Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Experimental Class... Want to Peek?

Wow!  The experimental fused glass powder drawing class was a success! 


As you may already know, the class was a tester to find out if I could offer this as a workshop in the future. There were four 'guinea pigs', each with different levels of art experience.  Three of the students had no experience in glass, one claimed not to be able to draw, one is a successful painter, another- a computer guy who likes metalsmithing and lapidary work, and finally, a girl who attends my church that wanted to learn the process.

Day one was spent on demos and fun little games of experimentation with different 'tools', and set up some right-brain thinking.  We discussed layout and composition, practiced cutting glass, and chose photos to work from. At first, everyone seemed a bit unsure of their ability to do this and they were pretty sure they would be 'bad' at doing the drawings.  However, by the end of the day everyone had started on their drawings and we were well on our way...but...

Something was bothering me.  My 'non-drawing guinea' seemed frustrated. The piece I started as a demo was a river scene of Venice, and it involved a lot of architectural details.  I think it was too deep too fast. SO...

Day two I cleaned off the work table and took away all of the pieces from day one, and everyone was a bit surprised and unsettled when came back and saw their things missing.  HA!

We started Day Two in a way that I should have started Day One.  I took away all of the tools and we spent about half an hour working to music using only our fingers in the glass powder on a large piece of glass.  We ditched our chairs and got into 'performance mode'.  Everyone seemed to loosen up, and we rotated pieces so we all worked without worrying about things being perfect.  To be quite honest, some of the quick pieces we did during these exercises really would have been great to fire and keep!  I do think that working in a non-committed way helps to take away the fear of making mistakes, and opens up a new version of creativity in each of us.  

We worked on some smaller tester pieces, which we put in the small kiln and watched during the firing to see what results different tools gave.  I was curious to know which tools my guineas liked the best... a small feather, a piece of aluminum grate, silicone tipped painting tools, and card stock.  Cardstock is my favorite too.  

As of today, the kiln is loaded and waiting for the passing thunderstorm to go away so I can start the big firing!  I will post pics of the finished works and student comments in the next blog later this week, but for now, enjoy the slideshow of the class :)

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