Sunday, September 30, 2012

In the studio ~ behind the scenes

A glimpse into my studio,  a couple weeks ago.....  

Lots going on.
Several works in progress & an array of portraits painted and drawn over the past several months for JKPP. These are ones that I thought would translate well into mosaics.

 I had already envisioned the small black & white portrait in stone, so I got to work on her straight away.  

Hammer & hardie ready to go....
I chop chopped me some stone! 

Completed and framed a few days ago 

"Girl with the Polkadot Scarf"

8" x 8" framed
stone & smalti

~ I love her!

Here's a peek at the one I'm working on now ...... Can you tell from the eye, which one?

who will be next...... ?
stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Julia Kay ~ Host of JKPP!

"Julia Kay's Portrait Party", aka JKPP has been a driving force in my creative life since March 2010.  The party is an international group of artists creating portraits of each other.   This week the group reached 25,000 portraits!

I've done 650 portraits since joining the party, with 20+ portraits of our spectacular host ~  Julia Kay

Here are just a few of those ~

Julia, Out of the Blue

My 1st portrait of Julia was a Mosaic

Imagine that!!!

Julia & Her Shadow

Colored pencil on black paper

Non-dominant hand

One of the many wonderful things about the party is the opportunity to experiment freely in a fun & supportive environment!

& this one, done on a pocket (3" x 2.25") Etch-A-Sketch
prior to their recent rebirth in political news!
Julia,  Room with a Chair

My latest Julia portrait, but surely not the last!
Julia, Seeker of Light

Still fascinated by portraiture, JKPP remains a driving force ~ thanks to Julia & everyone involved.   It's been amazing to watch us grow from 14, when I first joined, to the current 734 members!  

Many more portraits to come!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Experiments in Fusing ~ Portraits

My fascination with portraiture continues ~ along with my love for experimentation. 
Below are my 1st attempts at creating fused glass portraits. 
Each resulting in varying degrees of  success.

Julia, Jerry, Pepe, Terry
Here are some photos, thoughts on process & lessons learned.

First came Terry.

Terry ~ Beginners Luck!
I layed out my glass using a drawing I'd done with the digital program Scribbler .  (If you haven't tried scribbler ~ DO!  It's loads of fun!)

I am most pleased with the way he came out, perfect balance of meltiness & texture.  Plus, I think he looks really cool!

I chalk this up to beginners luck!

Next came Julia.  Using my contour drawing as a starting point.  

Line drawing, materials, tools ~ the beginning

The black glass used to "draw" her features was almost entirely scrap material.

Note to self  ~ be sure to clean the scrap better before starting!  It's hard to see in the photo, but some of the black is not shiny ~ a result of dust.

After 1st fusing

I then decided to re-fuse her (despite Mark warning me not to do it!) adding more colors & shape.  Unfortunately, she cracked near the start of the 2nd fusing.  After allowing it to cool completely, I attempted 2 more firings at varying temperature timings.  Heating the kiln too quickly caused thermal shock & cracking.

In the end (photo at top) she was in 3 pieces.   Not the worst thing that can happen to a mosaic artist!
Before closing the lid for the final firing.

Many good lessons learned with this one ~ especially regarding thermal shock 
& the need to SLOW DOWN!

Choosing glass & drawing to use as my visual reference. 

Next came Jerry. I'm pretty pleased with how he turned out, only wishing I had left the kiln on slightly longer, until the white bits became more rounded.

~ Note: each color melts at slightly different temperatures.  Dark (black) first to light (white) last.

My latests attempt is Pepe ~ In this photo you can see how I stacked the glass for a single firing.   This is how it looked just before closing the lid.

Keeping a sharp eye on this one, I turned off the kiln at just the right time!

Thanks to Terry, Julia, Jerry & Pepe, all members of Julia Kay's Portrait Party(JKPP)!
JKPP is an international community of 600+ artists, creating portraits of each other based on photos.