I have finished my final piece for the Heater show at the Yarra Sculpture Gallery , opening Saturday 25 July 2011. This vase is 25cm across and the large width in the rim allows me to really let the stem fall and slump further to create a stable but skewed base, as the rim is too big to slip through the ring mold like the others.
I have kept the ring at an slight angle by putting it inside my steel frame with wire mesh supporting one side that stretched in the heat, rather than propping it up with kiln posts like usual, as I love the tilt of the rim. As I am still experimenting, I used a fused circle that I had made earlier, but had devitrified, making the surface cloudy and the colours less vibrant, but as I fired to 790 degrees, it fire polished the surface so all the colours are lovely and vibrant. Another surprise. Usually the devit appearance spoils the piece, except for white painted bowls as the cloudiness enhances the the colour and texture of the piece. I don’t make that mistake very often any more, since I worked out it was from having the tin side of the float glass up, when fusing and slumping.
This piece has crushed glass mixed with the paint to create the texture and spiral effect of the piece, and this has created the streaks of paint on the stem as the glass stretched and falls to the floor. I fired some small circles with smaller rings and they hardly moved during the firing, even at that temp, so I’ll keep firing higher and higher until something happens, but I find this size one I would like to explore further by making the stem longer or heating it longer to see what shapes the base will make.
I have been continuing to experiment with drop through mould and painted float glass.
I have spent the last two days making little disasters in the kiln, and learning a lot from them
1. don’t watch a movie while your waiting for the kiln to hit 770. Stop and start action really loses enjoyment of the plot (not that there was one). Popping in and out, racing down to the studio, then back again, doesn’t really work, one needs to be there watching for the last 50 degrees. I programmed it to high and missed the peak, the results were obvious..
Way too hot!!!
2. after you have crash cooled the kiln, check what that naughty controller is actually doing rather than what you programmed it to do. I still not sure but I reckoned it heated up again, just because it could.
3. The kiln has hot spots, I have mainly fused plates on a flat surface at these temperatures, so the fact that kiln is hotter at the front, remained a secret until now. Here is one red vase, looking rather daliesque. It fell through the mold at 760 degrees, while the one at the back had only moved a few inches
Slid through and kept sliding
However I’ll not despair, as the paint effect on the back one, is the most brilliant pink and gold, so tomorrow I’ll try again
Waiting for paint to dry!!!
I’ve started this page, as something to do while I’m waiting…waiting…waitin’ waiting for paint to dry, the kiln to get to 770 degrees, all the intermissions between the beginning of making a piece and gazing at the finished masterpiece. Of course I could vacuum the floor or weed the garden, but they are going to get done anyway so don’t count.
I am firing some drop through vases today, I had always wanted to make something like this ever since seeing Dominic (?) pieces at Eagles Nest Gallery. So I started experimenting as I am stuck at home and cannot work on the recycled bottle ideas until I the gas bottle filled (I’ll explain later). I have small pieces of sheet glass around as I never throw anything out. So these are my first pieces
I knew I had to watch the kiln and wait to turn it off once the glass dropped through the mold, but I didn’t know then that I have to crash cool the kiln. I turned it off and left it. As you can see the continuing heat made the glass continue to fall, but it is a great whirlpool look, but the stems are so slender that the other two could not support their own weight. I used onglaze paint in between to circles of float glass, The paint effects are a lovely surprise, as the glass stretches the glass only holds the faintest tinge of color.
The white one was 5mm float, painted on one side only, this has a beautiful spiral effect, but it is quite rough and the edges are not rounded as it is not hot enough I fired to 770 degrees. The purple one was placed on fluted bullseye mold and the glass has lovely rippled effect, I am interested in following this idea, in a sculptural sense as it looks the most organic. I did three layers of paint green, white and blue on the smaller one and the melding of the colours is very harmonious, It held together as it had smaller fall to the kiln floor
I have to go and put the new pieces in the kiln now, the paint should be dry by now (I hope)