Magpie Shares a Few Thoughts on Art, Technique and Forging Ahead
While the combination of textures, colors and the "oooo shiny" factor drew me to glass, the technical details and requirements enforced by the art of stained glass pushed me away (we are going to conveniently ignore factors such as time, cost and space). After the first fused glass lesson, it became clear that there were many fewer rules (little did I know) to fused glass. I was overjoyed.
Not one to embrace the technical aspects of any art or craft (it's very much about color and texture for me), fused glass seemed like a dream come true. Each trip to the studio was a delight to me, and likely a nightmare to my instructor who would gently offer suggestions or guidance with regard to the reason for doing something a particular way (or not), advice I would gleefully ignore.
The excitement of experimentation and the willingness to suffer the consequences is still very much a part of how I 'do' glass. Many times the result, if not catastrophic, is something that only a mother could love, rarely the outcome is pure brilliance (often in spite of my efforts to guide the process).
One area that any fused glass artist will sooner or later come to realize the need to 'study and control' is in the kiln firing and the schedules developed for each application, technique, texture and even color of glass. I use the term control loosely where my own efforts are concerned, however there is a science to kilnwork that can border on the obsessive - particularly when one wishes to push the limits of the glass itself and/or be able to replicate a particular piece exactly.
The dance between love of the material and tolerance for learning the technical aspect of this art continues. As glass fusing grows in popularity and other artists push the limits or bend a time-honored technique to fit their needs, I'll continue collecting ideas, techniques and materials, and pushing my limits of understanding and maybe one day learn to love the science of the technical as well!