This summer, I had the amazing fortune to do a residency with a new kiln in the home studio of my best friend, Karen Mahardy. Her studio is located in Greenwood, Seattle. It was a long time coming from the design and build out by Eddie Bernard, to the delivery from east to west coast, to the studio electricity, etc. All in all, I watched from Florida while Karen realized her dream. It was quite inspiring. When she asked me to be there for the test firings, how could I say no? We helped each other trouble shoot all of our questions in graduate school at RIT back in 2011-13. I am thankful to have made such an amazing connection.
Anyway, we broke some glass, broke some moulds, sourced our weird materials, had glass shipped up from bullseye and installed the kiln program to the app. It was all down hill from there. Karen and I had challenges at every firing but by the end of 2 weeks, we had it down. These are some of pieces that I made during my time there. I also included a link for how its made Kilnforming/Hot Printing. They are currently on view at Shoreline in Seattle and in the new year moving to a new show in Albany, California curated by Tali Grinshpan.
*Glass Photography By Alex Miller*
Over the past few years, my secret love of geology has come to light. My interests in science stem from to my outdoor lifestyle as a child and my passion to care for the environment. I chose lava after several years of failed attempts with other stones that were incompatible with the borosilicate glass. Lava is silica based, light weight, porous and can withstand the high temperature of this process.
Initially, I made a series of jewelry to sketch out forms and experiment with the process. Most recently, I have begun a series of larger pieces that are wrapped in several layers of glass. For me lava is a symbol of the earth and creation. The glass represents a field of energy, a fragile layer of protection for nature. In a moment of presence, I hope to convey a oneness between the earth and the viewer. Ultimately, these pieces are about connection–physically and conceptually.
This weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to share my process with colleagues and glass enthusiasts at the annual Glass Art Society Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida. In the months leading up to the conference, I prepared new work and found exhibition sites, practiced my demo and invited all of the extended glass family to join our community on the west coast of Florida. All the studios, museums and galleries around town were getting ready for the event, so there was a palpable buzz. I have to say, I am extremely proud of the job that everyone did. We shined like diamonds in the sun.
My demonstration assignment was at Zen Glass Studio in the heart of the Arts Warehouse District. They specialize in flamework but also have a hot shop and cold shop to professionally make glass projects on any scale. This studio happens to be owned by dear friends, who made me feel comfortable and took the anxiety away from performing in front of an audience. Everyone was there to get my torch set up, find the few things I needed, and set me up with a cup of coffee.
At 8:30 am on Thursday morning, I began opposite one of my mentors, Robert Mickelsen. He was set up outside and I was set up inside the same studio. No pressure. He was just the one who taught me how to pull a point in the first place and now I have created an entire installation around this technique. I felt as though my career had come full circle from the 19-year-old girl asking to sweep the shop so I could watch, to where I am today.
First, I started with a short explanation about my installation “Promise”–why I have felt inspired to collect found objects, shining a light on the value of nature in these uncertain times. Next, I selected a few pressed flowers and a seed pod to adorn with 22kt gold. Once they were drying, I grabbed a piece of recycled thin wall tubing and pulled down a point on one end. Repeating this process several times allowed the glass to cool down enough to add the gilded natural objects. One tube at a time, I cut an opening in the first point so as to not create vacuum pressure, then carefully directed the flame away from the pieces inside and closed the other end. When I had finished the second end of all six, I added hooks and flame-annealed them. Lastly, I closed the bottom of the point with a very soft flame.
In closing, I took a few questions and made the decision to donate these pieces to raise funds for the Glass Art Society. The support of this community has been paramount to my growth as an artist. I am always learning something new and ever curious of what role glass can play in my work. It was a wonderful experience to be a demonstrator. I am so thankful for the opportunity to share my work.
At 23, I was asked to help a fellow glassblower with a big stained glass window commission for a church. For this project I learned the copper foil method used in stained glass to connect shapes together with solder. My task was to cut out and wrap hundreds of small white glass shapes that made up the Angel’s wings. Then last summer, on a trip to Germany, I went out hiking and collected flowers. I pressed them in some art books. Once they were dry, I cut 2 pieces of sheet glass or mirror and added the flowers in between. I use this same technique to create these one of a kind flower window pendants. They will be soldered and have a hanging loop at the top to be displayed in a window or on the wall. As I feel with all objects that I find and incorporate into my work, these flowers remind me of a specific experience. They are a memory, a record of time– fragile and precious. I add 24 kt gold leaf and fine silver to add further value to the beauty and impermanence of nature.
These will drop into my ETSY shop as soon as they are finished. Flower Power!
Over the past year, I have developed a process resulting in a unique line of handmade jewelry and a feature in Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine. This is a short how-to article I wrote about the idea, process, supplies and tips that I use to create lava and glass objects. Follow the link to see more! Hot Glass & Stone
Presenting Art Fair on the Water…
I will be showing a 63 piece installation of “Promise” in this unique venue on the water in Ft. Lauderdale. *Tickets are still available to attend the show* This event is not to be missed, please share with your friends.
This August, I am spending 3 weeks assisting a friend at a school called Bild Werk in Frauenau, Germany. This class is led by Anne Petters and is entitled Hot Printing. We are using flat plaster and silica molds, carving away material and filling the negative spaces with glass powder. The entire mold is then covered with clear frit and fused in a kiln. Some students are choosing to form or slump these pieces in a second firing, others are bring the flat mold up to forming temperature and manipulating the print hot using tweezers. Plenty of safety gear is involved and has made for some funny pictures. The class is having a great time and this village and facility are so wonderful. I look forward to continuing to work with this technique when I return home and hope to come back again someday! Below is an example of my work using this technique. Better pictures to come…
This is the first class that I will be teaching at Crealdé School of Art in Winter Park, FL this fall. Stay tuned for the updates that will be available this summer. This pendant is also a new addition to my Etsy Shop.
Glass, Found Object, 24kt Gold Leaf, Antique Brass, Copper,