In these days of telling it how it is – and not pretending we live in an instagram-style perfect world – how great is it to celebrate when things really really do go right?! Students are quite creative and produce their unique work which is very interesting, here is an example of my student’s work made in the “Life’s Colours” workshop.
I wanted to tell you about one student and one plate.
Meet Mujeeb! He loves workshops and learning – he’s done lost wax silver jewellery, and all manner of ceramics workshops and his most recent has been here in our Church Street studios learning fusing and slumping with me.
He enrolled in our “Life’s Colours” workshop – where you probably know, you make a glass platter that’s 25cms x 25cms and you get a wide variety of beautiful transparent and opaque glass colours to choose from. Here’s some examples of the beautiful art people have in the “Life’s Colours” workshop.
When Mujeeb arrived he brought with him a bright pink cutting from a flowering gum.
This was his inspiration for his first ever glass plate. I could see from the very beginning this man has an eye for design and was going to start with graph paper instead of just cutting glass and being more spontaneous in his approach.
He chose his colour combination and once he had drawn out his design graph paper to the exact scale time was almost up for the 3 hour workshop. (I always have graph paper available for my students and someone decides to use it almost every class.)
As I had a workshop the following week with one spot vacant, I invited him back to finish his work. He did mention that in his pottery classes, he was never able to finish the work in the given time and it caused him stress and stress is not the outcome we want to any of our students, so he came back to the following “Life’s Colours” workshop and continued with his piece, chatting happily to the new people he was meeting.
Each piece was carefully cut according to the pattern he’d created and glued onto the 3mm ice clear base.
Some of the larger triangles representing the leaves weren’t as long as he’d liked and so he added tiny triangles of the palest fawn to the tips of the moss green triangles. He documented everything with his camera and also in his journal.
It was then my turn to put the piece into the kiln for its first of three firings. First I fired it gently to what we call a “tack fuse” so that the glass all sticks together and leaves a dimensional edge on each piece, so that when we add the powdered glass (called “frit”) each tiny speck of frit falls vertically into the gap between the glass pieces.
You can see here the glass ready after its first firing washed and ready for the frit to be added.
There are several different sizes of granules we can use for the frit but I always use the finest for this purpose and its called powdered frit. Grain sizes are 0.2mm and finer; granules pass through an 80-mesh screen. And hat’s how small the grains of glass frit are that fall in between the cracks here. Naturally I clean it up after adding the black powdered frit to create definition.
I fire it again in the kiln and you can see the result below! Stunning, isn’t it?!
You can’t see the relief on my face because sometimes in the second firings the glass just might separate. I find if I’m going to have a problem with a piece of glass it’ll be in the second and not the third firing! So it was with great relief that I let Mujeeb know that this piece was perfect and cooling in the kiln. It surely is a relief when things go right and turn out as beautiful as this work! And remember, this was Mujeeb’s first tie working with glass – no prior experience!
Of course we need to get some shape into this masterpiece of his and so we slump it slowly and not very hot at all actually in our Bullseye mold that we call a Nippon. During the workshop each student gets to choose the final shape of their piece, this is the most popular shape of all: it sits flat and is both visually interesting and functional as well.
Phew, its great when a plan comes together! Here he is with his plate and inspirational flower.
I’ve added his review here because I’m wanted to share some more good news with you.
Mujeeb’s public feedback for you:
He gave me his permission to write this while he was sitting in KL airport on his way to India – some people are so easy and fun to communicate with. Thanks for finding my workshop Mujeeb – it was a pleasure “working” with you!
So anytime you feel like having a go at something different, come along to one of our workshops.
See you soon, do it for you!
All the information you need is on my website: https://jenieyolland.com
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