Sea Turtle Sculpture on Stand
A piece is started by cutting the basic outline from a sheet of specially formulated colored glass.
The shimmery, reflective metals you see in the pieces are created by coating glass with vaporized metal oxides in a high-tech vacuum chamber. This glass coating is called dichroic.
This and other types of glass are cut in random organic shapes, some pieces having been heated and twisted in a torch, some were smashed into small squares with a hammer.
All of the elements chosen for the composition are stacked, grinded and inlaid together flat on a kiln shelf for the first firing. The kiln computer is programmed and the first firing begins. The high temperature is about 1500 degrees which melts the pile of glass pieces into one flat piece.
All firings require a specific firing schedule of heating and cooling over as much as 36 hours.The kiln must cool to room temperature before being opened. After completely cooling the piece is ready for it's first slump firing, which gives the piece it's dimensional shape. Details are painted on with real gold and the piece is placed back in the kiln over a mold.
The molds are cast around an original sculpture or sometimes formed over other interesting objects. The mold making process is challenging and requires a lot of trial and error.
The kiln computer is then reprogrammed to fire to a lesser temperature, about 1200 degrees, to gently sag the piece in the mold shape without melting it completely. The same regimen of heating and cooling very slowly must be followed, a process called annealing.
Glass firing cannot be rushed. These pieces are a result of many hours of patient experimentation. Each piece is individually designed and crafted and signed by the artist.