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Most people are familiar with the image of the glassblower at the furnace manipulating a gob of ‘hot’ glass. It is not difficult to understand why glassblowing is known as the ‘Hot glass ‘ technique with all the heat surrounding this craft.
Temperature of glass approx 1,300°C.

On the opposite side of the coin is the stained glass artist, who usually works at room temperature fitting together pieces of coloured glass held together by lead came. This craft is commonly known as the ‘Cold Glass’ technique.
Obviously there are other cold working skills e.g. etching and sandblasting.

In between these two there are the Kiln workers, this is the type of glass work produced in my studio.
They work with glass at temperatures ranging from 590-900+°C.

There are some glass artists who use a combination of all 3 of the above, but you’ll have to use your imagination as they are too many and varied to mention them all here. I will concentrate on the main areas.


1.FUSING – Joining glass pieces together by melting them in a kiln.

2. SLUMPING – Shaping glass by heating it over or into a mould in
a kiln.

3.CASTING – Using kiln heat to melt glass inside a mould.

There are many variations and interpretations of these definitions, this is just a basic description

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Glass Art & Music by Alison Kinnaird: Ring of Crystal, Ring of Stone

Alison Kinnaird has always had two careers running in parallel: as a well known Scottish musician & also as an artist working primarily with glass, whose work is collected internationally. In 1997 she was awarded an M.B.E. for services to art & music. Alison usually keeps these two fields seperate but in a number of projects, including this one, both glass & harp have featured together.

The glass artwork shown in this film was created in 1988, based on the theme of standing stones, and it was acquired by Leicester Museum & Art Gallery in the same year. The tune was composed by Alison to accompany the glass. Like a circle of stones, the music follows the characteristic form of harp music, beginning with a theme, progressing through a series of variations, before returning to the theme at the end. Each variation has a corresponding engraved crystal block.

The short film, which features images of the standing stones at Castlerigg, Long Meg & her daughters, and the majestic Callanish stones on the Isle of Lewis, was filmed, edited & directed by Robin Morton. This film was released on a DVD containing three films & interviews relating to Alison’s work, which was included free with Alison’s 2004 album ‘The Silver String’ (Temple Records COMD2096). This CD/DVD package is still available direct from or from all good record shops.

Alison Kinnaird, Pub. Kinmor Music

Temple Records 2004 & Kinmor Music.
All Rights Reserved


“This is Scottish traditional music at it’s very best, something to be proud to be part of, thrilling to hear and humbling to realise the lack of extent of our knowledge”
Edinburgh Guide, December 2004

“…yet another extraordinary example of her mastery of all forms of Scottish traditional music….the music alone is enough to make this CD essential, the glass art videos simply take her vision to a whole new level”
Folk Harp Journal, Spring 2005

“Rarely have such ancient themes been so successfully meshed with modern images, techniques and technology. This is a truly ground-breaking project, fully recognized with great artistry”
Dirty Linen

Duration : 0:8:4

Continue reading Glass Art & Music by Alison Kinnaird: Ring of Crystal, Ring of Stone

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CASTING – using the lost wax method.

jersey glass art

TOTEM- negative
Designed/made by Julie Bolton at http://
Cast glass sculpture using Lead Crystal and Copper Oxide.

First an original basic model is made usually from clay or plaster.
This is then coated in a special rubber (gel-flex) to make a master mold.
The rubber is cut open and the original model taken out.
Wax is melted, poured into the sealed rubber mold and left to set.
When set, the wax model is taken out and can be reshaped as desired.
When the wax piece has been shaped to the artists satisfaction a plaster/investrite mold is made around the outside of it

with a reservoir at the top to hold the glass pieces that will be melted into the mould.
The wax is then melted out of the mould, leaving a negative image of the original model.
Glass pieces called cullet are then placed in the reservoir and the whole thing is put into a kiln.
The glass has to be taken up in various stages to a temperature that enables the glass to melt into the mould.
Once the glass has cast into the mould it then has to be taken back down slowly back to its ‘hard’ state.
This can take a long time depending on the thickness and size of the glass.
When cool the mould is broken open to reveal the original model made out of glass.

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The Corning Museum of Glass Supports Eight Artists-in-Residence in 2011

CORNING, NY– Eight artists will research and experiment with new techniques and subjects as 2011 Artists-in-Residence at The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass.

“The artist-in-residence program is a core part of the programming at The Studio, which is an advocate for artists working in glass,” says Amy Schwartz, director of The Studio. “The residency program provides artists the luxury of spending a month focusing on their work without day-to-day worries.  The Studio handles housing, travel, equipment, supplies, and assistance, while the artist engages in the process of creating and exploring.”

The resident artists will be supported with technical assistance, housing, a food stipend, and studio space for one month. They also will have full access to The Studio’s state-of-the-art facilities, the Museum’s renowned Rakow Research Library, Museum staff, and the 45,000-object collection, which spans 35 centuries of glassmaking and represents each civilization in which glass has been made.

The artists will provide public Lunchtime Lectures during their residencies. Lectures will take place in The Studio Lecture Room at 12:00 p.m. on the specified dates. Registration is not required, and admission is free. Please contact (607) 974-6467 or for more details.
March – Susan Liebold
Liebold’s work explores luminosity. She uses flameworking techniques to develop biomorphic structures made of phosphorescent and fluorescent glass, which she develops by working closely with chemists. In her Studio residency, she will explore the contrasts between heavy and fragile glass, combining fragile glass objects with solid objects from the furnace. Liebold often integrates her work into the environment, at times placing them in a forest or field. Based in Germany, Lieobold studied at Giebichenstein, School of Art and Design in Halle. She has had exhibitions at several German museums.

Liebold will present a free public lecture at noon on March 18 in The Studio Lecture Room.

April – Beth Lipman
Lipmam is known for her works in glass that generally pay homage to still-life paintings from the 17th to the 20th centuries.  Continuing her exploration of material culture as a means to understand desire and consumption, she will investigate and recreate Victorian decorative arts during her Studio residency, juxtaposing common 19th-century domestic objects with their contemporary counterparts. Lipman’s work has been the focus of solo exhibitions at galleries and museums across the United States, and part of group exhibitions across the world. Her work is in the collection of The Corning Museum of Glass.

Lipman will present a free public lecture at noon on April 21 in The Studio Lecture Room.

September – Dan Mirer and Nisha Bansil
Instructor Collaborative Residency

Mirer and Bansil will collaborate to combine the techniques of photo sandblasting and blown glass, and develop new methods to create bubble trap imagery. With Mirer’s strengths in craftsmanship and technical innovation and Bansil’s emphasis on pure imagery using the two dimensional qualities of glass, the artists will collaborate to create new work that neither would accomplish alone.

There is no lecture for this residency.

October – Min Jeong Song
Song studies ornamental styles across time periods and geography, and her work explores how certain attributes of glass can be used to create ambivalent objects: objects that don’t belong to pre-existing stylistic classifications. She is especially interested in cross-cultural stylistic developments between East Asia and Western Europe, a topic she would like to explore more at The Corning Museum of Glass. Until now, she has worked mainly with clear or monotone glass. At The Studio, she would like to add elements of color and three-dimensionality. Song holds a master’s of fine art in glass from the Rhode Island School of Design and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in glass at the Royal College of Art. Her work has been exhibited across the UK and US.

Song will present a free public lecture at noon on October 26 in The Studio Lecture Room.

October – Amie Laird McNeel
Laird McNeel will come to The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass as part of a joint Artists-in-Residence partnership with the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. A sculpture professor for 20 years, Laird McNeel is inspired by the formal symmetries of natural systems, which can be both subtle and severe, uniform and chaotic. She has recently begun incorporating blown and carved glass into her hand-formed steel sculptures. At The Studio, she will investigate how glass can affect our perceptions through optics and lenses, embedding metal sculptures she makes at the Kohler Arts Center with mirrored interiors, creating multiple reflections.

Laird McNeel will present a free public lecture at noon on October 26 in The Studio Lecture Room.
November – Veronika Beckh
A Berlin-based artist, Beckh has exhibited extensively in the United States and Europe. Her work invites viewers to disconnect from the noise and chaos of everyday life and to find light, tranquility, and contemplation. Beckh will use her residency at The Studio to expand her practice beyond smaller objects and ensembles toward room installations. She will experiment with scale, combining blown pieces with float glass and mirror to integrate with and respond to space, light, reflections, and the viewer.

Beckh will present a free public lecture at noon on November 18 in Te Studio Lecture Room.

November – Adrianne Evans
Evans draws inspiration from the complex mechanisms that shape the natural world. In her residency, she will explore in glass the forces that shape the earth—erosion, grain sorting, friction, viscosity, flow, gravity, buoyancy, pressure, heat and time—sometimes by adding powdered glass to molds filled with water, letting it settle and creating layers of sediment and distinctive geologic formations. Evans holds a master’s of fine arts in glass from the Rhode Island School of Design, where she now teaches. She has worked with Michael Glancy, Daniel Clayman and others, and her work has been included in the New Glass Review.

Evans will present a free public lecture at noon on November 18 in The Studio Lecture Room.
The Corning Museum of Glass
The Corning Museum of Glass ( is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of glass. Spanning the globe and encompassing more than 3,500 years of human ingenuity, the collection includes masterpieces from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome; the great civilizations of Islam, Asia, Europe, and the Americas; and the range of artistic movements beginning in the late 19th century and extending to the present day. Interactive exhibits tell the story of life-changing historic advancements and contemporary innovations in glass technology.

Live glassblowing demonstrations (offered at the Museum, on the road in the U.S. and abroad, and at sea on Celebrity Cruises) bring the material to life for audiences of all ages.

The Museum’s campus includes a year-round glassmaking school, The Studio, and the Rakow Research Library, the world’s foremost archive and reference collection on the history of glassmaking.

Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes Wine Country of New York State, the Museum is open daily, year-round. Kids and teens 19 and under receive free admission.


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Fusing Glass

Fusing glass in a kiln is a fascinating technique that enables artists to create unique and gorgeous projects. The following fusing rules and firing instructions should provide you with enough information to make a variety of projects, creating an appreciation for the complexities and potential of fused glass, and paving the way for more intricate designs and ideas.


Tested Compatible

Fused glass dishOtherwise, when the glass cools, one glass will pull on the other and cause the piece to crack along the seam. Even if the glass survives the cooling process, there is still a risk it might still crack if you try to reheat it in a kiln or even place it in a sunny window. Stress from incompatible glass is always in the piece. Do not try to refire broken incompatible glass.

  • All glass has a coefficient of expansion, or COE.
  • Glass manufactured specifically for fusing is often “tested compatible,” or guaranteed to be a certain COE.
  • The most popular fusing glasses are either 90 COE (Bullseye, Uroboros and Wasser) or 96 COE (Spectrum and Uroboros).
  • Always use compatible glass, which is known to have the same COE.


Slower Is Better

thermal shock glass

  • You can’t heat or cool glass too slowly. Going too fast can result in cracked glass or Thermal Shock ( see image to right).
  • A safe rate to heat is 15° per minute (900° per hour), although stacked glass 2″ in diameter and smaller can be heated at a faster rate.
  • Slow-cooling of glass or “annealing” depends on the thickness of the glass. If the glass breaks because it was heated too fast; turn off the kiln, allow the glass to cool, push it back together, and try again – at a slower rate. Breaks from thermal shock usually go straight across the piece and have a little hook near the edge. They can usually be repaired by refiring.


Glass Likes To Be ¼” Thick

When heating glass to full fuse, anything with less mass will shrink up, anything with more will spread out. This movement can be controlled somewhat by fusing slower, and not going to full fuse.


All Kilns Are Not Alike

  • There are some variances between kilns, especially mini kilns. Sometimes pyrometers are slightly off, and sometimes current loads vary.
  • Use firing schedules as a guide, but remember to check your piece frequently during fusing, and record changes in schedules as needed.
  • Prepare your kiln by applying kiln wash with a kiln brush. Apply one thin coat in each direction. Don’t forget to apply kiln wash to molds, too.


Take Good Notes

  • Use a project log to keep important information about your projects.
  • Keep track of what glass was used, how thick the glass was, the firing schedule and the results.
  • This helps repeat good performances and prevent bad ones.


Fusing Glass

Brittle Zone brittle Tack Fuse  tack Full Fuse  full

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