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A New and Better Life

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When I see the Statue of Liberty I think about my grandparents. My dad’s parents came into this country from Germany through Ellis Island, an immigration station located near the Statue of Liberty. My mom’s father came in through the same immigration station from Spain. My mom’s mother came here from Puerto Rico. They all settled in New Jersey.

I look at the huge statute, a symbol of freedom and democracy and wonder what my grandparents were thinking and feeling when they saw Lady Liberty for the first time. I imagine they were a wreck of emotions, both overjoyed and scared to death at the same time. At that moment, they likely questioned if they’d made the right decision. But there was no turning back for my stubborn, committed ancestors.

What had prompted them to leave their home, family and lifestyle behind for an uncertain future? I wonder, could I ever be driven away from the life I know? What would it take for me to consider uprooting my family and moving to another country? It would have to be the pursuit of a new and better life for myself and my family.

I look at the statue and think about my grandparent’s jobs. I was young when they passed away, but I still have some vague memories of them. My memories, their occupations and brief stories told by my dad and mom help me piece together the story of who my grandparents were and what they represent to me.

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My dad’s father painted trucks in a hot, dusty garage in West New York for a living. Dad’s mom was the resident manager of the of the low-rent apartment building they lived in. I remember visiting there once. The cramped stairways were dark and musty. The vinyl flooring was worn thin. Inside their small apartment the plaster walls were cracked and in need of a fresh coat of paint. The only light in their dark hallway came from an exposed light bulb hanging from a wire in the ceiling.

Dad’s father, Grandpa Julius smoked cigarettes and drank beer from the bottle. After he retired and after Grandma Martha passed away, he’d sometimes came to stay at our house for the weekend. It seemed to me that he spent the entire weekend sitting in the blue armchair in the living room smoking and drinking.

I don’t remember Grandpa paying much attention to me when he came to visit. He liked to play cards with my older brother and challenge him to arm wrestling. Grandpa was old but he was strong. He had huge biceps. He liked to roll up his sleeve to show off his muscles after he beat my brother at arm wrestling. It’s one of those nonsense memories that sticks with me. It helps me appreciate who he was, his modest way of life and how his influence, in part, shaped who I am and where I am now.

My grandparent’s lived simple lives. They could only afford the basics. I don’t know a lot of the details; they’re lost to me now that my dad is gone. But I do know Grandpa and Grandma were hard workers. They provided for my dad and made it possible for him to go to college, to get an education and to better himself. My Dad actually went on to earn his master’s degree in education. He was a high school teacher.

Thanks to my grandparent’s determination, courage and sacrifice, my dad lived a better, more financially stable life than they did. My grandparents had very little to give, but their combined efforts made a huge difference. My Dad built his own house complete with an above-ground pool. No more cramped apartments for him. And my parents happily lived in that house, enjoying home-ownership, a huge accomplishment they were both proud of, their entire adult lives.

Following my grandparents example, my parents did the best they could with a modest budget to instill a sense of purpose and a strong work ethic in me. My parents worked hard to give me and my two brothers a good foundation we could build on so we could live even more financially healthy lives than they had. My parents’ constant pursuit of improvement and their creative ways of solving problems gave me the confidence to pursue my dream and become an artist and writer.

When I look at the Statue of Liberty, I wonder why Grandpa and Grandma left Germany. Who and what did they leave behind? It couldn’t have been easy to move to a new country with a different culture, where everyone spoke a foreign language. When they arrived, they had no jobs, no money and no education. It’s a miracle they survived and succeeded in raising a successful and ambitious son.

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My husband and I are carrying on the tradition and repeating what we learned from our parents. We’re doing our best to create a positive, nurturing environment for our daughters so they can live healthy, happy, fulfilling lives.

We all make ripples. Our lives touch others every day. Making a measurable difference isn’t exclusively for parents or grandparents. We impact friends, coworkers and students choices. We shepherd the directions they take, and we influence their attitudes. We’re helping them realize their potential, take action and reach their goals.

I wish my grandparents could meet my kids. In part, my grandparents played a role in their success. I try to imagine what Grandpa and Grandma would think of all the opportunities young people have today. They’d likely be overwhelmed, and hopefully overjoyed by the number of choices and directions that are accessible and obtainable for young people today. Our kids can dream, and they have the ability and resources to actually make their dreams a reality. If they’re confident, dedicated and willing to work hard, it’s within their power to do whatever they want to do. Our kids are capable of making their own happiness.

Likewise, I am, and you are capable of making our own happiness.

I’ll keep pursuing new experiences and a deeper understanding of art to improve my skills. And, I’ll work hard to enrich the lives of those around me by sharing my artistic talents. I’ll carry on the tradition of encouraging, providing and teaching, that my grandparents started.

It’s heartwarming to think about the changes and witness the transformation my family has undergone over the past 50 years. We’re living the dream. Each new generation has grown in strength and we prosper from our previous generations achievements.

Looking ahead, what will the lives of my great grandchildren be like? With the advances we’ve seen in technology in the past 20 years, it’s impossible to guess what their future in 20 years will resemble. Still I wonder, will my actions yesterday, today and tomorrow have an influence on their lives? I think, yes. It makes me feel small, insignificant and powerful at the same time. It inspires me to be more purposeful in my work and more supportive of groups, events and causes I’m passionate about. As I now know from personal experience, from the efforts of my grandparents, all our contributions matter.

When I see the Stature of Liberty I think about my grandparents. I picture their modest home and wonder if it was an upgrade from where they came from. Maybe their dreams came true in that small apartment where they found freedom and gained control of their future.

Here’s to all the brave men, women and children, the pioneers, who took bold action to better themselves for the benefit of future generations.

When I see the Stature of Liberty I think about my grandparents. I’m thankful for their adventurous spirit and for coming to America to seek a new and better life.

Cheers!

Lisa

What comes to mind when you see the Statue of Liberty? 

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Fun Facts About the Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty was a joint effort between France and the United States, intended to commemorate the lasting friendship between the peoples of the two nations.

The French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi created the statue itself out of sheets of hammered copper, while Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the man behind the famed Eiffel Tower, designed the statue’s steel framework. The Statue of Liberty was then given to the United States and erected atop an American-designed pedestal on a small island in Upper New York Bay, now known as Liberty Island, and dedicated by President Grover Cleveland in 1886. Over the years, the statue stood tall as millions of immigrants arrived in America via nearby Ellis Island.

In 1892, the U.S. government opened a federal immigration station on Ellis Island, located near Bedloe’s Island in Upper New York Bay. Between 1892 and 1954, some 12 million immigrants were processed on Ellis Island before receiving permission to enter the United States. From 1900-14, during the peak years of its operation, some 5,000 to 10,000 people passed through every day.

Looming above New York Harbor nearby, the Statue of Liberty provided a majestic welcome to those passing through Ellis Island. On a plaque at the entrance to the statue’s pedestal is engraved a sonnet called “The New Colossus,” written in 1883 by Emma Lazarus as part of a fundraising contest. Its most famous passage speaks to the statue’s role as a welcoming symbol of freedom and democracy for the millions of immigrants who came to America seeking a new and better life: “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free/The wretched refuse of your teeming shore/Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me/I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Today the Statue of Liberty remains an enduring symbol of freedom and democracy, as well as one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks

These fun facts about the Statue of Liberty are from this website: Statue of Liberty

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Spooktacular Ghost Plate How-to

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Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love the wide variety of fun designs we can make to decorate our homes with a seasonal flare. I like this particular plate for its free-form shape. The graceful curve around the ghost’s head make it jump off the counter. But, don’t let the unusual shape scare you. The subtle contours are actually easy to cut. And, you can always grind the edge to fine tune the shape. Let’s get started.

How-to:

Cut a 10 inch clear circle for the base layer. Using the pattern as a guide, cut the clear glass circle to match the irregular pattern shape. Grind the glass to remove sharp edges and smooth the shape.

Cut white glass to match the clear base layer. Using a wet saw, cut the background around the ghost’s head and arms away.

Pro Tip: No saw needed. If you don’t have a saw, the white ghost layer can be made up of pieces. OR Cut the white layer to match the clear base layer. Then make the shapes that outline the ghost’s head and arms just like the eyes and mouth, with cut navy blue glass.

Tack glue the white layer onto the clear base with a small amount of fuser’s glue. Let the glue dry before moving to the next step. Gluing keeps the white glass from sliding around when you apply the frit.

Spooktacular Plate 10 inch

Glue Tip: I like to use Elmer’s white glue. I apply the smallest amount of glue possible with the tip of a tooth pick. The tiny, pin head size dots of glue burn off during firing without leaving a distracting haze between the glass layers.

Cut the ghost’s eyes and mouth out of navy blue glass. Grind them to improve the shape. Set them aside.

Color Tip: When possible, I prefer to use dark, navy blue instead of black. Black creates a visual hole in the artwork. While the dark blue adds a nice tonal quality that gives the art a more interesting look.

Cut the letters out of bright, seasonal colors. Grind the letters to smooth out the edges. Set them aside.

Once the glue holding the white layer in place is dry, apply the frit. Using a spoon, pour power navy blue frit into the spaces that outline the ghost’s head and arms. Leave enough room to add fine aventurine blue for shading. Next add fine, aventurine blue. Concentrate the darker color on the right side of the openings to create a moody shadow effect.

Using a small, dry paint brush clean any excess frit off the white glass. Be meticulous with your clean up. It’s this type of attention to detail that will make a huge difference in the visual quality of your finished pieces.

Frit Tip: Pile the frit as high as the white glass that contains it. This gives the transparent material strong color saturation, which in turn produces the dramatic, high contrast effect we’re trying to achieve. If you ask yourself, is it enough, add more frit.

Stack the cut glass eyes and mouth on the white layer. Arrange the cut glass letters on the bottom in a semi-circle.

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

Slump the fused project in a shallow plate mold using the guide below.

Spooky Ghost Plate Glass & Materials

10 Inch Round Plate

Clear glass, 1 sq. ft., for base layer

White glass, 1 sq. ft., for ghost layer

Navy Blue glass, large scrap, for eyes, mouth and shadows

Orange opal glass, scrap, for letters

Teale opal glass, scrap, for letters

Marigold yellow opal glass, scrap, for letters

Amazon green opal glass, scrap, for letters

Navy blue, power frit, for shadows

Aventurine blue, fine frit, for darker shadows

10” slumping mold

Fuser’s glue, small paint brush, spoon

Oceanside Fusible Glass and Bullseye Fusible Glass

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 adjust as needed.

Keep being creative. You’re doing great!

Happy Fusing!

Lisa

Follow my blog for more tips and tricks!

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Creative Slumping Webinar

November 19, 2019

https://www.glasspatterns.com/glass-patterns-quarterly-store/product/1240-creative-slumping-with-lisa-vogt-november-15-2018.html

In this detailed Webinar, I’ll reshape the way you slump and drape glass. See how thinking outside the box and using ready-made molds in new ways offers numerous and exciting opportunities to produce unique forms.    

You’ll learn how to make your own graceful, free-form shaped molds from readily available materials with no laborious measuring or messy mixes needed. 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!

Interwoven

NEW Fused Glass Sculpture, Webinar January 14, 2020 https://www.glasspatterns.com/glass-patterns-quarterly-store/product/1400-fused-glass-sculptures-made-easy-with-lisa-vogt-jan-14-2020.html

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 Lisa shares.

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 Lisa’s 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.

Shadow

NEW Fused Glass Sculpture Webinar, January 16, 2020 

https://www.glasspatterns.com/glass-patterns-quarterly-store/product/1398-fused-glass-sculptures-made-easy-with-lisa-vogt-jan-16-2020.html

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 Lisa shares.

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 Lisa’s 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.

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Watch it NOW! Start fusing today!

Downloadable instructional videos for every skill level.

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

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4 Ways to Develop Your Own Design Style

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Glass fusing is more popular than ever. The originality and quality of work I’m seeing in galleries, on websites and in our fusing groups is amazing. With so many enticing techniques to try it’s tempting to copy other artist’s work.

We all want guarantees that our limited time, hard work and expensive materials will produce dependable, beautiful results every time. And so, we play it safe and continually make the same reliable projects. Or we take the easy route and reproduce other’s work that we find attractive. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can develop your own individual design style. By applying a few simple concepts, your finished work and the time spent creating it will be more rewarding and exciting.

  1. Be Original!

It’s all been done before you argue. How can I be original, you ask? Yes, it’s all been done. But even the simplest techniques seen through your special artist’s lens and executed with your skilled hands can produce all new results.

To advance beyond routine projects begin by examining art that you admire. When you see a piece of art that really speaks to you, study it. Reduce your admiration down to the most basic attribute of the art. What really captures your interest? Is it the color, the shape or the imagery? Take that feature, hold on to it, then put it aside temporarily. Look at another piece of art. Identify the specific characteristic that you find attractive and put that feature aside temporarily. Do this for a third piece of art. Study it until you know exactly what trait appeals to you. Then take those three characteristics and combine them and you’re guaranteed to design your own original art.

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  1. Shape Up!

One of the fastest and easiest things you can do to make your art stand out is to give it a unique shape.

The most common shape for fused glass projects is the square. Primarily, because it’s economical, there’s no waste. And, because there’s very little cutting, it enables you to get right to the fun stuff, building the design. It’s also popular with beginners and hobbyists with basic cutting skills. By moving away for the square, you immediately increase the visual value of your work.

The rectangle is popular for the same reasons. If you change the shape of your square or rectangle, even slightly, you’re sure to engage the viewer longer.

The circle is traditionally a very pleasing shape. It requires a higher skill level to cut and therefore is more unique. But it also benefits from innovative thinking and a fresh approach to the perimeter shape.

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How do you come up with new shapes?

I like to draw quick, no obligation sketches on note book pages. I resist the urge to self-edit or limit the creative flow. The pencil just glides over the paper making a mess of the previously clean white space. The first few sketches usually resemble familiar, safe shapes and designs. But once those are out of my head, suddenly there’s room to be more creative. All new shapes begin to develop.

During these exercises I’m free to draw the impossible.

I then take bits and pieces from the shapes that I find interesting and remix them to create my own new, project profiles. And sometimes, if I’m lucky, I even manage to figure out how to build the impossible ones.

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  1. Combine Fusible Techniques

Exceptional glass artwork is never made with one step or one technique. Really exciting pieces are designed with substantial planning that brings an unexpected pairing of components together. Combining different techniques adds depth to the visual complexity of the art which further engages the viewer.

Putting it into practice.

The beauty of this approach is the techniques don’t have to be super difficult to have a positive impact on your new work. We all have our favorite, trusted, go-to techniques. Start there.

Using a complimentary color scheme, make three individual pieces, using three different methods. Cut the pieces up. Reinvent their roles in your art. Move them around. Change the composition a few times. If nothing thrills you, set them aside and let your creative subconscious have a turn.

Don’t force the grouping. I find that once I relieve the pressure to solidify a design, one presents itself. And the new composition is usually one that I otherwise would never have thought of. In cases like this, I believe the physical, ready made pieces guide and influence the discovery of innovative designs. Try it. You’ll be amazed how this abstract assembly opens your mind to fresh ideas.

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  1. Trust yourself.

Design with confidence. Resist the impulse to compare yourself or your work to others. Instead, blaze your own trail and don’t look back. Take pride in your individuality and what you contribute to the craft.

Take risks to further develop your personal design style. Nurture your unique artistic perspective and your creative spirit will flourish.

Happy fusing,

Lisa

Follow my blog for more tips and tricks!

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

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Creative Slumping Webinar

November 19, 2019

https://www.glasspatterns.com/glass-patterns-quarterly-store/product/1240-creative-slumping-with-lisa-vogt-november-15-2018.html

In this detailed Webinar, I’ll reshape the way you slump and drape glass. See how thinking outside the box and using ready made molds in new ways offers numerous and exciting opportunities to produce unique forms.    

You’ll learn how to make your own graceful, free-form shaped molds from readily available materials with no laborious measuring or messy mixes needed. 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!

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Watch it NOW! Start fusing today! Downloadable instructional videos for every skill level.

Book covers

GET it NOW! Start fusing today! Check out my eBooks for elegant patterns and detailed fusing instructions. 

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Priming Stainless Steel Molds Made Easy

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Stainless steel molds are wonderful, versatile additions to any glass fusing studio. I love stainless steel molds for the artistic freedom they’ve given me. Recently, I’ve been exploring new, innovative ways to use these molds. I’m having so much fun with the results, I thought I’d share some of my techniques with you.

Stainless steel slumping molds offer fusers a nice variety of styles and shapes. There are some specific advantages to using stainless steel molds over ceramic molds. Stainless steel molds are light weight, and therefore easy to move in and out of the kiln. They’re durable, unbreakable, forever molds you can expect to get years of enjoyment out of. And, most styles and shapes are reversible. You can slump glass on the mold right-side-up or upside-down, depending on the artistic results you want to achieve.

One drawback to using stainless steel molds is they can be difficult to coat with kiln wash. Kiln wash, or shelf primer whichever term you prefer, prevents the hot glass from sticking to the mold during the slumping phase. Priming a mold is integral to the success of your projects. Once you understand why priming a new mold is difficult, it’s an easy problem to solve.

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The stainless steel mold manufacturer uses oil to lubricate the flat metal when they form the stillness steel into a shape. The oil residue is present on new molds when you buy them. This oil prevents the kiln wash from sticking to the mold. Instead of sticking, the kiln wash just runs off the mold. Simply remove the oil and the mold will take the primer easily.

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There are several ways to remove the oil. In my experience, the fastest and easiest way is to season the mold. The first time I fire my new stainless steel molds I fire them without any glass on them. I heat the molds to the temperature I intend to use when I slump a project on the mold. The high heat burns off the oil. It also changes the color of the metal and leaves a finish that helps the primer stick.

It’s that easy.

Fire the mold alone to 1265 degrees. Let it cool. Apply a coat or two of primer, let the primer dry and you’re ready to slump glass. I use Bullseye shelf primer. Other primers will work as well.

This S shape stainless steel mold has traditionally been used to make horizontal projects that are free standing. They’re beautiful. But I thought; suppose I make two vertical shapes on one mold and then combine them in such a way to make something totally new? Something sculptural.

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For an even greater artistic impact, I made my own glass for this project using my Free Flow method. It’s a great technique to use when you want to make your own sheet glass with a fluid, painterly quality. With the Free Flow method, you blend your own custom color mixes. And you control the visual direction of the pattern in your glass. It’s a fabulous way to expand your color palate and truly personalize your art glass.

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But the fun doesn’t stop there. After so much effort, I wanted a custom base that would present and show off this dramatic piece of art. I decided a simple clear base would enhance the art by giving it lift and allowing light to pass underneath. I fused three pieces of ¼ inch thick clear glass together. I used ½ inch thick fiber board strips to contain the three thick layers of glass while they were firing.

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My favorite thing about this piece, Wonderous is the different profiles it has from different angles. The viewer is treated to fresh new contours and different perspectives as they move around the art. The unique twists create an interactive experience that entertains and engages the viewer from every angle.

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Let your imagination run wild. Think outside the box. Try using stainless steel molds in new ways. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make interesting and unique shapes. Through the process you’ll enjoy renewed excitement and thrilling new sculptures. The possibilities are endless. Get fusing!

9 Sculptural Fused Glass with Lisa Vogt video cover - Copy

Wonderous, is from my Sculptural Fused Glass Video.

Happy fusing!
Lisa

Follow my blog for more tips and tricks!

YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhOifd7wukk
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Last Chance to Register, 1 Seat Left

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

October 15-18, 2019

Register www.lisavogt.net

Wesley Chapel, Florida, 4-Day, Hands-on, Class size is limited.

In this class 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.

All skill levels can attend. Beginner, intermediate and advanced students alike will learn how to advance their glass fusing skills and expand their artistic style.

Materials are included. That’s a $150.00 value! Plus, a professional photo shot of your artwork is also included.

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.

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Creative Slumping Webinar

November 19, 2019

https://www.glasspatterns.com/glass-patterns-quarterly-store/product/1240-creative-slumping-with-lisa-vogt-november-15-2018.html

In this detailed Webinar, I’ll reshape the way you slump and drape glass. See how thinking outside the box and using readymade molds in new ways offers numerous and exciting opportunities to produce unique forms.    

You’ll learn how to make your own graceful, free-form shaped molds from readily available materials with no laborious measuring or messy mixes needed. 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!

Get it now! Start fusing today!

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Learn at home at your own pace. Instructional Videos are here!

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Pattern eBooks for every interest!

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Advanced Glass Fusing – 3 Pro Tips to Take Your Artwork to the Next Level

Golden Aspen
Golden Aspen from Breaking Through Video

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.

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Fairy Tale Forest from Painting with Frit DVD

 

 

  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, 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.

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Moss, from Advanced Glass Fusing Video
  1. Pick A Pattern.

Including patterns in your art is an essential way to increase the visual intricacy and attractiveness of your artwork. The 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.

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Black Tie, from Sculptural Glass Fusing Video
  1. 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 key 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 create. 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 original 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 listed above, regroup and forge ahead.

I hope this insight helps you overcome obstacles so you can make the art of your dreams.

Big Thanks!

I wanted to take a moment to tell you I appreciate your time and your dedication to your art. If you’re here reading this blog every week you are growing artistically and your participation in our community makes it better for all of us.

Wherever you are in your artistic journey, you’re doing a great job! Keep going. Never settle. You are an amazing talent. Shine on!

Happy fusing!
Lisa

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Creative Slumping Webinar November 19, 2019

https://www.glasspatterns.com/glass-patterns-quarterly-store/product/1240-creative-slumping-with-lisa-vogt-november-15-2018.html

In this detailed Webinar, I’ll reshape the way you slump and drape glass. See how thinking outside the box and using ready made molds in new ways offers numerous and exciting opportunities to produce unique forms.    

You’ll learn how to make your own graceful, free-form shaped molds from readily available materials with no laborious measuring or messy mixes needed. 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!

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. 

Envy 1
Envy, from Advanced Glass Fusing Video