Hope to see you there!
Hope to see you there!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted. It’s a toss up sometimes as to where to post glass – there is so many social media platforms to choose from – Facebook, twitter, instagram . . . and probably new ones popping up each day. So if you visit this site and don’t see anything new, please check out Bridget Stiverson just works on Facebook or follow me on Instagram at bridgetstiverson. There are usually pics and posts of current projects.
A much needed hiatus occurred between December and May, where all I did was think about glass projects. I was absolutely non-productive. I lurked and watched what others were doing, but I did not attempt anything new. I’m back at it though and have started getting ready for a very scaled back show season.
Here are some of the new items that will be available at summer shows.
These sweet flowers were made using the Slurry Technique taught by Creative Paradise Glass. You can find information on how to create these (if you are a glassie) on their FB page or website.
I have also gotten back into printing. Still having troubles making screens for powder printing (I’ll eventually master this!), but have found that I can get decent images for enamel printing using EZScreens. I am thrilled with the outcome of this piece, which can be viewed from either side. This is a photo from a trail drive that I took as it went through Glasgow last winter. The Bullseye glass that I used emulates the steam that was coming off the backs of the cattle and the mist that was hanging.
And finally, I too have caught the murrine bug. I have completed one project and am now on my second. You may have seen this posted on Facebook or Instagram (my very first posting there), but it is an example of my efforts to get back into the studio and being productive again.
I normally wait to title a project (it it gets one), but this has been named already as many thought I was processing green beans rather than glass. So it is “Green Beans” for now.
Please remember that any piece that you see is available for sale. Shipping is available to any where in the contiguous United States. Thank you for stopping by, if you see something you like or have a question regarding a process or product that I used, please feel free to leave a comment.
Every once in a while a project just doesn’t provide the ooh awe factor when pulled from the kiln and ends up on the back shelf. Or there is a project that had a blemish requiring a fix and it too went to the back shelf. Over the last couple of months those misfits have been selected for either two places: remain on the back shelf or go back on to the kiln shelf. Two questions that I ponder upon deciding where these misfits go: is there something aesthetically pleasing about the fired glass and could it be used as is or in another project? Or is the piece destined for a pot melt or continue to be on the shelf or ultimately the trash.
I know, I know the mantra for fused glass artists is “never refuse to refuse”! But at some point in time the glass just has to go!
Below are some pieces that made it back into the kiln. I will share some of the problems with the pieces.
While this photo makes the piece look flat, it is actually a bowl. During the first firing, a bubble formed within the red glass. Too pretty to waste or cut up, silver foil along with transparent turquoise blue frit were placed in the hole and a very interesting focal point now appears in this piece.
I like it so much, that I am considering adding more silver inclusions into other pieces using this same style of glass.
Powdered glass has a lot of applications in fusing – crackles, printing, stenciling, painting and the list goes on and on. In attempt to correct a concaved spot on this multi-fired stencil and crackle floral additional cut sheet glass petals were added.
This piece had a multitude of problems during it’s creation, but it is one of my favorites this year! During firing in a stainless steel ring, fiber paper that was being used to separate the glass from the steel, slipped under the glass creating a distorted edge. In addition, the glass was unevenly distributed causing high spots. And finally, kiln wash was aggressively stuck to the back of the piece. The back was sand blasted to remove the kiln wash, the piece was placed back into the kiln, without any damming and fired to 1480F to smooth out the unevenness. Placed onto an organic shaped bisque mold, the look of blown glass has been achieved.
And finally, when a back is ugly, through no fault of its own. There are many reasons a back can be ugly – it could have kiln wash or sheet separator marks that cannot be removed. Fiber paper marks that are inset or for some reason the glass is cloudy. In the case of the above bowl, the back glass was cloudy and had fiber paper marks that could not be fused out. Silver leafing was gilded over the entire back of the bowl. Now the back is beautiful and silver glints through the crackle.
I have dipped my toe into making murrini using my vitrigraph kiln that I wrote about last September. Murrini is an italian term for colored patterns or images made in long rods of glass that are revealed when cut in cross-sections.
I have not, to date, taken a course on how to create murrini. I have watched a purchased video on how to make vitrigraph stringers which touched very lightly on the topic of murrini. And as much information as possible has been cobbled together from other artists who have shared their experiences creating this style of glass. There are some great instructors and studios who teach about murrini and I would love to take a course, however, there are only so many miles that can be traveled for classes when living on the Hi Line of Montana. So I have read, watched, and have followed those who also make murrini and have created my own.
So with all of that being said, here is my take on making murrini using a vitrigraph kiln and a stainless steel, square, bottomless former from Bonney Doon Fused Glass Tools.
Cut and stack the glass. This was my second murrini pull and I’m still figuring out the optimum way to stack the glass.
Heat up the glass to a scary high temperature. Wear safety equipment such as heat retarding gloves, long sleeves, apron and safety goggles (although when watching other artists, these precautions are not always taken). Pull glass in long canes from bottom of kiln.
Allow the murrini cane to cool and then cut into pieces. For my first canes I used my tile saw to cut, however, we (my dear husband was high jacked for the cutting) found that to be very time-consuming. My hubs made a hand cutter using mosaic nippers and pvc tubing that works well using guidelines from others. The pieces are cut to about 3/8″ thick.
Clean the murrini pieces and use in projects either as focal points or the entire project.
This project was made utilizing the purple glass shown above in both full cane pieces and individual murrini.
A very basic explanation of my take on creating with murrini. If you do not have your own vitrigraph kiln there are many kiln formed artists who are selling murrini on various FB and Etsy sites. AAEglass.com also sells murrini in both 90 and 96 COE packs. Another way of making murrini is to use a mold which also can be found at AAEglass.com or other retail glass purveyors.
Edit: 3/8/2017 I was asked to post pictures of the murrini chopper that my husband made for me. This is not our invention, just followed pictures found on the FB Vitrigraph Support Group.
Six weeks ago I bit the bullet and purchased my very first brand spanking new kiln – both of my other kilns were previously owned units. I find it very ironic that this brand new kiln is also the smallest of the three.
My new kiln is an Evenheat V8 which is approximately 8″ x 8″ internal dimensions. This was specifically purchased to do two things: make vitrigraph stringers and create test tiles for new projects.
A very basic explanation of the process is to fill a pot that has a hole in the bottom of it with pieces of glass. The pot goes into a kiln that also has a hole in the bottom. The glass is heated up (between 1550F and 1700F) and is then pulled through the holes and cut into strings. The glass can also be formed into shapes and curls. For a more complex definition of the process please read this article from Bullseye Glass.
Here are some pictures of today’s success:
As part of my journey in putting imagery onto glass, I needed a laser rather than inkjet printer to create transparencies for screen printing. As I was researching for a new printer, I remembered that I had some photo fusing paper, stuck away somewhere, that also required a laser printer.
After doing some basic research and corresponding with folks on Facebook pages, I finally decided upon the HP2035 Laser Printer – a basic monochrome printer. This printer will hopefully, meet my needs for producing screen printing stencils while also allowing me to create photo fusing decals.
The photo fusing project and processes that I went through are detailed below:
Although I was using a monochrome printer, I chose to edit my pictures to ensure that they were crystal clear and had the tonal qualities that I wanted. Using Photoshop, the picture was opened as”camera raw”. Different function options were used: the photo was de-hazed, exposure was corrected, and the clarity was increased. Adjustments were made to contrast and highlights as well. I wanted the image to be as crisp and clear as possible before rendering into a black and white image by adjusting the color settings.
Here are a couple of the images after being adjusted.
Once the images were adjusted, each were opened directly into Photoshop and were edited further for image size and resolution. The image was resized to fit the pre-fired glass tile and I brought the image resolution up to 600 dpi (personal preference).
Using Microsoft Publisher (since I’m not 100% adept at combining photographs in Photoshop), I laid out my photos so that I would utilize as much of the sheet of photo fusing paper that I could (it ain’t cheap).
The printer was warmed up by printing a few pages and this also allowed me to make sure I knew which way to place the decal paper into the sheet feeder. It also helps to determine that your decal will fit your glass tile. The images were printed onto the glossy side of the photo fusing paper.
The glass tiles used in this foray were 3.25″ x 3.25″ Warm White Bullseye Glass that were on a Tekta base. The tiles were full fused and then thoroughly cleaned and dried.
The decals, with the exception of the text pieces, were cut close to the edges of each print. Each were placed into the distilled water and then gentle slid onto the pre-fused tile and adjusted slightly to align. This took about a minute and the decal had to be gentle coaxed off of the backer. The excess water was blotted off and any air bubble were gentle worked out by smoothing with the paper towel.
The tiles were put to the side and allowed to dry for 24 hours (although the instructions state you can fire after three hours).
The tiles were fired using the following schedule (I used a JenKen kiln and this worked for me, all kilns are different and you will need to adjust for your specific kiln).
The tiles came out beautifully, with warm sepia tones, which is the color that will always be achieved using this particular product. The text tiles had additional vitrigraph stringers added for interest.
Additional thoughts: For the format size used 3.25″ x 3.25″ I think all of the tiles look good. However, I would enlarge Stonehenge, I feel that I lost some of the detail. The next tests will be to look at the different color of glasses that can be used with this process as well as adding paint or powdered glass to add spot color to the pieces.
These pieces will be slumped into small doodad dishes.
Another show is coming up July 23rd in Fort Peck, Montana on the lawn of the Fort Peck Hotel. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. I hope those in the area will be able to join us for a fun filled day!
And here are some new items that will be making their debut in the park!
If you see something that strikes your fancy, please let me know.