When I step into my studio, I know the subject or focal point of the fused glass project I intend to make. I may plan to build a piece with a sailboat or something with a geometric pattern. It’s that basic plan that fuels my artistic actions. Making the subject is easy. But I don’t stop there.
Consider the background space.
The background is equally, and possibly more important than the subject. How the background is handled can dramatically improve the power and appeal of a work of art. A good background enhances the focal point. It reinforces the subject with images or shapes that establish setting or create a mood that further support the artist’s specific visual goals.
Evolution of a design background.
Let’s examine a few fused glass designs together. I’ll show you how the addition of simple, complementary elements can sway the design direction. And how the choices you make can produce unique, exciting designs.
I start my design process with the specific subject I want to create. In this case I wanted to make succulent flowers. Notice how simple the succulent flower pattern is without a background design in place.
I could have used plain blue and green glass for the background to suggest an outdoor location. That would have worked fine. But, with a little more thought, creativity, and time I created a background that entirely changed my subject for the better. I used hand-made stencils along with powder frit to add a garden setting to my flowers. It worked. The subtle leafy pattern and hint of blue sky dramatically increase the charm and beauty of my finished bowl.
For my next design my focal point was bees. It’s such a simple yet bold subject that I could have easily executed it beautifully with a plain background. But plain isn’t my style. I could have placed them in any number of settings. I thought about sitting them on top of flowers, or on the side of a beehive hanging from a tree limb. But at the time, the rich golden colors and angular geometry of a honeycomb appealed to me more.
Look at the bee pattern alone. Then look at it again in the completed piece. You have to admit the addition of the honeycomb background seriously increased the bees artistic influence on the finished piece of art.
Another simple design I favor is a wine glass. It’s graceful shape and promise of relaxing with good company make it dear to my heart. The problem is the basic design lacks personality. Its screaming for a creative treatment that takes us away to a picturesque retreat. This pattern is great for imagining different background settings and how they would change the art’s mood. For example, picture a background with a fireplace and open book. Or how about a loaded cheese board with fruit or a sunny beach with palm trees. Better yet, make a dimly lit cave with a witches caldron and spider webs in the background. Each of these design ideas are easy to make. So there’s no excuse not to try it for yourself. And there’s no doubt that the life they would breath into the original design would make it better.
These examples illustrate the incredible impact the background has on your fused glass design. I hope I’ve given insight into my design process and simple ideas you can use to liven up your own artwork.
Knowing what you want to make is exciting. But don’t let your imagination stop with the focal point. Do more. Customize the background to transform ordinary patterns into something special that reflects your unique and flourishing artistic style.
Excerpt and designs from my Simple Pleasures video.
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Fused Glass Sculptures Webinar October 12, 2021
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.
Are you a lifelong learner?
As a life-long learner myself, I know it sometimes takes a change of scenery, a challenging new educational experience, and the encouragement of an experienced instructor to advance my skills and help me grow.
Are you ready to grow?
Sculptural Fused Glass, 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop October 19-22, 2021
Only 2 seats left
This is the turning-point workshop you’ve been waiting for.
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!
May 2021 Student Testimonials
“My favorite thing about the class was the creative freedom – we were not required to make the same thing the same way. I was surprised by the variety and number items we made and the flexibility we had to go our own way with our projects. The glass studio was very comfortable and very clean with plenty of room.” -Ron
“My favorite thing about the class was the projects were tailored to our interests with user specific glass choices and design options. This makes the best type of learning environment. I loved the continued technical information that was used in daily discussions. Loved the amount of space we had for working and the use of top-quality tools and the hands-on assistance Lisa gave each one of us. You will hear and see me again. Thank you for your time and talent.” – Donna
“My favorite thing about the class was the creativity – putting things together in new ways – using different materials – and how welcome I felt. I was surprised how much we were able to get done and by Lisa’s ability to coach those of us on different levels. My least favorite part was that the class ended. The classroom setup was excellent – well organized. I really feel like Lisa gave me the tools to advance to a new level. It was worth the cost of the workshop, airfare, B&B, animal care and house sitting! Can’t wait to put what I leaned into practice and return for another workshop.” -Sue
Read more student testimonials on my website.
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