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Crack the Case –Your Guide to What Went Wrong Inside Your Kiln

DSCN8447

Mystery and magic attract us to glass fusing. It’s the mystery of making something new and the magic of melting materials that hook us. I’ve asked numerous students, and most admit that opening the kiln after firing is their favorite part of fusing glass. We look forward to it with the same childhood glee we have when opening a crisply wrapped gift.

When the project comes out as expected, or sometimes even better, angels sing, unicorns exist and a rainbow glows brightly over your studio. On the rare occasion that the project doesn’t come out well, our disappointment is heartbreaking. We ask why, what was different, where did I go wrong? We rack our brains looking for answers.

All the while, the answer is right there in front of you.

You just have to recognize what your broken glass is telling you.

Let’s take a simple project and break it. Our sample project is made of two full layers of glass, plus an accent layer. The base layer is clear, and the second layer is a pretty purple and the third, partial or accent layer is a pattern glass with hints of purple.

Design1

To better understand why glass breaks, let’s do a little review.

There are two basic stages to the firing process: heating and cooling. During heating we take the kiln from room temperature to 1200° – 1500°, depending on the type of fused effect we want. Glass is sensitive to temperature change between room temperature and 1000°. To avoid thermal shock, which is breakage due to rapid temperature change, we heat the glass slowly from room temperature until we reach 1000°.

Over 1000° we can heat the glass quickly to the desired temperature. At 1265°, the glass will slump and take on the shape of a mold. At 1365° glass sticks together, otherwise referred to as tack-fuse. At 1465°, the glass will completely melt into one smooth piece. This is considered a full fuse. (These are System 96® temperatures.)

Once we have the desired effect, we cool the glass. The process of heating the glass causes stress within the project. We relieve the stress by holding the glass at an annealing temperature for a period of time. This allows the glass in the project to equalize at that temperature. (The System 96® annealing temperature is 950-960°.)

After fusing, during the cooling phase, the glass is sensitive to temperature change from 1000° down to room temperature. And the project now has greater value because it’s almost done. To avoid breakage due to thermal shock, after the annealing hold, we slowly cool the glass down to room temperature.

Read between the lines. 

Heating Breaks

This is an example of what a break would look like if the glass is heated too quickly. The clear base layer and the purple layer broke in two on the way up. They’re visibly separated on the kiln shelf. Yet the accent layer bridges the crack and the project is indeed fused and held together by the accent layer. Layers one and two break because they are larger and therefore have more mass. The greater mass is more sensitive to rapid heat. The accent layer is smaller, less mass and therefore remains intact. A break like this happens inside the kiln. This is a prime example of breakage due to heating the glass too quickly.

Design2

It’s possible to break the project apart and refuse it slower, but the finished product will likely be different from the original design.

The fix: slow down. Heat the glass at a slower rate. I heat projects from 4” coaster size to 12” bowls at a rate of 300° per hour with dependable success.

Cooling Breaks 

Design5

An annealing fracture has a very specific look. It has a tight curve that rolls into a broad gradual curve. (It almost looks like a smile, but not one that any of us would look forward to seeing.) The broad curve is followed by another tight curve. In my experience, the break usually runs vertically through the project. The glass pieces have been fused together and the break is clean through all three layers. The two broken pieces are generally separated by a sizable gap. The gap is evidence of the internal stress in the fused glass. An annealing break can occur inside the kiln or weeks later. This type of break is the result of rushing the annealing time, peeking into a hot kiln or from opening the kiln too early and chilling the glass.

Design5

You can re-fire the broken glass and re-anneal it, but the finished project may have a visible scar where the glass was broken. You can add frit or extra accent pieces to hide the seam.

The annealing temperature for any specific family of fusible material is constant. The length of time a specific project needs to be held at that temperature is determined by the size of the project and the number of glass layers used to make the project.  A large project, like a 12” bowl, will require a longer anneal time then small project like a 1” pendant.

The fix: consult the glass manufacture’s firing guides and be sure to include the appropriate annealing temp and time in your firing schedule. Here’s the hard part. Don’t peek! Or open the kiln below 1000° until it is at room temperature. I anneal projects that are 12” is size or smaller, made with two layers of glass plus an accent, like the example here at 960° for 40 minutes.

Incompatibility Breaks 

Compatibility breaks are really upsetting because they’re so easily avoided. We do our best to sort and organize our glass by COE, but sometimes a mix-up results in a mystery break. Knowing what to look for can save you from having any future accidents.

C.O.E. (Coefficient of Expansion) this refers to the rate at which glass expands and contracts when heated and cooled. Fusing compatible glass has been formulated, manufactured and tested for compatibility. All the glass in a single project must be of the same C.O.E. so they expand and contract at the same rate during firing. If they are not, stress cracks or breakage will result.

Design3

A glass incompatibility break usually has more than one crack and it often happens a short time after the fused glass comes out of the kiln. The materials literally repel each other and so the broken pieces are angular and sharp.

The fix: Pay close attention to the manufactures labels, store materials by C.O.E., clearly mark scrap and work with only one family of fusing compatible products at a time. Don’t trust that materials given to you are compatible unless they’re marked as such.

Refusing the glass is not an option. But if you want to feel better, take a hammer to the project. Then use the pieces to make a mosaic or to line the bottom of a fish tank.

The Dreaded Hole         

The dreaded hole in the project is caused by heating the glass to fast while firing on a very smooth surface like a primed ceramic self or Thin Fire fiber paper. As the glass is heated the perimeter of the project becomes soft first. It seals to the shelf like a suction cup. The air trapped under the glass expands as it’s heated and pushes up on the glass forming a bubble. The glass bubble becomes thin, it pops and heals over at the full fuse temperature.

You can fill the hole and refuse the glass; however, a blemish will be visible in the new piece. If your design is organic the new detail may add interest. But if your pattern is pictorial, and unless the hole is perfectly located to represent the sun, not so much.

Design4

The fix: add a segment to your firing schedule. In the heating phase of my firing schedule I have a hold at 1300 ° for 60 minutes. Holding at this temperature softens the glass in the entire project uniformly. This extra step is well worth the wait as it eliminates inconvenient eruptions and those nasty holes.

Heart-breaks 

Fortunately, the fusing spirits grant me many successes and very few mishaps. But every so often, no matter how hard I work, through no fault of my own, a single project or piece seems destined to failure. My general rule it to try to rework or salvage a failed project once and on special rare occasions twice. If at that point I’m not happy with my results I abandon the piece and start over from scratch. Hard earned experience has taught me, additional efforts are a waste of time and resources. My best advice when that happens is, let it go.

Here’s a quick example. I was building a huge 12 foot by 16 foot wall sculpture with 14 fused glass circles ranging in size from 12 inch to 48 inch across. All of the glass was special ordered from Uroboros. It came in a single crate. Five of the circles were made with the same color glass. All of the pieces were fired in the same kiln using the same firing program.

For some unknown reason, one of the five circles broke into two pieces after fusing. It cracked as neatly as an egg. No problem, I re-fired the two broken pieces onto a new, single piece of clear. I opened my big clamshell kiln, when it was at room temperature, the re-fired glass looked great. Happy with the result, I went back to my worktable a few feet away.

It never happened before and hasn’t happened since. I was alone in the studio, just me and my glass.

Out of nowhere, the lid on the clamshell came crashing down. I rushed over to the kiln and opened the lid. No big surprise, the fused glass circle was broken and in two neat pieces again. Dam isn’t the only word I used. My rapid fire expletives would’ve made a sailor blush.

I got even by dumping the uncontrollable pieces in the trash. Nope, I didn’t even trust them in a smaller project. Bye, bye! I made a totally new circle and it’s still intact ten years later.

With luck, this is the first time you’ve been introduced to these various ways that glass can misbehave. Hopefully, you’re now armed with the knowledge to avoid such disappointment.

You can confidently explore more in-depth techniques and more advanced projects.

But for added safekeeping, before closing the lid on my kiln I blow kisses to my darlings. You might try it.

Happy Fusing!

Lisa

Follow my blog for more tips and tricks!

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/lisajvogt

Instagram lvogt_originalsinglass

NEW Instagram through_the_artists_lens

LOOKING AHEAD TO SPRING 2020

GCB EXPO Book 2020

Vegas Baby!
Glass Craft & Bead Expo 2020!

Las Vegas, NV

April 1 – April 5, 2020

Get more info here.

It only happens once a year. Don’t miss this opportunity to hang out with me and do what we love best, fuse glass. Register today! Only a few seats left.

 2 SEATS LEFT SA-22 Sculptural Fused Glass Art

4 SEATS LEFT SU-01 NEW Sculptural Fused Glass DESIGN Made Easy

Currents, As seen in Sculptural Fused Glass Video

NEW FOR 2020

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

May 12-15, 2020

Register today!

ONLY 1 SEAT LEFT!

Register www.lisavogt.net

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

It’s hard to describe what it’s like when I’m feeling the creative flow. Time flies. Hours pass in what I thought were minutes. My naturally distracted mind is focused on what my hands are doing, and nothing else. I get lost in my own world. When I return to reality, I feel rejuvenated and spiritually uplifted. That’s why I like sharing my studio space with others. I try to give them that experience and hope they feel the same inspiration and fulfillment I do. -Lisa

Join me and I’ll show you all the pro tips and tricks I use to make stunning 3-dimnesional art. You’ll learn how to combine advanced techniques in new ways to create extraordinary sculptural pieces of art.

You’ll leave class with several completed glass sculptures, my custom firing guides and a deeper understanding of sculptural fused glass fabrication. You’ll have the knowledge, confidence and inspiration you’ve been craving to take your artwork to the next level.

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

This is the turning-point workshop you’ve been waiting for.

Here’s what the students are saying about the workshop.

“Lisa is very professional, knowledgeable and freakishly talented. House, art, mosaic, her work – really fun and beautiful.”   -Lorna

“Incredible class. Lisa shared her artistic knowledge of color flow and her technical knowledge of glass.”       -Larry

“I had so much fun! Lisa is a great teacher!”      -Brenda

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.

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. 

DSCN8447

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Glass Fusing 101-Beyond Basics

Bird Tile
Great glass work is the product of a strong foundation and knowledge base. So, let’s go back to the basics and make sure you’re clear on the fundamentals that produce consistent, high quality artwork.

Fusing Fundamentals-Beyond Basics

Wherever you are in your glass fusing journey, newbie or advanced artisan, I believe we can all benefit from reviewing construction basics on occasion. Here’s why:

Excited newbies are usually so eager to cut glass that they don’t really hear the guidelines and they lack the experience to realize the relative importance of these recommendations on their finished project. While advanced crafters are absorbed in the creative process and the end result, to the point that they can go blind to the practicality of solid construction.

Then there are those dare devils who’ve stumbled onto glass fusing and are immediately hooked. They dive right in giving little, if any, consideration to protocol. You know who you are. You fire first and ask later.

No matter how you came to call yourself a fuser, this is for you.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Glass Fusing- Defined

Glass fusing is the process of taking compatible glass, stacking it to make a pattern or design and then firing it in a kiln until the glass melts together. Simple, right? Now, let’s build from there.

Glass Fusing Fundamentals

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Volume Control – The Foundation for Quality Work

What is volume control, and why is it important?

Volume control is the relationship between how a project is assembled and its finished size, shape and thickness after fusing. It’s a formula you can use to accurately predict how your project will look and feel after it’s been fired.

Let’s say you want to fuse a series of glass tiles to make a back-splash for your kitchen. But you can only fit 20 tiles in your kiln at one time, and you need 200 tiles to complete the job. With what you’ll soon learn about volume control, every tile from the first to the last will match beautifully. Or, let’s say you have a tropical fish pattern you’d like to work into a larger project. Here, the size and shape of the finished piece is very important to you. If the fish shrinks or grows in size it could ruin the entire design.

Another thing to consider, is whether or not you intend to slump your fused glass. The fused glass must fit neatly inside the mold, not on the rim, or it will slump unevenly to one side. This is where volume control comes into effect. With it, you’ll know how to compensate for any potential growth in advance of fusing your glass. (A good rule of thumb is to measure the mold and then cut your glass ¼ inch to ½ inch smaller than that measurement.)

You have choices when it comes to how to assemble your projects. Different methods of construction will result in different project characteristics. Our goal here is to give you the tools to make educated decisions when selecting your technique so you have greater control and more satisfying results.

How Glass Reacts to High Heat

Fused glass seeks a thickness of ¼ inch. That means a project made with a single layer of 1/8” thick glass will shrink. When it shrinks, the edges roll in and can become sharp. This shrinkage causes inconsistencies in the glass thickness. It’s usually surprisingly thick around the perimeter and thin in the middle. A project made by layering two pieces of 1/8” thick glass is likely to retain its original size and shape and will have a consistent thickness throughout. While a project made by layering three pieces of 1/8” thick glass will grow. When it grows, the shape distorts, and a square becomes a bad circle.

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Before starting a project, ask yourself how it will be used. If it’s an ornament, a single layer might be your best method of assembly due to the loose, freeform shape and its light weight. If the piece is intended to be a decorative bowl, the two-layer assembly would be my choice. It has a clean, rounded edge quality and is consistent in thickness throughout. Now, if I were making a patterned sheet of glass to cut up with my saw, I’d go for the three-layer approach. In this example, the finished size and shape of the fused glass blank is irrelevant because the fused glass will be cut up.

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How the placement of accents effect the size and shape of fused glass.

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My Building Process

Most of my work is assembled with the two layer, plus accent method. I refer to the bottom layer as the base and the second as the design layer. The base layer and design layer are the same shape and size. The base layer is often a single piece of clear, but not always; sometimes it’s made up of cut pieces. The second design layer can be a single piece of glass, but often, its pieces fit together to make a specific pattern or design. The third accent layer is minimal, and it usually consists of small fusible elements that enhance the design theme. I choose to build this way because I get consistent results time after time. The finished size and shape of the artwork is predictable. The pieces come out of the kiln with beautiful rounded edges and a consistent thickness that is both attractive and durable.

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It’s All Good

Keep in mind, there’s no single right or wrong way to make any project. Personal preference, design style and function, should all play a role in helping you decide which approach is best. The objective is to consciously choose your fabrication method based on a solid understanding of the medium, rather than on a whim.

There are always exceptions to the rules. The minute I make finite rules for myself, I break them. So, I’ve learned not to box myself in. You shouldn’t either.

Enjoy the journey. The destination will take care of itself.

Here’s to Happy Fusing!
Lisa

Follow my blog for more tips and tricks!

Website http://www.LisaVogt.net
YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhOifd7wukk
Facebook http://www.Facebook.com/LisaJVogt
Twitter https://twitter.com/lisajvogt
Instagram lvogt_originalsinglass
NEW Instagram through_the_artists_lens

LOOKING AHEAD TO SPRING 2020

Shadow

Glass Craft & Bead Expo 2020!
Las Vegas, NV
April 1 – April 5, 2020
Get more info here.

It only happens once a year. Don’t miss this opportunity to hang out with me and do what we love best, fuse glass. Register today! Only a few seats left.

2 SEATS LEFT SA-22 Sculptural Fused Glass Art
4 SEATS LEFT SU-01 NEW Sculptural Fused Glass DESIGN Made Easy

Currents, As seen in Sculptural Fused Glass Video

NEW FOR 2020
Sculptural Fused Glass, 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop
May 12-15, 2020
Register today!
ONLY 1 SEAT LEFT!
Register http://www.lisavogt.net
Wesley Chapel, Florida, 4-Day, Hands-on, Class size is limited.

It’s hard to describe what it’s like when I’m feeling the creative flow. Time flies. Hours pass in what I thought were minutes. My naturally distracted mind is focused on what my hands are doing, and nothing else. I get lost in my own world. When I return to reality, I feel rejuvenated and spiritually uplifted. That’s why I like sharing my studio space with others. I try to give them that experience and hope they feel the same inspiration and fulfillment I do. -Lisa

Join me and I’ll show you all the pro tips and tricks I use to make stunning 3-dimnesional art. You’ll learn how to combine advanced techniques in new ways to create extraordinary sculptural pieces of art.

You’ll leave class with several completed glass sculptures, my custom firing guides and a deeper understanding of sculptural fused glass fabrication. You’ll have the knowledge, confidence and inspiration you’ve been craving to take your artwork to the next level.

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

This is the turning-point workshop you’ve been waiting for.

Here’s what the students are saying about the workshop.

“Lisa is very professional, knowledgeable and freakishly talented. House, art, mosaic, her work – really fun and beautiful.” -Lorna

“Incredible class. Lisa shared her artistic knowledge of color flow and her technical knowledge of glass.” -Larry

“I had so much fun! Lisa is a great teacher!” -Brenda

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.

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.

Bird Tile

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Make it Happen in 2020 – 3 Tips to Achieve Your Artistic Goals

Dancer, As seen in Sculptural Fused Glass Video.

It’s time for action. Take control of your artistic future!

Where do you see yourself at the year end? Dream big! Picture yourself there. What’s it going to take to make it happen? Set yourself up for success by allotting time and dedicating energy to making your dreams a reality.

It’s time to plan your year and buckle down to make sure you achieve your artistic goals. Planning can be as simple as a to-do list or as detailed as a mind-map. No more excuses or procrastinating. (You know who you are.)

I start by identifying my big picture goals. Then I list the individual tasks that have to be done to accomplish those set goals. I strive to tap and complete a portion of those smaller jobs every week. And before I know it, my work is moving steadily forward, and progress is being made in small, but positive ways.

Everglade, As seen on my website.

Here are some encouraging thoughts to motivate and inspire you to get started:

  1. Everyone has the potential to improve and grow their creative talent.

The only limitation is you. Allow yourself the freedom to explore, to fail and eventually to succeed. In my experience, the toughest, most difficult growth spurts I’ve experienced have directly led to the pivotal, ground-breaking techniques I use to fabricate my exhibition quality art today.

Wherever you are in your glass journey, whether you’re a beginner or advanced crafter there’s always more to learn. Artists benefit from instruction at every working level, especially advanced glass fusers. As the success of more complex pieces requires a solid understanding of a wide variety of techniques.

The most effective way to fast-track your creative style is to put yourself in a position to benefit from the expertise of other artists. Read articles, watch how-to videos, attend webinars and take hands-on classes.

Getting involved is inspiring. Plus, exposure to other active creatives puts you in a high energy, positive peer-pressure environment. It’s a nurturing atmosphere where you’re encouraged to challenge boundaries and cheered when you overcome obstacles. And, you’ll benefit from the practical fabrication tips that’ll strengthen your methods of construction, and at the same time further develop your artistic talent.

Heart 2 - Copy

  1. Trust your instincts and follow your heart.

Take a leap of faith and believe that your creative intuition is vibrant and valuable. Boldly step out of your comfort zone and try new designs ideas, work with unfamiliar materials and experiment with untested techniques. During the discovery phase the magic happens. That’s when unexpected possibilities come to light and spark new opportunities for creativity. Know that most great ideas were once crazy notions an inventor had the courage to try. Be that inventor and enjoy the exhilaration of producing surprising results and amazing glass art.

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  1. Surround yourself with positive influences and people who have achieved the kind of artistic success you want.

Positivity generates positive results. First, identify what artistic success means to you. For some glass artists it’s selling their work. For others it’s making one-of-a-kind pieces for themselves. For others it’s about the technical process they use to make glass projects.

Social media makes it easier than ever to get to know and feel a connection with well-known artists, experienced instructors and industry leaders. Seek out people and groups with interests that mirror your future goals.

Study their artistic methods. Soon you’ll see patterns you can identify with. Use that inspiration to develop your own design style and build your own brand. Take advantage of opportunities to meet and learn from the innovators you admire. They’re knowledge, expertise and practical tips will guide you to the higher level of artist success you crave.

Small steps in a forward direction lead to big success. You’re doing great!

Happy Fusing!

Lisa

Follow my blog for more tips and tricks! 

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/lisajvogt

Instagram lvogt_originalsinglass

NEW Instagram through_the_artists_lens

Shadow

LOOKING AHEAD TO SPRING 2020

Glass Craft & Bead Expo 2020!

Las Vegas, NV

April 1 – April 5, 2020

Get more info here.

It only happens once a year. Don’t miss this opportunity to hang out with me and do what we love best, fuse glass. Register today! Only a few seats left.

 2 SEATS LEFT SA-22 Sculptural Fused Glass Art

4 SEATS LEFT SU-01 NEW Sculptural Fused Glass DESIGN Made Easy

Interwoven 

NEW FOR 2020

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

May 12-15, 2020

Register today!

ONLY 2 SEATS LEFT!

Register www.lisavogt.net

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

It’s hard to describe what it’s like when I’m feeling the creative flow. Time flies. Hours pass in what I thought were minutes. My naturally distracted mind is focused on what my hands are doing, and nothing else. I get lost in my own world. When I return to reality, I feel rejuvenated and spiritually uplifted. That’s why I like sharing my studio space with others. I try to give them that experience and hope they feel the same inspiration and fulfillment I do. -Lisa

Join me and I’ll show you all the pro tips and tricks I use to make stunning 3-dimnesional art. You’ll learn how to combine advanced techniques in new ways to create extraordinary sculptural pieces of art.

You’ll leave class with several completed glass sculptures, my custom firing guides and a deeper understanding of sculptural fused glass fabrication. You’ll have the knowledge, confidence and inspiration you’ve been craving to take your artwork to the next level.

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

This is the turning-point workshop you’ve been waiting for.

Here’s what the students are saying about the workshop.

“Lisa is very professional, knowledgeable and freakishly talented. House, art, mosaic, her work – really fun and beautiful.”   -Lorna

 “Incredible class. Lisa shared her artistic knowledge of color flow and her technical knowledge of glass.”         -Larry

 “I had so much fun! Lisa is a great teacher!”           -Brenda

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.

Watch it NOW! Start fusing today!

Video covers - Copy 

Downloadable instructional videos for every skill level. Available here on my website. Book covers

Check out my eBooks for elegant patterns and detailed fusing instructions. Available here on my website.

Dancer, As seen in Sculptural Fused Glass Video.

 

 

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Fused Glass Sculptures Made Easy   

Interwoven

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 pastime.

I’m a hobbyist when it comes to other popular activities like singing, flower arranging and astronomy. 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.

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.

 

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.

Flow

Want to jump start your sculptural glass fusing in 2020? Join me this Tuesday, January 14, 2020 for my NEW Fused Glass Sculpture Webinar. 

You got this!

Happy fusing!

Lisa

Follow my blog for more tips and tricks!

Website www.LisaVogt.net

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

Facebook www.Facebook.com/LisaJVogt

Twitter https://twitter.com/lisajvogt Instagram lvogt_originalsinglass

NEW Instagram through_the_artists_lens

NEW WEBINAR for 2020

Fantasy

Fused Glass Sculpture, Webinar Tuesday January 14, 2020

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

All new projects and exciting techniques you can apply immediately to take your art to the next level. 

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.

 

LOOKING AHEAD TO SPRING 2020

Shadow

Glass Craft & Bead Expo 2020!

April 1 – April 5, 2020

Get more info here.

See you in Vegas! I’m teaching the following classes.

Register today! Classes are filling fast!

SOLD OUT! Fired Up! Fusing for the Adventurous

SOLD OUT TH-08 Painting with Frit

SOLD OUT FR-18 Breaking Through – Making Exhibition Quality Art

ONLY 2 SEATS LEFT SA-22 Sculptural Fused Glass Art

ONLY 4 SEATS LEFT SU-01 NEW Sculptural Fused Glass DESIGN Made Easy

Currents, As seen in Sculptural Fused Glass Video

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

May 12-15, 2020

Register today!

ONLY 2 SEATS LEFT!

Register www.lisavogt.net

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

It’s hard to describe what it’s like when I’m feeling the creative flow. Time flies. Hours pass in what I thought were minutes. My naturally distracted mind is focused on what my hands are doing, and nothing else. I get lost in my own world. When I return to reality, I feel rejuvenated and spiritually uplifted. That’s why I like sharing my studio space with others. I try to give them that experience and hope they feel the same inspiration and fulfillment I do. -Lisa

 Join me and I’ll show you all the pro tips and tricks I use to make stunning 3-dimnesional art. You’ll learn how to combine advanced techniques in new ways to create extraordinary sculptural pieces of art.

You’ll leave class with several completed glass sculptures, my custom firing guides and a deeper understanding of sculptural fused glass fabrication. You’ll have the knowledge, confidence and inspiration you’ve been craving to take your artwork to the next level.

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

This is the turning-point workshop you’ve been waiting for.

Here’s what the students are saying about the workshop.

“Lisa is very professional, knowledgeable and freakishly talented. House, art, mosaic, her work – really fun and beautiful.”   -Lorna

“Incredible class. Lisa shared her artistic knowledge of color flow and her technical knowledge of glass.”         -Larry

“I had so much fun! Lisa is a great teacher!”           -Brenda

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.

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. 

Interwoven

Posted on 3 Comments

2020 Get Fired Up for Fusing!

Fearless, As seen on my website.
Fearless, as seen on my website.

To wrap up 2019 and inspire you for a productive 2020, I’m sharing my favorite glass art pictures of 2019.

 

Over the holidays I enjoyed quality time with family and friends. I took a few days off to relax and refresh my creative spirit, but now I’m ready to take 2020 on and make exiting new glass art.

Whispering Woodlands As seen on my website.
Whispering Woodlands, as seen on my website.

Before jumping ahead and making a bunch of resolutions, I like to list some of my accomplishments from the previous year. This simple exercise is a huge boost to my self-esteem. It’s tangible proof that my efforts, no matter how small, are making a difference. And what’s better, is the satisfaction I feel knowing that I’ve made progress. And that’s a powerful motivator for building forward momentum toward new goals.

Shattered As seen on my website.
Shattered, as seen on my website.

Take a minute and list the things you accomplished in 2019. Then think about your process. What steps did you take to achieved success? What worked? What didn’t? How can you improve your results? Now, take time to be proud of yourself. Any progress is positive.

River Rock Bowl, As seen in Creative Shapes Video.
River Rock, as seen in Creative Shapes video.

You did a great job! Cheers!

Paradise Cove, As seen on my website.
Paradise Cove, as seen on my website.

Then think about the future. What do you want to be able to list this time next year? What steps can you start taking right now, today, to guarantee your success at the end of this year?

Ice, As seen in Creative Shapes Video.
Ice, as seen in Creative Shapes video.

As for me, I’m proud to say I built, and now manage my new website. I’m amazed how well my website has been received. And I’m thrilled that it’s been a wonderful vehicle to connect with so many established and new glass artists. Also, in 2019 I completed several custom art glass installations, produced three new instructional videos and wrote several glass related articles. Plus, I entered a few short stories in competitions. That’s fun stuff!

Glacier, As seen in Creative Slumping Webinar.
Glacier, as seen in Creative Slumping webinar.

In 2020 I intend to practice yoga more regularly and add meditation to my weekly routine. I plan to produce two new instructional videos utilizing newly developed advanced glass fusing techniques. I’m also going to design more original, sculptural commissions. And, I’ll write more regularly and finish my novel.

Garden Party, As seen in Fun & Fanciful Fusing Video.
Garden Party, as seen in Fun & Fanciful Fusing video.

If improving your glass skills and growing your artistic style are on your 2020 list, I’m here to help you achieve success. It’s a pleasure to share in your progress and a joy to see you develop your own personal flare.

Everglade, As seen on my website.
Everglade, as seen on my website.

I hope these images spark your imagination and motivate you to try new designs, use advanced techniques and invest time in your artistic growth in 2020.

Dancer, As seen in Sculptural Fused Glass Video.
Dancer, as seen in Sculptural Fused Glass video.

Here’s to another creative year!

Cotton, As seen in Creative Shapes Video.
Cotton, as seen in Creative Shapes video.

Cheers!

Lisa

 

Follow my blog for more tips and tricks!

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/lisajvogt

Instagram lvogt_originalsinglass

NEW Instagram through_the_artists_lens

Shadow

NEW WEBINAR for 2020

 All new projects and exciting techniques you can apply immediately to take your art to the next level.  

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.

LOOKING AHEAD TO SPRING 2020

GCB EXPO Book 2020 

Glass Craft & Bead Expo 2020!

April 1 – April 5, 2020

Get more info here.

See you in Vegas! I’m teaching the following classes.

Register today! Classes are filling fast!

SOLD OUT! Fired Up! Fusing for the Adventurous

SOLD OUT TH-08 Painting with Frit

SOLD OUT FR-18 Breaking Through – Making Exhibition Quality Art

2 SEATS LEFT SA-22 Sculptural Fused Glass Art

4 SEATS LEFT SU-01 NEW Sculptural Fused Glass DESIGN Made Easy

Currents, As seen in Sculptural Fused Glass Video
Currents, as seen in Sculptural Fused Glass video.

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

May 12-15, 2020

Register today! ONLY 2 SEATS LEFT!

Register www.lisavogt.net

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

It’s hard to describe what it’s like when I’m feeling the creative flow. Time flies. Hours pass in what I thought were minutes. My naturally distracted mind is focused on what my hands are doing, and nothing else. I get lost in my own world. When I return to reality, I feel rejuvenated and spiritually uplifted. That’s why I like sharing my studio space with others. I try to give them that experience and hope they feel the same inspiration and fulfillment I do. -Lisa

Join me and I’ll show you all the pro tips and tricks I use to make stunning 3-dimnesional art. You’ll learn how to combine advanced techniques in new ways to create extraordinary sculptural pieces of art.

You’ll leave class with several completed glass sculptures, my custom firing guides and a deeper understanding of sculptural fused glass fabrication. You’ll have the knowledge, confidence and inspiration you’ve been craving to take your artwork to the next level.

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

This is the turning-point workshop you’ve been waiting for.

Wonderous, As seen in Sculptural Fused Glass Video.
Wonderous, as seen in Sculptural Fused Glass video.

Here’s what the students are saying about the workshop.

“Lisa is very professional, knowledgeable and freakishly talented. House, art, mosaic, her work – really fun and beautiful.”   -Lorna

 “Incredible class. Lisa shared her artistic knowledge of color flow and her technical knowledge of glass.”         -Larry

“I had so much fun! Lisa is a great teacher!”           -Brenda

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.

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. 

Bountiful Harvest, As seen on my website.
Bountiful, as seen on my website.