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Strawberry Farm Plank Bowl How-to

11 Strawberry Sensation 1

10” x 10”

Dish up sweet 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.

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.

Strawberry Fields Forever

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.

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.

Strawberry Fields Forever 2

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.

12 Strawberry Sensation 2

 

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.

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 diffidently. Test fire these guides in your kiln and then make adjustments as needed.

Oceanside Glasstile Compatible Glass

100SF Clear for the Base Layer

60-5005-96-4 Chocolate & White Streaky for Design Layer

60-2503-96 Red Opal for Strawberries

60-755-96-4 Green Opal for Leaves

Yellow stringers for Vines

I used black Glassline Lining and Shading Material to make the strawberry seeds.

You got this!

Happy fusing!

Lisa

Follow my blog for more tips and tricks!

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/lisajvogt

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/lvogt_originalsinglass/

I’m offering a 4-day workshop with a focus on sculptural fused glass. You’re invited to join me and take your fused glass to a sculptural level.

2 Currents

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.

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.

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 of art.

But it’s so much more than that! You’ll get personal instruction. I’ll show you pro tips and tricks to improve your glass cutting. We’ll mix different fusible materials.

On day 1 you’ll make a free flow. You’ll be firing your first project before lunch. Learn how to use Skutt’s Touchscreen Controller and the KilnLink app. Then you’ll design and cut glass for a combed piece.

On day 2 you’ll comb molten glass and weave glass. You’ll love the personalized class structure. You get to pick your own glass colors and get to choose the style and shape of the sculptures you make. I cater the class to each individual student’s skill level, plus their unique needs and artistic goals. I have 35 years’ experience teaching glass art. It’s what I love to do.

On day 3 you’ll design, build and fire your sculptures. You’ll also slump components for complex pieces. I’ll show you how to use slumping molds in new ways to create unique shapes.

On day 4 you’ll put your slumped components together and learn how to photograph your art. In this hands-on class you’ll learn how to load, program and fire kilns. You’ll fuse, slump and tack glass together. Plus, learn how to make graceful glass stands to display your pieces of art.

You’ll love the stunning three-dimensional results you get from combining all these concepts.

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.

Come to my glass studio and we’ll make beautiful sculptural art together. This is the turning-point workshop you’ve been waiting for.

Join me October 15-18, 2019 and we’ll get fired up!

IMG_7299

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!

Video covers - Copy

Watch it NOW! Start fusing today!

Downloadable instructional videos for every skill level.

Book covers

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

11 Strawberry Sensation 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Festive Fall Pumpkin How-to

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What better way to usher in Autumn and welcome the bountiful harvest of Fall than with a spicy pumpkin bowl? And this tasty treat is so fast and easy to bake you’ll be tempted to fuse up an entire field full. Don’t let the subtle shading and intricate details of this piece fool you into thinking this project is time consuming. The beauty of this seasonal bowl is the speed and ease at which you can bring a rich combination of materials together to make a striking arrangement.

To make this elegant pumpkin bowl draw a 10 ½ inch circle on paper. Give your pumpkin shape be adding a few curves to the top and bottom of the circle. Using the pattern as a guide, cut layer 1 out of Marigold. Cut a second piece of glass, for layer 2 the same shape and size out of Yellow patterned glass. Cut a stem shape out of opal green glass for layer 3. Grind the cut pieces and test the fit for accuracy. After grinding, be sure to clean and dry all the ground glass pieces. I use plain water and a cotton towel. A single edge razor blade works well to remove any stubborn glue or paint based marker.

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Create lush shadows and contours with frit.

Use a sifter to apply an even layer of red powder frit on top of the marigold layer. Concentrate the frit and make gradual curved lines that accentuate the plump roundness of a vine ripened pumpkin. Use a small, dry paint brush to perfect your curves. Stack the yellow pattern glass on the frit coated marigold base. Add the green stem and fuse. Slump the fused glass in a shallow mold.

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Note: The finished size of this delightful pumpkin bowl is 10 ½ inches. The fused glass is slumped into a shallow 11-inch ceramic mold. You can make the pumpkin larger or smaller to fit any size or shape mold you have.

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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, adjust as needed.

Pumpkin Patch Bowl, 10 1/2 Inch

Oceanside Glasstile Uroboros Glass – System 96®

Marigold Opal, 60-355-96, 1 Sq. FT. for Base

Yellow Stringer & Frit on Clear, 13-2602-96, 1 Sq. Ft. for Top

Oasis Green Opal & Dark Green Opal, 60-77-96, Scrap for Stem

Cherry Red Transparent Frit, F1-151-96, Powder

Supplies Dust mask, sifter, 11-inch slumping mold

Check out the Pumpkin Patch Bowl Video! Pumpkin Patch Bowl Video Tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgeNgieip6Y

Happy fusing!

Lisa

Follow my blog for more tips and tricks!

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/lisajvogt

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/lvogt_originalsinglass/

Interwoven

Now Registering!

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. Register today!

Exceed your expectations!

This workshop is ideal for ambitious glass fusers determined to go bigger and explore more in-depth kiln forming techniques! Join me in this comprehensive, 4-day workshop and enjoy, one-on-one instruction, step-by-step guidance to develop your own design style and an individualized project program – make what inspires YOU!

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. You’ll love the creative momentum you gain from working four consecutive days.

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.

IMG_7299

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

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. Learn how to make your own graceful, free-form shaped molds from readily available materials. Learn how to use these different new approaches, in combination, to transform ordinary projects into inspiring, sculptural pieces of art!

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!

Video covers - Copy

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

Book covers

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

1

Posted on 2 Comments

It’s 5:00 Somewhere. Let’s celebrate!

179

Introducing Ocean Paradise an Art Glass Mosaic Doghouse

Finally, the day I’ve been looking forward to for months is here! I’m unveiling the large scale mosaic project you’ve seen close up, teaser pictures of for months. Ocean Paradise is a full size, functional doghouse covered with an art glass mosaic design. It was made for the Outdoor Arts Foundation, BowWow Haus Tampa II. The doghouse is on public display and will be sold to benefit the Outdoor Arts Foundation.

As the saying goes, pictures are worth a thousand words. Here are some fun facts and images of the construction and fabrication of the doghouse. Enjoy!

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Outdoor Arts Foundation

Presents

BowWow Haus Tampa II

Ocean Paradise Dog House

Designed and built by Lisa and Joe Vogt

Medium, Wood Frame and Art Glass Mosaic

Dimensions 3’ x 4’ x 4’

207

 

Ocean Paradise Fun Facts

It took hundreds of hours to decorate the dog house with the stained glass mosaic. The project took us 8 months to complete. The ocean was my inspiration for the mosaic designs. The front gateway design was inspired by the lost city of Atlantis.

Joe built the sturdy plywood substructure with his amazing wood working skills. The house is made with 1” x 2”, 1” x 8” boards and ½” thick plywood, so it would be strong and light weight. The feet were made with 2” x 8” pressure treated boards to improve longevity if it’s ever displayed outside.

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There are more than 75 square feet of stained glass on the dog house. Each piece of glass was hand-cut one at a time. There are thousands of pieces of art glass in the mosaic design. Some of the beautiful glass used to make the mosaic is no longer available.

Family and friends helped me cut and glue glass on the wood frame. Everyone who worked on the dog house said they had fun. Some of my helpers had never cut glass before. With a little coaching, they did a great job!

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I’ve always loved hidden picture drawings. I wanted to give the viewer different treasures to discover on every side of the dog house. I designed different subjects on each side to keep the fabrication fun and engaging. An iridized green moray eel swims on the back side. There’s a small sting ray on the side with the mermaid.

I drew some of the designs on the computer and then transferred them to the wood frame. The octopus celebrates a stunning sunset with a flashy dichroic martini glass.

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Thanks to watermelon martinis, the mermaid’s scales were glued on upside down! The next day, I scraped each scale off and re-glued them the correct way, and then celebrated with another martini.

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It took days to cut and layout the glass strips to make the subtle color transitions on the roof of the dog house. One side of the roof is a beautiful sunset. The other side of the roof is twilight, complete with an exotic ripple textured glass moon.

205

The clown fish, sea turtle, and dog weather vane are fused glass. The clown fish turned out so cute, I almost didn’t use them. I wanted to keep them for myself. But they added so much to the design I had to include them.

 

The dog weather vane is made out of CBS 270dichroic glass. Did you notice the cute heart design on his chest? The dynamic weather vane also turns.

The glass was glued onto the wood substructure one piece at a time with clear caulk. We used four tubes of caulk. The background glass pieces were custom cut and glued to fit around the fish, mermaid, and octopus.

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A silver thread of mirror winds around the dog house, visually connecting all of the sides. The hibiscus flowers are made with pink iridized glass. There’s a cute window box with sea weed growing out of it on the back side.

It took five pounds of grout to seal the stained glass mosaic. It took 6 hours to grout and clean the dog house. The finished dog house weighs about 100 pounds.

6a

I signed the artwork on a piece of glass near the front door with a diamond bit and Dremel. I don’t have a favorite image in the design. I love everything! We spent many fun, family nights and weekends cutting and gluing glass.

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Pictures don’t do Ocean Paradise justice. The live, in person 3-D experience is amazing, almost overwhelming. I took thousands of process pictures. It took hours to sort and arrange the images. It was easier to cut pictures of my kids than pictures of our pets.

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After so much time and effort, it’s not hard to see it go. I’m happy the rest of the world will now be able to enjoy our dog house as much as we enjoyed making it.

4

Why did I do it? I love new creative projects, sharing the beauty of art glass and making people smile. I enjoy inspiring others to wonder and explore their potential for giving their own gifts generously. It’s not much, but I hope my art makes a positive impact and brings a little magic to everyone who sees it.

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Ocean Paradise was made for the Outdoor Arts Foundation, BowWow Haus Tampa II.

Ocean Paradise is my second full size, functioning mosaic dog house. Tropical Retreat was my first BowWow Haus mosaic dog house. It was built in 2003.

Thank you to Jay Gould at the Outdoor Arts Foundation for inviting us to participate in the BowWow Haus Tampa II project. Thank you to our sponsors, Jay’s Aunt Rochelle and Uncle David.

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Special thanks to my family and friends who generously helped me with the doghouse. Joe and Niki Vogt, Jessie and Jake Battin, Kelly and Emily Miller, Tony Varandas, Elise Hardesty, Caitlyn Ward, Barb Chenowith and Jonathon Amerman.

Thank you to our furry family who supervised the entire project beginning to end. Trixie, Titan, Tyke, Natsu and Lucy. Special thanks to Titan for being a very patient doghouse model. He earned extra cookies.

Ocean Paradise is currently on display at the Reeves, Volkswagen showroom in Tampa, Florida.

For more information about the Outdoor Arts Foundation visit. https://www.outdoorartsfoundation.org/

To see more fun process pictures, check out the construction and fabrication video here.

Cheers!

Lisa

Follow my blog for more tips and tricks!

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

Author Website https://lisajvogtcom.wordpress.com/

Twitter https://twitter.com/lisajvogt

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/lvogt_originalsinglass/

3

Sculptural Fused Glass, 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop, October 15-18, 2019

I’m offering a 4-day workshop with a focus on sculptural fused glass. You’re invited to join me and take your fused glass to a sculptural level. Register www.lisavogt.net

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

IMG_7299

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

 

Video covers - Copy

Videos for every skill level and interest.

Book covers

Pattern eBooks for fun, easy to make fusing patterns.

179

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Sculptural Fused Glass – Take Your Artwork to a Higher Level

2 Currents

What does sculptural fused glass mean anyway?

Sculptural fused glass is the creation of three-dimensional forms that rise above a flat plane. Artists create 3-D works by using multiple methods and techniques with complete freedom of materials and process.

Sounds exciting, right? All you have to do is stand your art up and it’s miraculously sculptural. Sure, you can do that. The word sculptural sounds exotic. Add it to any piece of art and suddenly it has a mysterious aura surrounding it and a significantly higher perceived value. But like most really exceptional work that looks easy, there’s more to making impressionable art than just erecting a flat piece of fused glass.

The real difference between art and craft is the depth of immersion the creator puts into the creation of their art.

Hobbyists copy. They follow outlined directions and build pretty pieces according to a pre-tested recipe. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with doing that. Hobbyists want to know they’ll be successful and have beautiful results. Especially after all the time and money they’ve spent on a pass-time.

I’m a hobbyist when it comes to other popular hobbies like music, bird watching and video games. That’s how we learn. By following the pros and picking up their tricks, we learn how to make things we’re proud of and admire.

And if you become hooked, maybe you take your hobby a step further. You try new techniques and experiment by mixing techniques or combining ideas that inspire you. This is the threshold of advanced learning and the blossoming of self-discovery. You wonder, what can I do? What can I make? How far can I go? And the real question is, what am I capable of artistically.

Hobbyists often start a hobby to relax and enjoy quiet time. They are content to stay in the shallows where it’s safe and they are successful. And that’s admirable.

Artists, on the other hand, take their commitment more seriously. They’re drawn to a medium by an invisible magnet. From the start they’re compelled to learn as much as possible about that art form. They have every intention of progressing, to work on bigger, better, more advanced projects. They head for the deep end without looking back and, sink or swim, give it all they have.

Interwoven

What does this have to do with sculptural fused glass?

Sculptural fused glass is the product of such artists. They’re the ones who go above and beyond. They challenge convention and push boundaries.

You may think it takes extensive experience and an impressive glass studio to be one of those pioneers. You’d be wrong. Your most valuable assets are a positive attitude, insatiable curiosity and a fearless willingness to try. Just try. Trying is worthy of celebration and cheers.

1 Flourishing

How to get started.

I recommend making small 2 inch x 2 inch samples using different, new techniques that intrigue you. This gives you construction and firing experience with these new methods to see how they fire in your kiln. Then consider mixing methods that you’d usually do independently. Take these component pieces and cut them up. Then put them back together in a new way.

Slump plain clear fusible glass over molds in unique ways. Try combining different shapes to make sculptural groupings all your own. Again, start small. You can always take a successful project larger. Once you have a winning combo slump your component pieces the same way.

Take notes and pictures so you can repeat your successes and learn from mistakes.

Your biggest obstacle is likely you. Get out of your own way. Start small. Make tiny changes. Results are results. They don’t have to be monstrous to have enormous value.

If you’ve come this far in your craft, if you’re continually seeking inspiration, knowledge and community, I believe you have it in you to create your own unique sculptural fused glass.

You got this!

Happy fusing!

Lisa

Follow my blog for more tips and tricks!
YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhOifd7wukk
Facebook www.Facebook.com/LisaJVogt

Twitter https://twitter.com/lisajvogt

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/lvogt_originalsinglass/

3

I’m offering a 4-day workshop with a focus on sculptural fused glass. You’re invited to join me and take your fused glass to a sculptural level.

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.

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.

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 of art.

But it’s so much more than that! You’ll get personal instruction. I’ll show you pro tips and tricks to improve your glass cutting. We’ll mix different fusible materials.

On day 1 you’ll make a free flow. You’ll be firing your first project before lunch. Learn how to use Skutt’s Touchscreen Controller and the KilnLink app. Then you’ll design and cut glass for a combed piece.

On day 2 you’ll comb molten glass and weave glass. You’ll love the personalized class structure. You get to pick your own glass colors and get to choose the style and shape of the sculptures you make. I cater the class to each individual student’s skill level, plus their unique needs and artistic goals. I have 35 years’ experience teaching glass art. It’s what I love to do.

On day 3 you’ll design, build and fire your sculptures. You’ll also slump components for complex pieces. I’ll show you how to use slumping molds in new ways to create unique shapes.

On day 4 you’ll put your slumped components together and learn how to photograph your art. In this hands-on class you’ll learn how to load, program and fire kilns. You’ll fuse, slump and tack glass together. Plus, learn how to make graceful glass stands to display your pieces of art.

You’ll love the stunning three-dimensional results you get from combining all these concepts.

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.

Come to my glass studio and we’ll make beautiful sculptural art together. This is the turning-point workshop you’ve been waiting for.

Join me October 15-18, 2019 and we’ll get fired up!

IMG_7299

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!

Video covers - Copy

Watch it NOW! Start fusing today!

Download instructional videos for every skill level. Book covers

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

2 Currents

 

 

 

Posted on 6 Comments

Studio Tour – Get an Insider’s Look at the Workings of a Pro Studio

DSCN3649

Artists are unique individuals. We each have our own special way of approaching our art.

We sometimes use avant-garde methods to get into the creative zone, but once there we’re consumed by the mystery and beauty of the productive energy that flows through us. Being creatives, we don’t want to take time away from our blissful creating to think about how we handle routine tasks like managing kiln shelves, storing molds and glass accessibility. But these tasks, done more efficiently can lead to an increase in your productivity and in the success of your projects.

Work smarter, not harder.

There’s more than one way to approach everything, including how you set up and run your glass studio. I’m going to share how I do things in my studio in hopes that you’ll see some new ways to increase productivity in your studio.

Welcome to my studio. Come in.

DSCN3655

My studio is painted happy yellow. I splattered gold paint over the yellow base to give the place a fun, festive feel. Here’s a secret. I was drinking wine while slinging the gold paint, so the application is a little random but still artsy.

 

I have 8 kilns that I use regularly. I store my ready to use, primed kiln shelves on the floor behind my kilns. I lean the shelves against the wall behind the kiln that they fit in. They’re easy to reach and out-of-the-way so they don’t bet bumped or damaged. Once a shelf has been used, I leave it out and lean it against a rack along with other used shelves. When I have several shelves that need priming, I clear off my worktable, lay the shelves out and prime them all at once. The shelves dry overnight and are then stored behind the kilns.

DSCN3657

I use Bullseye primer. I mix it in a bucket with 1 cup dry primer to 4 cups water. I re-prime my kiln shelves after every use.

DSCN3659

3 Studio

My worktables are 4 ft. wide x 8 ft. long and 3 ft. tall. The legs are 4 in. x 4 in. thick for sturdy support. These thick legs support heavy weight and the stress of hammering without getting shaky. I store empty cardboard boxes, a shop vac and trash cans under the tables.

DSCN3648

 

 

I have 2 Skutt clamshell kilns with amazing new state-of-the-art Touchscreen Controllers. I’m still discovering all of the controller’s intuitive features. So far, I love the ease of use and the vast amount of helpful information available at my fingertips, plus the controllers are WiFi equipped. Also there’s an ingeniously designed app so I can monitor my firing progress from anywhere on my smartphone. (Look for more detailed information of the Touchscreen Controllers, and how to use them in a post in the very near future.)

DSCN3606

My clamshells have a 24 in. x 24 in. interior with a 13 in. depth. They’re my go-to kilns for making sinks, elaborate sculptural pieces and my high-end commission work. They’re easy to program, even when the programs are complicated with 8 segments and multiple holds. I trust them to give me consistent, reliable results every time.

I also have a Skutt Fire Box 14. It has a 14 in. x 14 in. square interior. You can fit a lot more glass in a square firing chamber than you can in a round chamber. I love using my Fire Box when I’m making single, one-of-a-kind plates, bowls and vases. It’s quick and easy to load plus fast to fire, with pre-programed settings for all my firing needs. I use my 3 reliable small Evenheat kilns to make quick samples and to test-fire new techniques I’m developing.

My largest kiln, which I call Big Blue, or My Cremation Station is a Denver Glass Machinery kiln. It has a 3 ft. x 4 ft interior with a 13 in. depth. I had it custom made to fuse glass kites for an installation at Tampa International Airport.

4 Studio

It has a clamshell style lid that I open and close with an electric winch. It’s the kind of winch used to take motors out of cars. My wonderful hubby mounted it to the ceiling and rigged a cable. It’s fun to raise the lid to see a new successful project completed.

When opening the lid with the electric motor, I sometimes feel like a mad scientist. After a successful firing I think I know the exciting thrill Dr. Frankenstein felt when his masterpiece came to life.

12 Studio

I store my large ceramic sink slumping molds on a shelf under Big Blue. The huge ceramic molds are heavy. From here I can access them easily and only have to carry them a short distance to the kilns.

13 Studio

Large primed stainless steel slumping molds are stored behind Big Blue. They lean against the wall. Here they’re safe. Upright they stay clean and the primer coating stays in good, ready to use condition. Behind the kiln, against the wall, the molds are out of the way, but still easy to access reach needed.

11 Studio

My smaller ceramic molds are stacked on a wire rack with shelves. I don’t prime my slumping molds every time I use them. I prime molds when they show signs of wear. If the coating looks thin or if it’s chipping off the mold, I sand the mold smooth and re-prime it.

18 Studio

I have two smaller wire racks as well. One holds my kiln posts, spare fiber board dams and assorted tools. The other one holds stainless steel floral formers and kiln wash. Glass cutting boards are stored out of the way alongside my cabinets.

20 Studio

My glass grinder, band saw, and ring saw are always ready to use on a counter located along the back wall of my studio. I keep a bucket of clean water next to the grinder so I can fill the grinder and saws as needed.

19 Studio

My glass is organized by color. Sheet glass is held in a wooden rack. Small pieces are stored on top and full sheets are stored in the larger compartment on the bottom. When pulling glass, I try to use the smaller pieces first. I save the full sheets for projects that require longer, larger cuts.

8 Studio

Scrap glass is stored in plastic bins for safe quick and easy access. When working on a project that uses scrap glass, I simply remove the bin with the color I want and carry it over to my worktable. There I can carefully remove sharp pieces without worrying about getting cut.

9 Studio

I have a huge selection of frit. The jars are organized by color. When I’m working on a project, I choose a specific color palette. So, when I go to the shelves to gather jars of fit, I know what colors to pull. I bought my wire racks and rolling carts at Sam’s Club.

17 Studio

21 Studio

My Thin Fire fiber paper roll is hung on the end of one of my worktables. The box it came in is cut to cover the roll. The cardboard protects the roll from damage and keeps the paper from getting dusty. When I need a piece of Thin Fire, I unroll the paper onto the table. There, I measure it to the length I want and then cut it to size with a straight edge and single edge razor blade.

22 Studio

Hand tools like glass cutters, pliers, scissors and such, are stored on a rolling cart near my favorite work area. From my favorite spot I have a great view of the yard and the wildlife that frequents our property. Plus, I’m close to the large overhead door which I like to keep open even in hot or cold weather. When the door is open my workstation is flooded with natural light which thrills my muse and inspires my artistic creativity.

Studio 23

 

I have a small clip board next to each of my kilns. I call these my cheat sheets. Here I have a list of the programs stored on my controllers. If I change a program, I make a note of it on the page.

25 Studio

My programs fall into two categories, small and custom. A small program is for projects 12 inches in size or smaller, made with two layers of glass, plus accents. Most of my kilns have a small program for full fuse, tack and slump programed into the controller. The remainder of the programs stored are random, custom programs I use to achieve specific results. For example, my clamshell kilns also have sink full fuse and sink slump programs. Big Blue has an extended 5 day program I use to make large-scale cast glass commissions. While my oval kiln has a firing program for painting on glass stored in its controller along with the small programs.

Studio 24

I have other useful equipment and tools stored in my studio as well. There’s a chop saw, and table saw for cutting wood. A sandblasting cabinet and compressor for sandblasting designs on glass. I have 2 – 12” glass grinder/polishers tucked in the corner, plus two wet saws for cutting thick glass which are stored on rolling carts. In addition, I have assorted drills, nail guns and toolboxes filling the shelves on the front wall.

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I hope you found my studio tour enlightening. Hopefully, some of these tips will help you increase your productivity and the success of your projects.

Happy fusing,

Lisa

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

October 15-18, 2019

Wesley Chapel, FL

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You’re invited to join me for this intense workshop held in my private studio in Wesley Chapel, Florida. Class size is limited to 4.

NEW Class Update and Special Offer.

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Sculptural fused glass is the creation of three-dimensional forms that rise above a flat plane. Artists create 3-D works by using multiple methods and techniques with complete freedom of materials and process.

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Due to popular demand, I’m now extending the hands-on curriculum to include a professional photo shoot of your completed sculptures.

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November 19, 2019

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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!

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