Friday, September 24, 2010

My history with glass

I am not sure when my fascination with glass started. But I do remember being drawn up to the attic at my grandmother's house. It was a large attic - at least to a 4 or 5 year old! It had a cupola of sorts on top with colored glass windows all around. Not stained glass, just colored panes. If I remember correctly they were red and blue. Some were probably clear to let in better light. The house is still there, but the those windows have long since been replaced with "tighter & more energy efficient" windows. I wish I knew what happened to the original panes. I am sure they were probably just thrown out. I also remember making little jars look like stained glass when my mom was into the Artex Paints era. I don't think those were the paints we used, but it was around the same time. Life sort of took over and I really didn't pay that much attention to glass or have time for it for that matter for a while. Like years & years during which my mom and stepdad did some stained glass. But as I said I didn't really have the time or interest then, but they kept all of their equipment - which has worked out for me now since they don't use it anymore! I obtained a small glass kiln a couple ofyears ago with the intention of making pendants and maybe going into metal clay. It sat for almost two years as we remodeled two houses, sold one  moved. Our youngest daughter graduated from high school shortly after moving, then we went on a 3 week trip to Europe with the Ohio Ambassadors of Music which our daughter was a member. So we have had a busy couple of years. I started collecting bottles a couple of years ago, bought a candle holder that was made from a wine bottle  thought "hey I can make this!"

The candle holder that started it all!

So I started collecting empty wine bottles, trying out different ways to cut them. Broke quite a few, but didn't want to just throw out the pieces, so I started playing with fusing them together in the small kiln. Boy was I hooked!!













Now I wanted a bigger kiln! It just so happened that my husband had his eye on an old car - 1957 Beauville 210 station wagon....so.....he got the car and I got a bigger kiln! : )
Now I have been telling everyone to save their wine bottles and any other bottles they can find and think are neat. I even went to a local sports bar and asked them to save some of the bottles for me - just no beer bottles! LOL
The only thing now is time! I can't just put stuff in the kiln and take off. But it does work out pretty good, my kiln area is in the new barn so I have to walk back and forth to check on things so I am getting exercise to boot! Can't beat that!

First firing in new kiln


Leaf molds filled with frit


Kiln loaded and ready to fire
After firing and cooling down

Leaves out of their molds


This one had some holes, but actually I like it, makes it look more realistic

















Slumped bottle

I just laid the leaves on the bottle to take them inside, then kinda liked the way they looked!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My "Studio"

Here are both of my kilns in my loft area of the new barn. My Studio so to speak. I have another area in the garage where I keep all of my bottles, grinder, sander & saw.