Playing with more flowers and shrubs and fossil vitra — this is a small lacecap hygrangea and black glass as a test tile….I think my next version will be on a lighter color so I can bring out more of the flower colors but this one holds much promise!!

Playing with more flowers and shrubs and fossil vitra — this is a small lacecap hygrangea and black glass as a test tile….I think my next version will be on a lighter color so I can bring out more of the flower colors but this one holds much promise!!

Fossil Vitra continued….

So I promised more on my lavender “fossil vitra,” and here it is!  Just a reminder on where I got the info on this technique — check out Paul Tarlow’s site - Fusedglass.org for a detailed breakdown of the steps.

So here is the first bunch of lavender before I fired it under yummy creamy french vanilla glass….I used a combination of purple and blue on the flower heads here.image

And here is how it turned out after one firing.  image

Not bad, but I was a bit underwhelmed by it. So I thought, maybe I should add more lavender and some different color.  Then a PDX heat wave and some custom orders interrupted my process and by the time I got to round two with this piece, my lavender was getting a little past its prime. But I decided to give it a go anyway.  Here is the result using plum and purple on the flower heads and I used a lighter green on the stems. 

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You can see the change in the blooming stage of the flower heads between the two firings.  And the stems are a bit hard to read in some places.

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Just one more trip back to the kiln with a dusting of clear powdered frit on the top to add some shine and we’re nearly done.

Here is a second piece I did using a larger, fresher lavender species and purple powder with a dusty lilac sheet glass.  This one will also get a little “topcoat” to smooth the rough spots and give it shine and then I will decide what shape they will end up!

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I am always learning more with these techniques!  I think that is one of the things that intrigues me about kiln formed glass. Have a great weekend…..

Having fun with “Fossil Vitra”

I love trying out different techniques in glass and an exciting one I have been playing with is known as “fossil vitra.” I don’t know where this technique originated but I found it on Paul Tarlow’s site - Fusedglass.org

While this is not the first time I have tried this technique, it is the first time I documented it with decent photos, and I am loving how my latest batch turned out! 

I wandered my yard to see what I might use in terms of flora to capture in glass.  I grabbed some cypress, juniper, lavender and abelia branches this time.  In case you are not familiar with abelia, here it is…sweetly scented flowers on a beautiful shrub…..image

I started with fresh branches.  I sprayed them with a good dose of cheap hairspray so that the powdered glass would adhere to the leaves and stems. Then I covered them with various colors of powdered art glass. It must be glass that is compatible with the sheet glass used.  I use Bullseye, since I live very close to the factory and have easy access to it.image

And here is how the abelia branches (bottom right) turned out…image

a close up….image

the second piece…image

and the finished plates….image

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I am not so thrilled with my color choices using the cypress and juniper (which I have used before with greater success) so back to the drawing boards with those…..But the lavender definitely holds promise, so watch for more on that soon.

Glass “Puddle” pendants for the 2014 Casting for Recovery participants in WY! Layers of glass fired, broken apart and re-fired!  Love this process!

Custom order oil warmer bowls in lots of fun colors!

Custom order oil warmer bowls in lots of fun colors!

Oh my lovely lavender! My summer has begun…..the lavender is starting to bloom and bringing lots of clever bees and finches to the garden.

CFR continued…Anatomy of a “Fish Dish”

For the 2014 Wyoming CFR retreat I decided to make my trout soap dishes again but this year I wanted to add some more color to more simulate water.

First to assemble the parts! Large trout paper punch + copper mesh = image

Streaky glass cut to size and cleaned thoroughly (it will “strike” to a different color when heated to fusing temperatures)image

Then add the copper fish and cap with clear glass…. image

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Line them up and get ready to fuse some glass…. image

After 14 hours in the kiln they look like this - image

See how the color changed after firing?  And these are still warm so it will change even more as they cool.

Two more trips through the kiln and now we have “fish dishes!”

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The streaky glass has some variability to it, so each one is a little bit different.

For more info on Casting for Recovery and their great work for 2014 you can check them out here - http://www.gofundme.com/castingforrecovery

Casting for Recovery

Casting for Recovery is a support and empowerment program for breast cancer survivors that teaches women to fly fish at retreats that go on each summer all over the US. My most awesome friend, Mary Turney, is the Program Coordinator for the CFR retreat in WY and a few years ago I asked if there was anything I could do to support the retreat and the participants.   I decided that first year (2011) to donate soap dishes (one for each of the 14 women attending) and asked the lovely and generous Betty Miller of Magic Senses if she would be willing to donate some of her beautiful soap to the cause.  Aren’t these sweet with Betty’s soaps?

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The following year I put together a bundle of various soap dishes again and this time Mary found some fish shaped soaps to pair with my soap dishes with a note that said “to wash your cares away.” Each participant found this on their pillow on the first day of the retreat. I felt very honored….

Here are some comments from the women who had the opportunity to participate (from the CFR WY website):

“The staff & River Helpers were so kind and nurturing.  I am overwhelmed by the kindness of everyone from staff to strangers who sent gifts. I felt like I was truly cared for in a way I have never experienced in my life.”

“Talking about my cancer with other survivors and fighters was very important to me.  Thanks to all who provide this experience for us!!”

“I hate having to leave – but I know I am stronger, more confident and more empowered - and connected to a vital, caring and generous support group.”

I am in awe of the folks who put this entire experience together! Last year I wanted to come up with something unique for the retreat so I played around with copper inclusions and came up with these little gems!  Just a sheet of thin copper mesh, a large trout hole punch, a whole bunch of art glass and a kiln and…voila!

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And I had decided that I wanted to do something special for the glass pendants that I had also been including each year so I found some inspirational charms to add that I felt would be appropriate. Half of them said LOVE and half of them said LAUGH.  I think they are both very important when you are trying to heal.

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So what to do for 2014……Next blog post I will show you what I have been working on and walk you through the process start to finish…..

More info on CFR here - http://castingforrecovery.org/about