When my muse left me and I was in the deepest throes of unspiration, I signed up for a one-night open studio fused glass class at Harford Community College, where a friend of mine works. The price was unbeatable, and it turned out to be a great introduction to a medium that I was not terribly familiar with.
My experience with glass never really moved beyond a brief attempt at mosaic work in my early 20s, when I lived a stone’s throw away from one of the largest art glass suppliers in the country. It mostly involved me making a mess and leaving glass shards embedded deep in the carpet fibers for future tenants of our apartment to discover at a later date.
Basically, my only skill walking into the classroom last night was scoring/cutting glass (and, of course, making a mess).
Fortunately, that skill served me quite well, as the project I had planned involved cutting squares and rectangles, which is about as simple as you can get when it comes to glass cutting. Other people in the class used the grinders, but I found them a bit too intimidating my first time out.
My goal was to make three 5″ square dishes that will be slumped in a mold to give them slightly raised sides. The pattern I found seemed simple enough – cut a base piece of glass and then stack random rectangles and squares on top of it.
As with most things that look easy on the Internet, it was a lot more work than I had anticipated, especially when you factor in my perfectionist/OCD nature. Not surprisingly, the three hour class time was not enough for me to finish and I ended up keeping the instructor an extra half hour while I frantically cleaned and re-assembled my pieces. Fortunately, she was a good sport and didn’t seem too put out by my tendency to bite off more than I can chew.
And now, we play the waiting game.
Ah, the waiting game sucks. Let’s play Hungry Hungry Hippos! (Yes, a gratuitous Simpsons reference – you’re welcome!)
I will get to pick up my finished dishes next Tuesday night and I must say, the waiting is interminable for an instant gratification girl like me. One of the most difficult parts of this process was not knowing how the finished product will look. I tried to study some before and after photos of fused glass projects before the class, but I still felt I was going into this thing blind. Hopefully, the finished product will be somewhat representative of what you see in the photos.
So, the class and instructor were great and I definitely got more than what I paid for ($29 for the class and $25 for materials). HCC is a bit of a schlep for me, but it was totally worth it. If you live in the area, I would highly recommend looking into this class. I may take it again the next time it comes around, so you may even see me there! Hmm, on second thought, that may be a deterrent for some of you. Heh.
photos : pre-fused glass by yours truly