Last weekend I did a course in Yorkshire with glass artist Marcel. Going to Tuffnell Glass’s studio is always good for refreshing my energy and trying new techniques. It’s nice to have two days with like minded people to bounce ideas off and get new ones started.
Saturday started with gold and silver fuming, which I have not tried before. This involved heating a small piece of gold or silver foil in the torch and ‘catching’ the fume on your sculpting glass which should give exciting colour changes depending on the colour of the base glass and the type of metal you fume.
These are my pieces from that portion of the class. The black pendant is supposed to have gold and silver fumes trapped in the the clear dome but I didn’t think I was getting the gold to fume right so I did a smaller piece with just gold.
The heart was black and white to show what was happening with the fumes. Gold fumes should turn the white glass pink. And it did a little. I thought I’d burned all the gold out of the fuming rod and not wanting to waste it I wrapped it around the coloured base. When it came out of the kiln, I was quite surprise to see that in fact there was lots of gold left . So much so that I’ve now got a band of real gold around heart.
Next we worked with a technique called compression. This involved precise positioning of dots and lines then melting them in to form a flower. When it works it’s amazing. It’s something I’ve been struggling with for years. At times I get lovely flowers, other times it’s more scrambled eggy mess.
This one turned out OK, a little off centre but the petals formed better than some of my flowers. I’m going to try turning it into a marble instead of a pendant to overcome the lopsidedness.
On Sunday we started off with eyes. It was quite a lengthy demonstration and we were struggling to finish our pieces before lunch. In the end I made mine into a marble after lunch. I wasn’t too keen on wearing an enormous eye pendant but watching an eye roll around my marble maze sounded cool.
I have it sitting in one of my little test pieces I’ve been making to practice hallow work. They seem to be just the right size to hold marbles.
Lastly our instructor Marcel made an ammonite over an anemone. This was an awful tongue twister that I still can’t get my mouth around but the results were quite pretty.
In this sculpture the anemone is a compression like the flowers but with dots instead of lines.
I had eyes on this originally but I didn’t seal them well enough to the ammonite’s head and they popped off on the car ride home. I might try to heat him up and add some new eyes. Maybe more tentacles as well.
Lots to take in and it will be interesting to see what new developments occur from the inspirations. I wasn’t all that excited with eyes or ammonites before but on the long drive back to Scotland I came up with several ways to incorporate eyes into Gothic type sculptures.
Watch this space and I’ll let you know how that turns out.