Using specialized sheets of glass specially developed for the fusing process, I hand cut the multiple pieces of glass for my initial design. The glass is then fired in a 24 x 24 x 15 inch Paragon kiln to create an entirely new piece of glass. The glass must be fired to a temperature between 1400- 1490 degrees, then “annealed” at 900 degrees for several hours to stabilize the glass for strength and longevity. Oftentimes this is only the initial step, as any further shaping of the glass, such as “slumping” (as in a gentle curve of a platter or bowl whereby the glass relaxes into a mold), or “draping” (as in a fluted vase, whereby the glass falls over a mold), or “drop molding” (as in a pendant light, whereby the thick glass slowly falls through a cut out hole suspended well over the kiln shelf, then excess glass at the rim cut off later), requires further firing at a lower temperature.
As in the flameworking, subject matter and design originates in my mind’s eye through quiet meditation, or while observing landscapes, or scuba diving with ocean sea life. Quite frequently the color combinations and shapes of coral and creatures such as nudibranchs allow me to let go of conventional geometry and expected colors, to be more playful as I see Nature is.
Fusing plays on my knowledge of flameworking, providing a natural segway, based on my understanding of the way the metals in the glass affect color and reaction, and the behavior of molten glass, allowing me to predict an outcome. The fusing provides an opportunity to create larger pieces for the home, or to serve as inclusions in my mosaics.