A few weeks ago, our Glass Arts Center held an “Exploring Glass Arts Day” or EGAD for short; inviting the public to visit their facility and try some different glass technique workshops.
Each workshop was only $15 and served as a fundraising event for the organization. For such a low price, I had to go. Unfortunately, by the time I got around to signing up the event was practically full, but I managed to get into 2 workshops: glass fusing and sand blasting. I had a great time, enough to know that I want to do it again.
Glass Fusing: the project was a suncatcher and it turned out a pretty easy project with great results. I think the hardest part was trying to decide what sort of picture to create on the glass base.
The instructors quickly showed us how to use the glass cutting tools. We glued our colored pieces on to the base with Elmers glue, just to keep it in place until the item is placed in the kiln to fuse. We didn’t get to see the heating process – instead we left our glued piece for the experts to heat and picked up the finished product about a week later.
My work station with various glass cutters and a whole box of glass scraps to use.
My finished suncatcher. It started out as a flower, then changed to a sun, then a star with a meteor tail.
The sand blasting proved more difficult and my finished results weren’t quite as I had pictured them in my head. Still, it was a great experience and I think that with some practice, I could produce some nice pieces.
Basically the process is to expose what you want to frost with the sand blasting process using contact paper or tape to protect the clear parts.
I covered the outside of a bowl with electrical tape, then cut away the parts to be exposed. I chose a watery theme.
Here I am, blasting a silicon sand all over the outside of the bowl. I had to be very thorough and cover the entire outside, yet not get any on the inside of the bowl. (One of the other participants, a woman who came with her 2 daughters and her mother was kind enough to take this photo.)
The finished product with all the tape removed. After the blasting, we had to rinse the bowl off so this photo shows the bowl still damp so the etched part is more translucent.
Now that I’ve had a taste, I’d like to take more detailed workshops, perhaps try my hand at bead making or glass blowing. That would be a real blast!