You’ve enjoyed success making the usual plates, bowls and vases following practices and guidelines laid out by the experts. But the element of surprise and the thrill of the unexpected success has gone missing. If you find yourself blindly staring at the glass wishing for inspiration, then it’s time to break the rules. Make art that excites you again.
Before you run wildly through your glass studio, let’s be sure to set this excursion up for success. Start by studying finished art that you find attractive. Define what it is about the piece that appeals to you. Is it the shape, the colors, the pattern, or the design? Take that element and put it aside temporarily. Maybe loosely sketch it out on paper for quick reference later. Do this for three individual pieces of art.
Small details can have a huge impact on the visual appearance of your art. Don’t underestimate the power of minor changes to customary pieces. When trying to navigate new territory, you’ll have the greatest success if you take what has worked for you in the past and then expand on it to create something all new and unexpected.
Pattern and shape are two of the simplest elements that can easily be manipulated to dramatically increase the appeal of fused glass art. By adding unique patterns and building new shapes you can draw the viewer in and lock their attention tight. In the end, isn’t that our ultimate goal, to inspire people?
Anchor the viewer’s eye with an interesting pattern. Unexpected bubbles are usually considered undesirable. But when made into a uniform design, bubbles can add a whole new dimension to the glass art. Designing with bubbles is a terrific way to add decoration and a little sparkle. Light dances inside the tiny dome shapes which increases the appearance of depth and the overall intricacy of the finished piece.
Here, I’m using stringers to establish the pattern. They’re placed even distances apart in two directions on a base glass and then capped with clear glass. The cool thing about this technique is the assembly method dictates the placement, size and shape of the bubbles. If the openings between the stringers are square, then the bubbles are round. Rectangular openings result in oval shaped bubbles. While triangular openings give you tear drop shaped bubbles.
Making small, 2” x 2” test pieces will give you an opportunity to try unusual color combinations. It also builds confidence because you know what to expect when you go bigger. The best part of this technique is the possibilities for imaginative designs are endless. Try it. You’ll be blown away!
Sculpture romances the viewer. It pulls them in like a magnet. Give your art unique shape and the viewer will be hooked. With so many fusing materials at your disposal, it’s never been easier to get creative with your art’s profile. The easiest way to get funky shapes is to drape fiber material over an existing slumping mold. Give the fiber paper exaggerated contours by tucking kiln posts or fiber board between the mold and the fiber.
You can also achieve new shapes by combining different ceramic or stainless steel slumping molds together. Some of my most exciting pieces have been made this way.
If you’re shy to jump in, build a sample out of clear glass. Make the sample the same shape, size and thickness as the intended project. Clear is the best choice because it’s the least expensive glass. And you can see through it to see where the glass rests on the mold assembly. Then you’re able to make adjustments to the final piece as needed. Plus, there’s no waste. The clear sample can be smashed and used for casting filler. It’s a win, win.
The wonderful thing about this technique is every piece of glass slumped has a one-of-a-kind flare. They’re your own personal original. Now that’s exciting!
Get crazy and combine both techniques and you have a showstopper. The biggest drawback to this in-depth approach is the amount of time necessary to plan an exceptional project. True, not all projects warrant this much effort. But if you work in stages on a few, you’ll find the outcome is extremely rewarding.
Take it a step further and create your own design. Go back to the three pieces of art you studied earlier. Take the three elements that attracted you and combine them with a unique pattern and a sculptural shape. Now you’re on the threshold of greatness!
These are just a few examples of breaking the rules. If you’re ready to rush into your studio, excited about the possibilities, don’t stop here. These techniques have great potential for expansion in so many directions. Take them and run and set your imagination free.
Want more personalized instruction and guidance? Join me May 25-28, 2021 for my Sculptural Fused Glass Class.
Due to a last minute cancellation, 1 seat in now available. Register here!
Wherever you are in your journey you are doing great! Keep creating!
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Artist Website www.LisaVogt.net
Author Website https://lisajvogtcom.wordpress.com/
New Webinar Date
Watercolor Techniques & Advanced Fusing Design with Lisa Vogt June 1, 2021
Register here: https://www.glasspatterns.com/glass-patterns-quarterly-store/product/1536-watercolor-techniques-advanced-fusing-design-with-lisa-vogt-june-1-2021.html
Learn how to make gorgeous, vividly decorated nature themed fused glass designs in this comprehensive webinar.
Master the art of design, pattern, and color.
Join me and I’ll show you how quickly and easily you can ramp up the visual intricacy of your work in just a few steps. I’ll share my personally developed, “watercolor style,” approach to shading and highlighting glass.
You will love the easy-to-follow instruction and seeing how to create elaborately detailed works of art with a gorgeous three-dimensional flair.
In this webinar you will learn how to use advanced artistic techniques like a pro. Beginner, intermediate and advanced fusers alike will enjoy applying the many simple, yet effective techniques I share in this in-depth, live event.
Plus, as a special bonus I include step-by-step instruction on how to use failed projects. I’ll explain in detail how to solve problems and how to ensure successful projects moving forward.
I also include my custom firing guides, project patterns and materials list in PDF form.
You will be fired up and eager to apply these new techniques to enhance the beauty and charm of your work.
1 Seat Opened Up in my May 25-28, 2012 Sculptural Fused Glass Class!
Due to a cancellation there is one seat available in my May 25-28, 2012 class.
Register Here: Register here!
Sculptural Fused Glass, 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop September 21 – 24, 2021
Register today! 4 seat available.
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 students from my February 2021 class are saying about the workshop.
“I feel I got the movement toward developing my own creativity this week. I was surprised that the things I already knew fit into the new knowledge I was getting in this class. Lisa is an excellent teacher who is tuned into what is going on in the class. She puts no pressure on the students when I know she could when we were dragging our feet. I was absolutely comfortable with the classroom set up and cleanliness of the studio. Will see you again soon.” -Judy
Here’s what the students from my 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
Artwear Designed for Artists by Artists Tell them how you really feel with bold T-shirts, Eco-conscience tote bags and sassy mugs.
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Downloadable instructional videos for every skill level.
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2 thoughts on “Breaking Rules is So Much Fun!”
I especially enjoyed this most recent blog on breaking rules. I will be seriously looking at several pieces with your advice in mind. One of my “likes” are the unusual color combinations some artists use that I don’t even consider. Other than just jumping in and trying different combinations on test tiles, might you have any suggestions for me to be braver about my choices? Thanks!
Hi Barb, My advise is to follow your heart. Design pieces that satisfy your artistic style and make you happy.