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10 New Things I Learned Taking 10,000 Artsy Pictures

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My approach to my art is universal. Although these images are of people, wildlife and nature, I’m certain that utilizing these same techniques will greatly improve the quality and creative style of my artwork images. And so, I’m taking you outside the realm of glass on a little family vacation detour. This fresh perspective on photography demonstrates how easy it is to control, and even manipulate images to make them emotional charged and super exciting.

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Okay, maybe 10,000 pictures since I was given my new camera in May is an exaggeration. But my family, often the reluctant subjects of my curious eye, will back me up.

I can and have easily take 500 – 600 pictures in 15 minutes. It turns out, every day and every outing offers new photographic opportunities. But some days I need a break from viewing the world through a narrow lens and I purposely leave my camera home.

I almost always regret not having my camera at arm’s length. Yesterday for example, I saw Sandhill cranes down the street. The tall, red headed birds are usually very passive. They spend their days walking slowly along the grass shoulder digging in the soft ground for bugs.

But yesterday, one bird in a group of four was swinging it’s head and flapping it’s wings. It kept jumping up off the ground and did a lively dance for the other three birds. On these missed occasions, I try to live in the moment and just enjoy the spectacle for what it is, a beautiful glimpse of nature. Then I assure myself it wasn’t my last chance to capture exciting wildlife pictures. The next time a great picture presents itself I’ll be ready to click away.

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The effects setting added a nice touch to this image.

After taking so many pictures, I’ve noticed that keeping some concepts in mind results in significantly better, more emotionally charged images. Following are some great examples taken on our summer vacation. These images demonstrate how a little forethought can improve your pictures.

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This similar picture was taken with the auto setting.

Here’s what I learned.

For comparison sake, here’s the camera I’m using. I’m not endorsing this particular camera. But I am suggesting that a better quality piece of equipment with professional grade settings and increased pixels will nurture your artistic style, and drastically improve your image quality. My camera is a Nikon D3500 with 24.2 million pixels. It came with 2 lenses: 18-55mm and zoom 70-300mm.

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1 Lighting in EVERYTHING!

I can’t stress enough how much good lighting adds to the artistic value of any image. Lighting creates a mood. Lighting breathes life into still images. Lighting is the single, most important aspect you can control. Use it effectively and you’ll create amazing, personalized images. You’ll immediately notice an increase in the professional quality of your images. The extra effort has such a positive impact that the resulting pictures will leave a more memorable impression.

So, how do you catch and control the ever elusive light?

Once you find an interesting subject and composition move around and take pictures from several different angles. Changing your position can help you enhance the effect of the light you have and add higher contrast with shadows.

A good rule of thumb is to have the sun at your back. Then the strong light won’t create a hot spot in your image and the front surface of your subject will be illuminated.

If you’re taking a sunset or sunrise picture, experiment with your camera’s aperture and try several different settings. Try the effects mode to get more vibrant and artsy versions of the scene. I often take the same picture with auto mode, then effects mode and then manual mode and adjust the aperture for unexpected, cool results. Later, I compare the images and keep the one I like best.

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This picture was taken at night, while the sprinkler was on with the effects setting.

For more dramatic affects, take pictures in different conditions. Take them early in the morning to capture long purple shadows and the pinkish hue that fresh sunlight casts on everything. Or take pictures late in the afternoon when the sunshine gives objects a golden glow.

Taking pictures in the rain can also be fun. The movement of the falling water combined with soft lighting can really romanticize an otherwise boring setting. Fog is also intriguing. The subtle tones and soft edges it creates can be useful for setting a peaceful or mysterious mood.

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This picture was taken with night portrait mode to increase the image brightness. 

2 What if the lighting is gloomy and you can’t change the scene without losing the moment?

You could, of course use your flash. But I find them to be too harsh. The  bright white light washes out soft colors and makes everything look hard. And a flash often gives subjects the dreaded, red-demon eyes that threaten to haunt you.

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This similar picture was taken with auto mode and I felt it was too dark.  

Instead, try changing your camera settings. I used, night portrait mode, it’s the setting of a figure with a star over their head, to take pictures of two adorable dogs under a canopy. You could also try the special effect setting to give the picture a surreal feeling. You don’t have to pay for film, so take as many pictures as you like. Experiment and try new combinations just to see what happens.

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3 Zoom in. Get up close and personal.

Go ahead, snap the standard composition of your selected subject showing the complete scene and the entire subject. Get that picture out of the way. Then get artsy. Zoom in and take more pictures. Crop out the unnecessary noise. Fill the viewfinder with intricate detail, rich color and plush texture.

Treat the viewer to your special representation of the scene. In doing so, you share an intimate, highly personal experience. I’m finding that tight, close-ups are more engaging. They stimulate the imagination and invite the viewer to participate. They encourage them to imagine the remainder of the scene and the unique circumstances under which the picture was taken. That’s fun stuff!

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This one-in-a-million bald eagle picture was taken with the sport setting.

4 It’s easy to capture pictures of wild animals running away from you. Taking pictures of them looking at you is hard.

Apparently, wild animals don’t like to have a large black tube pointed in their direction. They run. Fast. And friends and family are not impressed with butt images, no matter how exceptional the lighting is.

To be a successful wildlife photographer takes patience. You have to quietly place yourself in the right position. Then you wait for the animal to feel comfortable enough to ignore your presence and go back to their natural routine.

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This bald eagle was the subject on dozens of pictures. 

I find using a telephoto lens and sport mode helpful. The zoom lens gets you close enough to show detail like feathers and eye color. And sport mode enables you to take pictures is rapid succession. This way you can capture all of the animal’s graceful, live-action movements as they happen.

Hint: When closing in tight with a telephoto lens try to position your subject in the exact center of your viewfinder. When taking pictures in sport mode the camera focus is in the exact center. If your moving subject, like a flying bird, is centered the subject will be crisp and clear. If it’s not centered, the camera focus isn’t in line with the subject and the subject tends to be blurry.

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My kids and their cousins living it up. 

5 Try to take pictures of people in action to show their personalities.  

We all love the group picture of everyone standing in a line with the vacation destination’s beautiful scenery spread out behind them. It’s effective, but not very imaginative. Go ahead and take the same picture everyone else has taken this summer. Get it over with.

Then try something new. You can do better. Try stacking your family and friends in a gnarled old tree. Or have some standing and some sitting on the sandy beach. Have the kids gather on the rustic stairs of the rental cabin or on the tailgate of the family car. Include props that represent the trip like fishing poles or Broadway show tickets. You don’t have to make a big deal out of staging your family. They’ll mutiny if you do. But a little creative positioning adds so much enthusiasm and excitement to the standard family portrait. And once the family sees the entertaining results, they’ll actually look forward to posing for you next time.

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This picture was taken with the effects setting. 

 

6 Effects are a lot of fun.

Using the effects mode can really exaggerate a scene and make it more vibrant. It can also be used to focus the viewer’s attention on a specific element, of your choosing, in your picture. That’s powerful!

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This similar picture was taken with the auto setting.

That said, I use effects in moderation. The effects mode sometimes causes distortion or it confuses the focus on the subject. To be on the safe side, when I take pictures in the effects mode, I also take it in automatic mode. Then later I review the two images on my computer and keep the one I like best.

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The sport setting made this action shot possible.

7 Oh, and here’s a useful tip.

Don’t worry about taking notes or cataloging how you take test pictures. After downloading your images, you can access all sorts of relevant information about each picture. Right click on the image. Then click on Properties. In the General tab you can see the file type, the image size and when the picture was taken. For more in-depth information click the Details tab. Here you can see what F-stop, Exposure time and ISO speed you used. You can also see if a flash was used and other helpful information. If you like certain results, use this information to duplicate them on another picture.

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Note: I’m using a PC with Windows 10. My pictures are stored in the Pictures folder. If you’re using a different system you may have to search for this information, but I’m certain it’s there.

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Just getting started.

 

8 Here’s a huge time saving tip for sorting your favorite pictures.

If you already know how to do this, good for you! Feel free to skip this part. But, if this is new for you, this is a game changer!

It’s a bit embarrassing to admit I just learned this incredibly useful trick. Especially considering the massive number of pictures I take for my videos, website, social media and for fun. My daughter showed me this trick when I asked her to pick the best images from our family vacation. The take-away is, no matter where you are or what you do, there’s always something new learn.

 

Here’s the picture grouping trick my daughter showed me.

Bring your pictures up to full size one-by-one. Check to see if you like the composition, the focus and lighting. If it’s a keeper click on the heart icon at the top of the page. Click the heart on all the images you like. When you’re done, go back to the thumbnail screen. Then click on View. Then click on Group By and select Rating. All of the pictures you gave a heart will be grouped at the top of the folder. Then you can look through the grouped images and sort them further picking the very best images. At any time, you can remove the heart and the image goes back to the bottom of the folder. Or you can go back and add a heart to any image to move it to the top group.

If your system works differently, don’t worry. Try clicking around. It’s likely your system has a similar feature, it’s just a matter of finding it and using it.

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Yup, I can cut more than just glass.

9 Get in the picture.

Make sure you’re in some of the pictures. It may not seem important now. But when you look back it’ll remind you of the fun you had taking great pictures. And you’ll recall the cherished time spent relaxing with family and friends.

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The big one got away.

 

10 My last bit of advised is this.

Don’t hold back. Set your imagination free and take lots of pictures. I’ve realized that if I’m compelled to take pictures of a single subject over and over, it’s because the lighting, composition or cropping could be better. Once the magic combination is achieved, I’m content to replace my lens cap and just enjoy the scenery.

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The effects setting gave this picture a romantic flare.

Vacation is wonderful! I’m always rejuvenated by extended excursions outside of my glass studio. These refreshing departures from “work” inspire new design ideas and artistic directions. Now that I’m back I’m ready to channel my renewed energy back into creating exceptional art.

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Here’s a similar picture taken with the auto setting.

I hope you find value in these little tips and they lead you to new creative discoveries in your glass studio, as well as outside.

Happy snapping!

Lisa

Follow my blog for more tips and tricks.

Upcoming Classes and Webinars

NOW REGISTERING!

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

October 15-18, 2019

Register here www.lisavogt.net  

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.

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.

In this comprehensive class you’ll learn how to design, build and creatively display multiple stunning pieces of art that reflect your personal style.

You’ll push the boundaries glass imposes. You’ll use innovative approaches to design and combine multiple advanced techniques to construct original sculptural art.You’ll enjoy: the one-on-one instruction, making large scale projects, the well-equipped classroom, and the intimate class size.

Its hard-core fusing in a nurturing, relaxed environment. You’ll love the concentrated, in-depth study and creative momentum you’ll gain while actively producing nonstop, for four consecutive days. You’ll also learn how to design and build custom art glass displays that enhance your original work.

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

You’ll leave class with several completed sculptures, a working knowledge of kiln operation and custom project-specific firing guides. You’ll have the design confidence and hands-on experience to rise above and take your work to the next level.

NEW Class Update and Special Offer.

Register now and for the first time EVER, all class materials are included!

PLUS, you’ll get a FREE Fused Art Design Video DVD.

AND, a professional photo shoot of your completed sculptural masterpieces.

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Creative Slumping Webinar

November 15, 2019

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

Interwoven

NEW Fused Glass Sculptures Webinar

January 14, 2019

https://www.glasspatterns.com/glass-patterns-quarterly-store/product/1400-fused-glass-sculptures-made-easy-with-lisa-vogt-jan-14-2020.html

Shadow

NEW Fused Glass Sculptures Webinar

January 16, 2019

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

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Watch it now! Start fusing today! Videos for every interest and skill level!

Downloadable videos and eBook are here. Learn at your own pace.

Get your video and eBook here. SHOP www.lisavogt.net  

 

 

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Finding Inspiration in Unlikely Places

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Summer is a wonderful time to enjoy outdoor activities and breath in the beauty of nature. It’s refreshing to be away from my glass studio in environments rich with color, pattern and new scenes. I cherish time cooling off on the water and the exhilaration of hiking in the woods. The outings clear my mind of old design themes, they rejuvenate my spirit and inspire new design ideas.

I may be off work, but my creative subconscious is on duty collecting tidbits that’ll later be integral parts of my new art. I seek exciting new compositions by studying tiny details like the delicate curled shoots of ferns. I imagine the extreme color combinations studying the broad strokes of a spectacular, cotton candy pink sunset. Even familiar settings, seen with renewed artistic curiosity, offer new appeal.

Farytale Forest 2Fairy Tale Forest from my Painting with Frit Video

Fairy tale Forest was inspired by a path I frequently walk in the woods. It’s an enchanted place with specked shade, inviting curves that promise adventure and the musical sounds of nature alive in the brush. Tall pines and century old oaks form a canopy overhead. The cathedral like tunnel makes me feel small, at ease and safe. It’s as if the trees are guarding me with the wisdom of their age. It’s such a magical place, I half expect to see a white unicorn trotting around palmetto bushes.

The truth is the path doesn’t really look like my design. I exercised my artistic license. I designed the art to convey the way I feel, the comfort and joy I have when I’m strolling down the leaf blanketed trail.

I never would have stretched my artistic vision to that extent without the actual experience of walking down that path.

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Paradise Bay from my Painting with Frit video.

Paradise Bay was inspired by a favorite lagoon on a lake. Again, the artwork loosely represents the landscape. It’s really a representation of good times and fond memories of time spent with my family.

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River Bottom was inspired by the ditch that lines my street. Really. I was walking one morning and noticed the sunlight shining on the water in the retention ditch on my road. The sun pierced through the clear water down to the bottom where it lit up the tiny green leaves of mossy plants. They sparkled like glitter covered light bulbs. It was so captivating I then noticed some lacy tree leaves suspended in time, and the striking shadows of tree trunks stretching across the placid surface of the water. I thought, this is a beautiful scene, how can I render this in glass?

The project looks simple. You have to see it in person, after hearing the story to really appreciate the true beauty and depth of River Bottom. The take away, the invaluable lesson, is that beauty is all around us. We just have to look for it and then let it inspire us to be creative.

Take it outside!

This summer while you’re exploring beaches, mountains and cities open yourself to discovery. Then, when the artistic spark flares, you’ll have an exciting collection of new ideas to fuel what you fire.

Happy fusing,

Lisa

Follow my blog for more tips and tricks!

Painting with Frit DVD Cover

Painting with Frit is now available as a download on my website.

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5 Reasons Why Pro Fuser’s Take Notes

 

1 Flourishing

Being artsy and creating original art is exciting. It feeds the mind, body and soul with inner joy and peace.

Glass fusing has broad appeal due to the ease at which plain sheet glass can be transformed into flashy pieces of art. It’s this facet that makes this medium attractive to artists and crafters who love hands-on immersion.

But glass fusing is different from other mediums. Kiln operation and following firing guidelines make glass fusing science as much as art. Of course, you can ignore that reality. Stay in the safe zone, using pre-programed kilns and adhering to standard firing schedules. Copy and make the same reliable projects that everyone else is sharing. But the real exciting creations are inspired by stepping outside the box. To stretch your imagination and take your art to an all new level of amazing, you must take your work more seriously.

 

Approach your hobby like a pro.

Get organized. The best way to master the technical aspects of science, and benefit from your process is to take notes of your work in progress. Once the technical aspects are under control, the artist is free to focus on the creative development of the art.

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You argue, why stop the creative flow to take boring notes?

Here’s why the pros take notes.

1 Creative inspiration.

We’re human. We forget intricate details. Remembering the big, broad strokes is easy. It’s the tiny nuances that drift away like fluffy dandelion seeds on the wind. These seemingly insignificant concepts are what make your art your own, unique creations.

Pros take notes even when making routine pieces. They know that new design ideas come from recycling and reorganizing old tried and trusted design ideas. Often, my groundbreaking innovations are the product of combining an unlikely variety of tiny concepts. I pull minor techniques from previously made art and merge them to develop a single new creation.

Plus, if you’re consistent and establish good note talking habits, you’ll free up mind space previously dedicated to remembering your methods. This open-air gives new ideas room to live and grow.

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2 Find encouragement.

A notebook is black and white proof you’re making progress. No matter how small, every entry is positive reinforcement that you’re learning new things, trying new techniques and growing your creative style. It’s a tribute to hard work and an ego boost whenever you need encouragement to forge ahead.

Success is a terrific confidence builder. When you have a notebook full of great success stories it promotes cheerful production. At any time, you can flip through those messy pages and marvel over all the beautiful pieces you’ve made.

It’s a thrill to revisit simple projects you thought you’d outgrown. You remember how much fun it was to lose yourself in the creative zone and consider remaking old favorites for the joy of it. That’s priceless.

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3 Build self-confidence.

By taking detailed notes of a project’s progress as its made, it’s easy to repeat successful projects with confidence. I consult my notes when I want to quickly and easily repeat projects with accuracy.

Notes are also a great reference for new project development. With them I can plan new design directions knowing what outcome to expect from certain advanced techniques. This knowledge frees me to focus my full attention on creating a revolutionary new design.

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4 Learn from your mistakes.

Another, huge benefit to cataloging your methods is you can retrace your steps backwards when disaster strikes to pinpoint where it went wrong. It’s a valuable teaching tool you can use to learn from your mistakes. With notes you can efficiently repeat your successes and avoid failures in the future.

In my experience, taking notes drastically improves the overall quality and success of my projects. Documenting assembly and firing methods minimizes problems and gives me the self-confidence to experiment.

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5 Trail blaze new ideas.

Pioneering new design concepts is exciting and scary. When I’m commissioned to design original art, I consult my fusing notebook for guidance. I look up projects that are similar in size and thickness to the new job. I study projects that are larger and projects that are smaller. With that information, I develop a custom firing schedule for the new job. I write a program that’s conservative, to avoid breakage, and yet gives me the desired results I promised the client.

Like you, I don’t want to waste time, money or material on failures. We all want to start a project knowing that the finished artwork will bring our beautifully imagined vision to life. If it doesn’t, the failure is devastating. By taking notes, you can approach new design ideas with greater confidence. By knowing the parameters that have worked successfully in the past, you can take on more challenging projects and enjoy success in the future.

Pros make it a habit.

Taking notes is the best thing you can do to improve the quality and increase the complexity of your art. Good habits are as hard to break as bad habits. Form good habits.

Be a pro.

Happy fusing!

Lisa

Follow my Lisa Vogt Art Adventure Blog for more tips and tricks!

Upcoming Class

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

Join me for this intense workshop held in my private studio in Wesley Chapel, Florida. Class size is limited to 4.

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.

In this class, you’ll push the boundaries glass imposes. Students will use innovative approaches to design and combine multiple advanced techniques to construct original sculptural art.

You’ll enjoy: the one-on-one instruction, making large scale projects, the well-equipped classroom, and the intimate class size.

Its hard-core fusing in a nurturing, relaxed environment.

You’ll love the concentrated, in-depth study and creative momentum you’ll gain while actively producing nonstop, for four consecutive days.

You’ll leave class with a working knowledge of kiln operation, custom project specific firing guides and the inspiration you’ve been craving to go sculptural!

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Grape Tulip How-to

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Project excerpt from my Creative Shapes video.

I love it when the simplest little changes have a huge impact on the look and feel of a finished piece of art.

Grape Tulip is a terrific example of how using tried-and-true techniques, in slightly different ways, can give you amazingly refreshing results. This finished piece of art has a unique profile and graceful form that make it stand out from the usual vase and base projects. The secret to this dazzler lies in the fused glass shapes and the way they’re slumped. It’s amazing how these slight variations in method influence the outcome. Once you see how easy the setup is, you’ll be eager to try new combinations of your own.

Here’s how its made.

This project is made up of two components that are cut, fused and slumped separately and then later glued together to make the sculptural art. The two components are made with two layers of glass. The base layer of each is clear glass.

Flower: 10-inch x 8 ½-inch, Leaf: 10-inch x 3 1/2-inch

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Tools to have handy.

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Using the pattern as guide cut the clear base glass for the flower. Cut as much as possible by hand to minimize the amount of grinding needed.

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Grind the clear flower base to remove sharp edges and improve the shape.

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Draw the deep inside cuts with a marker. Cover the marker with lip balm to keep it from washing away when using the wet saw.

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Cut the deep inside notches with a wet saw.

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Using the pattern as a guide cut the clear base for the leaf.

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Cut up the paper patterns.

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Use a glue stick to fix the paper pattern pieces to the purple glass.

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Using the pattern as a guide, cut the glass flower petals.

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Grind the cut glass petals to improve the edge quality and shape.

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Grind the cut leaf to smooth the edge.

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Cut the notches in the leaf with a wet saw.

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Glue and stack the purple petals on top of the clear base. Glue and stack the green leaf on top of the clear base. Use the smallest amount of glue possible so it burns off without leaving any trace.

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Detail the flower petals with blue opal frit.

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Use a small dry paint brush to clean any excess frit off the glass.

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Use a sifter to apply powder blue opal frit to the leaf.

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Give the powder frit a leafy pattern with a small dry paint brush. Work powder green frit into the leaf notches.

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

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The glass components after fusing.

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Place the fused glass on the molds. Place a small ceramic bowl in the kiln upside down. Position a small stainless-steel floral form mold on top. Center the fused glass flower over the stainless-steel floral former mold. Position the fused glass leaf diagonally on the stainless-steel S mold.

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Fire the glass to a slump temperature using the guide below.

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Detail of the slumped flower.

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Detail of the slumped leaf.

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Glue the cooled flower to the cooled leaf using clear silicone adhesive or a similar clear drying glue. Hold the flower in place with jars of frit, or other prop, while the glue dries.

25 Grape Tulip Flower Pattern

Flower pattern. Enlarge to 10-inch x 8 ½ inch

26 Grape Tulip Leaf Pattern

Leaf pattern. Enlarge to 10-inch x 3 ½ inch.

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Grape Tulip.

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I love it when the simplest little changes have a huge impact on the look and feel of a finished piece of art.

Here, the addition of a fluted edge on the flower component, plus the ceramic bowl riser under the stainless-steel mold, gives an otherwise ordinary floral former vase a totally new elegant appearance. The cut petal shaped rim has less mass than a circular rim.  Therefore, the glass hugs the mold and curls in giving the vase a lovely, fluted finish.

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Then the combination of the leaf’s free-form shape and the clever positioning over a standard S mold makes a stylish, free-standing base for the flower. The two components in combination make a beautifully graceful statement that’s incomparable.

Next time you’re brainstorming a new project consider using some of your trusted techniques and favorite molds in new ways. You just might create a surprisingly unique beauty like Grape Tulip.

Project excerpt from my Creative Shapes video.

Fusing Guide

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

Segment 2: Ramp 500 F/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

Gentle Slumping Guide

Segment 1: Ramp 300 F/hr to 1225 or 1265 (depending on your kiln) 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.

Glass and Materials: 1 ½ sq. ft. clear glass for the flower base and leaf base, 1 sq. ft. transparent purple glass for the flower petals, 1/2 sq. ft. opal green for the leaf, Blue opal frit, fine or medium size to accent the flower petals, Blue opal frit, powder to accent the top of the leaf, Green transparent, fine frit to accent the slots in the leaf

You will need: 4-inch tall stainless steel floral former mold, 5-inch wide ceramic bowl mold, Small stainless-steel S mold. Fuser’s glue, Adhesive to glue the two slumped components together

I hope this fun project inspires creative thinking and exciting fusing.

Watch the Grape Tulip video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3k7QAzlF4M

Happy fusing!

Lisa

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5 Tips to Get into Your Creative Zone

Fire Storm

5 Tips to Get into Your Creative Zone

The creative zone is a wonderful place where new ideas are conceived, advanced techniques are tested, and innovative pieces of art are brought to life. In the creative zone time doesn’t exist. It’s a beautiful realm full of wonder and surprise. It’s a place of magic we all want to visit. So, how do you produce the right environment to get to this artist’s heaven on-demand? Here are some tricks to fast-track you to the zone.

1 Find your sweet spot.

Identify when you feel most productive creatively. Don’t fight it. Not everyone is meant for a 9:00 to 5:00 workday. For me, my most fruitful hours are between 11:00 am and 7:00 pm. And, I like to work even later if I’ve gained momentum that’s getting projects in the kiln. My day starts a lot earlier than 11:00, but I like to work-out and clean a little before I get serious about glass work. Then, I can focus on arty tasks without distractions.

2 Free-play without a critic.

Play with your glass colors without a rigid plan. Allow your spontaneous artistic mind to wander and explore new ways to combine glass colors to make interesting blends. I pull scrap glass out and arrange it on the table in random color schemes. Then I mix them up to get even more unique design palates. This exercise is a process. Once you’ve exhausted the routine combinations, it’s amazing how new fresh ideas reveal themselves.

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3 Take a break.

Look outside for inspiration. Exciting original art is the product of artists who actively seek out stimuli to generate new ideas. Take a walk, go to the beach, the mountains, the zoo or the park. The exercise and fresh air nurtures your creative spirit and promotes action.

4 Sketch design ideas on paper.

You don’t have to be good at drawing for this exercise to work. The process of doodling frees your mind and hushes the internal sensor that holds you back. Forge ahead. Be bold. The idea is to let the drawings come naturally. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much this simple act empowers your artistic style. Try it!

5 Dedicate time to developing your art and your talent.

Commit to branching out and trying new techniques and methods that challenge your skills. In this uncharted territory you’ll find renewed energy that’ll quickly translates into exciting new pieces of art.

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Excelling in your craft is the dream of every dedicated artist. The creative zone is where we find and fine tune our own personal style. It’s where we identify with ourselves and that’s what makes you the incredible artist you are.

You have an amazing talent, use it!

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

Happy fusing!
Lisa

Follow my blog for more tips and tricks!