Fossil Vitra: exploring color, shape and texture

Yellow Ginger and Fern

Living in Hawaii provides such a treasure trove of natural beauty.  The colors, shapes and textures inspire, encourage and invite creativity   Many of my pieces express my interpretation of the landscapes and seascapes that surround me.  When I read Paul Tarlow’s article on using the technique of fossil vitra, the idea of incorporating the natural world into my glass art was exciting.



Red Ginger plate


Flowers and ferns from my garden have created beautiful imprints that I like to contrast with geometric shapes and lines.  I am often drawn to threesomes and so re-purposing glass chunks into freestyle areas creates the third component.  The colors, shapes and textures of Hawaii find voice in these pieces.



Sunset Bouquet plate

When my nephew and his wife were married on the North Shore of Oahu last summer, their wedding bouquet was a stunning mix of orchids.  Though they would not be taking the bouquet home to the mainland, a wedding gift of two fused glass plates with imprints from these orchids was a way to capture the moment.

Yellow Ginger Plate

I’ve made a few adjustments to the steps outlined in the article.  Though the matte surface of the glass when it is reverse fired atop the flowers has its appeal, I found using this as just the first step allowed me to have a glossy, uniform finish that seemed a better match for food bearing surfaces.  Once I created the fossil under a single layer of clear glass, it became the top layer in a traditional two layer full fuse firing.  The finished piece locks the enamel used to create the imprint securely between two layers of glass.

This technique allows me to incorporate the unique beauty of each blossom and leaf into my art.  Creating a tangible connection between glass and organic material appeals to my inner bricoleur.

Michelle Caron