Its like alchemy how my stacked pieces of glass are magically transformed into gorgeous mini works of art. Each one turns out different and it’s so exciting to discover what the kiln fairy has been up to and done to my work…
Ok, I know there is some chemistry involved too!
So a bit of glass chemistry:
The glass that I use all has to be of the same COE and from the same manufacturer, so that its compatible together and will expand and contract at the same rate, otherwise if it’s not stable it could crack when it cools down.
Some of the glass has copper, selenium, and other minerals in it and will react differently with things its combined with; other glass, wire, and bubbles.
I love the iridescent and sparkly bubbles and add a powder to help create them. They also partly form due to the air that is trapped inside the glass layers whilst the pieces are being fused. Elements of different heights have more potential to trap air and a complete wire shape will trap more air inside it. This is why there is a bubble inside the wire heart shapes in my jewelart heart design fused glass pendants.
During the firing process, sometimes the glass moves out of place as it heats up and carefully stacked layers will slide or topple over, and this often results in a piece that doesn’t work out.
As well as the chemistry involved with fusing, there’s the unknown quantity of combining different colours together; which involves some experimenting, writing notes, and taking photos.
But, if I don’t like how some of the glass has turned out. All isn’t lost, as I will usually add another layer to it and then put it back in the kiln for another go!
Over the Winter, I’ve had a break from making glass – I was busy with events on the run-up to Christmas and suffering from a bad back – so it’s been lovely to get back to my glasswork and experiment making some more heart pendants with my new dichroic glass.
Come along and meet me at one of my jewelart pop-up shops at events across Lancashire and North-West England, where you’ll have a larger selection of my gorgeous glass pieces to choose from.
Thanks for joining me on my creative journey,
Sam Rowena, jewellery artist x