Advanced fusing is a broad term. What does it mean to advance?
Advancing is moving beyond your current skill level. It’s challenging your abilities and developing your talent and learning how you can make exceptional artwork that exceeds everyone’s expectations.
If this sounds like a huge, insurmountable task or an unrealistic goal for you, you’re not alone. Compressed into one sentence, the enormity of advancing ones craft can be a daunting motivation crusher. But don’t worry. Once we break down the steps you’ll be primed, ready and truly excited about taking action.
Here are three top tips pros use to break through and make exhibition quality art.
1 Be a Master of Color
Color plays an important role in the effectiveness of your art. The colors you select convey your message. You, as the artist have the power to swing the viewers mood from tranquil, bright and cheery to thought-provoking, to stirring and stormy. When planning a new project, I consider what type of impression I want to leave and then select colors that support that intention. Reds are active and emotional. Blues are soothing, they suggest tranquility. While yellows represent happiness and contentment. Choose your colors carefully and then use them with purpose to draw the viewer into your magical world.
2 Pick a Pattern
Including patterns in your art is an essential way to increase the visual intricacy and attractiveness of your artwork. The whole idea is to capture interest and hold it as long as possible. Patterns add dimension which increases interest. This entices the viewer and engages them longer. Pattern also shows an increase in artistic exploration and creative skill on your part, and that always gets noticed.
Patterns can be simple and geometric or intricate and organic. I decide how to use pattern based on the artistic style I’m going for. For traditional designs, I like to use structured, linear patterns that illustrate organization and planning, while contemporary designs are great places to use free-flowing patterns. In effect they increase the visual movement throughout the artwork. Whatever style you chose, pattern adds drama that increases the visual quality of any piece.
3 Go Sculptural
Shape up. The fastest and simplest way to ramp up your artwork and advance to the next level, is to create a unique shape, and go sculptural. Sculptural pieces always have higher visual impact that translates into an increased perceived value. This is the key to taking your work from a craft or a hobby to the threshold of fine art. We are so fortunate to be working with a medium that we can manipulate and shape any way we want. Take advantage of that and you can transform ordinary into the extraordinary.
Try using slumping molds in different ways. I combine molds to build unique shapes no one else has seen. Or I fuse several small pieces and then glue them together to create a freestanding, three dimensional tower. You can do it too. Start small. Then as you gain confidence go bigger and more elaborate.
The big difference between making ordinary pieces and repeatedly producing one-of-a-kind original art is planning.
When it’s time to make something new and exciting I begin by asking myself, what style do I want to make. Then I consider what mood the art should provoke and select an appropriate color palate. Then I layout a pattern that will reinforce my selected style. My next step is to plan what form the finished artwork will take. I ask myself; how can I manipulate the shape of the glass and display it in a unique and unexpected way that will be amazing? Then I begin the process of construction.
I don’t always have all the answers at the beginning. But I do follow my original plan to its natural end. Often, new directions present themselves during fabrication, but I stay true to my plan. I’ll take notes on the new possibilities and revisit them later with my next new undertaking. Sometimes deviations are inevitable, like when an idea or technique fails to produce the results I had hoped. Then I go back to the first three tips, regroup and forge ahead.
If improving your glass skills and growing your artistic style are on your list, I’m here to help you achieve success. I hope this insight helps you overcome obstacles so you can make the art of your dreams.
Wherever you are in your artistic journey, you’re doing a great job! Keep going. Never settle. You are an amazing talent. Shine on!
Except from my upcoming Advanced Glass Fusing Workshop.
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Advanced Glass Fusing 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop May 24-27, 2022
Only 1 Seat Left
Make Fire & Ice!
Join me and take your glass fusing to the next level!
In this class, you will push the boundaries art glass imposes. Students will explore innovative approaches to design and combine multiple advanced techniques to construct original art that reflects their own personal style. You’ll enjoy: the one-on-one instruction, making multifaceted projects, the well-equipped classroom, and the intimate class size.
You’ll love the concentrated, in-depth study and creative momentum you’ll gain while actively producing, nonstop for four consecutive days. You’ll leave class with a working knowledge of kiln operation, custom project specific firing guides, and the inspiration you’ve been craving to go bigger and do more elaborate works of fused glass art!
Creative Slumping Webinar
June 2, 2022
Join me and see how thinking outside the box and using ready made molds in new ways offers numerous and exciting opportunities to produce unique forms.
I’ll challenge and motivate you to transform your ordinary projects into inspiring, sculptural pieces of art!
I’m back with my popular Webinar, Creative Slumping. In this detailed Webinar, I’ll reshape the way you slump and drape glass. See how thinking differently and using ready-made molds in new ways offers numerous and exciting opportunities to produce unique forms. You’ll also learn how to make your own graceful, free-form shaped molds from readily available materials with no laborious measuring or messy mixes needed.
But we aren’t finished there…
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!
Don’t miss this opportunity! Webinars are a great way to get together and share the craft we love with enthusiastic artists around the world. I hope you’ll join me!
Artwear Designed for Artists by Artists Tell them how you really feel with bold T-shirts, Eco-conscience tote bags and sassy mugs.
Downloadable instructional videos for every skill level.