Glass is entrancing and enticing… The lure of the beauty of glass, with its amazing colours, depth and sparkle.
I’ve long been attracted to the lustre and beauty of glass and crystal beads, learning about and collecting them to use in my jewellery making. From vintage hand-cut crystal beads, machine cut Swarovski crystal beads, pressed glass bohemian glass beads and Japanese seed beads, to gorgeous handmade lampwork and Murano glass beads.
“When I first came across Dichroic fused glass jewellery at a craft fair in the late 1990’s I was amazed by its beautiful sparkle and vibrant colours.”
At the time, there didn’t seem to be any opportunities to learn how to do it (glass fusing) in Lancashire, plus I was engrossed with learning about beads and developing my jewellery making skills. I think it was around 10 years ago when people started teaching the glass fusing classes here. They were so expensive and the cost of it put me off, but I still hankered to have ‘a go’ and luckily in 2010 a friend told me about a kiln/ceramic art group in Southport and I went along with her.
and that’s when my foray into the world of glass fusing began…
The group initially had weekly morning ceramic painting meetings in a church community room with additional day-long seminars every month or so. The group organiser, Christine fired the ceramic paintings in her kiln each meeting. As glass is fused in a kiln, it was also something they covered in the group and I was able to gain the basics of glass fusing and have the opportunity to learn by experimenting and seeing how being fused in the kiln transformed my pieces of assembled glass. (I also enjoyed the ceramic painting I did at the meetings and seminars, I’ll write more about that in a later blog post).
This is an early ‘before’ and ‘after’ glass experiment with wire, these were 2 of the ones that turned out OK!
My glass fusing pieces were very ‘hit and miss’, firstly they were mostly new experiments, they also had to survive being moved by car and then loaded into a kiln, and finally the ceramic kilns are big top-loader kilns with varying ‘hot and cold’ spots and unfortunately it resulted in mixed success.
I knew that if I wanted to take my glass fusing further I really needed to get my own kiln.
Thanks for joining me on my creative journey, more to follow…
Sam Rowena, jewellery artist