glass + copper. No more, no less.

Two materials I’ve been wanting to combine for a long time. They go together so well, and I was eager to work on a project in which I could combine the techniques I had learned for each medium. Sawing out the forms in copper, sanding them, designing the murrini at the torch, arranging them and firing the little squares (the “gardens”) in the kiln, and finally setting them in the panel. It took me about a month.

The grass green glass was my red thread. It’s one of my favorite transparant shades -it reminds me of summer and the sun shining through leaves…it just makes me happy. So I used that in all the green murrini, but mixed the shades with other colors.

When seen from afar you can just make out the colors of the glass squares and read the quote, but as you come closer you see more colors and finally all the murrini. It is quite detailed, the squares are each 5 x 5 cm, the murrini between 1 and 7 mm each. The whole piece measures 15 x 78 cm (without the bar and the chains).

“Nur der Mensch schafft einen Garten, niemals die Natur. Sie sehen also, wie unsere Entwicklung vor der Intervention des Bewusstseins abhängt. Es gibt zwar den Faktor der Entwicklung, der Evolution in der Natur, aber sie vollzieht sich langsam, sie benötigt Millionen von Jahren.”

C. G. Jung, Traumanalyse

The garden is a metaphor for our own creative process. A garden doesn’t occur naturally, we create them consciously. But a garden is also a reflection of nature, so by creating one we tap into the same creative process as nature uses and connect with her within ourselves. And that brings balance.

That’s why creating is so vital to us…

work in progress pictures:

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meanwhile, at the studio:

(click for full size)

My creativity is slowly but certainly accelerating to full speed and not a moment too soon, because there’s much work to be done! My little notebook (on the bottom right side) is bursting with scribbles and sketches and the to-do lists I’ve made make me slightly panicky…but I’m equally happy I can finally devote my time to my art, at least for the summer vacation.

The picture shows part of the microcosmos project. I’ve been lampworking some glass test “nods” and making some more green cell murrini that are going to be fused on those glass squares, and I’ve been searching for a neat stencil font for the text on the copper plates. Of course you all know what I’m talking about. 😉 Just bear with me, it will become clear soon…

Also, I’m about 1/4 librarian now. I would be excited if it weren’t for the fact that the certificate we’ll get at the end of the ride isn’t enough to land a job. Due to our silly Belgian education system, adult education and evening classes don’t equal regular education even if it’s the same level. So in fact I should get a bachelor from somewhere else…and while I love studying, I really just want to do the glass (& metal) thing. I feel like I have plenty more to tell in those media and I’m not sure if I can put my creativity on hold for some more years of full time studying…What to do?

Well, to be continued…

Aarghh, the brand new Etsy shop! And a tiny rant. now how does that sound? 😀

So that’s for a good start of 2009! Etsy “Your place to buy and sell all things handmade” is a marketplace for artists/sellers and buyers like Dawanda. Only American based, so everything’s in dollars over there.

I’m gradually adding jewelry to it and I will probably start selling glass beads and murrini (my own, of course) on it too! It’s just we had so little natural light here today that my pictures didn’t really come out well, so for now there’s only 1 necklace up. The rest will follow when I can do a better photoshoot!

And I had a little adventure on Facebook: participating in a discussion! Even expressing my opinion. Oh my! It must have been a first! :-p I don’t usually do that, you see. I’d rather steer away from discussions and stand on the sideline, nodding politely to all the parties while thinking my own thoughts. But not expressing them, oh no!

– Well, it’s on my to-do list of 2009: learn to speak up! I’m 30, for crying out loud! I think I can, right? LOL. Well it’s never too late to learn… 😉

Don’t bother about the specifics -it was on animal abuse which is something I have very strong feelings about, so I had to step in (for once). I doubt it had much effect on the persons concerned but it felt good to give a voice to my thoughts in a constructive manner, not engaging in name-calling and anything. Even if I don’t think they were into reasonable discussions whatsoever and they probably thrive on whatever attention they can get, be it positive or negative. Of course if I had the chance I’d go after them with an axe or so. Yes, that would be lovely! Axe-murder in the morning, tea in the afternoon: who’s with me? People who hold so little respect for animals get the exact same amount of respect from me. Anyway, glad I learned from the experience and happily moving on!

19/1/2009 ETA: Yay! the FB lampworkers community stepped in too, mass-unfriending this person. Which seems right: it’s the least we can do. Pity spaying and neutering isn’t allowed on cat-haters…sure would solve the problem!

21/1/2009: just saw he removed the entire thread (I replied to). Typical! Well, I won’t spill any more words on this sad little bully. But this whole thing did have a positive outcome after all: it brought a group of lampworkers closer!

Project Patchwork: artemissne goes glass fusing!

This is why I fell in love with glass: it’s so versatile. Work it cold, work it hot and then cold again. Paint, glue, etch, poke, melt, pull and cut it…Glass looks fantastic!

One of the things I wanted to try out this year with my little Paragon SC3 kiln was fusing glass and it didn’t take long to get this idea of combining both lampwork and fusing techniques: constructing a patchwork quilt from square patches of glass covered with murrini and millefiori. Pretty little flowers and patterns, lively colors, lacy effects, lines and dots and waves, all in a busy yet harmonious, transparant whole of a glass quilt. Can you picture it, catching sunlight? 😀

So these are my very first fusing tests. I fused them as lightly as I could: just so that glass pieces stick together and the edges are softened a little.
I used this antique green glass, salvaged from an old leaded glass window. Because I didn’t know what COE it had and if it was compatible with anything else, I only used pieces of itself.

Next time I’m starting with my Italian Effetre glass plate (which was actually the reason why it took me so long to get started: it’s so difficult to find! Glass rods are all over the place, but the plates…not so much.) and some Bullseye (which has lots of plates but the rods are rare -at least here in Europe).

To be continued…and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Mmmmurrini… (quick one)

See, murrini are just so much fun! 😀 I discovered Sarah Hornik has found her own murrini mania and the gorgeous beads she made with them! Check it out, it’s totally inspiring -and a bit frustrating for someone who has two weeks of exams in front of her. Waah! I want to torch right now!

In other news I’m busy doing my library school homework. What a model student I am… :-p I’m putting the links on Open Source Software on by the way als er klasgenootjes geïnteresseerd zijn… :o)

cat’s eye murrini

So dear readers, this is how a murrini (a millefiori that doesn’t look like a flower) is born… :-p Many thanks to my mom who patiently took the action photos…

Actually I don’t have a picture of the first step because I only realized halfway through that I wanted some pictures of the process -it involved making a blob of black glass and pressing it into the pupil’s form.
I layered it with a hint of pineapple sparkle (vetrofond) first and then lots of amber.

layering, keeping it hot, layering…oh -missed a bit! 😉

actually only afterwards I realized this eye reminded me of something…hence the lolspeak.

melting, rolling, melting…

and we’re pulling! weee!


Who’s our cute little Sauron eye? :-p

Thanks for watching. 😉