Murrine-making learning curve.

I’m excited at how fast I am progressing in this technique. I am learning a lot from piece to piece and I’ve only done three so far. The first being the two-color signature cane and the other being the first color eye. The following piece uses a different angle of color mixing…laying on layers of color in the stringer (think a bullseye pattern of color layering) to achieve the pointillist effect. Letting the eye make the jump. Although, the stringers are pulled so small that the eye can’t even see the rings anymore and maybe the colors do mix? Here it is right out of the kiln: stringer stack murrini Interesting. I used a different fuse schedule to help avoid air pin holes. I do think that worked and will find out more when I cut a slice but it did slump over more in that process. It could be coincidence, the new fusing schedule, the fact that the stringer may have been longer than the last one? More air because I didn’t pack it like previous ones? The latter is probably it. Here it is compared to the first experiment: mosaic murrine The first one is shorter primarily because I took a slice. You can see though that the slumping happened above where the pipe form was. I haven’t quite figured out the physics of that though because the kiln paper did extend high enough to be a form and it slumped in, not out.   mosaic murrine Completed piece. I do like it a lot. I learned that powder pink strikes a LOT in the kiln, even though it had burned out some in the flame. Another live and learn and I’ll have to try another color that will darken up the flesh tones. It looks like some of the darkness is provided by using a transparent glass in the bullseye process…interesting.stringer stack murrini Here are the two eyes I’ve done. Time to move on and practice technique on another image. Maybe a mouth? Next up, building a form other than a circle. Maybe with fiber paper and block? I’m nervous but that edge is what keeps me finding new things and process.

I’m excited about a new idea.

I did the Salvador Dali face (see the process at my new Lori Greenberg Glass Art page on Facebook) and it got me excited me on shadows and faces even though my shadow colors were too subtle to show; although once he’s fused that could change as the edges of the chips soften and collapse in. Now I’m working an image of Alex from Stanley Kubrick’s  A Clockwork Orange, also in progress on the facebook page.

Salvador Dali glass Micro Mosaic

On a recent trip to Santa Fe I came across an artist’s work in a gallery there and it has stuck with me. Veruska Vagen does grid pattern mosaics with tiny dots of glass, which process she calls dot de verre. According to her process, she uses fusing of manufactured glass dots that are no longer in production. The pieces I saw were reproductions of Master painters work. This got me to thinking about reproductions and what that means to me. Is it copying? I thought yes. What about translating photographs into other media? Still yes, in my mind. I have also always been inspired by Chuck Close’s amazing photo based mosaic-like paintings.

The more I thought about it, the more apparent it became to me that that doing ‘reproductions’ of images made some sense for me at this time. I cannot draw and I don’t want to take the time to learn. I thought about how apprentices to Master painters learned in the first place. They copied master works and through that they learned technique, color theory, lighting, etc.

I decided that reproductions will allow me the freedom to learn more about the micro mosaic process that I’m developing. While some may say that is ‘copying’ I see it as a huge accountable color study. With my own designs I have not had to match colors. Whatever I made in the first few tries was what I used. With the reproductions my aim is to match exactly the colors and gradation of colors in shadows and highlights and learn that intimately. Trust me, this will prove to be important in my work. You will see what I mean when I get closer to where I want to be with all of this and look back to my beginning work.

The process itself lends so much to variation and uncertainty that even a detailed reproduction will never be the same as the original image. But anyway, the new idea.

While still loving the faces, I am not thrilled about where the current Alex work is heading. I’m doing it in color, trying to achieve highlights and shadows within flesh tones with strange lighting. Blech. I feel that way most times as I look as what is emerging. Today though I came across an image of a Rose Window and the brilliance hit me. More thinking about reproduction work.

Churge of Gesu Rose Window

Churge of Gesu Rose Window

You know I love mandalas and what better mandalas to translate into the micro mosaics than Rose Windows? I love the effect of black outlining in the micro mosaics.

One of the obstacles I have to take into consideration when doing my pieces is how the light shines through, or doesn’t. The background shows through transparent colors and clear cores of the tiny murrini. This, many times, is what disappoints me about the finished product. So then I got the idea to create LED display stands. I’ve been wanting to move more towards displayed work rather than jewelry and beads. How cool would it be to have a lighted stand to give the effect of light coming through glass? The pieces do glow when held up to light.

So, there I am. As soon as Alex is done, off to Rose Windows I go.

If you want to see real-time photos of what is going on in the studio, please do like my  Lori Greenberg Glass Art page on Facebook. I am posting quick shots regularly there and you can see pieces through to completion, day by day.


Color Mixing: CIM From Algae to Peace

I am so digging the color mixing, whether it be laying it into cane and pulling small stringer or working from one color to another in a gradation. A couple weeks ago I pulled out some more Creation is Messy Algae and Peace and did my normal 1:9 through 9:1 ratios and this is what I came up with:

glass color mixing CIM

I love so many things about mixing these methodical gradations of color. I learn a lot as the dark colors unfold and show their true essence. I would not have guessed that that beautiful soft almost pottery glaze-like color would emerge while going from this dense transparent algae color to white. It reminds me of a tea set that a friend from Korea gifted us.

It surprises me that the four beads on the right all have white in them of different amounts and get darker as they have less white but still look fully transparent but BAM! the 5th bead from the right is opaque all of a sudden.

color mixing CIM algae peace

It also always surprises me when there is a huge jump from one to the next, almost like there was some huge change in the proportions. There is a lot of room for more mixing in this string.

It interesting to me that that the 2nd, 3rd and 4th from the left don’t really seem to go in a logical order. When I see that I always think I need to re-do my test to make sure I ordered them right. I am pretty methodical though and keep them all in order and marked while on the mandrel.

Now I am curious to see what these colors do when layered in stringer for my micro mosaics and also when layered in dots on a bead, another thing that fascinates me. How you can mix the color but then get totally different colors when layering in different ways. Stacking dots gives a way different effect than when used in a murrini and stood on their sides. I bet the murrini even looks different when applied in a flame rather than fused.

color mixing CIM algae to peace


And look there. The beads look even different than the color pulled into rod form. Crazy, I tell you. I wonder if Dietmar gets more consistent results (I’m sure he does) or if he also experiences strangeness that can only be due to the nature of how glass becomes the colors it becomes.

You know, I could go into a cabin up on a mountain and never come out and still not even scratch the surface of the properties of glass colors. More to come from this strand indeed.