So, as usual, I did “glass camp” this summer – this time around I took Pippa Beveridge and Rene Culler’s Architectural Glass class at the Studio at Corning Museum of Glass. We spent a week learning a ton of different techniques, from casting, to layering, to enameling, to sandblasting – all of which are appropriate for large scale, architectural projects.
We started out with a lesson from Pippa on making ceramic molds for casting.
Using that technique, I made my own mold and cast this longhorn panel (which apparently looks like a meerkat upside down).
Next, we learned about the different things metals will do when embedded in glass – including changing the chemistry of the glass. I made numerous small samples and kept detailed notes on what metals I used where. Hopefully I’ll be able to recreate some of these effects on future projects.
Next we played with kiln carving. In that process, the glass is melted over a ceramic “fiberpaper” which leaves divots in the glass. Take a look at this dove I also made in class, below:
And, after you have all your shaped divots in the glass, you can pack it full of bits of colored glass (aka frit) and fuse it again, resulting in one solid piece. And, its a continuation of the Major Tom pieces I’ve been working on back in my studio in New York.
You can also get color onto glass through a variety of stains (ground metals like silver which change the chemistry – and thus, the color – of the glass), enamels, pigments, and paints which get fired onto the glass, as you see in sample pieces I made in the picture below to practice techniques.
Near the end of the week, we dove head first into our final projects. Mine incorporated a variety of the techniques we’d learned – embedding metal, enameling, sandblasting, silver stain, using glass frits and powders, and stuck to the spaceman theme, with some worker bees in honor of my late grandma.
I had the awesome opportunity to have photos taken of some of my projects by a professional photographer on the museum’s staff, and she taught me a few tricks of the trade.
And of course, we went to the museum to check out some real architectural glass in action.
I’m looking forward to creating a wood or steel panel to mount my final project on so I can enjoy it on display.