Can you imagine making your own glass platter – you can keep it for yourself or give it to someone special – you can come to a workshop with your bestie and create shared memories.
Well come to one of Jenie Yolland’s workshops with your bestie and create shared memories. There’s nothing better than an experience shared with your friends!
You have loads of colours to choose from and you can see how its done here. The tools you need are all available for you to use right here in our studios.
OK, you’ll need an oil filled glass cutter: These are the ones we use, top quality, made by Toyo in Japan. These hand-held glass cutters have an oil reservoir in the centre for self-lubrication plus they are transparent to easily monitor fluid level. Makes it very easy to create the shapes you want to!
We put sewing machine oil in them because its a very fine oil and runs easily through the stem of the cutter and onto the carbide wheel that scores the glass telling the glass molecules to separate along your score line. Score line? Keep reading.
When you’ve scored your glass, you “run” the score with these “running pliers”. The mark you’ve made on the glass actually runs from the bottom to the top like a ladder does in stockings. You can watch it go from the bottom to the top and the glass just separates along this line like magic!
Needless to say, all this time you’ve been wearing safety glasses to protect your precious eyes. These need to be worn over your reading glasses if you are wearing prescription glasses. Safety practices are the best practice.
In our studios each person cuts their glass on a canvas base. This gives you a lovely white background so you can see the colours of the glass you are working on. As well as this it gives you a soft surface for the glass to move and flex as it needs to while you are cutting it. The canvas base is a softer landing spot for the carbide wheel on your cutter as well. You can see here a piece of blue glass being cut using the correct vertical angle and using the black plastic “L” rulers that everyone is given to work with. It’s easy, and fun!
Everyone gets to choose from loads of different colours and as you can see from the results – everyone makes something absolutely UNIQUE!
When you arrive at the workshop we explain to you about what glass does inside the kiln at different temperatures. We have a whole board of samplers that show what’s happening and allows you to understand a little about the fundamentals of glass and what will happen to your piece after you leave the studio. Many people say this sets them thinking about other projects to try later on!
The piece you’ll make is a bit like making an open sandwich.
Everyone gets a piece of clear and then they start choosing what goes on top. You have loads of glass to choose from to go on the top. You can choose glass with swirls, like the licorice black and white you can see above or transparent in a wide variety of colours.
There’s a piece of clear System 96 glass (clean and with ground edges) sitting on ceramic fibre paper which in itself is sitting on a solid kiln shelf. This ceramic fibre paper is 1mm thick, its exactly like paper you use in your printer, however, its fire proof. We cut it with scissors and lay it between your kiln shelf and the clear glass, that forms the basis of your masterpiece. Here you can see a whole roll of the ceramic fibre paper.
You cut your own pieces and simply lay them on the clear base sheet of glass. Here’s a piece that is about half way through being put together. The student has gaps between the coloured glass pieces as we are going to add powdered glass (deep black in colour) between the pieces to make it look like a stained glass work.
When she finished laying her coloured glass on the top she selects what shape she’d like the finished item to be.
There are currently four different shapes for you to choose from, and then you leave the rest of it up to me. I’ll fire it and wash it the first time to fuse all the pieces together gently. The temperature of this first firing isn’t as hot as the second firing. That’s called “tack fusing”. Its a bit like gluing it together.
The tack fused glass item has been thoroughly washed and dried, and now you can see it as been loaded with black glass frit. Black glass powdered that is also made by the same company who makes the sheet glass. (It is important to put glass together that has the same COE, this isn’t the venue for explaining that (its technical and for another blog).
After being full fused, it is now ready for its third and final firing. This time it goes in at a much lower temperature and is slumped into the Nippon shape that has been chosen for this piece.
How much would you like to make something like this?
Some students opt for a cheeseboard shape, and some prefer different shaped platters, here are some examples.
See the happy faces. I love these workshops. Give the gift of a workshop to someone you love.
We call this workshop the “Life’s Colours” workshop because everyone gets to choose from the same array of glass colours and yet every item, like every human, is different from one another. This is our Life’s Colours workshop – it makes people happy coming to the studio and creating something unique. Come and give it a go!
For any more information about any of our workshops you’ll find everything at jenieyolland.com/book-now/
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