Progression of a Project:

September 21, 2009

Insert for Japanese garden sculpture.

Insert for Japanese garden sculpture.  Project for Tom Hererra.

Fellow artist and sculptor Tom Herrera had me make some glass inserts for his metal work recently.  I’ve made dragonfly wings, a couple sea turtles, a deco style guitar replica, and the latest was an insert for a sculpture he’s making for the Master Gardeners’ new Japanese Garden.

He brought me a drawing of his sculpture and we discussed his vision which included the use of triangles and warm rich color.  He wanted a half inch thick  7″ square that would be finished with a half inch metal frame.  Translucency was of utmost importance.

After researching Japanese Garden Design, I chose to concentrate on water and stone as my elements and sketched out a few possibilities.  My color choices representing stone are in keeping with Tom’s vision.

Building the layers

Building the layers

In the photo above, I’m building the layers of ‘water’ using Bullseye’s 1116 Turquoise on top of  clear irid with the irid up so it will sparkle without the glare of the coating being so obvious.  I use this approach often as I love the sparkle of irid but it’s a more subtle effect.

Capping the triangles with more irid.

Capping the triangles with more irid.

Next I clear capped with more iridescent clear glass, but this time the irid is facing down.  Again, this is for subtlety and so the face of the project matches the back.  I frequently check my notes and sketches making sure the design in my head translated to paper is corresponding with the glass (turning out the way I want it to).

Filling in the stone path.

Filling in the stone path.

Now ready to fill in the ‘path’, I’ve mixed 3 to 5 colors each of gray & brown -02 frit (medium) in translucent and opaque; purple and pink -02 frit in translucent and opaque; and a couple off white opaques.  I mix them ahead of time for a more even application of color, alternating between the mixes as I fill the path.






Ready to fire.

Ready to fire.

The final step is topping the path off with clear frit (I used -03, course) so it matches the front and back with a layer of clear glass to look through before the eye sees color.  You can see the set up inside my kiln, just prior to firing, surrounded with fiber paper and held in place with cut up kiln shelf.



Forgive the quality of the final image, I was at the end of my deadline so this was taken atop a neutral canvas bag as I delivered it to Tom at Starbucks where we meet for deliveries.  The top image shows how the piece glows in the sunlight which is how it will be viewed.  In this photo I wanted to capture the iridescence.  Tom promises to get a photo to me when it’s installed and I’ll post it here.  When Tom gets his blog going, I promise to link to it so you can see his work!

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13 Responses to “Progression of a Project:”

  1. Totally cool Linda!

    Thanks for sharing the step by step progress too. I always love seeing how others put their works together. This is beautiful…stunning actually. And the explanation helps. I enjoy iridized glass too, but I haven’t worked with it that much…time to include it in more of my work too.

    Thank you!

  2. Flora Says:

    WOW…. Linda, this is beautiful!! So much talent and the care you take shows in this gorgeous piece. Your work will be displayed for many to see..and you should be so proud of that! Dang..I need to move and take your classes…congratulations!!

  3. Kathleen, thank YOU for following my blog through thick & thin!
    Flora, if there’s a location near you I have tools, will travel! Or maybe you’d like to come up to the Seattle area next month for my ‘Powderology’ class!
    I so appreciate reading all your comments!!

  4. LeSan Says:

    Wow, that was really cool to follow along! The piece is great and I am so looking forward to seeing it with Tom’s piece. There is something so inticing and magical about glass and metal. You are really inspiring me. 🙂

  5. Why thank you LeSan, I love glass & metal together!

  6. Candace Says:

    I’m constantly amazed at the diversity of your talents.

  7. Oh Candace, you make my head swell, lol!! Thank you!!!

  8. Wow, that is beautiful. Took a lot of thought and steps to get it that way. I love the water surrounding the pebbles. It’s just excellent and I look forward to seeing it installed.

  9. Thanks so much Anna, I appreciate your stopping by!

  10. fairegarden Says:

    Thanks for showing us, Linda! It is beyond the pale. I can’t wait to see how it is used in the final project, and also for Tom’s blog. Do let me know when it is up. 🙂

  11. Thanks for stopping by Frances, I’ll have a ‘welcome’ post for Tom when he starts his blog. Tom are you listening? So many are waiting to see your incredible work!

  12. Toni Says:

    Beautiful work, Linda, but that’s not surprising at all. 🙂 Your photos are fantastic, too!! You go girl. 8) Yes, I, too, would like to see the finished work. I need to get back into my studio, but my son is storing his furniture and stuff in there right now. I can barely get through the door!

  13. Oh Toni, thank you for those kind words, especially since I know how busy you are right now! Truly appreciate it!! Maybe rent a storage unit for him so you can get back to glasswork?

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