Saturday, March 30, 2013

The garbage of eden

I posted a series of in-progress shots to Facebook and I figured I ought to follow up with a proper explanation for those who are interested. And while we're at it, here, for the tech nerds, is a link to the demo tag featured on this blog.
Don’t forget you can click the images to enlarge the pics.

I’ve been craving long, involved near-to-impossible projects since completing Eastern State.  Since I draw so many weird flowers, I had the idea for this garden image and you can see here I worked it out in photoshop. (The procedure: the flowers were doodles I scanned, cleaned up and “painted” in photoshop, then I put them together.  I had a real bee in my bonnet that it should be en endless repeat, at least on the horizontal, and repeat it does.)
I also had a doodle of this woman kind of rolled up in a ball.  I will often pair doodles of figures with doodles of other stuff to see how they go together  (photoshop allows me to try out literraly hundreds of combinations in minutes.)
.…In this manner I generate what passes for an “IDEA”.  Anyway, the balled up woman falling into the garden was too awesome and thus the seeds were sown (get it? Get it?) for “The Birth of Eve”.  The title came last and it may yet change.

In working with the glass I gave myself the mandate gentle suggestion to improvise.  If my work looks like the drawing, I am generally not amused.  And by that, I mean I go into a state of rage and melancholy usually reserved for world wide eco-political disasters.  Just kidding.  ANYWAY:  I wanted to improvise, to learn something new, and test the boundaries and whatnot.   Ultimately, it seems to me I improvised more with the drawing than with the material.  Deep sigh…

What we have here below is the blue and the red glass well on their way.  The glass was cut and ground to shape.  Then it is sandblasted, in most cases, with little or no detail added.  I then went into it with engraving tools and files to get much more detail.  In this image three sections also have black paint fired on.

In this image below, all the black paint is done. (2 firings.)
This image is the gloriousness of silverstain before its fired.  It looks like baby messed his diaper.  When it’s fired it looks the same.  UNTIL…it is washed off and underneath the schmears is bright yellow.

And look!  That’s yellow all right!  A Chernobyl nuclear urine nightmare of yellow!  I just slop that stuff on, fully intending to engrave tons of it off.  Sounds like extra work?  Muhahaha!  I love extra work!

And here’s that yellow tamed.

Here are some images of the layers completed. 
The top image is the blue—you can see that there are two different blues here.  One is Lambert’s blue on clear and the other is St. Just 221 aqua which I had to comb the hills and travel the earth to find.  When I am done with everything I think I going to do to torture the glass I fire polish it (1330f).  With all that engraving and sandblasting, there’s a lots of frosty texture which really makes it hard to see the image when its layered.
In this case, I did not fire polish the St Just as it turns nasty.  So I coated it with a very thin layer of Golden acrylic varnish, which claims to be archival until cockroaches have evolved to become our insect overlords.

The bottom image is red, duh!

Then…I add a layer of pink glass.
The top image is what it looks like on the pieces so far, with no sandblasting.
Below is the layer on its own.  Just like the St. Just, none of this is really amenable to fire polishing, as it tends to turn colors and actually get more opaque kind of defeats the purpose.  So I use the varnish on this too.

And voila: here’s the whole thing together. Am I done?  I dunno, actually, I have a few tweaks I want to try….really, really high risk tweaks in that if I do them and they look awful, I will have to redo the entire red layer…


My Corner of the world said...
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My Corner of the world said...

Amazing work! I love the flowers!

Judith Schaechter said...

thank you!

Diane Irvine Armitage said...

Wow - I love it! I'm fond of strange, other-wordly looking gardens and this brings that to life completely. As always, you are amazing!

Flora said...

Thanks for this amazingly detailed post of your process, it's really fascinating to see the layers build up into the final result.

As usual, my jaw is firmly planted on the keyboard, and I might be drooling slightly.

TR Biddle said...

Thank you very much for your 'demo' postings. I really admire your work...beautiful and intriguing, while provocative verging on disturbing. As an aspiring glass artist, I am very interested in exploring different ways of working with the medium. I really appreciate seeing your approach to the technical aspects of your work, as well as the thoughts you give regarding art and the creative process. Equally inspiring to me is your generosity in posting all that you do through your blog and and Facebook pages. I think it's wonderful that you just DO the work you do. That you take the time and effort with your posts to present all the extra stuff seems extraordinary. I love the spirit of sharing that I feel as I follow your progress. So, Thanks!

Judith Schaechter said...

Thank you so much, TR Biddle and everyone. I really appreciate hearing from people and I am truly glad the postings are of interest.
Its not often that I teach workshops and I really very much want to share what I know about process--both technical AND creative!
Thanks again.

CalyxAnn said...

Just s̶i̶m̶p̶l̶y̶ intricately and painstakingly AMAZING! Thank you for sharing your process. I think it makes your work even more astounding!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I have been painting glass for a few years, mostly self-taught. Your work just blows me away! I don't think I'll ever achieve that level of technical expertise. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing. A rare treat.