The life of an artist can be a lonely one. I feel like I’m constantly facing challenges working with glass and trying to find solutions by myself. There is a “learning curve”. Some of my learning has been from very talented glass artists from all over the world – classes I’ve taken; glass galleries I’ve visited; the Glass Art Society conferences. Valuable insight from others.

However, some of my learning has been “on the job” as the glass and I struggle to know each other better! I’m never at a loss to develop ideas in my head but actualizing them with glass and the technology of heating and shaping glass can often be very challenging!

Those challenges of trying to translate the image in your head to a finished piece of art glass is an education you can only have by doing! And that effort is often very humbling. But as they say, “you’ve got to climb back on that horse!” So, I keep coming back with a determined commitment to learn from my glass and develop something even better next time. It takes perseverance to go back to that failed piece of glass art and tell yourself, “Let’s learn from this and try this again!”
Ultimately, I try and tell myself “This is a learning experience”. If you don’t learn something, you don’t grow with your art. So here was my most recent “learning experience”.

I was working on a large platter for my San Juan Sunset plate design. The challenge was fusing all these pieces together. Each color of glass has its own viscosity, ability to flow in the heat. And particularly difficult is the dichroic glass that makes up the gold color center of the San Juan Sunset design. In my mind it represents the reflection of the sun on the water. As a result of these different colors and types of glass you must use a unique firing schedule in the kiln to get them to flow easily with each other. Well – not this time! As you can see from the photo, I didn’t program the right fusing schedule in the kiln and the result was blowing a big hole through my piece – and the very expensive dichroic glass!! Yes – it was a definite “boo-hoo-hoo” moment when I discovered what had happened. But – back on the horse – the next day to try again and successfully complete the beautiful San Juan Sunset platter (see photo). Let’s chalk it up to another creative learning experience, shall we?

San Juan Sunset Collection

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