Fire in the Madhouse, fused glass. 3 panels. 2016
Where’s Chicken Little when you need him? Yea, I keep forgetting only a few listen to a conspiracy theorist; also, word is Homeland Security has Little on the no fly list. And most importantly what is falling from the heavens in my story are not acorns nor is the king ignorant of the ‘falling sky’ because in my story the royals are the conspirators.
My current glass art series entitled Fire in the Madhouse, especially this title piece, may seem chaotic and may agitate or perturb. Fine, too many people don’t recognize or especially want to see the seemingly vast array of serious threats in our world. I’m looking up from parched California into our sky and there are long threads of what appear to be clouds; some think contrails from jets but that just ain’t so. I have no factual data, just 66 years of observations as a native northern Californian. For data look here:geoengineeringwatch.org This particular cloud formation is a man made nightmare; instead of fantastic cumulus cloud animals & wild cirrus horsetails parading across azure skies it has the look of a gigantic unravelling fabric with giant discordant threads. Oh, nice metaphor and is western civilization unravelling?
People are zombies, heads bowed, praising almighty ‘Cellular’ contacts/content/friend me! Look up! A week ago while hiking I looked up to see a darkly painted jet aircraft ejecting it’s load into the blue sky as it headed from north to south and shortly after as I gazed skyward this same apparent craft was returning north with no contrails. Hm-m, what’s wrong with that picture. At the same moment farther to the west off the coast another sister jet aircraft was seen spewing it’s thread of noxious cloud materials. Never mind.
If the moral of the Chicken Little fable is don’t believe everything you hear then fine. Never mind and forget me, artistic sublimations, etc., because I think I hear your phone a ringing ding dinging and it could be your new friend Foxy Coxy, Ducky Lucky, or oh my god Turkey Lurkey.
Posted in Art, Classes, fun, fused glass, Nature, philosophy, Spirit
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Stacey & I taught a fused glass class at the Lodge at Sonoma this past January. Normally my classes are in my Sebastopol studio, however, my new business card should read; Have Glass Will Travel. Participants made a tile, or pendants in just three hours. Super cool!
You guys are awesome and were so much fun. Thank you! Nils, workshop participant
Dish by first time fuser
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Drive 20 minutes due west from my glass studio and we arrive at the Shell Beach Labyrinth. The small blue glass casting in my hand is from a class some years ago, and she now resides on this pathway by the sea. A magical assemblage of sacred detritus, flotsam & totems. Glass has been part of my creative life for over 40 years and the seaside my home.
My mother flew through the heavens above when I appeared by the bay waters.
Castaway, flotsam & jetsam rescued, ferried, drifting, & sailing for decades too and fro upon the sea.
A different path we all must tread, our unique dance, and at our particular pace. Some things take a lifetime or two. Me…I’m a late bloomer. So I walk the distance to find my center and a big part of the journey is through my creative glass art.
A quick overview of how to cast glass
Glass casting begins with an original clay sculpture with as much detail as possible. A damn is made around the sculpture so that liquid latex can be poured into it, over the clay, to create a negative mold.
Plaster is poured into the resulting latex mold, creating a positive mold that can withstand the heat of the kiln. The plaster cast is carved to smooth out any bubbles or other inperfections and for any embellishments such as added texture.
It’s then filled with sand, which is weighed to determine the exact amount of glass to exactly fill the mold.
The plaster mold is placed in the kiln, and filled with chunks of glass, broken billets. The “Reclining Buddha” required just under 20 pounds of glass. The kiln is heated to around 1500 degrees and annealed (cooled to room temperature) over a period of three days or more.
Once the piece has reached room temperature the plaster is carefully broken off and discarded. The glass is then cleaned with dental tools, toothbrushes, and lots of elbow grease. The final step is polishing. The latex mold can be reused.
Cast glass Buddha
For info on fused glass, see my blog post.
© Copyright Leland Dennick 2015
All rights reserved
Posted in Art, cast glass
Tagged 90 COE, advanced kiln formed glass technique, award-winning glass art, Bullseye glass, cast glass art, Denick, dichroic glass, fused glass, Fused glass class in Sebastopol, How to fuse glass, How to make fused dichroic glass, Leland Dennick, private instruction, Sebastopol, Sonoma county fused glass class
12″ by 16″
In this 3 hour class you’ll explore the use of photo decals in glass fusing, beginning with a small (but high resolution) image of your choosing. It could be a sailboat, a pet, a logo or other symbol, a flower, or (almost) anything you choose. Stacey will work with you to help you find an optimal image for this process given the technological constraints. She’ll then process the photo in Photoshop so it can be sent to the decal makers. They require 10 -14 days, so this step must be completed a couple of weeks before the class begins. But don’t worry, we’ll have some extra decals of our own designs made so those who want to join the class later will have something to play with.
During class, each person will create two small art pieces incorporating their photograph. Sized from 3″ by 4″ up to around 4″ by 6.” We’ll use frit (powdered glass), stringers (long skinny pieces of glass), sheet glass in transparent and opaque, and extra sparkly dichroic glass to embellish our designs.
Projects will be fired after class and available for pick up within a few days. We can also ship.
The cost for this fun day is $125, which includes everything you need (glass, use of tools and kiln firing) except for eye protection. Please bring safety glasses that fit your face. If you wear prescription glasses you won’t need extra eye protection. Class size is limited to three, so each person has plenty of space and attention.
Other classes we offer include: first fusing class, dichroic glass jewelry making and plant fossils in glass. Call or email for more info.
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Working wtih frit & stringers
Fuseable glass is handmade by a handful of companies to expand and contract at the same rate. It comes in many forms including powder, sheet and stringers (long and skinny). This specially formulated glass is hand cut, assembled in layers and then melded together in a kiln at 1480 degrees or so. Paintings made from frit (powdered glass) may have many firings as images are built in layers.
A second firing is done to shape (slump) the piece from flat glass into a bowl or other three dimensional piece.
A third firing is done on pieces that are painted with glass paint.
“I feel like an alchemist when I open the kiln and see my layers of glass transformed into a luminous image.” – Leland Dennick
WHAT IS DICHROIC GLASS?
Dichroic glass Buddha mask
Dichroic glass is beautiful sparkly glass that was originally developed for the aeronautics industry. It must be manufactured in a vacuum chamber where an electron beam deposits many microscopic layers of metallic oxides, such as magnesium and titanium, on glass. This metallic coating absorbs and reflects different colors of light at different angles, making the glass multi-hued.
Because of the complexity involved in making it, dichroic glass is quite costly. It was originally created for satellite mirrors, but it now has many high-tech applications in fiber optics, infrared lasers, motion picture equipment and even sun glasses.
For more information on fusing and slumping, Warm Glass has free tutorials, an active bulletin board and an inspiring gallery. I also recommend Bullseye Glass Company’s online education program. Here’s a blog post with a link to a movie my wife and I made about raking glass.
© Copyright Leland Dennick 2014
All rights reserved
Posted in fused glass
Tagged Bullseye glass, dichroic glass, frit, fused glass, Fused glass class in Sebastopol, fused glass instruction, How to fuse glass, How to make fused dichroic glass, Leland Dennick, lessons, private instruction, Sebastopol, Sonoma county fused glass class, Stacey Alysa Dennick, stringers
In this 3.5 hour class you’ll make two 4″ by 4″ coasters and one 6″ square piece using several different techniques.
Projects will be fired after class and available for pick up in within a few days. We can also ship.
• The day begins with a brief safety talk and gets rolling with a lecture demo on the most important aspects of working with fused glass: color reactions, volume control & fun.
• We’ll then cut and assemble pieces for the first coaster. No prior glass work experience is necessary, but those who do have experience can enjoy more complicated projects. Ideas include abstract designs, self portraits (fun for kids!) and animal portraits. We’ll use sheet glass, powdered glass (AKA grit), stringers (long skinny sticks of glass) and glass rods of Bullseye brand fusable glass.
• For the second coaster students can choose from our pre-made part sheets to create a silly fish or other design. Part sheets are patterned glass made from a combination of advanced techniques resulting in unique glass with various designs and textures.
• The third project, a 6″ square, may be created using any of the above techniques.
The class fee includes glass and firing costs. Class size is limited to two, so each person has plenty of space and attention.
Call me for more info. – Leland
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