Home

Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 14, 2010

Wishing you a day filled with fun, color, and love…..

Advertisements

Paving the Way….

July 5, 2009

Paving the way to my newest seating area.

Paving the way to my newest seating area.

…..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!

Side View

Side View

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!

Puzzle Pavers; 1" thick by 8" square; scrap clear iridescent glass

Puzzle Pavers; 1″ thick by 8″ square; scrap clear iridescent glass

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?

Left 960º in old Paragon, Right 900º in Skutt bathtub

Left 960º in old Paragon, Right 900º in Skutt bathtub

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.

Detail, stress halos on left, clear irid scrap pavers.

Detail, stress halos on left, clear irid scrap pavers.

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!!!

If you like this post, sign up to receive an email for future posts so you don’t miss anything.  It’s easy, just click the box at the top right of this page that says ‘Sign me up!” and type in your email.  It’s right under the yellow close-up photo of my work.

Left ~ 960º...Right ~ 900º Anneal Soak Temps

Left ~ 960º...Right ~ 900º Anneal Soak Temps

If so, that’s not a good thing.  Halos are stress in kilnformed glass when viewed through polarizing film & if your halos have rainbows you have a lot of stress ~ meaning the glass is likely to break!  I just opened my kiln with the first load of cast glasswork (in commercial molds) using the new annealing temperature announced by Bullseye during BeCon, the glass conference I attended last week.  For my entire kilnforming career I’ve used 960º as the anneal soak, as taught by Lani McGregor at my very first glass fusing class at Bullseye many moons ago.  The new anneal soak temperature, 900º is closer to the strain point  which equals less risk and a more efficient anneal cool.  Ideally, you have multiple thermocouples in your kiln to check temps at critical points in relation to the glass, but I don’t want to get too technical here…

I couldn’t wait to check the results using a polarizing filter comparing the new & old temperatures.  Monday evening I loaded my kiln with a few Colour de Verre boxes filled with frit and powdered glass.  To have an exact replica of a box I’d already made for my test, I used Erbium pink course frit in the kidney shaped box.  Today, Wednesday, I pulled out the lid and placed it between sheets of polarizing film alongside my very first Erbium pink lid.  Please note the irregular edge of that first lid ~ it’s to show you how imperfect I am!  As careful as I’ve been with my film, I notice all the scratches on it, however I want you to focus on the glass atop the film.

So looking at the top photo, the lid on the left, my very first, and comparing it to the lid on the right from this morning you notice three times as many halos or whitish spots on the left!  I will be readjusting ALL my firing schedules!!  All the glasswork annealed properly at 960º is still good, durable, and safe from breakage, but as you can see, 900º is better.  For me as an artist, and for you as a patron of my work, a student learning from me, or an associate with whom I trade information 900º is the anneal soak temperature to use!  If interested, you can view Bullseye‘s new annealing chart for thick slabs here.

Blue Oval 960º : Aqua square 900º

Blue Oval 960º : Aqua square 900º

For a little color I also checked a couple boxes of differing colors, then wanted to compare the same shape box.  Interesting, yes?

Aqua 900º : Red 960º

Aqua 900º : Red 960º

No Place Like Home

June 21, 2009

Steider.Goddess.Green

It’s good to be home!

Have been at the Becon Glass conference at Portland State University for the last few days.  It was an exhilarating experience and as a result I can’t wait to get some small sculptural pieces into my kilns!  The big news, causing the audience to audibly gasp, was annealing tempuratures have been revised down to 900ºF.  This is exciting news for kilncasters because it shortens the length of time necessary for the project to remain in the kiln cooling.  Simplified, proper annealing is necessary to produce a stress-free glass sculpture that won’t break.   A thick sculpture may remain in the kiln cooling for days instead of weeks with this new development!

Steider.Goddess.Multi-blue

*

Wonderful speakers, including Howard Ben Tre, Richard Whiteley, Daniel Clayman, Heike Brachlow, Geoffrey Mann, Jessica Laughlin, among many others.

*

*

Great Technical Display including Bohle AmericaBullseye GlassCovington EngineeringDitore Glass WorksHIS GlassworksParagonRansom & Randolph, & Western Industrial Ceramics.

Steider.Goddess.Yellow

*

*

Spent some fun time with Cindi, Chris, BrendaJudithCynthiaLes and Mel & thoroughly enjoyed meeting & talking with lots of other like-minded folks!

*

*

*

Will now be in the studio for a while……

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2009

cast-hearts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small jewelry sized cast glass hearts

photo credit:  Photosensitive Portraits

%d bloggers like this: