Saturday, April 11, 2009

And Now for Something Completely Different

As the title reflects, I think....I'm a huge Monty Python fan. Fits my sense of humor. And this piece is an experiment for me, so this fits...that it is something completely different.

I follow Cynthia Morgan's blog and I'm a huge fan of her work. A few weeks ago she posted something she was doing to use up scraps of glass. I really liked the concept and wanted to try it. Now my version is different, of course, and it actually evolved into something different than what I originally started out with. Cynthia's blog and website are in a transition phase right now, otherwise I'd post a link to the portion of her blog that inspired me to create this.

Right now I have not figured out why I am so enamored with strip construction, but I am. So that's part of the appeal of trying this. Another is I have never attempted anything like it and I just love exploring new ways of creating things in glass.

This is another opportunity to show the work in progress too. Part of the process is to use an existing mold and place glass strips in it to take on the shape. This will not be a full fuse, but a tack fuse. Part of the difference is that in a tack fuse, the glass does smooth somewhat and adheres together, but doesn't fully fuse together in that liquefied state that happens during full fusing temperatures.

I chose a mold that I really like, but in the past, it has proven problematic for me trying to slump a fused platen into it. However, I thought it would be very cool for the tack fuse approach, so that was my choice.

What I originally wanted to do was some lemons on a branch. As you can tell, this didn't come close! I had found a photo that I liked for its composition of lemons. When I tried to create my interpretation of this in strip glass construction, I realized that it wasn't the right concept for the bowl I had. I figured that was ok because I liked the yellow and my palette was going to be some of my favorite Bullseye streakies with marzipan and french vanilla. So why not change it up a bit more and just see how all this tack fusing stuff actually works before I invest too much time trying to figure out the whole lemon thing in glass strip construction.

Here is how I started. I put the bottom strips in place...that was the easy part. And I really didn't have a definite pattern in mind, I just went with the colors I had and put things together as I felt looked right.

As I got going with this, I wondered how the sides would 'hook up'? And then I thought, well, just go for it, there really isn't a right or wrong way for this. With each piece, it just looked right to me.

Then I thought it would be good to finish each side. Let the top be somewhat jagged. And that gave me the idea to finish the top edges with frit combination colors. I was going to take it further toward the edge of the mold, but once I got the sides done, that just didn't make any sense to me.

As you can see, it had quite an irregular edge when all the sides where done. And that just added confirmation to me to 'cap' the edges with matching frit.

When I was at this point, I was still contemplating extending the edges from the frit border. However, once I finished with the frit, it just looked finished to me.

And I had to share a photo of the edge detail once the frit was in place. I think it looks pretty cool and I'm very anxious to see how this looks once its tack fused.

As a footnote, I have also been doing coldworking with Jade (or as Dan likes to call her....Swamp Thing! you know, she's green and needs a lot of water!).

Coldworking is time consuming. I have two grinding stages done on 4 pieces now. They will require two more grinding stages with different grits and then the final polishing stage. My plan is to do some more grinding tonight, but I think I may run out of energy and do a little wire wrapping when I'm too tired to use the machine...oops, I mean Jade, or is she Swamp Thing? :)

Happy Creating all. And yes, Happy Easter!


Tracey Clarke said...

This is going to be amazing....

SCJ Jewelry Design said...

I already know I'm going to love this one! But then, I love all of your work! It's always so enjoyable when something we plan doesn't work out because the piece evolves into something so much better. I'm looking forward to seeing some of your other pieces as they get finished.
Thanks for sharing your process!

Kathleen Krucoff said...

Thanks Tracey. I really felt like something was happening as I worked on this one.

Thanks Sandy. You are so kind, I'm honored by your words.

It is a ton-o-fun when things turn out different from the initial thought. :)

Elizabeth Seaver said...

This is amazing! I can't wait to see it finished!

Karen said...

Oh Wow This is SO cool...I like that you let the original lemon concept go and just kind of went with it. What a cool piece...will the edges stay like that (maybe not being fluent in glass I didn't understand?)? I love how they look as they are now...these bubbly little pieces next to the strips. This one is really intriguing....

(Garrett and I often put on Fawlty Towers dvds and I end up crying I laugh so much even though I've seen them all a million times!) :)

Kathleen Krucoff said...

Hey Elizabeth! Thank you. I'm anxious to see the results too. Have to wait til sometime tomorrow.

Hi Karen,
I'm not sure how the edges will turn out. Part of this experiment. I hope they stay bubbly as you put it.

Yes, Faulty Towers is one of my favs too.

Hope to post pictures of the results tomorrow...

Sandra Neves said...

Nice work :) It took you along time to finish this piece.

Kathleen Krucoff said...

Thanks Sandra. Nice to have you visit my blog. I appreciate your comments.