June 29, 2009


The Etsy Glass Artists have an ongoing monthly draw for a variety of items made by our members. This month's prize is donated by RWillisGlassArtist

A beautiful kiln-fused dichroic glass pendant.


Leave your name and email address or some way to contact you (should you be the winner) in the comments section of this post. A drawing will be held and the winner will be announced on July 24th.

Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter on the left to be notified of any upcoming sales and events. Also, use the egateam tag in the Etsy search box to locate all of our listings for sale.

June 19, 2009

Mosaic: Ancient technique with a Modern twist!

Last weekend was the unveiling of a city-wide public art project- The Easthampton Bearfest!

photo above: popko's bear cub getting some visitors!

If you've ever heard of the "Cows on Parade", you know what this is. The city comissioned artists for the decoration of 30+ fiberglass bears, giant mamas and little cubs. Each was adorned decorate with different meduims- paint, buttons, wire and, in my case, mosaic with glass. These bears are hanging out all over the city- on sidewalks, in parking lots, in parks.

To make my bear, I used handmade fused glass in leaf shapes, and also the glass typically used in stained glass work, all in shades of green. I cut it up into leafy patterns and laid them on the bear. Once grouted they look like leaves and twigs. The title is 'hiding bear', like he is hiding in the bushes and only his head is peeking out!

This took a lot of time; making that much fused glass in my tiny kiln is really a test of patience. It takes a long time to cut, cook, cool and load again. But its worth it.

The photo below is what it looked like while I was glueing the glass to the fiberglass form.

I wanted to use 'fused' glass because it is so smooth and I could add a layer of texture and color to each leaf and twig. I used regular sheet glass for the larger leafy shapes and the rest of the body. It costs less than fusing glass and I dont have to 'cook' it.
Heres some twigs ready to be applied to the form. You can see the two colors fused together to create some depth and color variety.
With this technique I could add glass details around the cubs face without them being sharp shards of glass, and kids or general public could run thier hands over it and really feel the smooth glass. I wanted it to be touchable!
You can see how smooth they are, and the raised areas, in the photo above.
Below, the finished bear hanging out.

The photo above was taken at my house, prior to being installed in front of the town liquor store (first photo). He's hiding.
Mosaic is a great technique that can really be applied to almost anything, using anything. Have some bottlecaps lying around? Glue them to a mailbox! Broke a dinner plate? Glue it to a picture frame! There are certainly ways to create a mosaic for longevity and weather wear, but you can always do-it-yourself and make a great work of art.
Heres a link to a video taken by the local news station. Mines the first one in the video, the little green one. Then Im at the very end in the "Nature" shirt, hamming it up next to my bear while people took photos (and apparently the local news was there too!).

Click the photo below to watch me in the news video!

story by popko

June 2, 2009

Enamel, Enameling, Enamelist

Basic enameling is shift powder glass to clean metal and fire to fuse. End of story……….
Just kidding! But really, it’s that easy and finished piece would look fabulous!

I began making jewelry over 10years ago. From bead stringing to pearl knotting, wire wrapping… I tried many different techniques. But it was always with beads that I bought from somewhere. I wanted make beads and focal my self. I wanted my jewelry to be truly *ME*

So I took polymer clay class at local art center. While it was fun to make stuff with polymer clay, I felt it really wasn’t for me. It’s just so heard to make them look nice & professional. So I moved onto enameling class and I was hooked! That was about 2 years ago. I’m still taking the same class every week. (it’s just so fun & I love be in there…) And I was using torch to enamel at home for long time but I finally got my own kiln!

Ok, enough about me… what is enameling? Enameling is ancient art of fusing glass to metal. I love how they say in Japanese. In Japanese, 七宝焼 (shippouyaki), 七宝 (shippou) meaning “seven gems” because with enamel, you can achieve beauty of the seven gems.

Enamel usually comes in powder. You can shift or mix it with water and paint onto metal such as copper, silver (fine silver) or gold. Copper is more popular but I love it on silver too. Especially transparent colors are great on silver. After you apply enamel on metal, make sure it’s all dried, and then you fire them so they will melt and fuse to the metal when it’s cooled off. In kiln 2-3 minutes around 1500-degree. With torch you can only fire small pieces but takes about same amount of times.Enamel comes in so many different colors. Just to try some color combination is exciting! If you are familiar with metal work, you can prepare your metal with your own shape and texture but if you are not, don’t worry! There are all kinds of pre-cut metal shape that you can get!! And even with just a circle and basic techniques, you can get the most amazing result!

Here is excellent online totorial by Copperheart http://copperheartdesigns.blogspot.com/2008/05/tutorial-intro-to-enameling.html

If you are more like book preson, I recommend this awesome book
The art of enameling by Linda Darty

And some online resorce for enameling material
Thompson Enamel http://www.thompsonenamel.com/
METALLIFEROUS http://www.metalliferous.com/