Aug 19, 2008

Crafty Glass

DSC_0540Last week I mentioned that my girls and I found a crafty activity in Charlottesville. I didn't say any more than that at the time because I wanted to be able to show you the results in the post and they hadn't arrived yet. Well look what yesterday's mail brought.

We stopped into the Glass Palette on a whim just to see what they did there and we got totally hooked. In the front of the store was a display of work by the owners of the store. There were functional pieces like bowls and plated and many pieces that were just totally gorgeous and fanciful. Most of it was fused glass although other glass art was represented. It was the kind of stuff that I crave.

Glass crafting

They do all forms of glass craft at the Glass Palette but fused glass is a biggie and that was great because I've seen places where you can learn stained glass but fused glass was something I'd never had and opportunity to try.

DSC_0542The projects that you can do range in size and price from small pendants and earrings to whatever your imagination and wallet can stand. We stayed with modest choices. DQ and I made pendants and Stinkerbelle made a suncatcher.

There was a fabulous variety of glass in a rainbow of colors that were clear and opaque. We were encouraged to check them all out and let our creative side go crazy. The staff were really helpful and taught us all how to use the nipper and the scoring tools to create the shapes we wanted. It was a new experience for all of us. We experimented with size, shape and layering until we had designs that we liked and then we left them behind to be put in the ovens.

DSC_0541Look at how great the results are. Stinkerbelle tried to recreate a scene from Superman with icebergs and such. I was inspired by the elements a bit and created a representation of the sun and rain. DQ just went totally abstract with her favorite colors. The staff helped us decide what texture we wanted for the final product - how much of the bumpiness to retain. Look at how DQ's pendant changed from the picture in the collage above that was taken pre-firing to the one at right of the final product. Totally cool!

We are a family that loves our souvenirs and bring back something from most places we go. My girls are often drawn to knick-nacks and stuff that I consider silly but I have one rule that I always impose on them. It must be something of the place - something that is closely tied to an experience or something they see. I'm not dragging stuff from the ends of the earth that we could just as easily buy around the corner from our house. This may be the best souvenir yet. Something that we created that we couldn't have made anywhere else. If you ever get the chance to try it I'd urge you not to pass it up. It was so much fun.


Carole Knits said...

That is really cool!

Anonymous said...

Nice work! It's really cool to see the difference in the piece before and after firing.

Sarah-potterknitter said...

That's really great! In my area we have so many artists, but not many places where anyone can go in and try something out.
You all got great results

Margene said...

Very cool! I'd love to give that a try. You do beautiful work.