It is a beautiful, still, Autumn day on Brighton Seafront and the sea has settled into a gentle, continuous swell after the recent storms. The clocks have gone back and the evenings are longer; it definitely feels as if winter is just around the corner. For me it is a time to ‘cocoon’, reflect, restore and use the longer evenings to be creative and come up with new ideas.
I recently bought a new kiln for Little Beach Boutique, so that I could remain open and make glass pieces even when the seafront is quiet and visitors to the shop are few and far between. I started making circular brooches, inspired by the season – a leafless winter tree casts a dramatic silhouette and a tawny owl on a branch reminds me of the sights and sounds of a woodland walk at this time of year. Cutting circles into glass is a bit of a challenge, due to it’s brittle nature, so each piece is made of 2 pieces of 3mm glass layered and fused together to form a smooth pebble-like finish. They are fired a second time to fuse the image to the glass and I have attached a badge finding on the back to complete it.
I have also been experimenting with making layered glass pendants and creating landscapes and seascapes in glass. I never throw away my glass offcuts – there is always a use for those small pieces – and making fused glass jewellery is the perfect use for them.
This piece is a seascape, made from layering small pieces of glass to a thickness of about 6mm. It is made of small ‘frit’ (ground glass), to create a sand effect and strips of white, blue, coloured and ‘dichroic’ glass, which creates a shimmer. It was full fused, and after cooling, I filed it down to round off any bumps or irregularities in the shape. I then layered on the flying birds decal before kiln-firing a second time. I was pleased with the result; it certainly draws the eye when worn.
I was inspired by these first few pieces so I am going to make all sorts of winter scenes with glass. They make perfect handmade gifts and stocking fillers as well, so I suspect each of my friends will be receiving one!
I absolutely love making glass and will never tire of the thrill of opening the kiln and seeing what kind of alchemy has occurred. If you would ever like to have a lesson in glass fusing, or see how it’s done, do contact me or pop into Little Beach Boutique – http://www.littlebeachboutique.com.
Bye for now