Friday, March 27, 2009

Glass tech, Week 4

Our stacks of cut glass are now fused cubes..some neater than others...ready for grinding and polishing. Marcus had introduced us to the machines but today was a chance to get beyond a little small talk. A demonstration on each machine refreshed our initial introduction. A little daunting at times but getting more confident.

Equipment in the cold working room for cutting, grinding and polishing:

Flat lap or flat bed grinder
Diamond saw
Rotary hand tool (dremelesque)

Glass studio , week 4

After last weeks brainstorming of different types of glass, now comes the research
here are the basics for two companies who supply soda lime glass

Effetre /Morreti

The Effetre factory is situated on the Island of Murano in Venice, Italy. As well as lighting designs and architectural lighting they supply soft soda-lime glass products that their website refers to as ‘Murano’.
Originally the company was owned by the Moretti family hence the widely known name Moretti. According to one source the company changed hands in the 1980's and was bought by 3 brothers by the name of Ferro. The word Effetre stands for “three F’s”. Since then one brother has left the company.
All sources agree that the current name of the company is Effetre though the name Morretti is still understood to refer to the range of flame-working rod.

Effetre products for glass work: sourced from
Rod is generally used for flame-work and lamp-work. Think beads and small sculptures.
Filligrana is a coloured rod encased in clear also used for flame-work and lamp-work, though by the pictures on the Effetre website possibly hot glass also.
Frit is suitable for either cold or hot working as they are not subject to to tension or breakages during smoothing and polishing. Any grade of frit can be supplied on request.
Millefiori is supplied in both rod and cut, in diameters from 2/3 mm to 14/16 mm. It can be used for flame work, warm and hot glass.

For specifications and colour chart go to

Uroboros Glass

Uroboros glass manufactures are based in Portland, Oregon, USA and have been in operation since 1973.
Their website is extensive and comprehensive.

Uroboros products are: Fusion FX, System 96 & Art glass.

Fusion FX

Uroboros has been producing tested-compatible fusible glass for nearly two decades. We run it through the industry’s most rigorous testing. Products at the 90 COE expansion point are tested compatible with Bullseye glass and, for glass blowers, with East Bay 91 and Spruce Pine 83. We continually introduce new and innovative 90 COE products for both beginning artists and top fusing professionals worldwide.

System 96
System 96 is a collaborative effort of two companies that compliments their individual strengths, Spectrum with its large scale/lower cost production facility, and Uroboros' with our lower volume/high product mix abilities. We chose 96 COE fusible glass because of its world-wide use, especially with glass blowers. It is compatible with East Bay “Special”, Spruce Pine 87, Glasma batch #71 and Glasma Studio Batch.
The strength of System 96 lies in its unique range of use; kiln fired pieces can be used with glass blowing, beadwork can be used in your kiln and your glass blowing, your glass works hard for you throughout your studio.

Art Glass
Since firing up our furnaces in 1973, our craftsmen have created the broadest range of sheet glass products available anywhere! On a regular basis we produce 163 colour combinations in 14 unique styles. Our colour combinations are available in many different styles or textures and we offer up to as many as seven colours in a single sheet! Each sheet is ladled from our furnaces and formed by hand using old-world techniques backed with modern-world technology and equipment.
Uroboros craftsmen form each glass sheet by hand. We ladle out each colour separately and mix them together carefully. Our goal is to give you glass with the complexity and character that only hand-casting provides.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thunder v's Lightening

It was a hot muggy day, not helped at lunch time by listening to a fascinating Artist talk from Kirstie Rae (exhibition currently running at Sabbia)in the hottest, most airless room in the uni then followed by 2 hours in the hot shop.
Don't get me wrong i enjoyed every minute...but once my focus and concentration lapsed a storm of my own was brewing in my head.

Once home I rested my head with a light excluding flannel (special from Woolworths) and only surfaced briefly to see how the Thunder v's Lightening match was going.

Lightening as i have never seen before, massive strikes pouring horizontally across the sky, bolts and explosions leaping from cloud to cloud (the thunder was definitely losing this game)

I then retired to rest my head which seemed to house a mini version of the elemental "whose best" outside.

Hot shop, Week 4

we made paper weights..big excitement little chips of colour!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Art Theory, Week 3

Semiotics: dictionary on one hand...article in the other, assisted by another brain beside me (thank you Dougie)

ceci n'est pas une pipe.

Art Theory Week 4

A question of originality..discussion sparked off by
Reva Wolf, 'Homer Simpson as Outsider Artist or How I learned to Accept ambivalence (Maybe)'. Art Journal, Vol. 65, No. 3, 2006, pp. 101-111

I don't watch the Simpsons..there were some in class who remembered the episode "Mom and pop art" referred to. The article was easy to comprehend and interesting.

Our tutorial (after the lecture on originality) started off with the question "Is Homer an artist?"

'Outsider' artists were also discussed. I really don't like this term and the prejudice it seems to stem from. I hadn't heard the term until I was 'inside' hmmmm a bit snobby perhaps?

Medieval secrets and lies

I blithely told Dougie one morning that in medieval times in Murano, glass techniques were kept so secret that some guild members or spies had been killed... his eyes lit up and requested I be more now i'm trying to find out if I just made it up, read a book of fiction or if there is some truth.......or if I may have to retract my scandalous remark

Murano, Its Glass and Its People
Reprinted by courtesy of both Vetri Murano: A Consortium of Glass Factories in Murano Island and the Venice Chamber of Commerce. Edited by Stanley B. Kruger

Start reading at chapter 2

'Despite the way the glass recipes and the working techniques were kept secret, every innovation soon became common knowledge in the island, thanks to a true network of industrial spying. The wile of Giorgo Ballarin, a poor Dalmatian boy called “ballarin” because of his lameness, is well-known. By pretending to be a simpleton, he was able to watch the preparation of the recipes by great master glassmakers without arousing suspicion. He then wrote them down, learned the glassmaking trade and set up his own business. When he died, he was one of the biggest glassmakers on the whole island, leaving generous bequests and paying for the erection of a magnificent tomb.'

'After the invention of crystal glass, the measures became more severe and it was soon established that only those who had full Murano citizenship could work glass as makers and as apprentices.'

well that's encouraging but no murderous skullduggery ...yet!

Contemporary fiction: haven't read them
Through a glass darkly / Donna Leon
The Glassblower of Murano / Marina Fiorato

mmmm...though as yet I don't know exactly where this information comes from

'At the time it was rumored that the Maggior Consiglio even hired assassins to capture or kill artisans who left the island.'

sharing websites with Nadine

I learned about redbubble and threadlist and her Etsy shop.. alcojewellery also Zazzle, blurb and design by humans which I haven't looked at yet

Object theory, Week 4, THAP1211

Describing objects with out saying what they are....

Concepts - Materiality and process - Week 4

T. As a group pick one object of your three for each student. Come up with a word list that relates to the objects selected. From these words consider / devise a concept, material and approach to make an object that represents those words. Select materials and make object.

Words from our group's four objects:
organic, geometric, movement, direction, deconstruction, cutting, gluing, tearing, dense, delicate, translucent, natural, spirals, layers, textured, versatile, light weight.

Our concept was to start with a geometric form and then scramble organic forms over that. With balsawood, paper, glue, string and ground hebel brick our team of four set to...

The four original 'objects' and their collective 'child'

Vocabulary: Language of Object

Deconstruct, manipulate, code-meaning, text (object/artwork) symbol, design, signify, signifier, signified, appropriate, transform, distortion, transmute, infer, allude, camouflage, senes, sensory, materiality, metonym, rupture, resistance, tactility, mimic, confusion, erode, corrupt, multiplicity, resistance, distortion, metaphor, narrative, encrypted, rhythm, fluidity, surface, conceal, contain opacity, melt, opacity.

Obsession Yayoi as therapy. Object ration and Mental illness.

Aesthetic approach: abstract, literal, figurative, stylised, expressive, metaphoric, pragmatic...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Life Drawing, Week 4

Introducing charcoal, shading and form

Object Theory - Week 3 - 'Object gallery' visit


Abundant: Highlights from the Australian pavilion at the 11th International Architecture Exhibtion, Venice.

As an exercise 'in pairs' we chose a model and objectively described it.
My partner and I chose no. 21 by BKK Architects, VIC.
Inspiration from Buckminsters geodesic dome...


repeat naturalistic patterns

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Concepts - Materiality and Process Assignment one Week two

Q. Using found or recycled material make three complete objects using three different processes.

Material Cardboard

1. torn cardboard soaked in boiling water left to dry out a bit till damp.
A small glass wrapped in cling film was used for the mold.
ala co
ne moth style but adhered with PVA glue pieces were attached to one another.

Object 2.
Imagine cross sections of an object. I cut out the flat pieces in cardboard from small to wide to small again stacked and adhered.

Object 3. woven cardboard.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

Studio Theory A (glass) Week 3 Time line

Posted by Picasa

Glass tech, Week 3

Glass cutting with Marcus.

Straight lines squares and a circle, well that was the idea! also we were given our glass cutters!
The squares all get stacked to go in the kiln to be fused..which will become next weeks task.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

hours spent at mayagems

Another studio access day off. As 3 week , first years we haven't 'earned our stripes' yet to access the hot shop..sensible precaution as there are enough burns whilst being supervised.

So today I traveled to Avalon to meet up with my Mum and Nanna to visit a wonderful bead shop.


We dined 3 times at the cook's larder managing to sample a delightful array of food.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Glass studio, Week 2

Wordle: Glass mind map
Glassyness project. This mind map was accompanied by Almond brittle, Amber and Damselfly wings..all kinda glassy

The amber reminded me a bit of Emma Varga's glass which I love.

Making brittle is very glass like in the way that it is liquid, you can mould it or pull it into long threads at the right temperature and when it cools you can shatter it like glass in its super cool liquid state.


We also presented the first bit of research on our time line,

i found that 30,000 bc was a tad early for any 'glass' as such but humans were using Obsidian.

a naturally formed glass from volcanoes

Glass tech, week 2

Marcus walked us around the different areas of the glass studio:

Hot shop
Kiln room
Cold working
Mould room

A quick rundown of all machinery was given.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Concepts - Materiality and Process Research journal Week two

Q. Research 3 Artists in your studio. (Glass). Try to find artists who use unconventional approaches to their work.

Dale Chihuly
Blown from a height
Chihuly is a maker even though he doesn't so much make, as direct his ideas now. He paints colouful concepts for his team and works with them through the blowing process. He has been accused and criticised of spectacular-ism (not such a bad thing in my book considering where that has pushed glass as an art medium) Such criticism is expressed adroitly in "thinking through craft" (Adamson 2007)

Bio from Dale Chihuly's web site

Tevita Havea
ccas link to Tevita

Jess Loughlin
cast glass. "Glass as canvas"

"I see these forms as freestanding pictures that use light as their
canvas" Jessica Loughlin 2008.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009

Glass studio, week 1

Away: Presentation of glasseiness projects by the rest of the glass class
Time lines given..

30,000 bc? Glass tools?