Interview with a fused glass artist

 
I was lucky enough to meet Kinnon at work. Her office was five doors down from mine and we just connected. The connection was based on possibilities and making dreams happen. Nothing really to do with work!

Kinnon is a fused glass artist and I knew I wanted to show her off on the blog. Welcome Kinnon.

What is the difference between fused glass and stain glass?

Fused glass is specific glass manufactured for the sole purpose of building items utilizing the heat from a kiln. The heat from the kiln increases the speed of movement in glass. How much heat is applied, what rate, how long it is held at various temperatures and finally the rate it is cooled down all influence the shape and size of the final product. Glass can be slumped onto a mold or draped over a mold to take on a shape after it has been built flat initially.

Stained glass items are not made using heat from a kiln. The glass pieces are sautered together. Also the composition of stained glass is not compatible with fused glass.  They cannot be used together to make a fused glass item.  Eventually the item would shatter.

How did you get involved with fused glass?

I was invited to a fused glass class by my friend, Audrey,  She has extensive experience with stain glass and wanted to try out fused glass for fun. We did two classes together making Christmas ornaments in one and a plate in the other one. I loved it! Audrey loved it too and decided to ask me to start-up a business alongside her business.  So in the beginning we shared space, her kiln and other tools and had lots of laughs.  I eventually moved to a new location very close to home and continued to build my business with a web site and selling at a few craft markets.  I was working four days a week up until January, 2018.  Now retired, I am putting my energy into the fused glass business.

Initially I was drawn to fused glass out of a love of color. Also, my mom had many glass pieces on display in our home.  My parents visited antique stores and collected glass pieces and furniture to be refinished.  My two favorite colors are still cobalt blue and ruby-red.

 

Do you have a specific style or product of fused glass?

I am still developing my style of product.  I don’t see myself limited to one type of product.  I think I will evolve as time goes by and I am inspired by what I see in my environment.  One example is a tray I made because I loved a poster I saw in a physician’s office. I took a picture of it and made the tray in its likeness. I get inspired by the way I see what is around me.  It is my own filter, the way I see the world around me.

I do wish to specialize in Celtic themed glass pieces.  I have knit since I was a child and knitting braids and cables are two of my favorite challenges to produce. I have ideas for glass window hangings, trays and bowls to name a few.  To make these items I have to make my own molds, cut the glass to fit and put the glass piece in the kiln. Since I knew nothing about making molds, I first had to learn about making molds in plaster. I took classes last fall to achieve this and am focused on creating original molds and glass items.

What equipment and materials are needed for fused glass?

The equipment that is needed is, but not limited to, the following: great lighting, sink for washing the glass, fused glass sheets of many designs, kiln, polisher, grinder, shop vacuum, kiln paper, tools to cut the glass by hand, glass tile saw, glue and as many molds as you wish. On top of that you need the help of excellent teachers like the ones at Cranberry Stained Glass. There are many classes you can take and be sure to take a friend(s). It helps if you love it as there are many ups and downs as you develop your skills. If you love it, you will keep trying until to are happy with the glass pieces you make.

Here are pictures showing the process.

 

Where can we find you?

I am located at Laggan Glainne Fused Glass.  I love to do unique pieces in the color and size requested by customers.  I do ask for 50% of the cost of the item up front.
You can always start now!

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