Fused Glass Platter, Coasters, Wine Coaster and Stoppers – A Tableware Collection

IMG_3536The Tropical Weave collection of pieces started with a bucket full of ends that had been sliced off sheets of raked glass.  When I trim a piece, the leftovers are often quite beautiful – and so I saved them like shells from the seashore. IMG_3588IMG_3580

 

 

The trimmings were placed on edge and brought to a full fuse in the kiln.  The somewhat haphazard way that the pieces melted created  dabs of color that look like something Van Gogh might apply to one of his canvases.

 

 

 

The solid areas of color intensify the painterly quality of the raked glass ends.  I added glass stingers with the idea that their linear appearance would contrast with the dabbiness of the areas where the glass was allowed to do its own thing.

 

 

IMG_3535I ‘m particularly pleased with the tropical vibrancy of the colors.  The organic way the dabs  work together makes me think of woven textiles.  The irregularity looks like one of those rag rugs my grandmother always had in the kitchen.

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I used the entire bucket of trimmings to create these pieces!  Leftovers used to make something new and beautiful – the Tropical Weave collection.

 

 

 

 

House Warming Gifts – Fused Glass Coasters, Stoppers, Platters, and Candle Arches

IMG_1346A Different Path 4C d

 

A new home is cause for celebration-  be it your own or a friend’s.   A special gift of unique art glass adds a festive touch.

 

 

 

 

Wine bottle coasters not only look great but they protect the finish of your table from drips.  A matching bottle stopper and drink coasters are a thoughtful addition.

Sunrise Papaya coaster stopper

 

 

Bottle coasters and stoppers can be paired with a special bottle of wine, a flavored oil or an herb infused vinegar.  The stoppers are made with kitchen grade stainless steel so they can be used with confidence.

 

 

 

A unique OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAplatter or set of plates will bring years of enjoyment each time it is used to serve cheese, fruit or have that special meal.

Coral Reef

 

 

 

 

 

 

A handcrafted candle arch with windlight will dress up your home during the day and the evening.  It is an elegant sculpture that casts a gentle glow at night when the tea light is lit.

 

 

 

Kiln Cast Hearts Block – Je t’aime

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My husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary this summer.  This is a piece I made for him – Je t’aime.  I have wanted to do a piece using kiln casting and this seemed like a great opportunity.  I wanted to play with the idea of depth using both form and text.

 

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I started by writing my text on three seperate layers of glass each at different intervals.  When the three layers were stacked, the text came from back to front like three sets of stairs.

 

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In three seperate layers, I cut the clear glass to make room for the three hearts.  Because the hearts are cut from raked glass that is 6mm thick, the clear glass that surrounds each heart is doubled to keep the layers uniform.

 

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Once the layers were stacked, I cut four pieces of clear irridized glass for the sides.  By cutting the sides 8mm shorter than the stack of glass, the top corners have a nice bullnose finish.

 

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The irridized glass provided a clean side so that I had to do very little cold work on the finished piece.  I was very pleased with the way the hearts seem to float in space.

 

 

 

 

Summer Fused Glass Platters- Pattern Bar Flow

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There are so many ways to create and use pattern bars.  I created this platter by cutting apart a fused panel that had cracked during firing.  I tack fused the strips together and then cut them into pieces and arranged them onto a blank of blue glass.

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The chunks of pattern bar flowed into the negative space creating wonderfully geological strata in organic shapes.  The platter was shaped in a mold to gently raise the corners.

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By placing the chunks of pattern bar onto the blue glass, the layers seem to flow into the base glass in gradualy softiening hues of blue.  This project was a great way to repurpose an unsucessful piece of fusing.

 

 

 

Summer Fused Glass Platters – Raked Glass

IMG_3139IMG_1642 This summer platter began as a collection of raked glass scrap from a previous project. I rarely throw fused glass scrap away as it can always be repurposed into a new project.

 

Layering the raked glass atop areas of colored glass created a soft, organic feel like the shifting colors of light on water.   The areas of solid colored glass acted as a foil for the movement in the raked glass.Ocean Platter b

 

 

I added three circles of thin copper sheet into the design.  I coated them with flux before fusing them as inclusions.  This gave the copper a very deep, indigo blue color.  The combination of geometric and organic shapes creates a visual tension that I find interesting.

 

 

Summer Fused Glass Platters – Kiln Carving

Kailua platter                                                     This platter started out as a sample for a larger project.  Each of the raked glass areas had very strong color combinations that I hoped would work in tandem and not fist fight each other.  Kailua platter with Croton

 

 

 

The inspiration for the color selection came from the croton plants which were growing aroung the front lanai of the home the final piece was being designed for.

kiln carved leaf

 

 

Once I had combined the areas of raked glass, I kiln carved versions of the leaf structure into the back of the glass to emphasise the organic design.  A variation of “from garden to table.”

 

 

 

Design Side Down, Old Dogs and If At First You Don’t Succeed

Asian Totem

Asian Totem

I know glass artists have been firing design side down with great success but I guess when you’re self-taught, the learning curve is a bit slower, a bit gentler. It’s easy to get comfortable with what you know.  I have been merrily layering my design on the base glass and fusing them together- generally without incident and achieving the look I wanted.

One day, I proposed a design for a client that had crisp, clean lines- a highly grahic sensibility.  I was branching out from my customary look of soft, organic lines.  So I carefully cut the glass and layered the pieces on a clear blank as I had done before.

first attempt

first attempt

For me, opening the kiln is like opening a door into a room you’ve not been into before. Ususally it’s inviting, interesting. Sometimes it’s an opportunity for problem solving. Rarely is it dissappointing.

But this time, I could see the error of my ways immediately.  Despite careful cutting and positioning, the flow of the glass had had its way with my design.  The edges between the colors were anything but crisp.  This dog had to learn a new trick in order to achieve the graphic look the design demanded.

Being on an island has many wonderful advantages but easy access to classes at Bullseye Glass is not one of them.  Luckily for me, the folks at Bullseye have made the Pacific ocean just one more puddle on a rainy day when it comes to getting technical information and creative ideas out there.  I remembered seeing something about layering the glass in reverse order but had never tried it.

clean lines and texture

clean lines and texture

I quickly accessed Bullseye tip sheet #7 -Plate Making Tips.  It explained that in order to get the sharpest lines and cleanest seams one should fire with the design side down.  The top layer will hold the design layer closely together as the fusing progresses.  So, I recut the glass and carefully laid it out in this manner.  The glass behaved exactly as predicted flowing into any minor open spaces creating the crips lines that were essential to this design.

I tack fused the calligraphy, glass nuggets and glass stringeres onto the surface of the glass to create the textural element.  When the final firing was complete, the piece looked as I had invisioned.

Asian totem at home

Asian totem at home

Once the glass was finished, I built the frame and base to complete the sculpture.  The client was pleased with the final look and it fits in quite well with the room’s Asian vibe- white with splashes of black and red.

For me, the take away was remembering that trying new techniques will add depth to my design repetoire.  The same old trick will not always get you where you want to go.

 

 

 

 

Hoe a mau: paddle together

Hoe a mau is an expression that conveys the importance of paddling together- each contributing to the effort, each relying on the other to be successful.  I used this as the point of departure for a set of three fused and kiln carved glass sculptures.  My first thought was to explore how the elements work together to create a dynamic environment in the natural world.

Gazing at stars gGazing at stars begins with verdant mountain slopes disappearing into rolling waves.  They in turn give way to the deep ocean that has its own stars- sea urchins.  As I carved the patterns and created the curves, the crags of the mountains became a face weathered by time, buffeted by life’s events.   Learning to embrace the deeper meaning of traveling the road with a soul mate comes with gazing at stars.

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You’ll always be there started as an exploration of the sun and the moon -each playing their role, extending their reach toward the other, with the ever-present sea keeping them apart.  Each reaches out through the waves knowing that, no matter what, the other will always be there.  This piece became a love song.

 

 

Room for new growth e

Room for new growth explores the flow of molten lava as it roils down the slopes of the mountain and spills into the sea.  The force of the undulating waves of lava kiln carved into the glass like great sobs brought to mind the emotional turmoil that often precedes new understanding.

 

The evolution of these pieces as they came together took an interesting turn that I would not have predicted.  The story that started as a gaze into the distance became one that looked inward at elements paddling together in my own story- hoe a mau!

Michelle Caron

 

Brother Sun, Sister Moon- A Stained Glass and Fused Glass Skylight

Brother Sun, Sister Moon color sketchThis project was an opportunity to combine several of my favorite elements into a one integrated design:  the relationship of the sun and moon; the beautiful colors and chill of fall; the alchemy of wine.  The skylight was commissioned to celebrate the birthday of the client’s husband.  She wanted a design that would incorporate some of the vibe from the movie Brother Sun, Sister Moon as a nod to their two children and would also incorporate a love for wine as her husband is a Master Sommelier.

Moon rake close-upBecause the panel will be viewed as a skylight and the dimensions are almost square, I decided to anchor the design on the diagonal.  It has a medieval almanac feel to it as the rays of the sun grow wider as the seasons move toward  summer.  Within the raked blue glass of the moon,  I kiln carved a flame and a soaring bird, calling to mind the light of Saint Claire and Saint Francis’ love for nature.

 

summer rake close-up“De cep en verre” (from the vine stalk to the glass) is a phrase I came across  while at a wine festival in Nolay, France.  This project offered the chance to explore the cycle of the vine in design.  The vine and leaves pass from spring to summer and on to fall ending with two glasses of wine in winter.  The leaves were created by raking glass with the hues to express the seasons.

 

ready to solder close-up fallI kept the leaves as circles to reinforce the cyclical nature of the seasons, the sun and moon, and the process of making wine. The outline of grape leaves are kiln carved into the back of the leaf circles.  The grape clusters were also created using raked blue, violet, plum and lavender glass with iridescent glass nuggets tack fused on the surface for depth.

Brother Sun, Sister Moon-finOnce all of the glass was cut, fused and wrapped in copper foil, I soldered the  panel, framed it and secured it with re-bar going both horizontally and vertically.  The panel will be suspended over people’s heads so it needed to be very stable.  It was crated and shipped to the client’s home where it arrived safely ready for installation.  She and her husband are both very pleased with the new addition to their home. Santé!

Michelle Caron

Limitless- Fused Glass Sculpture

Limitless

Limitless

 

This art glass sculpture was inspired by the logo for Limitless Health Clinic in Ontario, Canada. It was commissioned as a gift to welcome their enterprise into a new working space. The client wanted the shape of the glass sculpture to capture the expansive feel of good health- as though it were reaching up, taking a deep breath of air, and then exhaling.

 

Raked Glass used for the sculpture

Raked Glass used for the sculpture

 

The sculpture is composed of three parts each created using glass raking to form the swirls and eddies of color.  Each part was shaped and draped in the kiln into the three dimensional forms for the final sculpture.  The body has a stethoscope kiln carved into the back of the glass body.

 

bird's-eye view

bird’s-eye view

 

It and the two ribbons are attached to a central stainless steel shaft via a heavy gauge wire coil.  The client, who works with stainless steel, kindly offered to ship precut pieces for me to use.  They were beautifully wrought and a wonderful way to have his artistry included into the sculpture.  Each of the ribbons is then attached at a second point to separate shafts of differing heights.  The three shafts were imbedded securely into a piece of lava rock.

 

lava rock base

lava rock base

The owners of the clinic had visited Hawaii and so having their sculpture created here added that energy to the piece. The client asked if the base could be made of indigenous rock- our local rock is lava.   In Hawaiian mythology, all things volcanic are under the purview of the fiery goddess Pele and it is believed that removing lava rock from the islands is a sure way to incur her wrath.  I talked to a friend about having a piece of lava rock blessed as a way of avoiding any undo mischief.  And then there was the issue of trying to shape the lava rock into a base.  I went to a shop called Geobunga to see what they might have- perhaps something man-made that looked like lava.  I was told the rock was indeed real lava- but not from Hawaii. Problem solved!  I found the perfect piece of lava with the shape I wanted and proceeded to assemble the sculpture.  It was truly a global piece of art!

Island Home

Island Home

 

The sculpture arrived at its destination safe and sound -except for one wire that somehow snapped but without damaging the glass.  Was this a “stern look” from Pele?  Perhaps.  The wire was replaced and the sculpture was given to the client’s friends at Limitless Health Clinic.