Mixing Green Beans with Brown
Part One of a Multi-Part Tutorial on Fusing and
This article is one of a
series that looks at glass fusing and slumping from a slightly
off-center perspective. Click here if you'd like to read "The
Creative Can of Beans", the first article in the series.
You're a glass
artist. And as a glass artist, you have one thing in common with
every other glass artist in the world. No, it's not a love a glass
or an appreciation for a material that shimmers in the light. It's
not a desire to bring beauty to the world or to share your vision
with others. It's not even a painstaking skill you've developed
over years of effort.
else you've developed over all those years. It's all those piles of
You know what
I'm talking about. Every time you make something in glass, you have
all these pieces left over. And they're too precious, too damned
expensive, to throw away. So, like a thousand thousand glass
artists the world over, you save the scraps.
You toss them
into bins. You lay them gently into boxes. You fill buckets until
they overflow, scraps sliding across the floor. You get energized
and sort them by color, get overwhelmed and just toss them anywhere.
the trash. If there's one thing that glass artists everywhere have
in common, it's that you never throw away glass. You save it.
One of the
attractions of fusing it that it promises the opportunity to use all
of those scraps. Just think how wonderful it would be to fuse them
all together to make a beautiful multi-colored bowl or wall panel.
So that's what
you do. Well, at least that's what I did. Long ago, when I first
started fusing, I took a pile of scraps from my old stained glass
days and popped them in the kiln to see what would happen. My idea
was like making three bean salad, only with more than three beans
and with more colors than just green and brown. I wanted fat white
beans, skinny green ones, speckled beans, and rainbow beans, too,
all beautifully mixed together in the heat of my shiny new kiln.
You know what
happened. Well, maybe you don't.
To find out what happened, check here for part two of this article.
Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.
All rights reserved.
This article was originally
written in 1999 and was one of a series that became the basis for the
Warm Glass website. It
has also been published in Common Ground: Glass, the
newsletter of the International Guild
of Glass Artists.