Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hip To Be Square! Class At Bullseye

I just realized that I used Aventurine Blue frit on all four coasters. :) I love the aventurine glass (only available in blue and green) because it has a glitter-like sparkle to it that's a little magical. I was over the moon when I saw that printing with the powder frit still gave a bit of sparkle to the look!

I am loving playing with glass!

I took a class last week at Bullseye Glass to learn how to use silkscreens to print on glass using frit (ground glass) powder. I'd seen a Groupon for it, so I paid $50 for a $100 class to make four coasters.

The teacher, Stacy Smith, was awesome -- engaging, knowledgeable, approachable and patient. Somehow she got 16 of us through some history of silkscreening and glass as well as through our projects, all in just over 2 hours.

Artist & teacher Stacy Smith shows some examples of powder printing as well as other types of glass work that Bullseye offers classes in.
Stacy had created screens for the students to use that somewhat randomly had six different patterns on them. (I got lucky and found a seat with a screen that had patterns I really liked. Not everyone was happy with what they had.) You just positioned the screen and the tile so you got the one you wanted where you wanted it.

The process was pretty easy since the screens were premade. I was excited enough about it that I think I'd like to take Stacy's four-day class, where you learn how to design and create your own screens as well as make projects using them.

When I left at the end of class, my tiles were sharing space with three other students' work on a kiln shelf:

Notice the differences in powder color compared with how they looked when they were fired. Some interesting color changes! I'm glad Stacy warned us about them. :-) I took photos of all the other students' work as well, and I wish I could have seen them after they were fired!
I'd meant to pick the coasters up over the weekend, but we were so busy that I completely forgot until Monday morning. So exciting to pick them up and see how great they came out!

I mixed patterns on all but one of the coasters, which I'd chosen an ornate, Victorian looking design that seemed plenty busy on its own:

See the sparkle from the blue frit? Gorgeous! I can see in this photo that it's blue, but in person, the pattern is dark enough that it looks black.

This one is my favorite:

Hm. I'm going to have to look at it again and figure out if that's just the way the light hit it, or if it's fingerprints, or if it has some de-vitrification on it that's causing it to look filmy in places ...

This was my first one. Took me three tries to get it so I was happy with it, and I am happy with how it turned out. If I had it to do over again, I think I'd do both patterns over the entire coaster. Might have been too much, but I wish I'd tried it while I was using their supplies. :-)
This is the only one I'm less than happy with. I wish I'd done the mint green arrows over the entire coaster and topped it with the orange alone. I added the blue dots because I was trying to cover up the gap between the green pattern and the orange pattern without redoing them. I should have started over. So funny that I managed to get the dots lined up so they were exactly perpendicular to the white streak with no pattern. Couldn't have done it if I'd tried, but when I was trying the opposite ... :-)

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