Materials & Process

My process for creating my art glass jewelry.
 

Crushed glass (frit) and stands of glass (stringer).

Crushed glass (frit) and stands of glass (stringer).

Prepared glass designs on a kiln shelf before entering the kiln.

Prepared glass designs on a kiln shelf before entering the kiln.

My jewelry making process begins by assembling compatible glass. The glass can be cut, crushed into small pieces or made into strands with the use of a torch.

I layer the glass using a temporary adhesive to ensure that they stay in place during the firing process. Earrings are designed at the same time to ensure that they are similar in nature. It is important to make sure that the same amount of glass is being used on each piece. If it is uneven, the design can become distorted or they can end up unequal in size.

Side view: Wire setting.

Side view: Wire setting.

After each design is assembled, they are properly fired in a kiln up to 1500 degrees. In some cases, multiple firings are necessary to achieve the desired result. After the firing process, they are shaped and cold worked with diamond abrasives.

A small groove is ground along the edge of each piece of glass using a diamond disk. This grove provides a space for my wire setting.

Dry enamel pigments and prepared pigments with a liquid medium.

Dry enamel pigments and prepared pigments with a liquid medium.

In some of my work, use glass enamels to created detailed imagery. I often paint landscapes, animals, insects, flowers, and leaves.

Some of the enamels I use come ready to use in a bottle. Others come in a jar in powder form. These pigments require a liquid medium to transform them into a paint-able form.

I begin my paintings by preparing the glass. I cut a piece of glass slightly larger than the pendant or earrings that I would like to create. I paint the image directly on the surface. It can be painted all in one sitting or it can be completed in layers if the design is complex. In this case, each layer is fired to solidify the bottom layer before more enamel is added. Otherwise, the pigment in the bottom layer can be disturbed, altering the saturation of color or the image quality.

First layer of painted enamel before firing them in the kiln.

First layer of painted enamel before firing them in the kiln.

Painting enamel in layers. Various stages of completion.

Painting enamel in layers. Various stages of completion.

The completed Blue Winged Cicada Necklace.

The completed Blue Winged Cicada Necklace.

Final stages: removing excess and giving the work it's final shape.

Final stages: removing excess and giving the work it's final shape.

After painting the image, I often place an additional layer of clear sheet of glass on top of the image before firing it. This step embeds the image in the center of the glass, encapsulating it like a preserved treasure. In the case of the landscapes, the additional step creates a lensing effect, creating a huge amount of depth in the image.
After the image if fired and cooled, the excess material needs to be cut away with a diamond abrasive saw, giving the piece it's final shape and size.

IMG_1092.jpg

The bubbles you see within art glass designs are often described as “champagne” bubbles and are a characteristic of kiln formed glass.

The wire I use is Argentium® Sterling Silver. It is highly tarnish resistant, earth friendly and made in the USA. Argentium® is certified as sterling silver that is made from only recycled silver.

IMG_1103.jpg

Some of my work includes brass and brass plated wire, findings and chains.

The bubbles in these earrings were created with my very own secret recipe.

The bubbles in these earrings were created with my very own secret recipe.