Battersea Power Station Exhibition at BAC

Battersea Arts Centre this week was playing host to a wonderful exhibition of art work about the Battersea Power Station.   Those of you who know me well or have read my posts for a while now will know I did an Abseil in 2012 and also the reasons why.  I still laugh that they told me (and showed me) the ambulance at the foot of the Station as a reassurance… it was a mere spec from up there!

Anyway I was delighted to hear about this exhibition of works of art compiled in one place of the Power Station.  Hundreds of different works and different interpretations in different mediums.  There were professional artists, accomplished amateurs and children who’d entered work.  They varied from small drawings, photographs, pencils, pastels, acrylics, cardboard, patchwork, woodwork, glass and even Lego.

I loved that each artist had interpreted it slightly differently or caught a different light or angle.  Most of the work was for sale and I was pleased to see lots of red dots throughout the exhibition.

I spotted one piece painted by a lady, Laura, who’d been inspired to paint it following her abseil in October 2012!

It’s encouraging to think that there’s such passion for an industrial building that has, for decades been in danger or eroding and collapsing but now with overseas investment, is to have new life breathed back into it.  But no matter what the designers create in and around the Power Station, to me there will be no image stronger than the skyline at night with the towers reaching far in to the sky.

IMG_0294 IMG_0295 BAC WallLego pictureMade from Lego

Lego sculptureSchool Legoand the glass piece

Glass power stationGlass explanation Power Station

 

Saturday Images on Glass – results with decals

A little update following the firing from Images on Glass Saturday course.   Below are the pieces as they came out of the kiln…. now what to do with them?

Mum and Dad firedMum and Dad Fired 2

I cut up some strips of black glass and carefully fitted them around the pictures of Mum and Dad.  There were some very small gaps where the glass didn’t have perfect edges.

Mum and Dad together

I then carefully placed them into the kiln with a piece of 3mm clear glass over the top and fired it once more.

There’s the result.  There’s bubbles in it but this was to be expected with small gaps and a sheet of glass on the top (I quite like them!) but disappointingly the decals have slightly shrunk with the top sheet too giving them Mum and Dad a few more wrinkles than they’d like to have.

IMG_0284I’m quite pleased with it just the way it is however as I have 4 more printed images I’m going to try it again, perhaps this time with the sheet of glass below the images.  I’ll keep you posted.

Here it is on my fireplace.  The images are much stronger at night interestingly as if Mum and Dad are ready for a large G&T and a hand or two of Canasta!

Mum&DadFirePlace

Saturday Fusing & Slumping Glass

I signed up for a short course at the College.  10-4pm for four consecutive Saturdays.  This course was all about learning how to cut flat glass and then fuse with other pieces of glass, powder and frit to make some flatwork.  Then either leave the piece as a flatwork or, if you wish, to slump this into shapes to form bowls, plates, signs etc.

Some photos to demonstrate what we covered.

Picture 1 – using pencil and paper we considered what we’d like to make.  Drawing out exactly what we wanted to achieve.  Then cutting out plastic pieces to match this.  When I was with David Mitchell a few years ago he taught me to draw out the design precisely and then use the paper and pencil as a template.   Personally I’m not sure the plastic pieces helped whereas measurements and precise paper template would suffice.

Glass Slumping RACC Saturday

As you can see from my piece below I didn’t follow the design but did end up with a fun piece that had many sharp lines and angled cuts.

Glass Slumping RACC Saturday1I also created this.  I wanted to see what would happen in a high fuse when I had pieces laying over one another.  The blue pieces lay on the top of the green for the firing.

Glass Slumping RACC Saturday2Making the piece below, I used transparent and opaque glass together with frit, powder, confetti, stringers and a copper flower (made and donated by another lady on the course).  I’ve left the piece flat and enjoy the light coming through it when on a stand.

Glass Slumping RACC Saturday3Our tutor also showed us how to make our own moulds.  Firstly using clay to get the shape, wrapping clay around to dam it, then adding plaster to become, once set, the mould.

Glass Slumping RACC Saturday4Then I tried my own mold.  I was keen to use a shell for some shape but was, it turned out, too gentle and should have pressed much harder to get the shell shape in the clay.  The second thing I learnt from this exercise was not to wipe around the clay so it’s damp when I pour the plaster… it sticks to the board and will break when removing it!  But I was determined to use what was left of the mold, hence below.

The red piece Dad now has against a window in his conservatory.  I thought I should use the smaller mold piece and created the blue dish which I think I’ll incorporate into something else in time.

Glass Slumping RACC Saturday5I created a small round piece with opaque and transparent glass and then using the tutor’s mold slumped it to give a funky shaped piece.

Glass Slumping RACC Saturday7I wanted to experiment with rods and created a triptych for a friend.

Glass Slumping RACC Saturday6Then a little experiment using float glass and frit to then slump over to get a handkerchief piece!

Glass Slumping RACC Saturday8Finally a few pictures of some of the other work created by my classmates… so much more gifted than I!

Glass Slumping RACC Saturday9

Glass Memories of Washington

When I visited Washington at Easter, we (Andi, Sam and I) chose an object that I could use to create something in glass.  The object we chose was a pine cone.  You’d think that’d be simple to use.  Perhaps to create the object in glass?   Perhaps use the texture from the cone?  Or something else?  When I showed the tutor she dismissed creating it in glass as the cone was open and difficult to cast.  She suggested I use the base to create a latex mold and then add these ‘flowers’ to a piece.

Over several weeks, I’ve been making the wax ‘flowers’.  I decided that I’d like to do a bowl with the flowers around it.

The process is the same, create the was ‘flowers’, create a wax bowl, affix the ‘flowers’ securely and try to close up the gaps to reduce risk with plaster.  It takes an age to get the completed wax model.

Then I mixed up the plaster and flint mix to pour over the wax model.  Next stage is to steam out the wax.  I purchased some emerald green gaffer glass which flows faster than bullseye glass.  I then handed it over to the technicians to fire in the kiln.

All the above I did without telling Andi how I was creating the piece.  I was excited to create it and then present it to Andi as a completed piece in the future.  In June I’d not heard from Andi for a few days and was worried.  A few days later she messaged me from the hospital… and told me she was wrapped in her AnnaBlanket which made me smile.

AndiBlanketAnd I let her into the secret and told her what I was doing with the pine cone and a few photos.

IMG_0362After all that work and with the terrifically important reason I was making this piece, the pressure was on for this to be perfect.  Only a few days later I was at college and the piece was cooling in the kiln.  I could tell that something had happened as the technicians asked me to look in the kiln.  The mold had cracked and glass leaked.  So incredibly upset.

GreenAndiBowlI love that damaged imperfect bowl.  It’s not useable and needs a lot of work to clean up or reuse the glass.  Right now, I can’t do anything with it except be disappointed and sad.  Maybe one day soon I’ll create something with the glass that will work and be an Andi treasure.

Saturday Images on Glass – results with screenprinted stacks

Following on from the screenprinted images, I retrieved the pieces from the first firing.  On the first picture the screenprinted ones are the Teddy Wolfe ‘line drawings’.

Mum and Dad fired

You may recall that I also fired a few as ‘stacks’ with multiple sheets of glass, each with the image on them.

IMG_8948

A few photos of the fired stacks.  The one of Teddy has images with both black and blue enamel.

 

 

 

IMG_9115 IMG_9116My next job for these pieces is to grind and polish the edges.. no quick fix for this one so I started with the machines.  You mark the edge up and grind it off, starting course and ending up with the finest grade.  It’s a long process and I’m still working on them.  I’ll post again when they’re finished.  I’m hoping with pollished edges the 3D effect of stacked images will be even more obvious.

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Images on Glass Course – Final Week

Firstly an update on the pieces that were fired during the week.

Screenprint after firingAs you can see the screenprinted images using black ink have worked well.  Sadly the blue ink is fairly pale on most and the orange ink has in most places burnt away.  Personally I love the unpredictability of some areas in glass and it’s why there’s a need to test everything as you go along and continually learn.

My small Teddy Wolfe images have been stuck together and will be fire again into a stack (see below).  Which, with a little bit of hard work and a grinder to neaten up the edges will, hopefully, mean that I have a sort of 3D image of the picture.

Our tutor also had back sheets of decals using images that we’d emailed to her.  I wanted to use some black and white images of my parents.

IMG_8970

As this was our final class in the course, today our tutor encouraged us to re-explore the different methods we’d learned in the short course.

I concentrated mainly on using the decals we’d had printed and screenprinting.  I was keen to revisit the idea of screenprinting one image and then laying them over each other to create a multi-dimensional image.

So that the images would be as close as I could get, to being in same spot on each piece of glass, I first set up my screenprinting area.  Under the screen I taped a piece of cardboard from which I’d cut the size of the glass pieces.  Masking tape was stuck around the image I was using on the screen.  The screen was then stuck to the table at one end and then each corner marked out once again with masking tape.  The rest was up to me and my dodgy eyesight!

IMG_8969First the area is ‘flooded’ with ink by carefully dragging the ink over the area.  Then the glass is placed under the screen (in the cardboard slot) and ink is pulled over.  As my images have incredibly thin lines I dragged the ink over it several times, hoping that it would be a clean thicker line without being smudged.

This time, instead of firing the pieces and then stacking them, I chose to leave the images to air-dry and stack them for a single firing.

Stacking GrannyEeek it was mightily difficult to get it lined up perfectly!

Some of my peers in this final class concentrated on using powders on glass.  Others drew with enamel and then used powders and frit.  Some used their decals and screenprinted.  Here’s a selection of what’s being fired this week (including a batt of my stacks).

IMG_8973 IMG_8972Fabulously diverse and once again will be interesting to see what comes out from the firing.

Finally we lay out a selection of our pieces that we’d finished so far on this short course.  (Obviously there are some in for firing during this week and attendees will need to pop back to the college to collect them).

IMG_8971I think you’ll agree there are some wonderful pieces demonstrating different methods.  Certainly something I’m keen to understand further and do more of but most of all I can honestly say we’ve had a huge amount of enjoyment on the course.  Thank you Richmond Adult Community College our tutor, Monette and not forgetting the technician, Sally, who ensures our pieces are fired for us.

Images on Glass course – screenprinting

Today’s excitement was to learn how to screen print a photo onto glass.  Below are two images drawn by Edward Wolfe that I chose to use.  Our tutor resized our emailed photos and printed onto transparent plastic sheets ready for our class today.

Images on Glass sp1First we prepared our canvas with photo emulsion.  This was applied in a thin layer by pulling the photo emulsion upward using a trough to evenly spread the emulsion over the screen.  This is then immediately placed on a dark shelf (with no light) to dry.  This will absorb the image once exposed to light.

Images on Glass sp2Once dry, we readied the light box by warming up the bright light and positioning our sheets of images.  Quickly we transferred the now dry screen and placed this over the images, covering quickly with blackout material.  Finally we put old heavy telephone directories on top to keep it in place whilst the image is exposed.  3mins and 20seconds later we switched off the light box.

The final step was to remove the screen from the light box (with fingers crossed) and to take it to the sink.  As we watched the screen be showered with water, the images started to emerge.  Witchcraft!

[I was doing the ‘washing’ so didn’t get any pictures of our screen at the final stages]

Images on Glass SP4Finally with the images now on the screen, it was time to create some enamel paste and to screen print them onto glass.

Images on GlassSP6Different results with different colours used.  Below are a selection of the glass with images from the group awaiting firing in the kiln.  (You will see that I reused the red striker glass that hadn’t shown the orange powder before – let’s see how it works).  (Also one of my classmates reused a powdered image with screen printed text on top.)

We’ll all have to wait until next week to see the results.

Images on Glass SP7Finally, our tutor also showed us a slightly different method to utilise multiple colours via screen printing.  You apply the enamel colours in splotches over the image.  Then a line of the acrylic medium and pull the squeegee dragging the medium first and picking up the enamel but forcing both through the mesh.  Again an interesting image created and I’m intrigued to see how that will look once fired.

Images on Glass SP11

Images on Glass course – Glass Powder

My second week on this course our tutor showed us to apply images to glass using powder.  Using different mesh levels we saw how to use objects to create an image.  Sticking paper to the mesh, drawing with wax crayons and freehand sprinkling of powder.  Al these methods give different results.  Thickness of the glass powder.  Layering colour and depth.  Refined sharp edges and gently smooth, smokey sprinkling.

Below are images of our tutor demonstrating a couple of techniques and the middle picture is the fired glass with the images burned into the glass.

Images on Glass11Below are a few of the classes attempts prior to firing.  You can see we’ve used different methods and differing levels of artist expertise too!

Images on Glass12Post firing below.  I was pleased with the orange powder over black bullseye glass – I hadn’t been sure if it’d disappear into the black.  However the same orange powder did disappear into the red striker glass to leave just a solid fired red tile!

Images on Glass13My attempt at creating an image by drawing with wax crayon onto the mesh (red bottom left picture).  Then the powder was gently applied (orange and yellow – top left picture).  The other two images show the fired finished glass.

Images on Glass14

Images on Glass course – Decals

I started a new glass making course at Richmond Adult Community College – “Images on Glass”.  No surprise but I’m already loving the course and it’s only week 1.  Three more Saturdays of exploring and experimentation with different methods of applying images to glass.

First and foremost a quick introduction for ‘newbies’ to types of glass to use (Bullseye or Float), compatibility and how to cut glass.

This week we rummaged through an old box of decals and found our images to practice with.  I selected poppies as I loved the vivid red but was unsure whether it would remain so vivid once fired.  (I did say there was experimentation, right?).

We painted on other glass with enamels (mixing with acrylic media (water based and gloss)).

Another method was by using leaves and grass.  We made prints from them by rolling ink over the leaf/grass and then rolling this over the glass to leave the image on the glass.

One further experiment was to see if we were able to create our own ‘transfers’ using enamels, contact paper and leaves.  We printed a leaf onto paper.  Then covered this with sticky paper.  With the back of a spoon we rubbed the image right into the sticky paper.  Next we ran it under water and rubbed the paper away, leaving the image on the (now not) sticky paper.  Once dry, the stickiness returns.  This was then stuck onto glass, like a homemade transfer/decal.

A selection of images prior to being fired in the kiln.

Images on Glass decal 1Below are photos of our glass images after firing.  As a group we used different decals, painting techniques, colours and depth.  Sadly (and oddly) the experimental own transfer/decals didn’t work – the images had disappeared.  I’m going to try it again before the end of the course as this SHOULD work so we’re not sure what happened.  Watch this space.

Images on Glass decal 2I was also intrigued to see what would happen to some of my images if I stacked them and refired them.  I stacked (with 2 layers) some handpainted glass tiles.  I stacked (with 3 layers) butterfly decals.  And totally as an experiment I didn’t think would work was 7 layers of poppies!

Below top left is the firing tray loaded with stacks and the remaining pictures are post firing.  The one that worked best was the poppies.  Next job is to grind and polish the edges and then I’ll show you the 3D element to the stack.

Images on Glass decal 3

Glass update…

Before Easter I nervously left a big plaster mold with pieces of glass and drips of enamel on a shelf waiting to be fired in the kiln.

Today I retrieved the fired plaster block and carefully put it, upside down, into a bucket of cold water to soak.   Gradually and very gingerly I picked at the plaster removing it bit by bit.

IMG_8659

Yes I did manage to cut my hand the process!

But this was what was revealed.

IMG_8667Next steps will be sawing off the ‘reservoir’ base and then a great deal of handwork to remove the little sharp edges around the sides and polishing up the finished product.

I’m super pleased with it so far but also extremely nervous to handle it so as not to knock any of the ‘coral’ shards from the piece.  It’s fair to say though that it’ll be something to be admired rather than touched… particularly by people with small hands!

I love it and think it represents what I wanted it to do, ie coral moving in the ocean.

Wish me luck with the delicate clean up!