Was that ever fun! Our first ever “Heart Art” glass workshop. I wanted to create a workshop where people know what to expect, they know what they’ll go away with, they know how long they need to be available for, they know how much it’ll cost before they leave home, there are no surprises – so I though I’d create a “project driven” workshop. It’s simply advertised as
HEART ART glass workshop $90 for 90 minutes
In reality it took a little longer than the prescribed 90 minutes for the first workshop and that gave us time to achieve everything that we needed to before building the actual HEART ARTS.
The first thing I did before advertising the workshop was to create some samplers of the “Hearts in Glass” in a few colour combinations.
Firstly I found an image of a heart that I liked, I chose the very last one in this row. I wonder which one you would choose?
I drew it directly onto the kiln fibre paper that I purchase just for such contingencies. (PAPYROS™ Kiln Shelf Paper is a ceramic-based paper specially formulated for glass fusing. It is ideal for the majority of fusing projects up to 1600°F. )
The “thinfire” paper can be cut easily with normal scissors.
The fibre paper is extremely expensive and can only be used in the kiln once so I cut it into squares 15cms x 15cms and as such, they are just a little larger than each heart. Each heart needs to be 12cms from one side to the other when finished.
Here is a picture of the fibre paper I use, it comes in rolls just like wrapping paper only much larger and much more expensive!
This “thinfire” paper survives almost every firing temperature that I use in my kiln. I drew on the fibre paper with lead pencil (I use a lot of lead pencils in my studio – l love them for planning and diarising and drawing, I just love them! I must have been a pencil maker ina previous life.)
I place the paper on a kiln shelf which itself is on my studio table lifted about 2cms off the table. I never put them directly on the table, so that I can move them to the kiln easily without knocking or tipping the kiln shelf and the glass that’s been carefully placed on top of it.
This way I can easily get my fingers under the whole creation and lift it to the kiln safely without nudging it in any way at all. I cut up some cabochons and they helped me achieve the rounded edges on some of the hearts (particularly the “Barcelona” heart you can see here).
I decided to give any of my students access to all the cabochons that were in my studio on the day of any workshop.
There are “stringers” added to the top of some of these hearts as well. I’m not sure if I like the added busy-ness of the added stringers across the top of the design: that’ll be up to you when you come to make your very own HEART ART.
The “stringers” are the fine thread like glass items that you can break with your fingers. They are available in most colours during my workshops. Here you can see black stringers on the monochrome design and crimson stringers on the red heart in close up.
So – back to my practising! I filled the heart shape I had drawn on the paper with the Spectrum 96 art-glass that I had to hand, then I put them into the kiln and fired to one of my normal firing schedules that I use for slumping my “faux woven” pieces or for my 3D Dichroic jewellery pieces.
I don’t need to share the firing schedule here because every kiln in different and mine definitely fires hotter than most.
Here’s how they looked when they first came out. I put the red one on the outside of the glass of the box frame and the blue on the inside of the box frames.
I then glued them to the paper that comes with the frames. But honestly, neither of these presentations appealed very much either to my fellow artists in the studio or to me. After considering that a less-than-permanent solution, I glued another one to heavy watercolour paper, but that failed as well.
Considering I have a studio filled with all types of glass I decided to use some 2mm window glass (that a printmaker had left behind when she left the neighbouring studio) and glue the heart straight onto the thin window glass, which I cut to exactly the same size as the internal dimensions of the frame, which is 21.5cms. I lined up the mount board with the heart to make sure that the heart was exactly in the centre and checked that the surface where they were drying stayed true (with a spirit level). After all, the last thing I wanted was for the heart to slide and not sit exactly in the centre of the mount board.
After 48 hours this was fully set and I placed the heart on the glass, on top of the white paper that comes with the box frames and carefully placed the box mount over the top of the heart. I did consider adding the wood frame and leaving out the glass that sits fully 2cms above the heart but that would leave the heart exposed to dust and also would leave a gap on the internal edge of the frame.
You can see the red completed and the monochrome sampler ready and finished. Some have been made with black frames and some are with white frames and a couple will not be framed at all so everyone can see easily what they are about to produce.
This workshop at “$90 for 90minutes” filled fairly quickly. I was delighted to fill it and share the fun.
Tools ready, practice glass ready, samplers ready, here we go: after some chat on theory the visitors started creating their very own HEART ART IN GLASS. Have a look at the lovely colours they were using- cobalts, caribbean blue, scarlet, orange, iridised ruby, some stringers, cabochons, dichroic bits and bobs – the result was four really awesome hearts.
Here we are during the workshop, and here are the four hearts that they made. How happy are we? Only one of these lovely ladies had ever been to a workshop before, the other three were “absolute beginners”.
Let me know when you’d like to come and create a framed art glass piece like this and create your very own HEART ART as a joy to treasure forever, or as the perfect handmade gift for a Valentine, an engagement, a wedding, or just because! Gift vouchers for this workshop are also available – a perfect gift for Mothers’ Day!
If you’d like to book, just go to https://jenieyolland.com/workshops
If you have any questions about my workshops, or my glass please feel free to email me [email protected]
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