Suncatchers for year-round flowers

Another gift recently given was to my younger brother.  He grows Dahlias in the summer and they are gorgeous.

Living in Wisconsin, these beautiful blooms are only around at his house for a few months each year.  With his birthday coming up, I thought I would make him some sun catchers to bring some color to the winter months.

The background was a single sheet of clear glass, with strips of the same glass used as the hanger.  The stems were green noodles, the leaves were scraps of transparent green glass, and the flowers were various sizes of glass frit.  The project was fired following a Contour Fuse schedule.  Quick and easy project with a lovely outcome.

Glass Votive Candle Holders

Now that Christmas and a few January birthday gifts have been given, I can post some recent projects.  Today, I am showing some votive candles that I made for two in my extended family.

In November, I completed a four panel fused glass project for my sister-in-law.  After making this four seasons picture, I decided to make a matching votive candle that had the four seasons depicted on sides of the glass.

First, I fused together two pieces of clear glass to form the main part of the votive. Next, was to add the trees.  Since the votive candle was small, the trees would need to be made from something other than traditional fused glass – that glass would be too thick.

Option 1. Bend brown stringer to look like a tree.  I tried this but never could get two trees to look alike.

Option 2. Draw trees with Glassline paint  I thought about it and wanted to try something that would look better than hand drawn.

Option 3.  Cut trees out of fusible transfer paper.

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This is the option I decided to go with. A few years ago, I had used transfer paper to make a sign for another sister-in-law’s kitchen.  While printed black, the iron oxide in the toner fuses to the glass with a nice sepia tone.  This brown color should work nicely for trees.

Using an older model black laser printer (the toner cartridge needs to have a high iron content), I printed a black square on the Photo Transfer Paper.

Then, I used a paper punch in the shape of a tree to make four tree shaped transfers.  Each punched image was then transferred to the four corners of the glass and allowed to dry.

Using medium and fine frit in various colors, the ground and leaves were added to the trees.

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Around the same time, I decided to make a votive to match the “Cook’s Kitchen” sign.  For this I made grape vines using the tree punch but cutting off some of the branches and turning the direction of the tree.  Green confetti glass was used for the leaves and medium weight purple frit was used for the grapes.

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The glass was then contour fused and slumped over a metal mold.

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Pretty gifts to give to a couple special ladies.

Christmas 2017

Today we celebrate the birth of our King, Jesus. Our hearts are filled with gratitude for who he is, all he has done and his great love for us. Yes, Christmas is a special time of year here at the Erickson house.  Merry Christmas to everyone!

A Christmas Craft – Fused Glass Ornaments

 

A Christmas Recipe – Cranberry Honey ButterIMG_2579

1 cup salted butter, softened
1/3 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbs orange peel

Beat together all ingredients and divide into jars.  Store refrigerated. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Fused Glass Wall Art – Birds, Butterflies, etc

Changes to the cabinets at one of my offices left spots with voids. What to do with these spots? Paint the wall and leave the space empty? Hang some pictures? Buy some art for these spots?

Make some art – now that sounds more fun!

After looking at the space and existing decor, I came up with some ideas.  And, with a week off for Thanksgiving, I was able to completed these projects:

Three different birds:

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A couple dragonflies:

And, butterflies:

The walls at the office still need to be painted.  So, these may not get hung until January.  But, they were fun to make!

If you are in Minnesota and come by our Burnsville sometime in January, you should be able to see them in person.

Fused Glass Daisy

IMG_2127Last week’s post reminded me that I have not posted about a another four pane glass project that I created for my sewing room.  This project was ultimately inspired by two different items.

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The first was an image of flowers that I saw when looking for ideas to embellish for one of my landscape quilts.  The image was a collection of four canvases each with a white daisy painted on a different colored background.  I really liked this and thought it would make a good glass project.  However, since I had just finished my four seasons tree (shown at the end of my previous post),  I wanted to try something other than four panels side by side.

White DaisyAbout that same time, I received a birthday card from a friend.  This card had only part of a daisy printed on it.  This gave me inspiration for how to display my daisy idea – four corners in different colors.

IMG_2423I found a four section frame at Michael’s that looked like a window. After purchasing it, I removed the hardware and spray painted it white.

Since the leaves were green and the center of the daisy was yellow, I decided to use the other colors of the rainbow for the background (orange, purple, red and blue).  Originally I was considering hanging the project in a window, so the background glass is transparent. When the project was finished, I realized that it would look better hung on the wall.  The transparent glass still looked really nice even though no light is shining through it. Maybe someday I will add some back lighting to it.

For each background, I cut two pieces of glass the size of the individual window pane – one piece of clear glass and one piece of colored transparent glass.  These were fused together using a Full Fuse schedule.

The daisy petals were cut from white opaque glass.  To add texture to the center of each petal, I sprinkled almond colored opaque glass fine frit down the center of each petal.  The petals were Heat Polished (maximum temperature 1300) to round the edges.

The leaves were cut from Uroboros glass – Oasis Green on Dark Green. Each leaf was scored with a curve near the middle and split into two halves.  The resulting pieces were then Heat Polished.

One set of leaf pieces and three daisy petals were placed on each background and Contour Fused.  The center of each daisy was Tack fused and each pane was secured to the frame with E6000 adhesive.  Due to the size of project, each color pane required four separate fusings for a total of sixteen kiln cycles.

Very colorful addition to the wall of my sewing room!

Fused Glass Seasons

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I recently completed my first “commissioned” piece of fused glass art.

After visiting a local art fair, my sister-in-law contacted me to see if I would be able to make something similar to a piece of art she had seen there.  The photo she showed me looked like a fun project to do – Four Seasons of Trees set in a frame that resembled a window.  The item that was available at the art fair had a black frame, but she wanted something more “organic” or natural looking.  So, we found an unstained framed made out of reclaimed wood on-line and ordered it.  After it arrived, it was time to start making the fused glass panels.

After measuring each opening, I cut two matching pieces of clear glass for each pane 5.75″ square.  These were then fused together with a Full Fuse schedule (maximum temperature 1465, 20 minute hold) to create the solid background for each pane.  No need to show a picture of this as it was just clear glass. Because of the size of my kiln and the size of the panes, each one needed to be fused separately – so four firings needed for this step.

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Next, I cut brown glass to resemble the tree trunks.  Generally a tree would be leafless in the winter, and in the spring the tree would be less full than later in the year.  So, I added some strips of glass to make branches for the trees.  These were then Contour Fused (maximum temperature 1375, 10 minute hold) to pull the pieces together and round the edges of the glass. Because glass wants to settle at a 1/4″ thickness, I could not Full Fuse these pieces.  If I had, the shape of the trees would have been melted away into a amorphous log of unusable glass. After making the tree trunks, I fused red opaque medium frit to create small frit balls that would resemble apples for the summer panel.  I chose full fuse for this step because I wanted the apples to be well rounded.  If I had been thinking ahead, I would have done these at the same time as I did the clear glass to save me one fusing cycle.  But, that wasn’t the case – so these two steps were two more fusing cycles.

Finally I was at the fun part – creating the pane for each season.

Winter:  I used white opaque glass for the snow – fine frit and medium frit, as well as some clear dichroic glass to add sparkle to the falling snow. The pane was then fired at a Light Fuse schedule (maximum temperature 1350, no hold time).  I chose this schedule so that I did not loose too much of the detail of the glass frit pieces.

Winter
Winter Pane – before fusing and after fusing.

Spring:  For this I used opaque green fine frit for the base layer.  On top of that I sprinkled Clover Blend medium frit.  To create the apple blossoms, I used Cherry Blossom medium frit.  This pane was then fired using the Light Fuse schedule.

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Spring Pane – before and after fusing.

Summer: I used a mixture of translucent and opaque green fine frit with opaque green medium frit sprinkled over top. The “apple” frit balls were then placed in the tree and the pane was Light Fused.

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Summer Pane – after fusing. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn:  I used a mixture of translucent and opaque tangerine fine frit for the base of the tree.  The same green mixture that I used for the summer tree was used for the ground.  On top of this I sprinkled opaque red, orange and sunflower yellow medium frit.  I allowed some of the frit to land between the tree and the ground so that it looked like the leaves were falling.  This pane was then Light Fused following the same schedule as before.

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Autumn Pane – after fusing. 

After a total of ten firings, the panes were ready to be attached to the wooden frame using clear E6000 adhesive.

This project turned out very nice.  It reminds me of a project that I completed about two years, a Four Seasons Tree. This project required a total of 16 firings (four for each panel).

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Overlapping Triangles Quilt and Plate

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“Overlapping Triangles”  twin sized quilt.

Last year, one of the awards I received from the Minnesota State Fair included a gift certificate to  Bear Patch Quilting in White Bear Lake.  So, last fall I drove up to the store to see what to spend my certificate on.  I had some ideas of fabric I wanted, however, when going through the shop I was unable to find anything matching my ideas. Not wanting to drive up there again on another day, I looked around and found some fabric that I liked.  Without any plans for what I was going to make, I purchased two yards of the black fabric and took it home.

Overlapping Triangles Plate
My inspiration.

Several months later, when looking at some fused glass ideas, I came across a plate that I really liked. And, upon thinking about it, I realized it would make a nice quilt pattern as well. So, I went to my computer and came up with an idea for a quilt to make using the fabric.  Using the colors of the black swirled fabric, I designed the quilt to have graduated colorings in the strips.  When designing, I didn’t like the blunt ends of the triangles and decided to angle them.  I also decided to make the triangles overlap.

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My design.

When I went through the fabrics in my stash, I was happy to find that I had enough of each of the colors I selected that I only needed to purchase the black fabric needed.

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Close-up of quilting.

This summer, I finally pulled out these fabrics and started working on my idea. Finishing it in time for the state fair, I decided to enter it and received a third place ribbon.

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MN State Fair Display.

While the quilt was on display at the fair, I made some things to go with the quilt.

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Matching Throw Pillow and Fused Glass Plate.