As a glass worker since 1984, I have had the privilege to develop my artwork with this exceptional material - GLASS.
1986 was a defining time when I purchased an old second-hand kiln for conducting ecclesiastical stained glass repairs. At that same time a new & exciting movement was starting that would reinvent the flexibility allowable in achieving new boundaries for glass artistry.
This new movement was the consequence of having for the first time a range of compatible glass that would move as one in the kiln process. The term ‘coefficient of expansion’ explains how one could calculate the physical & chemical properties of glass & by using an elaborate time/temperature schedule, could repeat successful kiln firings.
More & more did the influence of ‘Warm Glass’ – glass fusing – become apparent in completing a design brief to obtain the true potential of my art pieces.
Unlike glass blowing, this technique is not one of manipulation of heat but a strategy of preparation of glass & kiln furniture to be presented to the kiln for a task of metamorphic proportion.
In other words, by drawing up design concepts & testing kiln techniques, one is able to evaluate how best to cut compatible sheet glass & the arranging frits & powders in order to assemble in the kiln ready for firing. The kiln is then activated & cycle completed & only then opened at room temperature to reveal that work done. Working temperatures range from mid 600 degrees Celsius to as high as mid 800C.
There are many tasks in any elaborate work – all possibly requiring separate preparations of cleaning, shaping, sawing & grinding as well as the changing time/temp kiln schedule to meet the specific task of the kiln-craft segment of developing the piece.
To complete the artistry, a series of disciplines incorporate pneumatic & water cooled diamond equipment is used to ‘coldwork’ the piece, eventually rendering the required shape & this stunning finish.
Clocks by Lazyfish is where I now am able to bring all the skills developed, in isolation on the South Coast of NSW, to a new & unique body of work.
A little more about "Warm Glass"
The process of Glass fusing – ‘Warm Glass’ – as seen in Clocks by Lazyfish products, brings together a range of elements that are employed to create an ever increasing flexibility in Glass design.
The glass used in this Studio has been especially manufactured for kilnforming, in that all colours & styles have the same physical & chemical properties that will, under the correct kiln conditions, allow for successful repeat firings without stress forming within the glass during the cooling stage of a firing cycle.
Designing any fusing piece requires that glass must be cut or otherwise shaped to fulfil the design brief. There may be multiple cutting techniques that will introduce feature themes to the work, some cutting may have to be precise whilst other techniques use more of a free-style approach in designing & layout in the kiln. These decisions and experience make the design development such an individual expression for the artist & the admirer.
The first firing cycle may reveal the need to recut & represent this work to the kiln to extent the design to a new & more complex level, completely changing what was first designed but now closer to the visual effect requested by the brief.
As becoming clear, this technique is not glass blowing or the manipulation of heat but one of a strategy of preparation of glass to present to the kiln. The glass goes in cold & comes out of the kiln at room temp – in between a calculated firing cycle for the kiln reflects the time/temperature influence of size, thickness & task requested for that stage of the piece. Temperature range is approximately within 600C – 900C & up to 18 hours duration per task.
To complete the artistry, a series of disciplines incorporating pneumatic & water cooled diamond equipment is used to ‘coldwork’ the piece, eventually rendering the required shape & glass finish.
My new work has had an additional slump firing over a specially designed mould to realize a self supporting shape. Availability of passive light from behind this stand up shape has introduced a new level of three dimensional translucencies & a new frontier to explore.
I trust & hope you forever enjoy this new & unique body of work.