Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Glass Classes

The class hard at work!
I've been getting emails from people around Iowa and Illinois asking about my glass classes, and after a little research I realized I hadn't included a page on my blog about them! Must have slipped my mind considering the classes are the main reason why I started my blog.  I always have students asking where I live, what I do in my spare time, and about other crafts I complete, so I wanted a place to show all of that! The following is a little more information about what all is accomplished in the glass classes!
Bins, Bins, and more Bins!
 A week before the class starts I get a final list of how many students and my prep work begins. Each student gets a bin prepared with: a cutter, breaker, thin fire paper, safety glasses, glue, pen, and most importantly their bag of glass. Each student starts with about 15 -20 pcs of assorted colored glass, all 90 COE some transparent some opaque. My Dining room becomes the prep room...

Base Glass.
Dichroic Glass, the fun stuff that makes it all sparkle!
After all the bins are packed and ready to go, I load up my car and small kiln and hit the road to teach in the Quad Cities! First matter of business when I arrive is putting on my teaching glasses...I feel way more professional this way - and get out of wearing geeky eye wear protection while I work!
Fused Glass Class for Beginners consists of 2 days of classes for a total of 5 hours.

Day 1:
· Overview of fused glass and techniques complete with informational handouts and suggested books and websites to get more information and/or design ideas.
· Topics include kiln and mold preparation, glass selection, project design, firing schedules, safety, glass supplies, cutting, assembly, annealing, compatibility testing, slumping and draping, working with frits, stringers and  inclusions, as well as many other wonderful things you have always wanted to know about fusing glass! Previous experience working with glass is not necessary.
· Students will design glass pendants, earrings, and other jewelry pieces of their liking and will watch an in class firing of student practice pieces.

Day 2:
· After pieces have been fired and annealed the final part of the class (Day 2) will be spent finishing projects with bails, ear wires, bracelet blanks, ring blanks, and wine stopper mounts. Students make between 10 - 40 pieces each!

My goal for Beginner Fused Glass Class is to provide all participants with an overall understanding of fused glass and the various techniques involved in the creation of basic pieces.
After we get past the boring stuff (me explaining how to make the glass work) we get into the fun stuff WORKING WITH GLASS! The next two hours of class fly by as all of the students usually "get into the zone" and get to work. It's amazing to see how different each students work is, and how differently they all work!

While the students work, I do an in class firing in my table top kiln, so they can see the glass fuse in real time. After the kiln has fired all of their projects from the day are put on trays to be taken home and fired in my large kiln for the final day of class the week after.
A cookie sheet and camper drawer liner go a long way while driving home!
Once the projects make it back to Cedar Rapids, hopefully safe and sound, I set them up on the kiln shelf and start the firing. It usually takes me 5 nights to get all of the students work complete and ready for them to mount at class the next week.
And as usual there is never enough time in the day...I usually find myself firing until the wee hours of the morning!
2:13 AM... REALLY?!
 After the projects have annealed (cooled in the kiln) They are ready for mounting. This takes the students about 2 hours to complete all of their projects and they're ready to be taken home that night!

Ready to be mounted!

Finished Bracelets.
For more information about when Chicken Scratch Studio will be holding it's next class, either in Cedar Rapids or the Quad City area email me at erinfitz27@gmail.com and I'll send you a PDF with class dates and info! Check out my blog later this week for a fun new craft project!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! This looks great Erin. Wish I lived in the US so I could join one of your classes! My mom loves the cheese plate whine bottle. This week she has filled it with candle lights.

    Have a nice week!!
    Sophie Mari