Friday, October 5, 2012

Cutting and Stacking

My friend Deborah and I participated in a fantastic webinar last week - I discovered the webinar on Deborah's blog, and am so glad I did! Thanks, Deborah!

The webinar was led by Tanya Veit, a fantastically talented glass artist, and covered advanced techniques in glass fusing, including Tanya's Picasso technique, as well as glass etching, decals, and many other exciting new things (new to me!)

As with any new technique, I had to buy some stuff before I could start creating - why IS that? Will I ever have enough stuff?

I am still waiting on one item - a pricey digital controller for my kiln. For years, I have been just fine with my analog kiln, but I used a very different firing schedule from the one Tanya recommends for her Picasso technique. The schedule I usually use calls for a fast ramp, and 2 brief holds (10 minutes each) - and so it was no big deal for me to stand by the kiln, babysitting the controller, to make sure the temps stayed on target during the run.

 Dichroic pendant, Picasso technique, by Tanya Veit (pic from Tanya's blog)

The firing schedule recommended for the Picasso technique involves a very slow ramp, plus 4 prolonged hold times - by my calculations, about 8.5 to 9 hours of firing. There is just no way I am going to sit beside the kiln for that long - I have stuff to do!! A shop to run! And my kiln is just too finicky to be left alone with glass inside, so I broke down and ordered a digital controller for it yesterday.

And speaking of yesterday - since I had all the other ingredients on hand, I got them out, organized, and set out to stack some glass.

First, I opened up my brand new, still-in-the-box, Morton cutting system. As a gullible student I was once talked into buying it, and then intimidated by all its parts and instructions, so I never used it. I spent quite a while on Tuesday getting acquainted with it, plowing through the instruction manual, and finally felt confident enough to give it a try (although I'm still not ready for some of the fancier things it can do).

Morton cutting system, set-up for 90-degree cuts (strips, squares, etc)

Morton, with my brand new piece of black glass

I only had a small amount of plain black backing on hand, so I had to order a piece. 

I cut lots of strips yesterday on the Morton - not just my black backing, which I cut into pendant size pieces, but also some glass I have had for years - huge, 24 inch square pieces of glass, some dichroic, some not - that I have moved around from place to place, trying to keep them from breaking. They were so huge, I felt afraid to try to do anything with them. Since the Morton was already out and set up, I grabbed these big sheets of glass and cut them into more manageable 8x8 pieces.

Next, I set about to created the stacks for the Picasso technique. This was WAY harder than Tanya made it look during the webinar! (imagine that!)

 the dichro I plan to use for my Picasso pendants (resting on my still-uncut black sheet)

After hours of tedious cutting of the dichro pieces, I had one (ONE!) pendant stacked:

So - it's more cutting and stacking for me today. My new controller should be here Tuesday, and installation is supposed to be easy (!) so Wednesday may be a firing day. Yay!

You glass fanatics out there should keep an eye out for one of Tanya's webinars - it was a wonderful learning experience!

1 comment: said...

Cant wait to see how they come out
You go girl - I've still not made it to the studio