For me, working and playing mostly add up to the same thing these days. Having been a scientist in a previous life, I love to experiment and my glass work allows lots of scope for that!
From colour and shape to texture to techniques, the possibilities are endless!
There are layering techniques and colour mixed with shape, shape on it’s own, colour and texture all mixed up! Much of it though relies on chemistry, whether that is the chemicals used to create the glass or the chemistry of the flame to ‘pop’ the colours. Glass contains many different metals and oxides, which behave in certain ways depending on how you use the flame, either thermally of by changing the gas mixtures.
More layering and using the inherent properties of the glass, using shards of blown glass to create texture and again, that manipulation of thermal/chemical properties to elicit those yummy colour combinations from essentially what looks like a yukky brown rod of glass!
I have also played with adding silver to glass, which required careful planning and multiple firings, not to mention the balancing act between the melting temperature of the glass with the curing of the silver!
So, if that wasn’t enough to be getting on with, I was keen to play with the technique of electroforming, which essentially means coating something with metal particles. In the basic electroforming process, an electrolytic bath is used to deposit the copper onto the surface of the glass. Glass is a non-conductive material it has to be covered with a conductive coating. Technically, it is a process of synthesizing a metal object by controlling the electrodeposition of metal passing through an electrolytic solution onto a metal or metalised form. The fun is deciding where to place the conductive coating and how fast to plate for the most pleasing aesthetic results 🙂
Looks a bit pathetic I know, but it works for me 😉
I got it to work first time and am now experimenting with rates of deposition etc 😀
Finally I was curious to see what would happen if I mixed the two metals…
More experimenting is on the cards – and one has to keep one step ahead of the copiers! I really enjoyed creating these beautiful creatures and I hope you enjoyed seeing them. Watch this space!
Oh and another bit of news – I am moving into a bigger studio soon! Can’t wait 😀 It means I can teach more than one student at a time and expand my experimental bench! To see what is happening on a daily basis, be sure to go over and ‘like’ my Facebook Page.
Take care until next time. Don’t forget to hug lots (see previous post) and treat others as well as you treat yourself 😀 Consider yourself ‘virtually’ hugged 😉