Photo History of 10 years experimenting with Fused Glass

The Retrospective photo album in this website traces my journey from Novice to Pretty Darn Good. Initially it involved taking classes; just enough to make me a safe beginner. So, I started with the easiest project which was a set of coasters. There is no logic in the development process. It’s simply an example of someone who doesn’t know what he wants to do and can’t wait to experiment with the next idea. In the beginning there was a fair amount of copying things done by others. This was very valuable in “learning the trade.” When you don’t have a destination it doesn’t matter which way you go. Every project starts flat. The first firing in the kiln is to make one piece out of many by fusing different sizes, shapes and colors of glass together, but even this isn’t totally straight forward. You may want to add some texture or relief for a little more dimension and interest in the piece. Screen printing with powdered glass allows for graphic designs which couldn’t be achieved by cutting the glass. Slumping and draping creates more 3 dimensional pieces. Melting glass in a flower pot and letting it drip out the bottom hole is the ultimate in unexpected designs. All of these techniques have many variations which coupled with different kiln firing schedules (different temperatures and timing) yield a virtually unlimited number of possibilities for experimentation. The first picture in the Retrospective is a simple coaster, one of the first pieces I made. The rest of the photos show the eclectic spirit at work with the chandeliers as the most recent variation on the progression of ideas and experiments. This came from trying different designs; fusing and draping the glass, and ultimately creating a tall three dimensional piece which is particularly unusual in the world of fused glass. The chandelier pieces began as table top free standing glass art and then morphed into the light fixtures. All of this stemmed from a perceived need to stay active in retirement.

Denis Carey

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