-

-
Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Busy Weekend - Glass Flowers

I've worked seven days a week for the last few so for the next couple of posts, I'm taking you to work with me. First, on Saturday, we're off to Mandarin Stained Glass where I teach some evening and weekend classes.  Today though, I'm just keeping the retail shop open while the owner, Florence, is in Italy.  Yes, it's true, Florence is in Italy in more ways than one!

I love glass.  The material itself is beautiful.  For instance these full antique (hand blown) pieces by Fremont Glass in Seattle.



Or these from Kokomo




So much beautiful glass, so little time.  
The trick is to cut beautiful pieces like this utilizing the movement and character of the glass to create something equally beautiful.

Florence's "Nature's Promise" is an excellent example of using the grain, texture, and movement of glass. There is no paint used in this piece. (Sorry for the bad photographs, left my camera at home.) All of the details like the stamens of the crocus were streaks in the glass which was cut in such a way as to create them.  

This magnolia panel with it's dark background is stunning.  the trees in the top are from outside of the store.  The flowers are acotully pinker in life than they appear here.


 Holy hibiscus, that's cool.


Nice example of an older English panel incorporating some painting.  Pigments, silver nitrate, etc. are applied to individual glass pieces and fired to about 1400 degrees F. and become a permanent part of the pieces of glass which are then leaded into the panel.





Fragment created as a sample of  proposed materials for larger sidelights. 

American Victorian panel.  Jewels, bevels, the kitchen sink - the Americans at the time were willing to put just about anything into a glass panel.

Older piece.

Masterfully done grape panel by Dale Howard. 

Hope you enjoyed coming to work with me and seeing a handful of the wonders there.  On Sunday, after my morning job I worked at Jungle Fever Exotics Nursery which always has cool plants!


30 comments:

  1. I enjoyed this short lesson on glass, I hope you're going to take us to Jungle Fever with you too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops, it was late last night when I threw this post together so I forgot to mention that we'd be going to Jungle Fever together as well. Sorry about that.

      Delete
  2. What an inspiring work place. It must feel good to be surrounded by so much beauty (not unlike working in the garden in fact). Florence's "Nature's Promise" is masterful! How long does it take a to create such a piece?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like being surrounded by interesting stuff so this place is a lot of fun! Florence did that piece years ago while she was still working a full time job and trying to find time for glass and family so it took many months. It might be able to be done faster now.

      Delete
  3. Peter I don't know how you find the hours in the day for all your jobs, gardening and blogging too. Seriously, do you sleep?

    Thanks for taking us to work with you, I know nothing about glass art and very much enjoyed this little lesson.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Truth be told, the gardening is suffering. I usually get an hour or two to play outside after work but things are taking time to get done. Oh well, the glass classes/shop thing is done for a bit and I have Memorial day weekend to play. Summer is only a few weeks away and I'll have tons of time to get some projects done. Hooray!

      Delete
  4. Those are really cool. I am in love with the magnolia one! That is stunning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm lucky to work around all this fun glass!

      Delete
  5. 7 days straight work is bad enough but week after week of that is inhumane. I hope you're taking care of yourself! At least you're surrounded by beauty - each and every of those glass pieces is incredible!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not so bad and it's only been three weeks. Plus, the extra jobs keep me in plants and glass!

      Delete
  6. You should take us more times to your work!! it is really interesting! beautiful glass. And you also work at a nursery? If I lived there it would be interesting to go to some of your classes.
    How can you also have time to post every day? amazing...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I help out at the nursery only a few times a year. Glad that you liked playing at the glass shop! This time just fell on a busy weekend. I sometimes think of not posting every day and spending more time gardening.

      Delete
  7. You are a very busy person Peter and yet surround yourself with beauty. So many beautiful pieces there and the craftsmanship that goes in them are undeniable. The first batch of photos would make great panels to more contemporary stained glass windows.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Surprisingly, with the exception of the first two photos, the other glass has been produced for over a hundred years. It's all in how you cut tiny bits from these full sheets of glass. I guess I like to be busy.

      Delete
  8. Does it take working two jobs to afford all those must-have plants? LOL. I love the pieces you shared. Glass is such an unforgiving medium. The artist must be gifted with precision and patience. Two skills I'm sorely lacking. You might friend have multiple talents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I could either show some restraint in plant/glass shopping or do some side jobs, which I love. It's a win-win situation. Oh yes, people often say that there's no beginning to my talent!

      Delete
  9. Beautiful glass Peter, thanks for showing us this. Take care and have a great week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Karen. I wish you a great week as well!

      Delete
  10. Wow! I love glass too. Tom did a little stained glass for a while a long time ago, and we have a few pieces.
    These are beautiful and so skillfully done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember you saying that Tom had done glass for a time. He could always pick up the cutter again, it's just like riding a bike, it'll all come back.

      Delete
  11. That was a beautiful post, thanks for showing it all to us. I don't know how you manage to do everything you do, you say at the top that you teach nightschool, do you teach glass making? Before I retired, I used to teach woodcarving, but now the garden seems to have taken over, I just do a bit of carving in the winter these days. Some of the glass you showed us is really beautiful,and in my favourite colours too, wish I lived nearer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pauline, glad you enjoyed this trip to the glass store. During the day, I teach children with special needs and on some evenings and weekends, I teach classes in glass making.

      Delete
  12. It was interesting to learn about glass, Peter. I know a little about how to work with it, think it's too fragile.Loved some materials: Kokomo and another one next to it.You really have wonderful job, Peter and sure you're a good teacher.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm very lucky to be able to have fun with my students at school, my choir, plants, and glass. There's always something to do but it's all enjoyable.

      Delete
  13. Such beautiful glasswork. It must be wonderfull to work and teach in a place like this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a wonderful place. I'm very fortunate to know so many creative and talented people!

      Delete
  14. My jaw is on the floor. Stunning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ain't it fun stuff? Now about this jaw on the floor problem, have you been falling down a lot? Maybe it's time for us to have a little talk about that box of wine you have hidden in your bathroom...

      Delete
  15. Beautiful glass flowers, I especially like the first panel of glass and the grapes. I dabbled in stained glass a little, and made a lampshade. I have leftover partial panes of glass in my garage as a result. But I found convex cuts very difficult, hence extreme admiration of the grape leaves. I would like to dabble in glass sagging but my old kiln doesn't have controls to do the final cooling stages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are some tricks to both cutting inside curves and using older kilns for glass slumping and draping. If you have a pyrometer on your kiln, you can take notes about the rate (degrees per hour) of cooling when the kiln is turned off, turned on low, etc. once you know what the kiln does naturally, you can set a timer and manually control the annealing and cooling temperatures. Also, if you're doing fairly small pieces, the heating and cooling can happen much faster than with larger pieces. It's all about the surface area and thickness of the glass. Larger needs more time to heat and cool equally to avoid excessive surface tension when heating/cooling; smaller has less area so less worry. Some kilns with thick walls will naturally cool at a rate acceptable for glass. For specific schedules and tips, try http://www.system96.com/ and http://www.bullseyeglass.com/what-temperature-should-i-use-for-fusing.html. Remember, not all glass is compatible with other glass for fusing. All glass is fusable to itself though. For more on glass compatibility go here http://www.warmglass.com/Glass_compatibility.htm

      Delete

Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.