What does a gal do after retiring from 30 years in the high school English classroom? Rekindle her passion for cold, hard glass, of course! My love for creating stained glass panels, windows, and suncatchers began years ago while living in Northern Virginia. Now living in Joplin, Missouri, my focus is creating fused glass art.
When I see a flat piece of art glass, I imagine the possibilities of it in 3-D shape that can only be achieved through the heating process in a glass kiln. I love creating dramatic fused glass vases that can serve as the focal point on a dining room table, side table, or even the fireplace mantle. Fused glass serving platters, glass bowls and vases will certainly add artistic flair to any decor as well as function for entertaining. I enjoy bringing out the personality of the glass through the color selection, the designing, the cutting, and the kiln-firing process.
Once glass is placed in the kiln, it’s a nervous waiting game for 15-22 hours, depending upon the outcome desired. The first step requires either fusing the glass pieces together and/or fire-polishing to achieve the brilliant glossy sheen of the glass. The next step requires another 15-22 hours as the piece is slumped into or draped on a mold. Because of the thermal shock risk, the kiln cannot be opened, so these hours are nerve-wracking until the kiln is cool enough (100 degrees or lower) to open. If my firing schedule is spot-on, then the results are magnificent, but sometimes the “kiln gremlins” mysteriously jump into the kiln and the results are not the vision I had. If the “kiln gremlins” manifest their ugliness, the results are sadder than sad. But, if the “kiln gods” are benevolent, the results can be even better than my vision, which leaves me smiling!