 1300 F and hold for 30 min.
Segment 2: Ramp 500 F/hr to 1465 F and hold for 10 min.
Segment 3: Ramp 9999 (AFAP*) to 960 F and hold for 40 min.
Segment 4: Let cool to room temperature.
*as fast as possible

System 96 by Oceanside Glasstile
100SF Clear for Base, 1 Sq. FT.
5331SF Sky Blue for Sky, 1 Sq. Ft.
60-602-96 Flame for Cardinal, Scrap
60-755-96 Fern for Pine Tree, Scrap
60-335-96 Marigold for Bird Beak, Scrap
F3-200-96-8 Medium White Frit for Snow
CBS Dichroic Frit for Snow, Rainbow 1 on White
Thinfire fiber paper scrap for snowflakes
Pencil, Scissors, Snowflake Paper Punch

Happy Holidays!

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Interwoven as seen in Fused Glass Sculptures Webinar

Upcoming Webinar
Fused Glass Sculptures January 14, 2021
Register here:

Creating striking sculptural fused glass forms is easy when you know the professional tips and tricks!

Join me in this comprehensive webinar and learn how easily you can put tried and true methods to use in unlikely ways, to create extraordinary sculptural art.

Enjoy the thrill of limitless possibilities.

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 I share.

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 my 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.

You’ll have the burning desire, and the cool self-confidence, to take your passion to greater heights.

Join me January 14, 2021 for fusing, fun and a welcome opportunity to fuse glass with other enthusiastic glass artists around the world.

Currents by Lisa Vogt


Sculptural Fused Glass, 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop April 27-30, 2021
Register today! 4 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!

Here’s what the students from my recent November 2020 class are saying about the workshop.

“There is a wealth of material, tools and possible projects. Lisa is very motivating, informative, and supportive. The variety of materials is amazing. The number of projects we made in 4 days is beyond what I expected. The classroom set up was very well organized. I felt completely comfortable and safe with plenty of space and sanitizer. This class was beyond my expectations.” -Jane

 “My favorite thing was Lisa’s knowledge and wealth of information. I was surprised by how many projects we made. I was very comfortable with the classroom set up and loved everything about this class. I learned so much and it was fun. My least favorite part was Friday at 4:00 pm.” -Liz

 “My favorite thing about this class was the variety of glass and other materials. Unlimited dichroic! I was comfortable with the classroom set up; Lisa had lots of little personal touches that made it special. Thanks for the wonderful lunches!” -Gail

  Student comments from previous classes.

 “My favorite part about the class was the non-stop building and the generous amount of materials available. What surprised me about the class was how full the schedule was. Usually, you do 1 project. We did 5 in 4 days. Thank you so much for your generosity.”   -Christine 

 “My favorite part about the class was the variety of projects we made. What surprised me was the number of projects we completed. Awesome experience – will come again in the future.” -Monica

“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

 NEW Artwear Designed for Artists by Artists Tell them how you really feel with bold T-shirts, Eco-conscience tote bags and sassy mugs.

Watch it NOW! Start fusing today!

Downloadable instructional videos for every skill level.

eBooks for every interest and skill level.

Check out my eBooks for elegant patterns and detailed fusing instructions. 

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