|Posted on February 15, 2010 at 8:03 AM|
Creating fused glass ribbon vases is a new passion for me. I was inspired by a fused glass bowl I saw in Oregon and I wondered what would happen if I tried to do something similar with a vase. (The Bowl I saw had a circle or ring surrounding the top with spokes running from the ring to the base or body of the bowl.
Creating fused glass ribbon vases, I have created quite a few using that wonderful streaky glass - cutting the piece for the body and the ribbons from the same piece of glass. This works well with streaky glasses because of the unique look of that glass. Wispy streaks of color - various shades merging together - but I have also used brightly colored glasses and fused them into a patchwork of colors. Both work well, you have to decide for yourself which works best for you.
I begin with a 10 inch square. Then I cut strips and pieces and create a ring around the square, making sure to touch the square at all four corners. Cutting additional strips, I place them at various points around the circle, like spokes on a wheel, touching the ring of glass and the square in the center. (One other approach is to cut rings of glass of various sizes. Lay them over the square, crossing over and interconnecting. Both options work - or you can do a combination of the two.
It is very important to try to get a two layer thickness across the entire piece. I often use clear glass to add depth and dimenstion, but compplimentary colored striips of glass over the base pieces can also be used.
After fusing this conglomeration together, you end up with what looks like a wheel with square in the middle, spokes touching the square and the rim.
Slumping this on a steel former, I place fiber blankets and felt in sort of hills surrounding the base of the steel former. This helps to add a unque shape to the top of the glass when it folds and stretches during the slumping process. We have lost a few pieces during the slumping process by either slumping too long or becasue the rings and strips were too thin, so don't be afraid to experiment until you find just the right thickness and timing for you.
When the entire process has finished, you should end up with an amazing fused glass ribbon vase. Ribbons of glass that seem to move, liquid-like throughout the vase, from the body to the top, twisting, folding, flowing like ribbons floating in water. You can see our latest example of fused glass ribbon vases here
Categories: Glass Fusing - Working with Fused Glass