Design to End Product Fused Glass Owl Bowl

1 of 2 owl bowls, after first firing

How does a piece of fused glass take on life?  For me, there are times when I just want to “play” with the materials, and see where it takes me, however, in general I find that if I formulate an image to work toward, the end product is much more satisfying.  There is always a bit of room left over for going with the flow, adding some whimsical embellishments, and letting the piece just speak to me.

Here is an example of a start to finish piece using frits and powders as my design elements.  First, I find an image that inspires me, either a photo or conglomeration of photos or drawings that speak to me.  Then I make a little watercolor image.

Owl Watercolor, 1 of 2

This breaks the image down into some limited colors and values for me to work from.

Next, I choose my glass base colors, in this case an opaline white with a second layer of clear, then use a combination of transparent and opaque frits (ground up fusing glass in a range of sizes, from powders to chunks) to “paint” my design. Here are 2 different owl dishes at different stages of frit application

Owl 1
Owl 2 Frit application, pre fire

 

I do literally use a paintbrush, but just as a dry brush to move the frit around and push it into place. You can see that one must use one’s imagination to some extent, so having experience with how the glass behaves informs me as to how it will look after firing.

1 of 2 owl bowls, after first firing

Here is how the piece looks a first firing. It is now a 5 inch flat round piece.

The final step is to shape the flat piece of glass into the bowl.  I use a ceramic mold that I set the glass into, then fire it a third time, at a lower temperature, just enough to allow the glass to “relax” into the mold.

Final Firing

I use this 5 inch round dish as a background for both simple designs and frit animal paintings, as pictured here with  more basic design, and my other backyard friends, the flickers.

5 inch bowls
5 inch bowls
Flickers

Fused Glass Art by Janie Yakovlevitch

I began my love of glass in the early 1990’s when a flameworker caught my eye in a bead shop.  I started taking any and all classes from various artists in  Seattle, originally creating Glasspassions as an expression of that art form, making beads, bottle stoppers, lamp finials, and jewelry.

Glass Bead

 

 

 

 

 

Bottle Stoppers
Lamp Finials

Although I continue to do my tabletop torch work, selling my work on Etsy as Glasspassions, I eventually was introduced to fused glass, and down the rabbit hole I went.  Thanks to my dear friend Claire Barnett from Seattle Mosaic Arts, I was charged with becoming the “fusing director” at the studio where I spent so much of my time exercising my mosaic muscles.  Did I mention I love doing mosaics also?  I digress…

Lets talk about fused glass. Fused glass is created primarily outside the kiln, then worked into its final rendition through single or multiple firings within the kiln, where the artist must understand the science, but leave open to chance, a final outcome.

My work is heavily influenced by the experiential encounters of what is happening around me.  I love my garden! It is an ongoing source of wonder in its constant evolution.  The plants, the birds, the bees, and my darling hens offer a world of inspiration.

I also love the sea, and spend as much time snorkeling and scuba diving as vacation allows, so sometimes just it is simply the colors I see in the coral that rock my world, and sometimes it is the actual animal that dictates the outcome of my work.