Date: October 14, 2019
Author: Raini Armstrong
Hot Glass; this sounds ominous, but then I am far more comfortable with the 2-dimensional painting processes that don't often involve kilns!
Hot glass is pretty amazing, involving several processing steps that lean toward clay molding (in my opinion). That is until the baking comes into play because the heat required with 'baking' glass is ridiculously high.
Our October demonstrator presenting 'Hot Glass' was none other than Georgia Ryan. Georgia is a fantastic artist who has jumped into numerous art forms that appeal to her, somehow becoming a practical expert in them all. Georgia has shared her talents with Chaparral Artists in the past, presenting an art form known for calming the nerves and focusing the mind - Zentangle.
Georgia's work with glass could be considered as far from the creating patterns with the pen as one might get, but the focus and dedication are likely similar.
Georgia introduced the group to several glass art processes, including Sand Caching, Sheet Glass, Slumping, Paste of Glass, Warm Glass, and Hot Glass.
Working with glass can be complicated and extremely technical, but I was amazed at the variety of techniques used with the medium. Working with glass is fascinating, extremely adventurous, involves a great deal of experimentation, and is very time-consuming. The process Georgia went in-depth on was Hot Glass, which includes creating wax molds that can be permanent or temporary, coloring glass, packing the glass 'paste' into hand-made frames or molds, baking the glass, and cooling it. Some of Georgia's creations take countless hours to complete. She designs a pattern and begins creating a temporary or lasting form. She prepares the glass paste and begins packing it into the mold, taking 10+ hours, depending upon the details of the mold. Practically the same number of hours/days are required to cool the glass as it took to bake it. And finally, much care is taken to unpack the finished product.
Working with glass looked terrific. I do not think that I will expand my hobby list to include it, in part because of the expense of kilns, but I honestly admire Georgia Ryan for her diligence and experimentation!