Paving the Way….
July 5, 2009
…..In the Pacific Northwest with iridescent ‘Puzzle Pavers’ to my newest garden seating area. It used to be a wildly overrun herb garden filled with weeds and is now the perfect place to start paving.
I’ve been casting glass pavers for my garden paths, using up buckets full of scrap glass. Thanks to the moving sale at Studio Ramp, I picked up a few paver molds from Mel George. (If you’re unfamiliar with Mel, here is a video of her & partner Jeremy Lepisto at the Museum of Glass. I’ve taken several casting & pate de verre classes where she was the instructor or assistant.) Each paver is 10 pounds & about 8″ square ~ so far I’ve only used clear iridescent glass. So far I only have five pavers!
I build them like a jigsaw puzzle, placing each scrap of glass into an empty spot where it fits. It’s the same way I make my puzzle vases and bowls but in this case it’s 10 to 15 layers thick, depending on the size of each puzzle piece. The layers are built up until I’ve used 10 pounds for each paver, while balancing the shapes so the end result is uniform. I love how these pavers look holographic, radiating light along the paths! Wear your sunglasses if you stop by & use caution ~ slippery when wet!
You can read more about my garden in the Columbia River Gorge at An Artist’s Garden. I try to spend my summers there because the rest of the year I work in the studio without many days off. This is my time to rejuvenate while redecorating, redesigning or otherwise just playing outdoors in one of my favorite places. I might play in the studio if it’s too hot or cold or windy outside, but usually work only on specific projects for my garden. Unless, of course, I get a rush or special order! Especially if it’s something YOU might want!
******** A follow up note to my previous post, Do You Have Rainbows in Your Halos?
I wanted to compare these 1″ thick pavers under polarizing film to compare halos. For the paver on the right I used Bullseye’s new anneal soak temperature of 900º; and the paver on the left was soaked at the ‘old’ temperature, 960º. Whoa! Really? Now we’re talking ‘Rainbows’! I have that much stress in the left paver? Of course the corners on a square is where the greatest stress will show, but see how the stress goes beyond the corners?! Good thing I wasn’t planning on selling them!
To be fair, I’ll have to do one more comparison ~ a kiln comparison. The right paver was fired in my Skutt bathtub (at 900º) & the left paver was fired in my oldest Paragon (at 960º). I think I’ll check the accuracy of my thermocouples and it’s been awhile since I checked for cold spots in my old Paragon! I’d also better remeasure and be sure my pavers are 1″ thick and not greater. In the meantime, I’ll keep the stressed pavers separate and watch how much foot traffic they can take.
For now, I’m heading back to the studio to build more puzzle pavers for the rest of my garden…. I have about 5 more buckets of clear scrap and an acre of garden space. I might start throwing in some color to see what I get. Hey, I also have a couple buckets of broken finished work that I was thinking about using in mesh melts, but maybe they’ll look interesting in a flattened or pressed glass sort of way! Not to mention adding some fiber paper designs on the bottoms for bas relief effects! And veils of leftover powders that I can’t bear to throw away!! My head’s exploding with ideas, I’ll be in the studio today!!!