my work is created using "strip method" fusing, a detailed
process requiring both time and patience. Long
strips of colored glass are cut by hand, laid on edge into
patterns, and then heated in a kiln to approximately 1500 degrees.
The resulting fused "pattern blank" is cut into sections
which are rearranged, supplemented with additional strips, and fused
again into a more complex pattern. Depending upon the final
pattern, each piece is repeatedly cut and fused many times, with each
firing cycle lasting approximately 14 hours.
the final pattern has been fused each piece is then ground and polished
to a smooth finish using a variety of diamond tools. Most pieces
require two to three hours of polishing, while larger pieces can
require up to five hours. Although some of this work is done initially with power tools, I
do most of the polishing by hand using foam pads and sandpaper
embedded with diamonds.
polished each piece is then "slumped" (fired at a low temperature) into
a mold, which transforms the flat pattern blank into a
surface texture is created through a combination of sandblasting and
acid-etching, resulting in a smooth matte finish. Finally, I
apply a thin coat of clear lacquer sealant which seals out fingerprints
and enhances the depth of the matte finish.
completed, each piece has been transformed from a traditional smooth
and shiny ("glassy") texture to one more resembling ceramic than glass.
The most common question I am asked about my work is "What is
that? Is it glass?", which I consider both a complement and a
sign of success.
- Robert Woldow