Crafty Fun

My Poker Chick group doesn't just play poker. We also like to dine out, go to plays and concerts and sometimes try something new. The new activity this time was taking a Glass Fusing class.

Our own little SITC Charlotte (Angela) found an Amazon deal for a group class here in the Valley for that worked out to $25 a person. Or, $20, I'm still a little confused after the mass money exchange but it was well worth either amount.

The class was held at The East Valley Art House which is literally a house so we all drove by it before finding it. I, because I'm an idiot, actually put 5434 in as the address instead of the actual 2434 so I really went out of my way. Even with a Nav system in my bitchen' car, I manage to get lost. Sigh.

We had the option of taking Stained Glass instead but, thankfully, Ang made the executive decision to do fused as that was only a 4 hour commitment and the other was spread out over several days that I don't have.

It did take 4 hours, too, without kiln time. Marcia is the instructor and she gave a very thorough background on not just fused glass but other creative techniques like enameling, wiring, bead making, clay work, painting with solder, etc. She has an impressive collection of supplies and multiple kilns and really knows her stuff. And, she is very enthusiastic about it all which was nice. Our group was full of questions which she appreciated and we appreciated seeing the many samples of work she had on hand.

Lecture time was over too soon for me. I really had no idea what I was going to do and watched all of my friends scurrying around to collect glass pieces and beads for their designs like they knew exactly what they wanted while I settled for just picking random pieces of glass and hoping they would inspire me.

After spying on Beckey, I saw that she was making a bowl. A bowl! I can do that! So I started putting it together. It's a two step kiln process. The first is to get your glass fused then the second is to put the glass over a mold and let it melt into the shape.

The big square is the bowl and the shape in the upper right corner is the mold for it.
I felt a little more confident after getting one piece out of the way then decided just to make pieces that I could use as magnets. So simple, just like my artistic skills! I put together the three rectangular pieces above then let Stacey use a spot for her round creation. Marcia encouraged us to use every available space on the kiln tray.

Once again, Stacey outdid us in the creativity arena. She put together her little garden with the sun and birds first then moved on to make the rest of these pieces. I'm really curious to see how the twig and leaves turns out.

So dang creative.
One of the ideas Marcia gave us was to create an ikebana container. That's a Japanese floral arranging thing for those who don't want to click on the link. Ang decided to make one of those. Since she still had some room on the kiln stone, she whipped up another piece to melt in the center.

The outside pieces of glass make the top for the container in the lower right corner.
Beckey went simple yet fancy with her initial bowl. There are two pieces of glass and the bottom was textured and reflected in shades of purple, blue or pink depending on the angle. She ended up with two stones for the kiln process and the second one had some really lovely wave action going on that she's going to try to make into a smaller, narrow bowl.

Beckey's work.
Marcia insisted that we had plenty of room left for other work so we packed in several other pieces that I didn't get pictures of. 

When we were planning the event, Ang said that Marcia encouraged us to bring food and drink. And, by drink, that meant alcohol. Stacey and I were both hesitant at that because we were anticipating dealing with super hot product. Our concerns were unfounded as the most dangerous tool we used was the grinder (still managed to need a bandaid after a tiny shard of glass impaled my thumb). I make fantastic rounded corners, BTW. I might have found an actual talent.

Marcia is actually doing all of our hot kiln work ("hot kiln" is redundant wording, I know, but our concern was about burning ourselves so I feel the need to emphasize). She was going to put our initial melts in that night then do the secondary melts later. 

Ang offered to pick up our work next weekend and I'm quite intrigued to see how it all turned out. Marcia told us that she's had many groups who turn the event into a happy hour and get liquored up. That might have helped my creativity but it was also 9 in the morning so I was just as happy that we didn't have booze. (OK, I would have been just as happy to have booze because I am me.)

I won't get to see the final product for a while but the morning was well spent, regardless. It's always a good time with my friends and Marcia was great with us. If you see a deal or just want to do it without one, I would tell you to go for it. We all enjoyed ourselves and got to pretend for a while that we're artistic. Fun stuff!



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