A New Journey begins
Last weekend, thanks to my friend Jim Wilcher's encouragement, I took a glass fusion class at a local glass studio/art store in Redmond--Cascade Glass.
In one weekend we had two kiln runs and I managed to make three pieces. I've since signed up for a month long workshop series and am starting work on a Physical Alchemy piece that will incorporate the glass I make. I find it very refreshing to dive into a new medium, where I have near zero knowledge. Theory wise, my knowledge of pigments and glazes in painting are really helpful in understanding some of the aesthetic dynamics of glass. Like many art forms glass fusion and glass art in general is a broad and challenging subject and will no doubt make for years and years of learning. It will be interesting to see how far down this path I go.
One aesthetic dynamic I find key at this point is the interplay between transparency and opacity. Because clear glass (complete transparency) lets light pass through from the rear and the front of the piece, the artist can contemplate fairly complex strategies for the luminous behavior of light in the piece. A painting deals with light from the front, down through its glaze layers ( if it has any) and then back out again. Glass can transfer light from the rear through to the front, and from the front down into the glass where it can strike white opaque and then bounce back up again to the surface. If you've ever seen the luminous beauty of tropical water over white sand, then you've seen this effect.
In this example you can see a front lit view of the same piece as in the above photo which is back lit. They look like two different pieces. For this reason, glass art, maybe more than any other, needs to be conceived with the origon of light in mind.
There is a new gallery in the paintings section with more photos from the glass class. Thanks to Jim for taking the great photos.