Elegant fused glass art is handcrafted by layering glass and then fusing it together to form a solid piece that is made into many types of art. My name is Karen and I create each piece of Fused Glass jewelry and gallery art in my home studio in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Recently I had a request to carve a name into the back of glass. I tried a couple times but it kept being backwards. so I did some tests. Now if I need it to be on the front I know how to put it and if it’s on the back I know how to put it as well.
As a test, business card holder, to see if the word would hold if I fired it again and it did. The word is faint but it’s still there, this picture doesn’t do it justice. It means I can add words to the back of glass or to the front.
One of my goals this year is to use products that I have on hand. The one I decided to use this month is my wood bookends. So I decided to use my luminescent glass and textured molds. The first one is a beautiful glass and I used my butterfly texture. The glass is opalescent vs transparent but I think they turned out beautifully.
I also made dragonflies,
now this glass is a dark transparent so you can see a bit of the dragonflies
through the glass. It’s also purple glass. In case you weren’t aware purple,
pink, and red glasses are expensive because they are made with a bit of gold.
Speaking of gold I also
made butterflies with this lovely amber / gold glass. It’s much more
transparent and I think a lovely set of bookends.
This set is an iridized bluish purple one side is of dolphins and the other side is of a light house. The glass is a bit different shades, but compliment one another.
This set is the green
man and the lady in the woods. He has a bit more iridized and she has a bit
more definition. Both are very transparent so they can be used either way.
I’m curious which one is
your favorite set? I ask because I like them all!
Another question for
you, is there something you’d like me to make from glass as a bookend? I was
thinking about my granddaughter. I think I’ll make a set with her lovely face
on them, to show I can make custom bookends as well.
Last month I made a fused glass amber flower with luminescent glass. I liked it so much I thought I’d make another one well I ended up making three.
This is my Amber flower
I liked it so much I made a set of blues and green fused glass flower wall sculptures. The first fused glass flower is blue and clear luminescent glass. I put a blue center that actually stands out and in the center of it I put frit and murrini and then I added resin. I also put a hanger on the back so it will hang on the wall with her sisters. The left side is the entire flower. As you can see it’s iridized and a mix of clear and blue. The right side is a close up of the middle of the flower.
The second flower is made from the same glass and I fused it on a textured plate with thinner petals. This time the center is a lovely green. I put white and dichroic pebbles in the green center and again used resin.
The third flower is a
bit deeper and this time I just put a copper and red center. I like them all so
much. I just wish I could display them properly at my shows. They are amazing
and flat just doesn’t do them justice.
Here is a picture of
them all together. I really like them all, but I’m curious which one do you
In my DYK (below) I wrote about my trip to Ottawa Canada this month. When I travel (for work or pleasure) I try to see something that’s glass related. When I asked my fused glass Facebook group they told me to visit Glass eMotions studio outside of Ottawa. The picture above is from Glass eMotion’s website, it’s from her back yard looking at the studio.
I’ve been wanting to take a class with Margurite Beneke, a wonderful glass artist from South Africa. She is new to teaching and has only been teaching in Ottawa, so I thought I’d give Glass eMotions a call. Glass eMotions is owned by Crystal, a lovely and talented artist. She was closed for remodeling but she invited me in like we were old friends. Just so you can see some of Margurite’s artwork I just googled her and here are just some pictures of her amazing artwork. I can’t wait to take her class.
First of all, I want to
Thank Crystal for being so gracious as to let me visit on such short notice.
You are so sweet and kind to let me pepper you with questions (I must have
changed topics 100 times in the 30 minutes I was there) and wonder all over
your studio. This is a picture of Crystal holding one of her beautiful
dropouts. Look how huge it is! As I said very talented artist.
She let me take photos
of her studio but since she is remodeling I don’t want to show them, but
suffice it to say it’s going to be tremendous when she’s done. I will show one
of my favorite pieces of Crystals, isn’t she beautiful!
I also loved how she had
glass art all over her yard. I kept saying oh this reminds me of Laurie’s place
(Laurie Spray is a fabulous artist near Santa Cruz and I LOVE her so much I’m
going back in November). This is Crystal’s backyard, such a beautiful setting
for a fused glass retreat and so many decks you can just pick your view.
As I mentioned one of the reasons I wanted to stop by Glass eMotions is I want to take a class with Margurite Beneke After seeing Crystal’s studio I have no qualms at all about going back and taking a class with her (I just won’t fly through Toronto). BTW Crystal has several terrific guest instructors scheduled, so if you are a fused glass artist check out Glass eMotions. Couldn’t help myself here is another one of Margurite’s pieces from google.
Thank you again Crystal and I hope to see you and Margurite in May.
I’ve been blogging about my fused class with Miriam in my last few blogs and before that I blogged about my class with Tonya.
The 1 similarity with both classes is where I took the classes. It’s at D & L in Denver Colorado. I allow myself up to 3 glass classes a year but the more I take locally, I can push it to 4 (schedule permitting of course).
I’m always talking about the instructors I’ve taken like; Tonya, Miriam, Alice, Alyssa, Cathy, Shelley, Patty, etc., all at D & L.
But I never talk about the woman behind the scene… Meredith.
Me & Meredith
First Meredith is an artist in her own right. She’s worked at bullseye glass, among other glass studios for over 15 years with a focus on technique and education. Second she makes everything run seamlessly. She gets there early and sets up, she picks the best places for lunch and then goes and gets them for us. She stays late to set the kilns to fire. She makes sure everything goes perfectly. She’s always helpful with fusing advise as well.
So Thank You Meredith for making taking classes at D&L such a joy no matter who the instructor is.
Third I’ve taken at least 2 classes from her the Glaskolben Ornaments and a screen printing class.
Fourth she asks for requests on who we want to teach then she does her best to get them there! I can’t wait to see what you have in store for me next year. I so hope she can talk Craig Mitchell Smith to teach at D&L. I just can’t get enough of his classes.
Again I just wanted to give a Shout-Out to Meredith for all she does before, during, and after our classes.
When I take a glass class in other locations I typically do some touristy things as well. For Instance: When I took a class with Amanda Taylor in NY with my friends I went to Niagra Falls and Corning. When I took my classes with Bob Leatherbarrow in Salt Springs Island Canada I drove around the Island and saw the beauty of this small Island. When I go to California to take classes from Laurie Spray I visit Santa Cruz.
But when I go to D&L, in Denver, I typically just bring glass as work in the hotel room. However, during my class with Miriam she wanted to go to the Denver Botanical Gardens and the Denver Art Museum. So about 1/2 the students went with her. I’m so glad I did. First even though we’ve had some really bad weather it was still beautiful. Of course we got to see Chihuly’s piece. But we also just walked walked the gardens and had fun.
Afterwards we went to the Denver Art Museum. I loved how Miriam looked at things so differently. I’m not sure if it’s because she’s Argentina or that she lives in Italy but it’s fascinating. Here are just a couple pictures. My favorite is the first two, it’s a huge sculpture of tiny pictures (the 2nd picture), it just made me think of glass. I just loved it. Ironically all of my favorite pieces where glass or made me think of glass, go figure.
I enjoyed these trips so much I think I’m going to try to do one “touristy” trip while I’m in Denver next time. Of course I must admit, one will probably be the gardens again. I loved it! Sometimes you have to act like a tourist in your own town.
As I mentioned in my last blog, I took a class with Miriam Di Fiore. I so loved this class for all of the reasons I wrote in my last blog and because of the fabulous pieces I made in class. Well here they are. This first one frustrated me to no end. At one point I wiped off the glass 3 different times, so freaking frustrating. But I love it. I put white glass on the bottom so the piece really pops. It’s 4 or 5 layers (I lost count) and 4 firings. Lots of work but I think it’s beautiful.
This next piece was pretty time consuming and I made some mistakes but I still think it’s beautiful. I learned so much in this class. This one is transparent so I just need to figure out the best way to display it.
As I mentioned it was a 5-day class and we made 2 projects (above). Each piece was fired at least 4 times. Miriam said she normally fires 5-7 times. I don’t think I’ve ever fired a piece more than 5 times and that includes the slump or firepolish, these weren’t slumped or firepolished! But you have to admit these are stunning pieces.
me pulling stringer
I took another glass landscape class from Alice Benvie Gebhart and I thought this would be similar but it wasn’t. That’s one of the reasons why I love glass it’s so versatile – it never ceases to amaze me. In case you don’t remember here is a picture of them. Both instructors are amazing and I highly recommend taking both classes, you learn such different techniques.
Recently I took a great glass class with the world renown artist Miriam Di Fiore. She creates fabulous Glass landscapes that are just incredible. I have always been drawn to landscapes and especially Miriam’s glass landscapes. They are not just typical landscapes. Here are a few of Miriam’s landscapes she showed us. Aren’t they amazing. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket but aren’t Miriam’s glass instruments stunning!
Miriam is a fabulous teacher, she’s extremely passionate and meticulous about her art. She wants her students to have great pieces so she’s pretty specific about her technique. But I don’t mind a direct instructor. The other thing I loved about Miriam is not only is she passionate, she’s technical. She gave us so many technical lessons about glass. Things I never knew, it was a truly fantastic class. Oh yeah and did I mention she also went over some of the websites from some of the students and gave them advise (which we could all use). Then she went over her glass pieces and gave us some specifics about displaying our art. Speaking of here are 2 more of her pieces, the display really adds vs distracts from the piece.
Miriam also is one of the first teachers that I’ve worked with that encouraged us not to just use her technique but to teach it. Normally that’s a big no no. All she asked was that we give her credit. My view is why wouldn’t you acknowledge the instructor, I always say “I learned this technique from Bob Leatherbarrow or Tanya Viet or David Alcala or Patty Gray etc.” It’s important to me to give credit where credit is due. The other thing she said that was pretty fascinating that I never really thought about is, when we post our pictures of what we made to make sure we say it was made in class with her help and guidance. Her reasoning is when we make something in class it’s not really just ours. There were 10 people in Miriam’s class and we were all looking at each other’s work and asking each other for input and of course Miriam helped with each piece either pulling stringers or adding this or taking off that or recommending color combinations. Her point is it’s not just ours and to say that it is would be misleading. Considering I never sell my pieces from class this is a pretty easy request, plus the only time I show my class pieces are in my blog and it’s all about my class. These are her versions of what was done in class but in both cases they are not done, she said she has at least 2 or 3 more firings before she is happy with hers.
The class was 5 days and we worked with the torch a lot (she showed us
the difference between using a micro butane torch and the mapp gas
torch. Until my class with Tonya I never used a torch for fused glass
(have taken a couple flameworking classes but totally different torch).
We were using the torch constantly. I really liked it.
In my next blog I’ll show you my pieces I made in class. I just really loved this class and I wanted to show what an amazing artist she is.
I love creating fused glass, but sometimes I struggle finishing my projects especially my jewelry. So when I go on a trip I like to bring something with me to finished. I finished the following during my channel class. I love trees and these are beautiful fused glass pendants, most are trees of life.
Here are some more fused glass pendants I finished in my channel class.I really like the ones on the left, I love them so unique. I love the different colors and shapes, especially the long skinny ones. So many pretty pieces, let me know what your favorites are. I also finished some decal pendants. Remember pendants can be made into key chains, bookmarks, and so many other things.
In addition to pendants I also made some pins and a little box.
When I was in Alabama I finished some snaps; tiny, med, and big. The two pictured below are the big fused glass snaps and the tiny snaps. I even made a couple earrings.
The fused glass snaps below are the medium but they are bigger than the average. I love them because you can rotate them and the look changes completely. Let me know is your favorite.
The fused glass snaps below are some more pieces I finished. The ones on the left are 18-20mm. The ones in the middle are some etchings, dicro-slide, decals, silver, etc. The far right are smaller but I like the different shapes.
Yes I love glass and I love it when I finish wonderful pieces like these. There are so many techniques, which ones are your favorites? Sorry my photography isn’t the best.
For those who follow me know I travel a bit with my job. I’ve been to Rhode Island, Germany, London, and Alabama numerous times. Sadly there isn’t a lot of glass opportunities when I visit Alabama, but there is so much history near Montgomery; Rosa Parks, civil rights movement, etc. As you may know I’m retired Air Force. So during this trip one of the things I got to do was visit the Tuskegee Museum. Below is a picture of the back of one of my T-shirts I got when I was deployed to Iraq 10 years ago. Kind of ironic huh.
The Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site at Moton Field in Tuskegee Alabama was wonderful. To me this was the beginning of the civil rights movement and these amazing people were so brave and showed the world that the color of someone’s skin has nothing to do with their capabilities and intelligence! I loved the hanger and the tower and that they had these amazing videos with the Airmen. Below are some pictures of the hanger and the surrounding buildings.
I also liked how they talked not just about the pilots but also the mechanics and nurses. If you are ever in that area of Alabama I highly recommend it. Below are some pictures from inside of the museum. What an interesting and educational museum.
I also went up into the tower, not a lot of pictures up there but I did like looking out the window and around the area. Below are some pictures from inside the tower looking out and the entry display. If you look closely this is an active runway and there are some planes out on the apron.
Originally we got a bit lost and ended up at another field the Tuskegee airmen used. We also went to the Tuskegee University. What a beautiful historic campus. Sorry but I didn’t take any pictures but I did enjoy our ride around the campus.
In addition to our trip to Tuskegee we also went to Prattville. I like the historic area because of the Pratt Cotton Gin Mill. Next time I want to figure out how to walk on the water way. Below are some pictures of the cotton gin mill and the surrounding buildings.
I also like the entire downtown area, the little ice cream shop was great. I like the entire downtown area there’s a museum (I went there on another trip) and the shops. I’m a small town girl and it reminds me of my home town of St. Cloud Florida. This time I went to the bridge too. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m from Florida and we grew up around water e.g., canals, lakes, and of course the ocean; but I love water.