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Glass Inserts for a Fence at Maryhill Museum

March 6, 2010

It’s been a whirlwind romance for this project, with a very short timeframe.  Tom Herrera is transforming a fence retrieved from Sam Hill‘s Seattle estate and installing it at Maryhill Museum’s new Windy Flats Walkway and Viewpoint.  He’s asked me to produce 4 glass inserts, for the ends and center of the fence.  So, with no time for research, I pulled earlier visits to Maryhill from my memory banks.  I always loved the Loie Fuller exhibits and made a quilt honoring her back in my fiber arts days.  I have also photographed and rendered the peacock population in pastels many times, trying to capture the lovely iridescence.  Tom’s only prerequisites….colorful and 1/2″ thick!

With those thoughts in my mind, I played with fine frit and powdered glass on sheet substrate to see which would yield a better result.  Above photo on the left is the powder test already fired and on the right is the frit test ready for its first firing.

The frit wasn’t as crisp as the powder, when stacked and fused into four layers, so I chose powder, the finished sample pictured above.

Above are the 20″ panels and below are the 12″ panels, stacked and almost ready to load into the kiln for the final firing.

I was so involved with the process that I didn’t remember to photograph all the steps along the way.  Cutting the glass, sifting the powder, then drawing lines through.

Two views of the 20″ panels, cleaned after the first firing and ready to stack & fuse together.

Below are the 12″ panels, after the first firing.

Side view of 20″ panels, topped with clear iridescent glass for a sparkly effect.

Loaded into the kiln, held in place with kiln furniture to prevent the glass from flowing when heated to process temperature.  That’s where the project is now.  And will be for another day.  Waiting with crossed fingers and toes hoping  it comes out as planned, that nothing goes wrong in the kiln.  The project is due out of the kiln on delivery day, so there’s no time for error.  Which is why I chose an excruciatingly long firing cycle, ramping up at 100 degrees per hour.

I’ll post the final outcome with sun glowing through the panels which is how you’ll see it at Maryhill.  Better yet, join us Saturday, March 20th for Maryhill Museum’s opening event.  The dedication of the new Windy Flats Walkway and Viewpoint will be at 4 p.m.

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4 Responses to “Glass Inserts for a Fence at Maryhill Museum”

  1. Kim Says:

    They are looking really cool already! I can’t wait to see them installed into the fence. How exciting!

  2. Kathy McGregor Says:

    I can’t wait to see this. It will be a mindblower. I am soooo… amazed!


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