Thursday, July 01, 2010

Artsy Fartsy

These are my friends Joe and Kristina. They are super cool, and just got married.

One of the awesome things about them is that they (Kristina especially) are crafty, and have a huge appreciation for glass art. See Joe do his best male model pose, showing off his glass cuff links worn at his wedding. Work it....

I visited them in Chicago about a month before their wedding, and saw some of the fused glass pieces they had collected. Their enthusiasm inspired me to be a crafty queen and make them something out of glass as part of their wedding present. The day after their wedding they gave me a call to express their glee around the new glassy goodness I gave them. During the call Joe relayed that he didn't believe I made it myself (my friend Jody provided guidance and the kiln)so today's post is all about showing Joe that I am not a fibber!

So this is how it happened:
I had a feeling that I wanted to make a serving piece, and what colors I wanted to use. I purchased the glass, and invited myself over to Jody's house. Then I hunkered down in Jody's craft zone basement and began to plan out the piece.

My vision was a retro inspired tray with intersecting circles (hello Venn Diagrams!) and layered circles and loops

I traced my first circle on a piece of glass...

Cut the outline with a glass cutter and then used a glass pliers to break the circle free photo available of the result of freeing of the cut circle of glass, as it snapped in half. And did again the next two times I tried it.

A girl's gotta be flexible - so let's try SQUARES!

I love me some right angles!

I cut squares of varying sizes and colors, and mapped them out on the table.

Once I had my plan together, I had to wash the little sharp squares by hand. Luckily, no digits were lost.

Then it came time to glue the little pieces of glass to the base piece of glass which forms the tray.

The kiln is readied...

And I proudly carried my piece over for some serious melting (or fusing if you want to be official about it)

Happy fusing!

Much like how a BMW goes from 0 to 60 in 6.6 seconds, the kiln goes from 0 to 56 degrees in like 2 seconds flat...and then keeps going and going and going!

This ain't no easy bake oven...or maybe it is...on Planet Mercury!

After fusing for an hour or two at 1500ish degrees it's time to cool it down...
The kiln is opened, and the glass looks like this

and then when the air hits it, it gets cranky like a toddler awakened from too brief of a and rageful!

Finally after several hours, it cools itself down and has now become a flat square of fused glass.

Now it's time to give this glass some shape. Prepare the slump!

The slump is a white form made out of clay that one puts a flat piece of glass on it, and as it melts it conforms to the shape of the slump. The slump I used is a serving tray (I think officially it's called a sushi tray) that has one large rectangular space, and then 3 small square shapes beside it.

The kiln gets fired up again, brought to temperatures close to those on the surface of Mercury (it's true, I looked it up), and melted so it slumps to the shape of the form

Voila! The finished product!

See Joe? I told you I made it!


Joe and Kristina said...

Two things.

1. "This ain't no easy bake oven...or maybe it is...on Planet Mercury!" = Good one.

2. I cant believe how @%#$% cool that is. Cant wait for craft weekend.

Thanks again Missy,

JMS said...

Awesome descriptions. One comment - the glowing red picture is when you open the kiln to vent at the hottest temperature, not when it's all done and only like 500 degrees.
I need to remember to register you (and me) for the state fair.

Anonymous said...


Glad to see your creative side coming out in such a fun medium. Of course, your narrative has its creative side as well.