Skip to Main Content

Studio Glass ECS | Hummingbirds

March 07, 2020

In the studio today we began with three tutorials performed by Deb Crowly (seashell), Joy Munshower (horse bead), and Suellen Fowler (perfume bottle). Each piece ended up looking stunning and impossible to make as always, but unlike the past couple of days, we were not required to make these items. Today was not only unique because it was our last day in the studio; it was a free project day where we could make whatever we wanted.

After the demos I chose to make a piece that proved to be particularly challenging to me yesterday. I began to make my third boro implosion pendant because I was not satisfied with the two that I had made on Friday. I started by making a ball of clear glass and flattening it with a marver. Next I decorated it with lavender, blue, and green. This time around I was careful to make sure that I imploded my design correctly. This meant that I was constantly holding my pendant vertically over the flame using a punty that was attached to the lense until the floral design melted into the clear glass then pressing it against the marver to suck it further into the pendant. I finished it up by melting in the black backing and adding a bail. The third time really was a charm and I was impressed with my work.

After a quick lunch we were back in the studio to work again. This time I decided to try my hand at making a humming bird out of soft glass, similar to the one demoed earlier this week by Deb Crowley. I chose all transparent soft glass colors such as green (light and dark), purple (light and dark), and blue. My first attempt proved to be a failure because I didn’t heat the glass enough, but I was determined enough to try again. I began making a small round bead around my mandril using dark green. I then added in small gathers of glass for a chest and the start of a tail, and after it cooled I attached a ball of glass for the head. I then put gathers of light green, dark and light purple, and blue onto what would be the tail and wings and flattened them. Using hemostats I crimped the tail three times and pulled it down. Deb helped me with the eyes by halfway melting in two dots of black and adding a large gather of glass for the beak and stretching it out (similarly to how we make stringers). I repeated the process used with the tail for the wings then pulled the tips out using a clear stringer.

I ended up making another bird with minimal help from Deb. This time I used an opaque pink for the body and a transparent blue and purple for the tail and wings. This piece was my favorite out of all of the works I’ve made at Deb’s studio and it gave me a better appreciation for how hard glass artists work for even their smallest and most simple looking pieces. This was our last day before we pack up and leave Newport and this was a wonderful way to kickstart our ECS.