Recently, I had the opportunity to work with students at the Arts Academy to create some unique fused art glass mosaics projects for the school annual fundraiser. (more…)
It all started out innocently enough; we were trying to figure out a way to modify the Self Portrait Paperweight project for the Hawthorne ELP Artist Residency. Originally I had planned to have the kids make a clay positive face, then pour a plaster/silica mix mold for each one before doing a pot-melt with recycled bottle glass.
The hassle factor was high, as were the potential material costs. Then it dawned on me, what if the kids made a reverse portrait with clay, I put it at the bottom of a standard size mold, and the glass melts down in. Reusable molds (in this case, extra deep terra cotta saucers, of which I own exactly 3, but which are cheap and readily available). Problem solved!
Except no one makes the saucers anymore. When I bought mine they were everywhere! I discovered this after submitting my final proposal. Nowhere in town, nowhere on the web. I’m sure I could have found them eventually, but not in the quantity that I needed (30).
So, to further complicate the process, I decided to make the saucers. It’s only 30 or so, I have a ceramics kiln and how hard could it be. Turns out, not very hard, I made some nice octagonal saucers that fit on my kiln shelf nicely.
The first class to make the portraits is the 6th grade. They have a great time, understand the concept and do good work. Back to the studio go the faces.
But there is a problem, what is going to become known as the infamous gap.