Having set up the background of our pieces, we discussed glass. We spent a good portion of the morning learning different types of glass and techniques for working with them. Mary even covered how to cut bottles “like sushi” as well as the proper way to break tempered glass. (Not for the timid!)
She explained that she dyes her own tempered glass and showed us a few variations of dyed glass in the studio.
After the basics were covered, we started cutting and placing glass into our pieces. Mary guided us individually, as we each were doing something unique. I had opted to do a piece based on sailing and my husband’s favorite artist, John Mecray. My goal was to capture the essence of sailing. Mary had set aside a large frosted glass bell for me to use as the sails. She cut the first set as a demonstration, then supervised as I cut the second set. I arranged the pieces on the canvas & glued them down before we broke for lunch.
Once the sails were positioned and the hulls affixed, I sprinkled in crushed tempered glass to evoke a texture reminiscent of water. With a working surface solidly 36″ above the floor, and myself only 5’4″, I resorted to using my digital camera to get a flatter perspective of how my project would appear when upright.
After several passes at arranging the glass to imbue it with the essence of waves I felt satisfied and ready to commit to the next (and biggest!) step. RESIN!
Mary shared with us her preferred brands for this step, as well as how to measure out and effectively mix the material and how to evenly apply it to our creations. She orders by the gallons and uses liberal amounts in her work. The resin binds the glass to the background and provides the smooth finished quality. I was fortunate to be working in a studio where supplies were ample, as my project required double the amount I’d anticipated for my canvas. After adding resin to my work, I wandered about and perused the results of my classmates’ work. In the progress made since their original concepts over the last couple of days was truly impressive.
My class consisted of a six classmates, myself and Mary, and the work we produced over those days was stunning. Having finished a little earlier than the others I left for the day to let my creation spend the night drying. The next morning felt a bit like Christmas.
Mary completed the class by reviewing our work and showed us how to touch-up the pieces by brushing off the art and removing any stray resin as needed. She then hung all of our artwork so we could see the final results side-by-side.
In the glare of this photo my sailboats were pretty shiny and don’t show up very clearly, but all of the other pieces are well represented here. It was a rewarding experience and I was not only pleased to have participated, but am thrilled with what I was able to bring home. Mary was happy with the experience of this workshop as well and is planning more! If you don’t feel you are quite ready for something more advanced, Mary offers regularly scheduled workshops in South Walton. Visit her web site for further information.