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Strawberry Farm Plank Bowl

Strawberry Farm Plank Bowl, 10 inch x 10 inch

Dish up sweet summer fun with this refreshingly fun wood tone berry bowl.

Breaking free from the ho-hum square is easy when you start thinking beyond the limitations of four straight sides. The fastest and easiest way to jazz up any project is to give it a unique shape. The shape doesn’t have to be super complex to get attention. Just add a little unexpected something to the edge and you’ll have a project that everyone admires.

The bulk of my projects are assembled on a single, solid base layer of clear glass. The second, design layer is usually made up of pieces that create a pattern. The third layer is minimal and made with a few accent pieces. This type of construction is convenient because I can comfortably put the project together on my worktable and then simply carry it to the kiln when it’s ready to be fired. It’s a quick easy way to build strong pieces, but the straightforward perimeter shape can lack originality.

Strawberry background

For this project we’re going to break tradition and shake things up with an irregular edge that flatters our sweet strawberries. In this type of construction the base layer and the design layer are both made up of multiple pieces. What makes this project even more unique is that we’ll use the same pattern to make both the base and design layers. We simply cut the base layer out of clear glass and the second layer out of a warm colored streaky glass that mimics aged wood.

To make this project, the clear base layer is cut and assembled on a primed, or shelf paper lined, kiln shelf. The design layer is cut and then turned 90 degrees, so the glass overlaps the breaks in the base layer. It’s then stacked on top of the base layer.

Strawberry berries

Now for the sweet part. The red strawberries and green leaves are cut according to the pattern. They’re ground to improve the rounded shapes. The strawberry’s seeds are detailed by applying black paint with a fine applicator tip. Next, the berries and leaves are arranged on top of the brown glass.

For added color and a nice linear detail I bent yellow stringers in a candle. The stringers represent a wild vine. I bent them and placed them so they would frame the bowl.

Bending stringers is fun and easy. The trick is to hold the stinger in the candle flame and apply a little pressure until the glass bends. Then move the stringer through the flame until you have a shape you like. Keep in mind, the stringer will be hot within an inch of the flame. And, it’s a lot hotter than you think, and a lot longer than you think it should be. I bend a bunch and set them aside so I’m not tempted to pick the bent stringers up before they’re cool to the touch.

The bent stringers are sized by snapping them by hand. The pieces are then arranged decoratively around the berries. The assembled glass is full fused and then slumped in a square mold.

12 Strawberry Sensation 2

Fusing Guide

Segment 1: Ramp 300 F/hr to 1300 and hold 30 min.

Segment 2: Ramp 500F/hr to 1465 and hold 10 min.

Segment 3: Ramp 9999(AFAP*) to 960 and hold 40 min.

Segment 4: Cool to room temperature.

*As fast as possible

Slumping Guide

Segment 1: Ramp 300 F/hr to 1265 and hold 10 min.

Segment 2: Ramp 9999(AFAP*) to 960 and hold 40 min.

Segment 3: Cool to room temperature.

*As fast as possible

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

Happy Fusing!

Lisa

Follow my blog for more tips and tricks!

Website www.LisaJVogt.com
YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhOifd7wukk
Facebook www.Facebook.com/LisaJVogt

Twitter https://twitter.com/lisajvogt

Instagram @lvogt_originalsinglass

NEW Instagram @through_the_artists_lens

11

Make a Fused Glass Sink Webinar, August 27, 2020

https://www.glasspatterns.com/glass-patterns-quarterly-store/product/1473-make-a-fused-glass-sink-with-lisa-vogt-august-27-2020.html

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.

Wait…there’s more!

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.

DSC_0169

Sculptural Fused Glass, 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop

November 10-13, 2020

Register today!

Only 2 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!

Video covers - Copy 

 Downloadable instructional videos for every skill level.

Book covers

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

 

 

 

 

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Breezy Kite

Some of my favorite childhood memories include flying kites at the beach in the summer. I wished those long carefree days would last forever. But, eventually we went back to school and back to our usual routine. When it came time to decorate this free flyer, I took a wistful trip down memory lane and included vibrant tropical designs to bring back that fun-loving summer feeling.

You’ll be thrilled at how fast and easy it is to make this kite. You can follow the pattern and use the design elements I’ve included. Or you can think of this kite as your own blank canvas and add special details for a personal touch. Maybe include a sailboat or design a woodland scene or chill out with an ice cream cone image. The possibilities are endless. You’re limited only by your imagination.

The basic kite is made with two layers of glass. Use the pattern as a guide and cut a base glass out of white glass. The white glass hides the wall bracket. If you prefer to hang the kite in a window cut the base out of clear glass.

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Cut the second layer out of light blue. Grind the two pieces of glass as needed to improve the fit. Stack the blue on the white.

Next, place the glass for the rolling water on the pattern. Using the pattern as a guide cut as much of the curvy shape as possible by hand. Draw the deep inside cures on the glass with a marker. I use a black marker on light colored glass and a silver marker on dark colors. Coat the maker line with lip balm so it doesn’t wash off when using the saw.

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Select glass for the palm leaves. Using the pattern as a guide, cut as much of the shapes as possible by hand. Outline the deep cuts on each leaf with a marker. Coat the marker with lip balm.

To make the bright sun, cut a circle out of the paper pattern. Trace the circle on a piece of flashy dichroic glass and cut the circle to match. For the sun rays, cut a few ¼ inch wide strips of the same glass. Cut the strips into small triangles.

Grind the cut glass pieces as needed to improve the fit.

Carefully cut the palm leaves and rolling wave to match the pattern with a saw. If you don’t have access to a saw the shapes can be made up of pieces. Grind the rolling wave with a small ¼” grinder bit to smooth out the curves.

Clean the cut glass pieces with a mild soap to remove any leftover marker or lip balm. Dry the glass and check the fit.

Using the pattern as a guide, cut three bows for the kite tail out of complimentary glass colors. Grind the bows.

19

Lay the palm leaves on a sheet of scrap paper. Sift a high contrast color powder frit onto each leaf. Add detail to each leaf by pulling a small, dry paint brush through the frit. Carefully arrange the frit coated palm leaves as well as the rolling waves on the second layer. Arrange the sun and rays on the second layer of glass as well.

20

It’s the small, added details that make this kite so charming. Cut a narrow strip of clear dichroic glass. Cut the strip into tiny bits. Nip a white and clear twisted cane to size. Arrange the dichroic bits and twisted cane on the rolling wave piece.

The cut glass pieces can be glued to keep them from sliding when the project is moved to the kiln. If you apply glue use the smallest amount of fuser’s glue possible.

Place the assembled project on a primed or fiber paper covered kiln shelf and fire to a full fuse temperature using the guide below.

23

Place the fused glass kite on a sconce mold. Position the three bows on a kiln shelf or on fiber paper. Fire the glass to a slump temperature using the guide below. Firing the bows gives them a nice shinny edge quality.

To make the metal wall bracket measure across the back side of the kite. Cut the flat ¼” steel bar to fit inside the glass with a chop saw or hack saw. To make the tail, bend three curves into the end of the 18” long, 1/8” round steel rod.

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Solder the bar to the rod to make a T. Clean the metal. Paint the metal wall bracket with black spray paint. Let the paint dry overnight.

Cut 2 -1/4” long pieces of clear, soft fish tank type rubber tubing with wire cutters. Slide the cut tubing over the ends of the steel bar. The tubing acts as a cushion between the glass and the metal. Plus, the tubing is flexible and so it has a stronger, longer lasting bond to the glass than the metal alone. Apply E6000 adhesive to the rubber and glue the metal wall bracket to the back of the glass kite at three points. Glue the three glass bows to the tail with E6000. Let the glue dry overnight.

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Hang your kite on the wall with a picture hanging hook. Swing the tail to the right or left for a more whimsical installation. Hold the tail in place by pressing a pin or small nail under one of the bows where it won’t be seen.

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Now sit back and enjoy the carefree, sun-drenched breezy days of summer all year long.

40 GPQ Beach Kite by Lisa Vogt - Copy

Breezy Kite as seen in Glass Patterns Quarterly Magazine

Check out the video here: https://youtu.be/FHETBXRs2s4

Fusing Guide

Segment 1: Ramp 300 F/hr to 1300 and hold 30 min.

Segment 2: Ramp 500F/hr to 1465 and hold 10 min.

Segment 3: Ramp 9999(AFAP*) to 960 and hold 40 min.

Segment 4: Cool to room temperature.

*As fast as possible

Slumping Guide

Segment 1: Ramp 300 F/hr to 1265 and hold 10 min.

Segment 2: Ramp 9999(AFAP*) to 960 and hold 40 min.

Segment 3: Cool to room temperature.

*As fast as possible

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

Happy Fusing!

Lisa

Follow my blog for more tips and tricks!

Website www.LisaJVogt.com
YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhOifd7wukk
Facebook www.Facebook.com/LisaJVogt

Twitter https://twitter.com/lisajvogt

Instagram @lvogt_originalsinglass

NEW Instagram @through_the_artists_lens

11

Make a Fused Glass Sink Webinar, August 27, 2020

https://www.glasspatterns.com/glass-patterns-quarterly-store/product/1473-make-a-fused-glass-sink-with-lisa-vogt-august-27-2020.html

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.

Wait…there’s more!

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.

DSC_0169

Sculptural Fused Glass, 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop

November 10-13, 2020

Register today!

Only 2 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!

Video covers - Copy 

Downloadable instructional videos for every skill level.

Book covers

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on 4 Comments

Kitten Quarantine Countdown – Part 3    

May 5, 2020, 9 Weeks Old

Hide and seek! The kittens were now big enough to have free-roam of the barn. They were five blurs running in different directions at the same time. They hid in dark shadows and jumped out to pounce on unsuspecting siblings as they passed. They’d attack, throw a few paw punches, bite an ear and then retreat to hide in a corner. Everything was a fascinating new toy.

9g

While exploring, the kittens were equal parts daring and skittish. They’d run full speed at something that caught their attention, like a frayed rope, and then just as quickly, spook and scurry to safety under a muck rack. With all the new and exciting props to play with the grey striped kitten still thought my shoelace was worth a nibble. The chewy plastic tip was great for teething. The only time I was able to get a picture with more than one kitten was when they stopped for a quick snack and a cuddle with mama. She was still happy to nurse them even though they were almost as big as she was.

9c

At home we were trying to occupy our hands and distract our minds from the truth. The virus was spreading like an insidious weed across the country and booming in major cities. May was going to be more of the same quiet chaos. We continued to shelter-in-place and avoided going out for anything other than food, household necessities and tending to Niki’s horse, Glorie at the barn.

 

9f

The kittens were equal parts daring and skittish.

I suggested another new home improvement project I’d been wanting to tackle for a few years. Since we had plenty of time and nowhere to go it seemed like good timing. We replaced Niki’s old bathroom countertop with new, more contemporary style tile. Joe and I used our art glass skills to hand cut every tile and then puzzle-piece them together to make an attractive, clean looking design. I’m really pleased with the finished countertop and the way it gives Niki’s bathroom a more adult look.

DSC_0959

Like the kittens, we were equal parts daring and skittish about living life in the, new normal, an overused term I love to hate. Several times I wanted to surrender to my inner weakness and fear. I ached to throw a few paw punches, bite someone’s ear and then retreat under the covers. I considered chewing on my shoelaces, but feared they’d taste like you know, horse poop. In the end, I held it together with bailer twine, the endearing love of my family, the compassionate understanding of friends and vodka.

9i

Texting friends pictures of the kittens became a weekly treat I looked forward to.

On the bright side, when the kittens were one week old, I texted a kitten picture to three girlfriends who live in three different states. Texting them the kitten’s growth and hilarious antics became a weekly treat I looked forward to. My friends and I went from texting annually to reaching out to each other several times a week. We lead different lives, but we have a long history that goes back to high school. Over these past months, through texting, our friendship has grown stronger. We share our stories, our struggles, and our hopes for a bright future. We’re closer than ever before. These amazing ladies are tropical flowers on a volcanic slope. Their friendship is a real blessing and for that I’m thankful.

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May 12, 2020, 10 Weeks Old

Stars were born! As I sorted the hundreds of pictures I’d taken of the kittens, I noticed a trend. The grey striped kitten and black striped kittens were the stars of my photo shoots. Looking back that had been the case from the first photograph. While the other kittens were content to play among themselves these two wanted more excitement and human attention.

10c

This week the kittens took their shenanigans outside. They romped and played with each other in the yard outside the barn. The kittens were more agile than before, doing skilled acrobatic moves with slinky grace. They hid like mini mountain lions crouched in the bushes where they tracked every jerky move of passing chickens. I saw the maturing essentials of competent hunters in their twitching tails tips and their keen eyes.

It was fascinating to watch them explore new surroundings. I saw ordinary things in new ways. Trees became jungle gyms. Blades of grass were camouflage. There were still some clumsy moments when everything turned upside down, but the kittens were resilient as Jell-O and rebounded quickly.

10d

This week the kittens took their shenanigans outside.

Photographically, the new settings and vivid colors added a lot of interest to my compositions. The kittens were fast and moved unpredictably. I shot strings of pictures in sport mode hoping to get a few good pictures that were in focus. It was entertaining to watch their bouncy moves and see their expressive little faces while taking their playing so seriously. I managed to captured some exciting actions shots that were rich with fierce kitty character.

At home, we put on brave faces. We tried to build a new routine to help us feel better or at least be a little productive. Meanwhile, the bad news was relentless. More confirmed virus cases. More deaths. Our world had turned upside down.

10e

I walked every day to get out of the house and enjoy open spaces. I’m fortunate to live in a beautiful wooded area with lots of room to roam safely. I forced myself to entertain only pleasant thoughts on my walks. I focused on my body moving and the lush scenery around me. I listened to the birds and I felt the breeze brush  my face. I reminded myself daily how lucky I was that my family was healthy, and we were together.

11a

May 19, 2020, 11 Weeks Old

The curious kittens found new places to play in the yard and in the barn. They were flashes of fuzz darting around. A discarded roll of wire was a fun tunnel to roll around in. The tack room, with its clutter of gear made a great wrestling arena. One clueless kitten was brave enough to tug on a lead rope while a huge horse was attached. They were getting increasingly confident and boldly aware of the many entertaining nooks and props they could make their own.

11b

It was about this time that I questioned my motives and grip on reality. I wondered, why was I so enchanted with these kittens? I spent hours chasing them around the barn taking hundreds of blurry pictures of fur. I asked myself, what makes kittens unique and different from other cute baby animals? It took some time, but I figured it out. Kittens take on the world at full speed. They’re all in all the time. For kittens, there are no obstacles only actions. Despite their small size and inexperience they’re fearless. Their zest for life glows in their mischievous eyes. It’s that blind confidence coupled with reckless curiosity that make them fascinating. I’m now convinced, it’s that fiery vulnerability that inspired Mother Nature to bless cats with nine lives to give adults like me, the gift of childish amusement.

11c

Despite kittens small size and inexperience they’re fearless.

Like the naïve kitten leading the horse, we were overwhelmed be the enormity of the situation we found ourselves trapped in. We did our best to stay positive by exploring new nooks and props at home. Most importantly, we faced the unknown together and that’s what got us through. I also credit these comical kittens who live each day with enduring optimism mingled with good old brawling.

12a

May 26, 2020, 12 Weeks Old

Agility training had a whole new meaning this week. The kittens were attracted to a fence behind the barn. They practiced climbing, and falling. Finding balance was a tricky endeavor. Eventually, they mastered the narrow rail and enjoyed the elevated perspective.

Finding balance was difficult for me as well. It was apparent that we’d be living this dysfunctional way of life for a long time. There would be no casual visiting family or friends. Trips to the mall to shop for clothes were not possible. The joy I used to have eating in restaurants was gone. It was time to accept that things I’d previously took for granted were now nostalgic memories of life before. The future looked different. For the first time in my life, I didn’t have a clear picture of where I saw myself in six months or a year. What I did have was love, faith, hope, and occasionally good old brawling.

12i

Writing about the kittens has been uplifting for me.

Writing about the kittens has been uplifting for me. I procrastinated opening my mind and my heart to my feelings by being silent, by not writing. I was wrong to stay away from writing so long. The logical side of my brain knows the emotional side needed time to come around to where I am now. The inner workings of the soul are complex and fragile; it will not be rushed into action.

What I want you to know is this: I’ve felt less anxious and more at ease since I posted Kitten Quarantine Countdown Part 1. Writing about my fears has made them less debilitating. They no longer have a death-grip on my heart. This has improved my attitude and has had a positive influence on my life as well as my other creative interests like art, gardening, and cooking.

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You know what you need to clear the fog and get out of that dark prison you’re trapped in. Don’t wait any longer. I’m here to give you permission to do something that makes you happy. We need our strength of heart and mind for the long haul.

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Thank you for reading my blog. Sometimes, I feel like I’m throwing shavings in the wind and not making  a bit of difference. I means a lot to me that you are still here. You’re making a difference for me.

Take care,

Lisa

Don’t miss Kitten Quarantine Countdown Part 4 – Follow my Blog!

Week 13- The kittens have names! Meet KOOL-AID.

13c

 

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We’re All Beginners at One Time

Since I was a little girl, I’ve always known I wanted to be an artist. Early on, I wasn’t sure if I had any real talent, but I did have a strong desire to draw and do arts and crafts projects. Since then, I’ve learned that creativity, imagination and artistic talent can be taught and learned. You just have to want it.

My humble beginnings were rough. I’ve had many artistic endeavors go wrong. The key to success is perseverance and a positive attitude even in the event of failure. What I believe to be my earliest surviving piece of art has a lot to teach us about the value of persistence and the power of optimism.

DSC_0847

Can you guess who would’ve kept my first piece for all these years? My mother of course. I recently reclaimed the ugly, but endearing ceramic bunny refusing to let it get tossed in the trash after enduring so long. Look closely at the ears. They’ve been glued back on more than once. That’s love.

This funny little guy has a story. When I was a Brownie, our troop would occasionally do arts and crafts projects. It was the dead of Winter. Everyone was wishing for Spring. And so, the troop leaders thought it would be fun for us girls to make ceramic bunnies to welcome the milder weather. A paint-your-own-pottery store owner brought all the supplies to our meeting. She explained how to paint the glazes on the clay. She laid out all the pretty spring colors: pink, yellow, orange, blue and green. The bottles were labeled but the glazes looked nothing like the colors written on the labels. They were all slightly different shades of brown. She said we had to use our imagination to picture the finished pieces. She wasn’t kidding.

She also made a special glaze available in case anyone wanted a bumpy textured effect on their bunny’s egg. Of course, everyone did. After the meeting she loaded the brown colored bunnies in newspaper lined boxes and toted them away. She promised to bring them back, in all their colorful glory, at next month’s meeting.

I remember being super excited about seeing my sunshine yellow bunny with powder puff pink ears holding a sky blue egg. Apparently, the bottles of glaze weren’t labeled correctly. All the bunnies came back forest green. I don’t know how the troop leaders handled the mix up, but we never painted pottery again.

You can imagine how disappointed I was. My bunny didn’t look the way I hoped. I’m surprised I didn’t throw it away then. It’s unlikely I’d even remember the whole disastrous event if the little guy didn’t remind me every time I visited home. But he sat quietly and proudly on a prominent book shelf in mom’s living room year after year. Now I have a soft spot for the little rebel rabbit who broke tradition. He’s beautiful in his own unique way like the rest of us trail blazers who break the rules.

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I painted this Indian Chief when I was in high school. It’s watercolor on paper and measures about 18 x 24 inches. It was inspired by a photograph I saw in a book. This piece of art belongs to my brother. I see it rarely. Every time though, I’m amazed to see my name on the bottom. I guess I did have some talent back then. It didn’t just blossom with maturity and adulthood. Sometimes, it takes a fresh perspective to appreciate yourself and your accomplishments.

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Here’s another painting from my high school days. This Norman Rockwell inspired watercolor on poster board is still one of my husband’s favorites. He keeps it on his desk.

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In college I painted this woman’s face. It’s oil paint on canvas and measures 28 x 36 inches. It was inspired by an image I saw on a greeting card. This piece hangs in my home. I get to see it every day and yet it still manages to stay fresh and encourages me to continue making art.

The lesson here is never give up. I look at my ugly green bunny and feel a sense of awe. He’s proof that my artistic skills have come a long way. I’ve met many creative goals. It wasn’t always easy, but challenges make your successes that much sweeter.

Be kind to yourself. Keep trying. Always, push ahead!

No matter where you are in your artistic journey, you’re doing great!

Happy Fusing!

Lisa

Follow my blog for more tips and tricks!

Website www.LisaJVogt.com
YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhOifd7wukk
Facebook www.Facebook.com/LisaJVogt

Twitter https://twitter.com/lisajvogt

Instagram @lvogt_originalsinglass

NEW Instagram @through_the_artists_lens

11

Make a Fused Glass Sink Webinar, August 27, 2020

https://www.glasspatterns.com/glass-patterns-quarterly-store/product/1473-make-a-fused-glass-sink-with-lisa-vogt-august-27-2020.html

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.

Wait…there’s more!

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.

Currents, As seen in Sculptural Fused Glass Video

New Date! 

Sculptural Fused Glass, 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop

November 10-13, 2020

Register today!

Only 2 seats 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!

Video covers - Copy 

Downloadable instructional videos for every skill level.

Book covers

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

 

 

 

 

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Kitten Quarantine Countdown – Part 2

 

April 7, 2020, 5 Weeks Old

Things were getting exciting! The kitten’s different personalities were becoming more evident. It was fun to start identifying them by their color and individual behavior. They were full of energy rolling around and playing with each other. They bounced with ease and started calculating attacks on each other, ganging up on the poor sibling who was on the bottom of the pile. The crate was getting small for the wresting, but there were a lot of ways tiny kittens could get hurt or lost in a barn. The confinement was necessary for their safety.

They didn’t seem to mind as they had playmates. Simple things like shavings or a strand of hay were fascinating toys for the fifteen second attention span of a fur ball. Mama kitty was in the crate less often. She returned regularly for feedings and cuddle time. The kittens were still not thrilled about being held. After a few minutes, they’d squirm and howl as if they were being pinched when all they wanted was to go back to playing.

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The kittens were full of energy. They calculated attacks on each other ganging up on the poor sibling on the bottom of the pile.

At home we were fighting fatigue and the loss of purpose. I’d wake up feeling like my body was made of lead. It was hard to get out of bed. What was the point? Each day was a repeat of the day before. Days blurred together. Every morning I reminded myself what day of the week it was. We were waiting. Doing our part. Staying home to slow the spread of the virus and flatten the curve.

I had plenty of time. I kept thinking, I was squandering an opportunity to get bigger, more in-depth work done, but I couldn’t focus. I wasn’t inspired. I was a dry well. It was wrong to enjoy my work or feel happy. How could I when people were dying, and no one had answers. Solutions were vague as smoke. Without an end in sight, the weeks blended together.

Like the kittens, our confinement was for everyone’s safety. I coped with the loss of my freedom by focusing my energy on being a positive influence for my family. I made tasty new recipes for dinner. I stopped to watch movies in the middle of the day when asked. I organized home improvement projects to keep our hands busy and our minds occupied. We walked the dogs together, planted a vegetable garden and made a paddock in the backyard for my daughter’s horse, Glorie.

Feeling responsible for my families physical needs, emotional well being and mental health depleted my energy. There was nothing left for me. Admittedly, this was a self-appointed obligation. It’s a mom thing. I know a lot of moms were struggling with the same difficulty. I was constantly positive and calm on the outside. While on the inside, I was fearful and quietly dissolving. Finally, I came to terms with the fact that short term, nothing was going to improve. I had to live in the moment. I had to make my own happiness with what I had and who was available. Above all, I had to be grateful we were all healthy. Like the kittens, simple things and the company of my family helped me get through another week.

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April 14, 2020, 6 Weeks Old

I took a few priceless pictures that captured the pure essence of kittens and their perfected balance of innocence and badass.

Oh boy, I arrived at the barn and the kittens had the run of an entire horse stall. They looked small in the huge space, like adorable battery operated toy size kittens. Only these tiny models weren’t slow or limited by a wire leash. These live miniature pets were fast and feisty. They romped and played finding amusement rolling in shavings, batting strands of hay and pouncing on siblings. Fur balls tumbled around and wrestled with each other. When I entered the stall, they charged me, surrounded my feet, and chewed on my shoelaces. Their individual personalities were really beginning to shine. The two striped kittens were the most adventurous. They were the first to run over to me to interact and want attention. They were still a little clumsy, stumbling and rolling now and then as if the floor unexpectedly moved underneath them. A tumble or trip didn’t slow them down. What they lacked in agility they made up for in confidence and enthusiasm for being entertained.

I tried to capture the kitten’s eager little faces and amateur attempts at slinky feline moves with my camera. I’d back away from them to frame a picture, they’d charge me and swarm my feet again. It was a fun game. I walked away. They chased me. Every time I backed up to focus on an action shot, they’d charge me and bite my shoes again. Occasionally, they’d grab hold of my ankle with their tiny, needle sharp claws. I’d bend over to gently unhook them from my legs. They’d roll on their backs and peddle their stubby legs in the air. The invitation to pet their cottony soft tummies was irresistible. It was totally worth the scratches to see their happy kitten faces when I rubbed their bellies.

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My photo shoots became increasingly more difficult. The bulk of my pictures came out blurry because the kittens were in constant motion. The real fun came when I viewed the hundreds of pictures I’d taken. Most were out of focus and trash, but there were a few exceptional images that were dazzling. In essence, I’d captured the perfect balance of innocence and badass that’s perfected only by kittens.

 

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I tried to capture their eager little faces and amateur attempts at slinky feline moves with my camera.

At home we were trying to make the best of a bad situation by focusing our attention on home improvement projects we could do as a family. We designed and built a rustic wooden fence around my flower garden. It’s primary purpose was to keep the deer out so they wouldn’t eat my plants. Of course, I wanted something special with custom woven wood sides and so the project took two weeks to complete.

After the fence was done, we then added new flowering plants. My garden became a beautiful sanctuary for me. It was a quiet place I could go to center myself. Seeing the plants flourish and grow was promising. I loved that the lush foliage attracted all types of native wildlife. Lizards, frogs, birds, and fairies moved into the tranquil space. I enjoyed the peaceful harmony of being one with natural while watching the animals make their new homes.

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My flower garden became a beautiful sanctuary for me. It was a quiet place to center myself.

The state had been shut down for two weeks. We only went two places, the grocery store, and the barn. I felt anxious about going to the store. I hated the tension and not knowing exactly what to do or how to behave around other people while in the store. Do you reach near someone to get the avocados or do you lurk nearby and wait like a produce stalker? I had anxiety when we’d go anywhere other than the barn. The further we drove away from the house the more my insides fizzled like I’d had too much caffeine. As soon as we headed back in the direction of home my heart started to settle down.

I didn’t mention this to anyone as I feared it showed weakness and that I’m not as tough as I pretended to be. I wanted to be the rock, not the gravel in their shoes. I suspect my true feelings were obvious to everyone in my family. They played along without judgment or ridicule. They let me nurture them and in effect it strengthened me. That’s what families do. That’s what this family does.

Again, I said out loud on our weekly drive to Niki’s riding lesson, “I’m so happy we have the barn to go to.” I know what to expect there: friendly people, a productive lesson, fresh air, a bathroom to clean and of course, frisky kittens.

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April 21, 2020, 7 Weeks Old

Attack of the kittens! Yikes. The second I stepped into the stall with the kittens I was swarmed with tiny needle claw love. I had to quickly close the door behind me to prevent an escape. They piled on my feet and grabbed my ankles. The stall was littered with cat toys, but they were bored with the bell filled balls and stuffed mice. Instead, they were deliberately trying to instigate a fight with my shoelaces. I couldn’t get away fast enough to snap a picture.

The two striped kittens easily out-maneuvered my attempts at taking their pictures with speed and agility. When trying new angles I had to watch where I stepped as they darted underfoot in the blink of an eye. When wrestling among themselves their face punches and ear biting was more aggressive and punctuated with little growls and howls. At one point they all swarmed my feet and clawed my ankles. I was the new and interesting toy. I heard Joe and Niki laughing in the barn ally when they heard me yell from inside the stall. “Ow, ow, ow, ow. OW!” It was like being nipped by adorable piranhas. I shuffled my feet and stepped out of the stall quickly closing the door on charging kittens. I warned Joe and Niki, “No one should go in there alone!”

The kittens out-maneuvered my attempts at taking their pictures with speed and agility.

Who could blame them? The kittens were bigger, bolder, and impatient to leave the confines of the stall to seek new adventure in the outside world. Later, I went back in to play with them and take pictures. This time I had Niki for reinforcement and a feather tipped whip for a distraction. The kittens tumbled and played around the stall.

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The four walls of the stall looked the same, but the grey striped kitten knew where the door was. She sat there and begged me with pleading eyes to let her out. There were a lot of dark corners in the barn where a tiny kitten could hide or get lost. It broke my heart to disappoint the kitten, but I had no choice.

Like the kittens, we were equally eager to leave the confinement of our house for fun and adventure in the outside world. Our forced togetherness was getting old. Small comments that we would have laughed at before spurred spiteful retaliation. I worried about the long term effects of our new lifestyle. Introverts must be thrilled that there’s no obligation to make eye contact, shake hands or hug anyone. I missed contact with people. I was tired of our limited surroundings but going out frightened me in a paralyzing way. I suspect I’m wasn’t alone. We all have our own way of hiding our fears for the sake of pride or duty. I craved physical space and mind space to center myself, but there was nowhere to go. No escape.

I retreated outside to my garden and found moments of peace while watering flowers. My garden is a small, intimate space. In the past, I enjoyed looking at the landscaping as a whole. Now, I had the time to look deeper and study the details without distractions or demands. For a few glorious moments, I became one with the space. Like the growing kittens, I was a naïve child of curiosity. I plucked dry blooms off cascading petunias. I was warmed by the setting sun as it lit flower petals on fire. I saw encouraging signs of a budding ecosystem. Lizards used the new fence rails as a superhighway to quickly run from one end of the garden to the other. Frogs took up residence in my fancy bird houses. Songbirds dropped in for a drink from my glass birdbath. My body relaxed. My mind was at ease. Joy was possible if I granted myself time to find it and feel it.

Joy was possible if I granted myself time to find it and feel it.

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April 18, 2020, 8 Weeks Old

Freedom! The kittens were big enough to leave the horse stall for supervised play time. I opened the stall door on sleeping kittens. They perked up, yawned, and stretched the full length of their leggy bodies. The grey striped kitten was the first one to get up. It looked out the open door into the big world with wonder. It stepped cautiously out into the barn ally. The black striped kitten and a black kitten soon followed. The barn was a wonderful playground with fascinating new things to entertain curious little kittens. On this day, nosing a lead rope and batting a leather halter was entertainment enough. The kittens stayed close to their stall. They darted back in if startled by a big noise or quick movement as are common in an active horse barn. It was fun to watch them play with ordinary objects like they were fancy toys.

Their personalities were becoming more obvious. The grey striped kitten was always the first to approach me and play by untying my shoelaces. At one point, it curled up on my shoe and fell asleep. It didn’t like being held though. After a minute of mildly tolerating my cuddles the claws came out and I quickly, but gently returned the kitten to the floor. It was too busy to bother with me for long. It had shadows to chase and hiding places to find. It was at that time that one of the black kittens started coming over to me and asking for attention. It liked to be held. I know because it was as relaxed as a rag doll in my arms. While I stroked it’s soft fur it looked at me with bright happiness in its eyes and purred contently against my chest.

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Photographically, three things changed that week. First, the natural lighting in several places in the barn, outside the horse stall, was spectacular and lent itself to stunning pictures. Lighting is crucial to capturing an emotive image. Artistically, this was really exciting.

Second, the kittens were fast. It was hard to focus on moving targets darting in and out of shadows. I had to change my camera setting from portrait mode to sport mode. Portrait mode gave me crisp focus on the subject with a soft, dreamy background. It’s great for stationary subjects and still life photography, but not rowdy kittens. In sport mode I took pictures in rapid-fire succession to capture the live action as it happened. A huge advantage to this setting was capturing unexpected, spontaneous poses that showed movement and personality.

And thirdly, the addition of props and unique settings added a lot of interest to my photos. In some cases, it helped with scale by showing how small the kittens were. In other instances, it added welcome splashes of color. Photographing the kittens went from passive point-and-shoot to an athletic event. I welcomed the challenge. It was a real accomplishment and thrill to get one or two exceptional shots. At times, I felt like I was on safari documenting the secret behaviors of wild animals. Heaven knows I stepped in, and even sat on enough horse poop to be considered a pro. Really impressive pictures come at a, sometimes stinky price.

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Photographing the kittens went from passive point-and-shoot to an athletic event.

Like the kittens, we were looking at our new world with uncertainty. In the beginning of our sheltering-in-place the days blurred together. Now the weeks blurred together. We looked forward to the end of the month. It had been suggested that things would be different then, hopefully better, but no official report committed to anything.

We were stuck in a perpetual wait and see holding pattern. It was a continuous loop of bad reruns. More confirmed virus cases. More deaths. No answers. No accountability. That’s when it became clear that the nightmare that consumed April was going to destroy May and likely June. Numbness settled inside me. Call it acceptance, call it cowardice, call it survival, or call it defeat. Yes, it was all these things.

There was a glimmer of light. Life wasn’t all bad. The slower pace meant more meaningful family time. We tried new foods and new recipes. I bought my first mango and made mango salsa for a side dish to roasted sea scallops. YUMMY! Let me tell you the mango seed, or pit or whatever it’s called is messed up. You never really see it to know what you’re up against. And the sweet meat of the mango is as slippery as minnows in a bucket. It’s a culinary win to dice one without shooting slick pieces onto the floor.

What have you done for yourself today? Take a few minutes to do something special to improve your outlook and well being. Look at the positive impact tiny kittens are having on me, and now hopefully you.

Wishing you good health and happiness,

Lisa

Thank you, Kiper Farms, for a safe and friendly place to go with horses and kittens.  

Don’t miss Kitten Quarantine Countdown Part 3 – Follow my Blog!

Week 9- The kittens were big enough to roam the barn freely. Everything was a fascinating new toy.

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